FV432/30: The RARDEN Ripper

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Introduction:

Hi everyone, today I would like to suggest a relativly obscure production vehicle that served in the British army during the late cold war in West Germany, the FV 432/30. This conversion of the venerable FV 432 chassis was an attempt to upgun the vehicle to give British mechanized a bit more firepower and theoretically increase their combat effectiveness in the urban enviroment of West Berlin. This was done by mating the turret from a Fox armoured car with the FV 432 chassis effectivly transforming the armoured personnel carriers (APCs) into armoured infantry fighting vehicles (AIFVs), through a comparatively cheap knockdown kit, that reused the Fox armoured car’s turret, meaning minimal development time was required to create the vehicle. They manufactured around 13 examples, which would go on to have a long service history from the mid 70’s up until the early 90’s, with the School of Infantry (Warminster) and the Berlin Infantry Brigade (The Berlin Brigade). Because of its unique deployment history this small production run of RARDEN equipt fv432 are a rather unknown but interesting addition to the annuals of British armoured fighting vehicles, and I think it would be a fun addition to the game :).png β€œ:)”)

The example of the vehicle currently owned by the Bovington tank museum, where it can normally be seen at the VCC:

Vehicle History:

The unique situation created by West Berlin being phisically isolated from the rest of West Germany created a several unique quirks for the British army stationed there, which was reluctant to commit Chieftan tanks to city fighting, as the vehicle was better suited for hulldown fighting then the battle that would invariably occur if the soviets decided to sieze the german capital. Because of this several unique developments where made to account for the battle that would occur if the 3rd shock army decided to take Berlin, the FV432/30 was just one such vehicle. The concept was simple enough, combine the already decade old FV432 chassis with the A/C turret of the Fox armoured car to create a mobile AIFV that would be able to deal with the slew of light soviet armour (BMPs and their ilk) that they expected to swarm across the border if the cold war decided to turn hot. The installation of a turret to the FV432 chassis required the modification of the commanders cupola, which was switched out with a low profile version fitted with a flat hatch, the first picture below shows a FV432 with the replacement hatch, note the distinct lack of a gun mount or periscopes, which where no longer required as the commander now sat in the turret:

This simple conversion was deemed up to snuff, and 13 vehicles where officially listed as converted to this standard, though the acutal number of chassis that mounted the Fox RARDEN turret is actually higher due to the turrets being switched to new chassis as the older ones began to wear out. Because of this i currrently have a list of 17 fv432/30 based on their military numberplates, and they are as follows:

00 EA 63, 03 EA 43, 03 EA 48,11 EA 29, 17 EA 13, 17 EA 92, 01 EE 27, 01 EE 84, 01 FA 05, 01 FA 38, 01 FA 75, 03 FA 69, 03 FA 77, 03 FA 81, 03 FA 84, 04 FA 38, 05 FA 47.

These vehicles serving their role well, with the main issue with the tank being the limited scope of its intended role, as well as the constraints of the geographic location it was ment to fight in. This resulted in a small production batch, which would serve in the Berlin brigade in in the standard british configuration of 4 vehicles to a unit. Due to the rotating nature of the Berlin Brigade it saw service in several british units over the years, before being put out to pasture at the Warminster infantry school, where it was popular, as the instructor and several cadets could stand in the roomy interior of the FV432/30 at the same time, in all weather to conduct training activites. During this time the vehicles where also used in OPFOR (Opposing Forces exercises, though the most interesting part of their history comes after they left service and where decomissioned, as a large number of the surplus vehicles where aquired by Armourgeddon, a company specilizing in tank paintball in hte mid to late 2000’s, because of this many still running examples can be seen to this day, and because of this it is not too much of a stretch to say that all examples of this AIFV are still extant to this day.

Historical Photos and footage:

Princess Diana driving an example of the FV432/30, when she visited the Berlin Brigade in 1985, which at the time was manned by the Royal Hampshire Regiment, of which the princess was the assigned royal honorary colonel (Timestamp 2:43):

Photo taken at the Berlin Olympic stadium in May 1986, where the vehicles where doing drills in preparation for a parade:

image

Historical photo showing a unit of fv432/30:

No photo description available.

Specification:

Mass 17 tons
Length 5.25 m (17 ft 3 in)
Width 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in)
Height (7 ft 6 in)
Crew 3 (commander/loader, gunner, driver)
β€”
Armour

Primary

armament|12.7 mm max steel hull, Turret is aluminium

30mm L21 RARDEN cannon|
|Secondary
armament|Co-axial 7.62 mm L37A2 machine gun

smoke dischargers (16)|
|Engine|Rolls-Royce K60 multi-fuel
240 hp (180 kW)|
|Power/weight|14.1 hp/tonne|
|Suspension|torsion-bar, 5 road wheels|
|Operational
range|580 km (360 mi)|
|Maximum speed|32 mph (52 km/h)|

The vehicle is pretty much just a fv432 with a increase in weight and height to account for the Fox A/C turret. The vehicle is equipt with a 30mm RARDEN L21 auto-cannon with atleast 99 rounds, along with 16 smoke dispencers and a coaxial 7.62 gpmg. In terms of 30mm ammo I would assume its more then the above listed for the fv432/30, as that is the ammo count for the Fox which has significantly less space inside it compared to the repurposed apc. The RARDEN should be able to fire 3 types of ammo, HE, APDS and APSE (APHE).

Below is image provide to me by @TwitchyTrooperwhich contains more of the stats for this vehicle, I would like to thank him for this very useful find :).png β€œ:)”)

650959581_FV432-30Rarden.png.d39aff70d91

Sources:

5 Likes

Awesome!

more stuff is better

+1 i want see this

A bit light on the weaponry but I’m always happy to see a Cold War M113 variant in the game!

+1

its not based on the m113 though XD

Oh crap, I just noticed haha. Oh well Β―_(ツ)_/Β―

With the turret alr in game i see this appearing within the next few updates

1 Like

With the addition of the Fox and its surprising effectiveness, I can easily see this thing slotting in at a lower BR. +1

I noticed that some of the pics are broken

Otherwise +1

should be fixed now :)

1 Like

cheers

Good candidate for TT or Premium, given its similarity to Fox. Get more RARDENs in game!

This, honestly I can see Fox going up to 7.7 next balance pass. FV432/30 seems more like a 7.0 vehicle.

2 Likes

The fox is going to keep going up in br, especially if they start applying all the historical corrections that have been reported to it