Alvis Vehicles FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier (UK)

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During the Second World War, the British Army didn't have any armoured personnel carriers are such, but it did use the Bren and Lloyd Carriers, as well as the Kangaroo (a converted Ram tank). After the war, a number of tracked armoured personnel carrier prototypes were developed, but it wasn't until the late 1950s that a suitable design was found. The Fighting Vehicle Development Division of GKN was awarded a contract for the construction of four prototype and 10 trials vehicles from the FV420 unarmoured Light Tracked Vehicle family. All of these vehicles were to be delivered by 1958. Subsequent to this, GKN was awarded the contract for design and development to of the FV432 family of armoured personnel carriers with the initial contract covering four prototypes and thirteen vehicles for troop trials. Additionally, Royal Ordnance (today it is called RO Defence, part of the BAE Systems
Fv432
Picture of Alvis Vehicles FV432

group) was awarded a contract to build an additional seven vehicles under GKN's designer parentage. By late 1961, all of these vehicles had been delivered. In 1962, GKN Sankey, which is now Alvis Vehicles, was awarded the production contract for the FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier with the first production vehicles been completed the following at their facility in Wellington, Shropshire. The FV432 was designed to replace the Alvis Saracen (6 x 6) APC in British Army service. Additionally, the company was awarded design and development contracts for the FV431 Light Tracked Load Carrier (which did not enter service) so, and the FV434 Armoured Fitters Vehicle. Production of the FV432 continued until 1971, by which time around 3,000 vehicles had been built. For initial production models of the Mark 1, followed by the Mark 2 and finally the Mark 2/1. FV432s were deployed to Saudi Arabia and took part in Operation Granby in early 1991. A simple air conditioning system had been developed for the vehicle but they didn't enter service due to the premature end to the conflict. FV432 s have more recently been deployed in the former Yugoslavia.

The FV432 is very similar in appearance to the American M113 armoured personnel carrier of the same period. The one major difference between them however, is that the M113 is of all-welded aluminium construction, while FV432's hull is made of welded steel, which provides protection against small arms fire and shell splinters. The driver sits at the front of the vehicles on the right hand side and has a single piece hatch that opens to the left. The driver has an AFV No. 33 Mark 1 wide-angle day periscope, which for driving at night, can be replaced by an L5A1 passive periscope. The commander sits behind the driver and has a cupola that can be traversed through 360 degrees and has a single piece hatch with three AFV No. 32 Mark 1 day periscopes. Mounted on the forward part of the cupola is a 7.62mm GPMG. Many FV432s have been fitted with a Peak Engineering lightweight turret, armed with a 7.62mm GPMG. The turret has a single piece hatch cover, three day periscopes, as well as eight 66 mm grenade dischargers mounted in two sets of four, on either side of the turret. The turret is mounted over the forward part of the circular troop compartment hatch. The original hatch, which came in four parts, was removed and replaced by a circular steel piece, which contains the turret, with a hatch to the immediate rear. Some of these turrets have subsequently been removed from FV432s and fitted to Saxon (4 x 4) vehicles are deployed to Bosnia. The engine is the left of the driver with the air inlet (forward), air outlet (rear) louvres in the roof and the exhaust pipe on the left side of the hull. The engine is a Rolls-Royce K60 No. 4 Mark 4F 6 cylinder multi-fuel unit (240bhp) coupled to a General Motors Allison Division TX-200-4A semi automatic transmission, which has built under licence by Rolls-Royce in the UK. The troop compartment is at the rear if the vehicle with 10 (five-a-side) infantrymen seated on bench seats the run along either side of hull. Alternatively, the seats can be folded upwards, enabling the vehicle to carry up to 3670 kg of cargo. The infantrymen enter and leave the vehicle through a large door at the rear of hull, which opens to the right and is provided with a vision bloc. The suspension and is also a torsion and bar type, consisting of five dual rubber-tyred road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and two track return rollers. The first and last road wheels have a friction shock absorber and there is a side skirts to protect the upper part of the track. The vehicle comes equipped with an NBC system and the engine compartment has a Firewire detection system. There are numerous of variants of the FV432 including an ambulance, command vehicle, 81mm mortar carrier, maintenance carrier, minelayer, radar vehicle, recovery vehicle, Royal Artillery vehicles, Royal Engineers vehicles, Royal Signals vehicles, the FV438 Wavell and opposition force vehicles.

Hull length: 5.25m. Hull width: 2.8m. Height: 1.88m. Crew: 2+10. Ground Clearance: 0.41m. Weight: 15,280kg (combat) Ground pressure: 0.78kg/sq.cm Max speed: 52km/h. Max range (internal fuel - diesel): 480km on road. Armament: 7.62mm GPMG machine gun.

Bibliography
Alvis Vehicles FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier in Jane's Armour and Artillery 2001 - 2002 at http://is.rmcs.cranfield.ac.uk/janes/janes/jaa2001/jaa_0242.htm.


Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the World's Tanks and Fighting Vehicles, Foss, Christopher, Salamander Books, London, 1977. cover cover cover
How to cite this article: Antill, P. (15 June 2001), Alvis Vehicles FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier (UK), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_alvis_fv432.html

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