Alvis Streaker Ranger MLRS
Vehicle design history:
The Streaker was intended to be a subfamily of the CVR(t) series of vehicles, with its variants focused on logistical support and engineering roles based on the already proven range. The reason for this was the Scorpion and its closely related ilk like the Spartan had already achieved a reputation for its excellent off-road mobility, so logically Alvis presumed there would be a market for effectively a tracked flatbed armoured vehicle based on the same chassis, for both ease of logistics and already proven capacity.
With this in mind, the Streaker was built utilizing the body of the Spartan armoured personal carrier, with the rear troop position replaced by a large loading bed, capable of carrying up to 3,650 kg. This allowed the front of the vehicle to remain relatively unchanged, retaining the left-side driver’s position, and the engine mounted on the right at the front. There were two choices of engine offered, with the standard Jaguar 4.20 litre gasoline engine producing 190 hp or with the 6-cylinder Perkins Diesel engine producing 200 hp, with both engines mated with a seven-speed forward and reverse gearbox for maximum mobility. Other standard equipment included a three-man seating arrangement, along with fold-down fairings for the sides and rear of the cargo bed, to aid in ease of loading. The concept behind this cargo bed was that it would be modular, allowing the vehicle to fulfil a wide number of roles, which can be seen in the sales procedure affixed in the source section of this suggestion.
With this support role in mind, the Streaker was also fitted with a powered winch capable of hauling up to 3,600 kg, further easing its ability to load and unload heavy equipment based on need. Aside from these changes though the majority of the mechanical components of the Streaker were shared with the Spartan, including its torsion bar suspension, and five road wheels allowing the Streaker to easily be discerned from the Stormer Flatbed, which would attempt to fill a similar role decades later. The streaker was not only designed to serve as a transport/ logistical vehicle though, and versions were proposed with direct combat intentions in mind that far exceeded towing a Royal Ordnance 105mm cannon into position. Versions demonstrated would include a Royal Ordnance Bar minelayer, along with guided anti-tank weapons, anti-air defence roles and the multiple-launch rocket system I am suggesting today.
The Streaker MLRS, was an attempt by Alvis to carve out a slice of the lucrative MLRS export market, which was and still is heavily dominated by soviet designs. The concept was to create a highly mobile vehicle, mated with the Belgian Forges de Zeebrugge SA, 70mm (40 rocket) LAU97 rocket system. This lightweight artillery rocket launcher system had been designed specifically to provide saturation and holding fire at a regimental standard and create a Western alternative to what was essentially a soviet monopoly.
The LAU97 system consists of a launcher box, with five horizontal rows of eight 70mm tubes, mounted on a 360° traversable base that allows elevation arcs of 0 to +55°. The system was designed as a stand-alone unit but with the capacity to easily be fitted to any military vehicle or trailer capable of carrying a 1,200 kg payload, making it a cheap and easy weapon system for Alvis to mate with their Streaker platform. The launchers Azimut and elevation laying was performed by a combination of electric motors and hand wheels, with a BR2 mortar sight or artillery panoramic sight also fitted for aiming the unit if a remote control fire unit was being used. The launcher itself is crewed by three personal, a gunner, commander, and loader, and the reload process must be done by hand.
The rockets themselves are unguided and can be launched singly, or in a barrage of up to the full 40-round salvo in the space of less than 6 seconds. The rockets utilize a FZ90 solid propellant rocket motor and were fitted with a 4.3 kg warhead, giving the rocket a maximum range of 9,000m when fired at an angle of 40° elevation. in this configuration, the MLRS can saturate an area measuring 200 × 300 m at maximum range. The rocket system was also designed to be customizable based on need, with war heads avalible including a 4.3 kg FZ210 practice rocket, a 3 kg FZ-49 anti-armour rocket capable of penetrating more than 350mm of conventional steel armour plate, a 4.3 kg FZ-71 anti-personnel rocket capable of creating more than 8,000 fragments upon detonation, with a lethal radius between 18 and 21 m radius, and a 4.9 kg M257 illuminating rocket offering a burn of 120 seconds at one million candles of lighting capacity. The most exotic rocket though was the FZ-100 6.2 kg cargo rocket, capable of deploying a payload of nine 0.48 kg anti-personnel/anti-tank bomblets. These bomblets have a lethal radius of 10.5 m and are capable of penetrating up to 105 mm of conventional steel armour plate. These bomblets would be released through a delay-adjusted time fuse allowing them to be evenly distributed over a large target area.
The streaker would go on to be one of the least successful of the CVR(T) variants, as both domestic and export countries were not prepared to pay for what was effectively a more expensive 3.5-ton truck, with only limited improvements for a large increase in cost. Because of this, the streaker concept would be resigned to history, only to resurface years later in a limited form with the Stormer Shielder mine laying vehicle, which would utilize a similar concept to allow the Stormer chassis to be fitted with the Minotaur minelaying system.
Weight (empty) : 11,800 lb / 5,354 kg
Weight (loaded) : 19,800 lb / 8,984 kg
Length : 4.87 meters / 16.0 ft
Width : 2.11 meters / 6.9 ft
Height : 1.83 meters / 6.0 ft (to top of driver’s cab)
Cargo capacity : 8,000 lb / 3,650 kg
Winch capacity : 7,940 lb / 3,600 kg
Crew: 4 (Driver, gunner, loader and commander)
Main Armament: LAU97 70 mm (40-round) MLRS
Maximum road speed 55mph/ 80 kph
- sales brochure for the Alvis streaker
- https://twitter.com/ninja998998/status/1086862728067801089?lang=da (Source of two photos)
- Army Guide (Info on the rocket system)
- Alvis Streaker - Encyclopedie des Armes (More info on the streaker)
- https://archive.org/stream/JanesLightTanksAndArmouredCars/Janes%20Light%20Tanks%20and%20Armoured%20Cars_djvu.txt (additional info on streaker platform)
- Stormer Armored Tracked Carrier | MilitaryToday.com (Brief history of the streaker)