Ukraine wants light tanks FV101 Scorpion

Ukraine wants light tanks FV101 Scorpion
Armored personnel carrier FV103, which arrived in Ukraine in 2022. Photo by Telegram / Outpost

Over the past year, the armored fleet of the Kyiv regime has suffered critical damage, and now he is trying to make up for the losses by any means. Ukrainian public and private organizations are trying to find and literally mine any available samples of armored vehicles. Not so long ago it became known about the desire to buy a number of British lungs tanks FV101 Scorpion. This technique has been idle for a long time, and now it is getting a chance to return to service.

Used equipment

Last spring, a few weeks after the start of the Russian Special Operation, Great Britain expressed its readiness to transfer to Ukraine a large number of various armored vehicles in order to help. The list of possible deliveries included armored personnel carriers FV103 Spartan of the CVR (T) family. At the beginning of summer, the first vehicles of this type appeared in Ukraine and soon found themselves in the combat zone.

In parallel, the possibility of transferring and selling other machines of the CVR (T) family to Ukraine was discussed. In particular, it could receive FV101 light tanks, FV102 self-propelled anti-tank missile systems or FV105 command and control vehicles. In addition, they officially announced the imminent delivery of Stormer HVM self-propelled anti-aircraft systems on a modified CVR (T) chassis.

"Stormers" with anti-aircraft missiles soon got to Ukraine, while the supply of other samples remained at the level of general ideas and discussions. However, later the situation began to change. So, in November, one of the Ukrainian "volunteer" organizations, headed by showman Serhiy Prytula, announced a fundraiser for the purchase of British armored vehicles of the CVR (T) family. The goal of the campaign was to raise 200 million hryvnia, which were going to buy 50 units. technology. In the future, the target amount was increased, and the desired number of cars increased to hundreds.

In early March, the first results of the collection campaign became known. With the money received, "volunteers" purchased 24 CVR (T) cars in the UK. The seller was a British private firm, which in the past bought decommissioned equipment from the armed forces. On the occasion of the purchase, the organizer of the training camp published a video in which he showed the equipment. Vehicles of several types of the family were captured in the frame, with the exception of the FV101 light tank.

Decommissioned British tank FV101 at the celebrations. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

At the end of March, the Scorpion tank again hit news. "Volunteers" report on the fundamental possibility of buying such equipment. Each car will cost £90. After a simple and short preparation, the tanks can be transferred to units. They are invited to equip the units of the so-called. territorial defense.

However, so far it is only a matter of principle. As far as we know, there is no contract for the supply of FV101 Scorpion tanks yet. Probably, there is no money for their purchase. However, it cannot be ruled out that funds will be found, and another batch of long-obsolete foreign armored vehicles will be sent to Ukraine.

Technique of venerable age

Again, we are talking about deliveries and plans to purchase old and obsolete foreign equipment. The Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family of armored vehicles on a unified tracked chassis was created in the sixties according to the requirements of the British army that were relevant at that time. With the help of new armored vehicles, it was planned to replace the armored personnel carriers, armored vehicles and other samples of the previous generation that were available in the troops.

By the end of the decade, the CVR (T) project reached the stage of field testing of experimental equipment. In 1970, the first samples of the family were put into service - the FV101 Scorpion light tank and the FV107 Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle. Over the next few years, several more products came into service: armored personnel carriers, self-propelled anti-tank systems, KShM, an ambulance and BREM.

The production of CVR (T) equipment for the British army continued until 1986. By this time, 1863 combat vehicles of all types had been built. Light tank "Scorpion" became one of the most massive models of the family - 313 units. In addition, production was carried out on export orders. Taking into account deliveries abroad, the number of serial CVR (T) reached 3500 units. The total number of foreign operators exceeded two dozen.

"Scorpion" at the exhibition. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The British FV101 tanks were actively used by the army and repeatedly participated in various exercises and in real operations. So, in 1974, tanks were deployed in Cyprus. In 1982, four Scorpion tanks and four Scimitar infantry fighting vehicles with crews participated in the Falklands War. It is curious that these were all the armored forces of the British side. In 1991, CVR(T) vehicles of all types participated in Desert Storm.

In the early nineties, it became obvious that the CVR (T) family was becoming obsolete, and the age of technology was growing. In addition, the military-political situation has changed. In this regard, in 1994, the FV101 Scorpion light tank was removed from service as unnecessary. In the future, the same thing happened with other types of equipment.

Unnecessary cars were put into storage or sold, both to private companies and to third countries. A significant number of equipment still remained in storage sites, army or owned by private companies. Now a certain number of "Scorpions" and other cars are being bought out by various structures to make up for the losses of the Kyiv regime.

Light tank

The FV101 Scorpion is a light air transportable tank designed to escort and provide fire support to infantry and airborne units. Its combat weight does not exceed 8,1 tons. The length is less than 5,3 m with a width and height of approx. 2,1 m. Due to the reduction in size and weight, high mobility characteristics were achieved, and overall mobility was improved - the tank can be transported by military transport aircraft of various types.

"Scorpion" is made on the basis of a welded aluminum body with a front engine compartment. Frontal armor is only 12,7 mm thick, but provides protection against 14,5 mm bullets at distances of 200 m. Other parts of the armor protect against 7,62 mm bullets and shrapnel. Additional overhead booking is not provided. For the purpose of protection, smoke grenade launchers can be used.

FV101 UAE Army. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Production FV101s were equipped with a 190 hp Cummins BTA diesel engine. and mechanical transmission. Power is delivered to the front drive wheels. The undercarriage has five road wheels with torsion bar suspension on each side. Estimated maximum speed - 72 km / h. As part of the experiment, the tank was able to accelerate to 82,23 km / h. With the help of additional floats, Scorpion can swim across water obstacles at a speed of up to 5-6 km/h.

The armament of the tank is located in the turret. All-round aiming is provided with elevation angles from -10° to +35°. Guidance is carried out using manual drives, which limits the speed of rotation. Main weapons tank is a 76-mm gun L23A1, capable of using high-explosive fragmentation, high-explosive armor-piercing (with a crushable head) and other shells. The effective firing range is up to 2,2 km. On the gun mount is a coaxial machine gun L7 caliber 7,62 mm.

The crew of the FV101 tank consists of three people. The driver is in the building. The commander-gunner and loader work in the tower. The crew has internal and external communication facilities. For greater comfort of service, an onboard water tank and a small boiler for heating it are provided.

Obvious prospects

Following the FV103 Spartan armored personnel carriers, the FV101 Scorpion light tanks, as well as other samples of the CVR (T) family, may appear in Ukraine in the near future. The Ukrainian side positions the purchase of such equipment as an important step with great prospects for the army. However, it is already clear that the real results of such deliveries will not meet expectations.

The light tank "Scorpion" was developed more than half a century ago according to the requirements of that time, which determined the level of its tactical and technical characteristics. All the main parameters of such a machine leave much to be desired and do not meet modern requirements for a long time. FV101 is hopelessly outdated, and no measures will allow it to be modernized.

FV101s are still in service with Iran. Photo Tasnim News

The existing armored hull and turret protect against low-energy fragments and 14,5 mm bullets, and only in the frontal projection. Small-caliber artillery or any anti-tank weapons are guaranteed to penetrate such armor at all firing ranges. Additional protection can be increased mobility due to low weight. However, it does not guarantee tank survival, especially on difficult terrain.

The regular 76-mm rifled gun of the Scorpion tank has low performance. In terms of firepower and firing range, it is inferior to common larger-caliber systems. Compatible high-explosive armor-piercing shells can only hit light armored vehicles, but are useless against tanks and fortifications. At the same time, high-explosive fragmentation ammunition is still suitable for infantry fire support. However, the caliber limits the power of the projectile and the effectiveness of the fire.

Reason for doubt

Thus, the old British light tank FV101 Scorpion on the modern battlefield poses some danger to infantry and light armored vehicles, but faces high risks of being destroyed by return fire. The possibility of the effective use of such technology in a full-fledged modern conflict is highly questionable.

However, Ukrainian "volunteers" are ready to buy even such equipment. In the current situation and taking into account objective processes, Ukrainian units will be happy with any armored vehicles. However, already in the first battle, all reasons for optimism will predictably disappear, and several pieces of equipment will disappear along with them.
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  1. +2
    30 March 2023 05: 40
    Well, here, in reality, the win will immediately give way to zrade, but in order not to completely recommend all these canned food in such a color to paint:

    So at least demoralize our fighters.
    1. +1
      30 March 2023 06: 26
      It reminded me of a fairy tale ... "There lived a couple, poor. The wife had a patched-patched skirt. The husband looked, spat, strained himself and bought his wife a new skirt. He came home, put the skirt on and went to bed. Gets up ... and the wife cut her skirt into pieces and puts it on the old patches, and thanks her husband, saying that it’s good, how many more patches will be left for the stock.
      This is how Ukraine collects and patches up junk, what remains after the USSR, and even "new from overseas friends" will not work for her
  2. +14
    30 March 2023 06: 29
    Any, even frankly outdated armored vehicles, is better than its absence. And this is true for all parties to the conflict.
    As for the Scorpion, it is quite capable of successfully fighting armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, and also, given its high mobility and buoyancy, it can be used for maneuvering operations in off-road conditions.
    1. Eug
      30 March 2023 06: 52
      Everything will depend on how this technique is applied. If wisely, they can cause a lot of trouble. In any case, its presence is better for the Armed Forces of Ukraine than its absence. And the rational approach to the design of military and engineering equipment based on a single platform commands respect.
    2. +1
      30 March 2023 09: 17
      Here is our analogue, BRM-1K. What is better? Moreover, it is being modernized and purchased by the RF Ministry of Defense, and not by volunteers. They go to the TRO, not the personnel units.

      1. +2
        30 March 2023 17: 36
        Quote from cold wind
        Here is our analogue, BRM-1K. What is better?

        In fairness, but the BRM-1K is still better in comparison with the scorpion: new equipment + 2A72 is being installed on the BRM. Well, there is an opportunity to carry troops.
    3. +1
      30 March 2023 17: 06
      Quote: Tucan
      Any ... armored vehicles are better than its absence.

      I was impressed with the price of 90 thousand pounds, which is comparable to a car! A simple civilian car, without any armor and weapons at all.
      1. 0
        30 March 2023 17: 37
        The mess recently cost 600 thousand rubles from storage.
  3. IVZ
    30 March 2023 06: 43
    It is ideal for patrolling the front line, guarding and defending rear facilities, combating DRGs and performing other similar tasks, freeing up more serious equipment from their performance.
  4. 0
    30 March 2023 06: 58
    The frontal armor is only 12,7 mm thick, but one cannot ignore the presence of the engine in front, which is also additional protection. The Marines also had a variant with a 30-mm automatic cannon.
    1. +5
      30 March 2023 07: 08
      Booking 20...60 mm. Frontal 60, not 12,7. Inaccuracy in the article or typo
      1. +1
        30 March 2023 09: 19
        Quote: Alex013
        Booking 20...60 mm. Frontal 60, not 12,7. Inaccuracy in the article or typo

        This means holding a machine gun with a caliber of 12,7 mm in a circle.
      2. 0
        April 5 2023 20: 48
        But is it aluminum? According to armor resistance, it must be divided by 3.
  5. +1
    30 March 2023 07: 33
    And these people laugh when they talk about the direction to the NWO zone T54/55 and T62, which these Scorpions will open like a tin can.
    1. 0
      31 March 2023 11: 31
      Why did you decide so? Especially considering the contempt of the British in the time of the Scorpions for firing on the move.
  6. -3
    30 March 2023 08: 56
    The owners of the second-color metal collection points on the Krajina staged a big sabantuy in anticipation of the arrival of aluminum tanks in the country! drinks
  7. 0
    30 March 2023 09: 01
    high-explosive armor-piercing (with crushable head)
    Did the author serve in the army? Probably, one would have to witness such a scene: Petty Officer: Ryabov! I! Sergeant Major: The head is crushed!
    1. +3
      30 March 2023 12: 27
      And, nevertheless, literally this type of shells is called that way: high-explosive with a flattening head (High Explosive Squash Head - HESH). True, they are not armor-piercing from the word at all. Literally, it can be translated as the head part, flattening, deforming or crushing. But military/engineering terms don't like literary translation. This is not Vladimir Ivanovich Dal.
      1. IVZ
        30 March 2023 18: 28
        And, nevertheless, literally this type of projectile is called that way: high-explosive with a flattening head (High Explosive Squash Head - HESH).
        In our documents, such a projectile was called armor-piercing high-explosive with plastic explosive.
        1. 0
          30 March 2023 18: 50
          And this definition is not technically correct. It doesn't penetrate armor at all. After "smearing" the plastic explosive charge over the armor, detonation occurs, which does not lead to armor penetration, but to the formation of large fragments from the inside of the armor, which produce a damaging effect.
          These shells are a national feature of England and they do not use the word armor-piercing in relation to them.
          1. IVZ
            31 March 2023 06: 31
            These shells are a national feature of England and they do not use the word armor-piercing in relation to them.
            At one time they were included in the BC M60. "armor-piercing high-explosive with plastic explosive" is not a definition of its effect on a target, but the designation of this type of ammunition adopted by us. Not in England, but here.
          2. 0
            31 March 2023 11: 34
            A high-explosive projectile can break through thin armor with an explosion. With regard to the Scorpion, it will be enough for all light Soviet armored vehicles, with the possible exception of the BMP-3 in the forehead. Although, most likely, it will just break through. If it hits.
            1. 0
              31 March 2023 15: 58
              It's a dull wagon from the 70s. There is no SLA, no armor (vulnerable even to fragments). It makes some sense only in the version of the armored personnel carrier and armored personnel carrier with the 30th (which is not yet delivered).
  8. +1
    30 March 2023 10: 21
    This has been written many times already.

    But purely logically. Even with an old light tank, they are better than without it.
    + - light protection against bullets and fragments, medium caliber guns, maneuverability and efficiency
    - high visibility from the air and the ground. (but this is typical for any technique)

    HPP in action. Ukraine, instead of units of the old rusty equipment of the USSR (in 14), receives old and medium NATO equipment. Demilitarization?
  9. 0
    30 March 2023 10: 31
    I have a question, knowing the frostbite of the Swedes, why have not Swedish 105mm self-propelled guns (tanks without a turret) been delivered yet ???!!! If the Russian Federation has already reopened T62 and T55.
  10. +1
    30 March 2023 10: 48
    Well, such a thing ... replacing the BMP-1
    "Pishchal" is a little better than the old 73-mm "Thunder", it will definitely be a replacement.
    Caliber: 76 mm
    Recoil Force: 16,500 kg
    Effective Range: Direct: 2,200 m Indirect: 6,000 m
    Length: 2,156mm
    Muzzle Velocity: 534 m/s
    Mass (Total): 220 kg
    Rifle: 8°55'
    Projectile: Spin Stabilized
    1. +1
      30 March 2023 13: 10
      Well, the squeaker there is quite normal for its tasks:
      - Conduct harassing fire with a canopy through Kropiva. Fortunately, so many shells have been accumulated that the real number of these Scorpins will not be shot even in 3 years.
      - A good variety of shells - for example, there is a high-explosive armor-piercing shell, which will cause very serious damage to any light armored vehicles, there is a shrapnel with slowdown, for shooting at houses, it breaks through a wall and explodes inside.
      - Unification with other platforms on this chassis.
  11. -3
    30 March 2023 12: 01
    Even in Odessa, it is possible to resume the production of NI-1 tanks.
    It is strange that this experience of the Great Patriotic War has not yet been remembered.
  12. +5
    30 March 2023 13: 16
    For Scorpions:
    1) Basically, they are considered by volunteers who are dragging equipment.
    2) In Britain, they are sold to private traders, and they are now breaking three prices.
    3) Considered as a means of strengthening assault units on the Spartans and as armored vehicles for TPOs (where each TPO must have a company armored group of any type according to the new state)
    4) The machine is not bad, based on unification with already mass platforms. It has a pretty good set of shells. Able to work as a BMP-1 mounted on Kropiva, firing harassing fire. Able to support an assault group, shrapnel shells will cause a lot of trouble in combat conditions in rural and even urban areas.
    5) Conditional unlimited ammunition.
  13. +1
    30 March 2023 17: 36
    I had a chance to see this miracle live. Overgrown wedge. I feel sorry for the people who go there.
  14. IVZ
    30 March 2023 18: 45
    With the help of additional floats, Scorpion can swim across water obstacles at a speed of up to 5-6 km/h.
    No floats were provided. On the fenders around the perimeter of the hull, a folding box-shaped screen of a semi-rigid design, like that of the Sheridan or Bradley, was regularly mounted. It looks like the screens are being dismantled as unnecessary or because of wear and tear.
  15. -1
    30 March 2023 22: 39
    Quote: Ryabov Kirill
    Reason for doubt

    question to the authors: are you a bot, or are you just pretending?
  16. 0
    31 March 2023 11: 40
    BMD-1 without landing (although the rifled gun should be more accurate). Theoretically, it is possible to replace 3 "with a 2A42 or a similar gun, which the British themselves did (but not in service). This is practically the limit so far that you can generally shove at least 9 tons of armor with some kind of armor, and much, much better any wheeled cart, including from the point of view of cross-country ability.
    In general, if the Armed Forces of Ukraine last autumn had at least such equipment in a significant amount (and armored personnel carriers, etc.) near Kharkov or Kherson, everything could have been much more deplorable.
  17. 0
    31 March 2023 12: 52
    It's certainly better than nothing. But for such a conflict, complete slag. It is not new, which means that there will be breakdowns and often. You should not count on the logistics of spare parts, consumables and ammunition, it will simply fall with such a variety of equipment. No one knows how to operate and repair this equipment, which again increases the risk of equipment failure. In fact, this is a one-time technique, send everything en masse to the database zone and forget about it. What will reach, will reach, the rest of it will be processed into our scrap metal.