FV721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled) (CVR(W))
Design and service history:
The FV721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled) (CVR(W)) was a 4 x4 armoured car manufactured by ROF Leeds, for the British army as a replacement for the Saladin and ferret cars then in service. The vehicle possessed a crew of three and had a low-profile turret mounting the 30mm L21 RARDEN cannon. The gun was manually fed with three-round clips, and a total of 99 rounds were carried aboard. This cannon was paired with a coaxial L37A2 7.62 mm machine gun, which was stocked with 2,600 rounds. Like with the warrior, these weapons were not stabilized, so the vehicle lacked the capability to fire accurately on the move. These offensive armaments were paired with a set of two 4-barrelled smoke dischargers, allowing the FOX to set a smoke screen when necessary.
The vehicle had a total combat weight of 6.75 tonnes, which fell in line with the design intentions, as it allowed the AFV to be air transportable. This weight was achieved by using an aluminium armour instead of the conventional steel, which could also be supplemented with a floatation screen, allowing the vehicle to ford rivers and other bodies of water. The Fox lacked NBC protection and was powered by a Jaguar 4.2-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine, making it one of the fastest vehicles of its type when it entered service.
The all-welded Aluminium construction was designed to protect against small arms fire and artillery splinters, though not from heavy machine gun fire such as the .50 calibre. The driver sat at the front of the vehicle and was equipped with an integral periscope/hatch cover, that could be lifted and opened to the right. The centrally mounted turret was manned by a commander/loader on the left and a gunner on the right, who each had their own rear opening hatch for entrance and egress.
Without prep, the Fox could ford a one-metre body of water, becoming fully amphibious when its floatation screen was erected, which was a process that took around two minutes. It was able to propel itself through the water solely using the rotation of its roadwheels, though this gave a poor performance, and most vehicles in British service had the screens removed early in the car’s service life. Due to the nature of the Fox being air portable, three could be carried in a single C-130 Hercules, of which two could be parachute dropped.
The development of the fox began in 1965, when the Daimler company was given a contract to build 15 prototype vehicles. The first vehicle would be completed in November of 1967, and the last in April of 1969. User trials would begin in 1968 and the first official announcement of the fox would be in October of 1969.
Development of the Fox began in 1965 and the following year the Daimler company of Coventry, which was building the Ferret scout car at the time, was awarded a contract to build 15 prototype vehicles. The first was completed in November 1967 and the last in April 1969. User trials began in 1968 and the first official announcement concerning the Fox was made in October 1969. Passing trials, the fox was accepted for service in 1970, and a production order was placed, with the production beginning in 1972 and ending the next year in 1973 with a total of 180 of the 325 constructed sold to the British army, with the others sold for export to various clients.
The fox would be primarily used by the Royal Yeomanry and the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, in the rear formations of the BAOR. Small numbers would also be attached to airmobile units, and mechanized infantry battalions for the use in recce patrols. The fox would serve into the early 1990’s with the British ultimately being retired from service in 1993-94
Mass 6.75 tonnes (7.44 short tons; 6.64 long tons)
Length 5.08 m (16 ft 8 in)
Width 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)
Height 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
Main armament 30 mm RARDEN cannon
Secondary armament Co-axial 7.62 mm L37A2 machine gun
Engine Jaguar J.60 No 1 Mk 100B Petrol 190 hp (142 kW)
Power/weight 28.1 hp/tonne
Operational range 434 km (269.675 mi)
Maximum speed 104 km/h (64.6 mph)
- Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicle - Wikipedia (Wiki page for the fox)
- FV721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled) (additional source for stats)
- Army Guide (Additional info)
- video from armoured archives on the fox: