UK defence issues and the odd container or two

CVR(T) Goes Large in Latvia

A nice collection of images from the Latvian Army Flickr photo channel showing a demonstration of the Scimitar and Sampson CVR(T) variants the Latvian ministry of defence has have recently purchased.

CVR(T) Sampson in Latvia CVR(T) Sampson in Latvia CVR(T) Sampson in Latvia CVR(T) Sampson in Latvia CVR(T) Sampson in Latvia CVR(T) Sampson in Latvia CVR(T) Scimitar in Latvia CVR(T) Scimitar in Latvia CVR(T) Scimitar in Latvia CVR(T) Scimitar in Latvia

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Oh, and good drills that man :)

CVR(T) in Latvia

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Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!


  1. Gloomy Northern Boy

    I wonder if Red Trousers left the Girl in Black in one of these vehicles,and then got distracted by a compliant red-head and forgot all about her? :-)


  2. Ashley

    Wait, recently purchased? We’re still exporting CVR(T) and someone bought them?

  3. Observer

    The overhaul does make them look good.

    Ashley, good for the budget conscious defence ministries.

    GNB, have to admit, she’s looking rather sleek.

  4. Swimming Trunks

    Do we know what their intended role is? The article says they are to modernise their land brigade; does that mean “conventional” armoured/mechanised roles?

  5. Fedaykin

    Latvian army currently has three T55 as its sole heavy armor capability. So this will be an improvement for them.

    They are a tiny military force anyhow, apparently 1000 currently serving.

  6. Chris

    Frenchie – neither can I; not since early this morning. TD will be on the case…

  7. ArmChairCivvy

    Re: Fedaykin’s post
    – I am sure those are facts
    – kitting out a mech bde has been stuck in the Parliament for a decade… Got passedwithin weeks from Crimea/Ukraine kicking up
    – surely this dealhasbeen in the works for a whilè, butthey also got APCs from Germany at a nominal price

    So, not abad effort relative to the GNP?

  8. Fedaykin

    Yep ArmChairCivvy, the former Warsaw Pact NATO ascension states have been extremely skittish since the recent events in the Ukraine.

    There has been talk of increased budgets and new procurement programs from them. Both the UK and Germany have surplus armoured vehicles aplenty to shift so we were both in a position to satisfy Latvian requests pretty quickly.

    Purchasing some CVR(T) on the cheap is not a bad idea for such a small military, allows them time to build up some form of armoured doctrine with plenty of help from their NATO allies before stumping up the money for something a bit bigger.

    One thing I wonder what the Latvian military will think about the Arcane mystery that is the Rarden loading mechanism…I have heard some amusing stories about it from British Army tankies….

  9. Red Trousers

    They seem to be still marked and painted in British Army livery (cam pattern, VRNs, call signs), and the soldiers are some Latvian and some British Army, including the pair about to spit roast welcome aboard the lady in black.

    Can we now export every single Alvis engineer ever involved in CVR(T) design and support to Latvia? It would be a blessing.

  10. freakyLatvian

    i am a Latvian, and i am wondering why are we buying these little things , they seem like scout tanks at best. Germany is getting rid of its Marders, i think that those things would be much better, but i guess our generals have plans for these or something…….or at least i hope so

  11. Observer

    Latvian, I’m guessing that the Marder was all sold out. On an honest note, the CVR(T) isn’t that bad. It has a lower profile than the Marder and has the potential to work well as an infantry support tank. It all depends on how you use it.

    Anyone able to ID the recoilless rifle in the army pictures?

    Looks like an SPG-9 but the middle section isn’t really right, or an M-40 with the plinking rifle above it but the venturi seems a bit small though that might be the angle. I’m thinking M-40?

  12. Observer

    Interesting, thanks. Never seen it before.

    I’ve a strong respect for RRs. Heavy, bulky, but in the right hands, very, very deadly.

  13. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @Observer – won’t fit in your bedside drawer, for which Grandad’s Service Revolver is a more practical choice…but if you have a decent upstairs hallway, it would give the average housebreaker a bad moment,,,and really spoil his day when he made a run for it…


  14. Observer

    “I saw him at the end of the hallway, officer, so I took a shot to scare him away.”
    “You have to use a bit of imagination. See the wall here? Extend it further to the end by about 20 feet.”
    “Oh, I see, vaguely. So where is he now?”
    “Think he’s over there, there’s a bit of him over here too. There as well.”


  15. ArmChairCivvy

    Observer, I agree that they can still be effective. austria produces rounds that go through 560 mm of steel and include a spike to neutralise ERA. Pilkington nightsights, laser range finding (unlike with the exhibit).
    – you will need to be ready to un-man the post fairly rapidly as the puff does not leavemuch doubt about where the shot originated from.

  16. freakyLatvian

    i wouldnt have so much problems with CVR(T) if it wouldnt be so goddam small , Spartan APC version can only fit 4 soldiers inside compared to 11 soldiers that Lithuanian army M113 can carry , and 16 soldiers that Estonian Patria Pasi can carry……..4 soldiers???? Camon, thats not an armored personal carrier!!! Thats only big enough for like anti-tank team or something, we need a real armored workhorse that can transport soldiers around the battlefield, and not this little clown car that is a joke of “”APC””

  17. All Politicians are the Same


    Well go and buy something else then. We only use the APC version for moving small specialist teams, the family was not designed to be a full sized APC so if that is why it has been bought it is incompetence :)

  18. Dangerous Dave

    FreakyLAtvian said: “4 soldiers???? Camon, thats not an armored personal carrier!!! Thats only big enough for like anti-tank team or something”

    You’re right, you’re right. That’s why we only ever used them for carrying anti-tank teams, or something. Like, MANPADS teams and OP’s :-)

  19. BV Buster

    Who was the poor fuc# er sent over there to teach them 30mm drills, what a nightmare, its hard enough in English. What’s Latvian for 4 finger point?. Explains why I saw a good few latvians walking round the LWC, looking into buying VBS2 I heard.


  20. Observer

    No no no BV, that was just the window shoppers. The ones who are being taught are the ones walking around nose deep in English dictionaries. Unfortunately, some army terms are not found in dictionaries. :)

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