Researching history of FV101 Scorpion 04FD03

Discussion in 'RAC' started by RichardInDorset, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. Not sure if this is the best place to post, but here goes...

    I have recently got hold of a Scorpion tank and I'd like to know a bit more about it's history.

    I have the following from Bovington:

    It started life at Lugershall in 1973
    3/1/74 14/20 Hussars
    28/4/76 1st Royal Tank Regiment
    30/7/77 Queens Dragoon Guards
    17/6/80 9/12 Lancers

    17/11/81 Conversion from 0860.7400 to 0860.7450

    5/3/82 ODA (special forces detachment alpha)
    2/11/82 2 ADS (???)
    2/10/82 16/5 Lancers

    9/11/82 conversion from 0860.7450 to 0860.8450

    21/11/86 13/18 Hussars

    10/2/93 returns to Luggershall

    Curious to know if anyone here served with this vehicle and has any photos etc?

    I think it ended up as a gate gardian somwhere up until 2009 when it got auctioned off.

  2. Can't add much, but we (the UK) do not have special forces ODAs as such and even if we did they wouldn't have CVR(T).

    Also Scorpions are not tanks, they're recce cars, sorry to disappoint. The good news is that there are likely to be quite a lot of real tanks on the market pretty shortly, thanks to the SDSR!
  3. I'm ex 1 RTR and I will pass it on, I'm a little concerned that your info from Bovington may not be 100% though. 1 RTR did replace 14/20H in Herford in 1976 but I'm sure all our vehicles were 02 FD ?? .
  4. OK ok ok, I know what CVR(T) stands for and I know I don't have a 'tank'.... but to me, it's my TANK! and when I pull into the petrol station everyone shouts "Feck me it's a Tank!" (except down here close to Bovi where they all know better....)

    (Exactly what is a 76mm gun doing on a Recce vehicle anyway...?)

    Back to the history card:

    The card is a hand written series of entries, which look like they where filled out at the time, it's certainly not something someone copied out from some other source.

    It certainly mentions ODA and my googling only showed up SF references. I couldn't find anything about ADS, but then again the hand written entries are very small and some are hard to read.

    Bovington will provide an official authentication letter for the info on the card (for a fee).
    • Like Like x 1
  5. 2 ADS = 2 Armour Delivery Squadron?
  6. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Fire support. During the 70s, Recce twisted and turned in search of how best to use its flavours of CVR(T) (i.e. Scorpion and Scimitar). For a brief period in 1976, the recce troop was envisaged as two times Scorpion and two times Scimitar, but by the time we got back from Cyprus, they'd had a lie down and another rethink, medium recce (on the FLOT in front of the armoured division) would have Scorpions and close recce (with the battle groups) would have Scimitar.

    There is a nomenclature that describes Scorpion as something like CVR(T) FS, Scimitar as CVR(T) 30, Sultan as CVR(T) CV etc. Took me many, many years to find out that FS stood for Fire Support.

    The 30mm may have been better at dinking tanks (or may not: I am not starting an argument here), but a 30mm round cannot carry much more than enough HE to blow the nads off a housefly or enough smoke to upset a hardened group of smokers at the back of the NAAFI. The 76mm, however ...

    Since going into Afghanistan, I have seen the question asked more than a few times, "Why can't we have something to drop a medium load of HE on a compound right here, right now, instead of either waiting an hour for a 1000 pound bomb (that might drop short) or half the time (I dunno) for a fire mission of 105s (that might ditto)? Where would we find that technology?" Oh yes, Scorpion, Fire Support.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    We took over your Scorpions in Tidworth in 76. My memory is that a lot of them were 02FD, but I cannot say I had ever noticed that they were all 02 FD. There can only have been 100 specimens: I'd be astonished if that were the case and no Scorpoling or vehicle replacements at all had taken place even over the few years that Scorpion had been out. And more likely to see vehicle rotation on the front line in Herford that the backwater that was Tidworth. Especially if there were, what, three Armd Recce regts in BAOR at the time.

    But what do I know? I wasn't there, man.
  8. I wondered whether it might be 2 Armoured Demonstration Squadron.

    As to the value of 76mm over 30mm, I tend to agree that the old 76mm would probably be a bit more use nowadays than RARDEN. Does anybody know the real story as to why SCORPION was ditched? I was told many years ago that it had something to do with the RAF Regt wanting rid of it so conducting a toxicity study on it, but I've no idea if there is any truth in this. I find it hard to believe that it could be much worse on the toxicity front than SCIMITAR!

    To the OP, I was only teasing you about it not being a tank and I think it is great that collectors such as yourself keep these things on the road. Incidentally the toxicity issue concerns live firing, so unlikely to effect you (unless you have a large garden and über firearms license!)
  9. I've often heard the 'ealth 'n safety story but am pretty certain it was because of the limits imposed by the treaty governing conventional forces in Central Europe. A bit similar, in fact, to the Czechs removing 73mm turrets from their BMPs and replacing them with OT64 turrets.
  10. I reckon a bit of both - the latter probably helped make the decision concerning the former a bit easier to make.
  11. My recollection of CFE is that there is only a restriction on vehicles with guns of 100mm calibre or more. Also the UK has (certainly in recent years) been so far below the maximum number of "tanks" permitted by CFE that I find it hard to believe, even back in the 90s, that we were anywhere close to our maximum permitted numbers.
  12. My memory is hazy so forgive me. I recall that ATDU had done toxicity trials, when I was in LSOR1 doing the Chieftain upgrade programme, and CVR(T) was binned.

    The 76mm was a low velocity gun with no fume extractor so would always have toxicity issues and given loss of Crown Immunity and Health & Safety there was not appetite to keep it going. Also I seem to recall that the ammunition was none too effective against its given targets. Limited range, no power traverse and fire control system all indicated obselesence with little chance of a Life Extension Programme. There was some passing talk of fitting the Cockerel 90mm that the Belgians were using but it never got past idle chat as the Equipment Programme was overheated and CVR(T) was due to be replaced by TRACER - ha ha! It's 20 years on and we have still not seen it or FRES Scout.

    Some CVR(T) were sold off, some converted using old Fox turrets to a Scimitar like spec and some shipped to BATUS and converted to OPFOR vehicles.
  13. We had a Cockerel 90mm fitted CVR(T) wile I was at ATDU, '81/'82. It went on a sales tour to the Gulf, too. A pretty impressive fire display it gave.
  15. Having had feedback from former 1 RTR colleagues, a bit more info. 1 RTR "DID" have some 04 FD Scorpion's in Herford (ok so I was wrong!) and B Sqn 1 RTR became a close recce sqn in late 1977 swapping their Scorpion's for Scimitars. So the change to QDG looks to be genuine. No one yet has said they crewed said Scorpion but it's early days yet.