Why did we have Swingfire?

Though well aware of the power of Google i thought it would make sense to ask the Arrserati this question.
Why did British armoured regiments have a swingfire troop in the early eighties late seventies?
As an ex tank crewman myself i've often wondered what was the point .
i can only assume it was a kind of forward shield to knock out lead elements without giving away the position of our heavy armour.
But as already stated i still don't know.
Thanks.
 
I seem to remember something about providing in-depth flank protection for the armour...

The Soviets used their vehicle mounted long range ATGMs for something similar. They would put their ATGMs out on the flanks on overwatch.

It was a long time ago and I may well be wrong. It was probably something as simple as the RAC units thought that killing enemy tanks was their job and not the gunners...
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
The RAC GW Troop ended in 1977 after B Squadron 15/19H fired Mark 5 Ferrets at Otterburn, then deployed to BAOR. Thereafter our GW support came from J (Sidi Rezegh) Battery RHA, the GW role returning to RA.

In Recce, I always assumed GW was to give us another 2,000-2,500M beyond that of the 76. Why did the Armoured Regiment need GW? Shrug.

Disclaimer. My Fire tablet keyboard is being particularly stroppy today and any sh¡t in the post I blame thereon.
 
Last edited:
After being handed to the RHA to become a div/bde asset in 1977, Swingfire was passed back to the RAC again in 1983 or 84, so Striker went to medium recce regts and 438 went back to the armd regts. 438 only lasted a couple of years more before being dumped into storage, however. I've no idea why the armd regts bothered though.
 

Boxy

GCM
The BG Comdr couldn’t really decide what to do with us but we did end up on overwatch and awful lot of the time, if we weren’t in OPs which also provided…overwatch.

We went down to a half troop after about two years which is when I went to Recce Tp, and loved every minute of it, the the half troop only seemed to last another year
 

4(T)

LE
I thought it made most sense with the RHA. They had a really good crack at developing the whole ambush shoot-and-scoot ethos. IMHO it was best employed as a corp/div flexible asset.

Still, the ex-Swingfire RHA crews were very useful when it came to creating a similar role for Tracked Rapier when it came in.
 
Just so I've got this right. 438s were 432s with Swingfire fit, and the Strikers were Spartans with the same, yes? Also, did the 76 on Scorpion have an AT role?
 

Boxy

GCM
Just so I've got this right. 438s were 432s with Swingfire fit, and the Strikers were Spartans with the same, yes? Also, did the 76 on Scorpion have an AT role?
Meh, if it drove in front of it and managed to trip it up…

We did have a Shot round as well as HESH but I wouldn’t recommend taking an MBT on, self defence only really in an “oh shit” kind of way.

Our main defences were stealth, size, noise signature and general sneakiness
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Just so I've got this right. 438s were 432s with Swingfire fit, and the Strikers were Spartans with the same, yes? Also, did the 76 on Scorpion have an AT role?
Meh, if it drove in front of it and managed to trip it up…

We did have a Shot round as well as HESH but I wouldn’t recommend taking an MBT on, self defence only really in an “oh shit” kind of way.

Our main defences were stealth, size, noise signature and general sneakiness
HESH had good penetration against cheap tanks (T55/T62). Dunno whether it was any good against T64/T72 that were coming into service.

If nothing else a front on hit explosion with HESH could do a job on optics (and tracks if hit) to score a mobility kill before, as intimated, letting the armour, AT and RA do their stuff.

Edit. Penetration is the wrong word. HESH created spalling on the inside by creating a high velocity cowpat size lump of splinters to chew up the crew. Penetration was a bonus.

Second edit. Likewise secondaries from chewed up ammo.
 
Last edited:

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
Was it anything to do with the big copper roll which you could weigh in ? possibly
 
I remember starting training on Swingfire Simulator ( one session ) but that was as far as it went.
It was a computer game basically , of the earliest type, pretty bloody basic.
I think it got rapidly superceded by Milan for the Parachute Bns
 

Big Jim

Old-Salt
While i heard about swingfire it seemed to go out of style as did the Heavy Regts later on, M107, M110.
I liked the simulator the Air defence guys had attached to us , javelin. was popular on a cape tour we did with a Light Gun.
 
Striker FV102 I commanded one in the early 80.s fun bit of kit good rates of pay for a young Bombardier at the time, missiles were iffy though odd times they would come back at you.
 

Boxy

GCM
Striker FV102 I commanded one in the early 80.s fun bit of kit good rates of pay for a young Bombardier at the time, missiles were iffy though odd times they would come back at you.
The good old Pink Panthers, we had a couple in BATUS on the 438, including one which landed on the engine Louvres
 
Swingfire’s longevity was down to it’s very lark warhead. 2kg of EDC1S. It was formidable even against the most modern armour.
 
The good old Pink Panthers, we had a couple in BATUS on the 438, including one which landed on the engine Louvres

The Pink Panthers were proof rounds with telemetry in the head. You will have been plugged into some kit monitored by BAE scientists.

The missile returning on itself is probably as a result of the jetavator being stuck in the 12 o‘clock position. Operating procedures did eventually requiring breaking of vapour barriers, removal of pork chops and giving the jetevator a waggle, leaving it in the 6 o’clock position.
 

Boxy

GCM
My understanding of Pink Panthers is that they were end of life missiles as that’s all we ever fired in BATUS and it went Operational to Practice to Pink Panthers
 
My understanding of Pink Panthers is that they were end of life missiles as that’s all we ever fired in BATUS and it went Operational to Practice to Pink Panthers

No. As I said, pink is for proof (Or to be absolutely precise ISP - In Service Proof). Missile heads were changed by Ammo Techs at Kineton. I’ve changed a couple of hundred myself, but yes, the oldest missiles are usually expended at training first.
 

Latest Threads

Top