Alvis Scarab (LIW LRT20)

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                          Alvis Scarab (LIW LRT20)

Vehicle design history:

Alvis Vickers developed the Scarab Scout Vehicle as a private venture, with the initial intent for it to replace the Ferret armoured car then in service, which was beginning to show its age as it had at that point been in service since 1952. The design was an improvement of the previous Alvis Acorn design, which in turn was a modification of a South African design the Iron Eagle. The idea was for a lightweight vehicle that could carry a myriad of weapon module options to fulfil a wide range of roles, resulting in the design being evaluated by a number of European countries, though none adopted it for service.

As of now one prototype and two pre-production model Scarabs have been made, to serve as proof of concept and to be used for evaluation, and as such the vehicle’s development is deemed complete, though as of now Alvis has been unable to find a buyer. Typical roles for the vehicle are expected to include command, patrol and recce, for which several modules have been tailored to, including multiple weapon packages and optical add-ons.

This modular design was intended to reduce overall life-cycle costs, which along with using proven subsystems where possible was intended to increase service life and availability. The Scarab is based on the Mercedes-Benz Unimog 4x4 cross-country vehicle, including the engine and complete driveline to make use of an already established dealer network. In order to sweeten the deal, the Scarab included a high level of armour to protect it against small arms fire, anti-tank mines and shell splinters in comparison to other vehicles then in service. The protection was intended to provide complete protection against 7.62mm armour-piercing (AP) attack through a full 360°, with an additional 60-degree arc on the front protected against 12.7mm AP and 14,5mm from 600m.

In order to meet different operational requirements the scarab could be further fitted with various types of improved armour packages, such as an armoured plate to protect the vehicle from self-forging fragment mines. To meet different operational requirements, Scarab can be fitted with various types of enhanced armour packages. These include one that protects the underside of the vehicle against self-forging fragment mines.

The general crew complement is 3: a driver in the centre at the front and an additional two behind, one on either side, one operating a top gun if present, and the other manning observation equipment. A wide range of weapon systems could be fitted, varying from GPMG’s to 20mm cannons and recoilless rifles along with anti-tank missiles. These would in turn be supplemented by day and night sensor packages and other land navigation systems, allowing for all weather recce to be undertaken. In addition to this, the standard equipment is composed of bulletproof windows, power-assisted steering, flat run tires and NBC capacity.

One particular model was demonstrated at the IDEX tradeshow 1997 armed with a LIW LRT20 turret housing a GI-2 20mm cannon. The intent was for it to compete against the VBL currently being evaluated by the united arab emirates, and potentially find other buyers in the arab world, though unfortunately, it did not attract a buyer, and as of yet remains a single demonstration vehicle.

Vehicle Specification:

Mass 10.8 tons

Length 5283mm

Width 2405mm

Height 1950mm

Crew 3 (commander, gunner, driver)

Armor 5-15mm high-hardness steel.

Main armament 1× GI-2 20mm cannon (equipt with laser range finder)

Engine Mercedes Benz LM906 six-cylinder diesel ( 241 hp (180kw) at 2,200rpm)

Power/weight 22.3 hp/metric ton

Transmission Allison MD3560 six-speed transmission (4x4)

Wading depth 1m

Fuel capacity 150 litres in two 75 litere fuel tanks

Operational range 500-550 km on road

Maximum speed 75 mph (120 km/h) on road

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