CVR(T) – The Sequel

Jane’s are reporting that the MoD are in negotiation with BAe to re-manufacture CVR(T) hulls.


When I looked at the history of the CVR(T) I described how the programme had its inception in the 1960 Armoured Vehicle Reconnaissance project which turned into Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance. First prototypes were produced in 1967 and accapted into service in 1970.

40 years later and despite hundreds of millions of pounds being spent on replacement programmes from Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles (FFLAV) to Tactical Reconnaissance Armoured Combat Equipment Requirement (TRACER) and culminating in the FRES Scout it seems the answer is more CVR(T)

Not sure what the base model will be, the Scimitar, flatbed Stormer or any of the other variants.

What is the nature of the reported manufacture, is it just a few hulls to see us over an attrition gap between now and the introduction of FRES Scout or something more specialised?

Anyone know?

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May 2, 2010 12:25 pm

My guess would be that the MOD have left the replacement for the CVR(T) so late that the current hulls won’t keep working long enough to be replaced (which starts in 2019 iir, some of those hulls could be going quite a bit longer than that).

phil Darley
May 2, 2010 12:34 pm

Admin I assume, like you that it is simply to replace hulls that they are running out of and FRES SV is some time away.

I wouldn’t have thought this would be easy as they stopped production over 30 years ago or more. Now the Stormer was based on a widened/stretched Spartan so maybe they do have the rigs etc. to hand. I am still shocked by this news. As I say there are some on ARRSE that believe we should not be discussing this for reason of OPSEC!!

Mike W
May 2, 2010 3:38 pm

Just a thought but could the re-manufactured CVR(T) hulls possibly be to fill a very special niche requirement?

For some time now there have been discussions in military circles as to whether the new FRES reconnaissance vehicle, while being fine for Armoured Infantry and Mechanised Infantry formations, will be too heavy for the support of lighter forces, where mobility, speed and agility are the keynotes. So could it be that a small number,say, one regiment’s worth, are to be manufactured to support 3 Commando Brigade and 16 Air Assault? Having written this, it does sound rather fanciful and Ashley’s theory is probably nearer the truth.

I also think that the Stormer would have been a more sensible choice.

Phil Darley
May 2, 2010 3:46 pm

I agree with you that Stormer would have made more sense, which makes me think its no more than a stop gap until FRES SV is ready.

May 2, 2010 7:16 pm

Agreed on Stormer – it makes so much sense, it *can’t* be an option apparently.

So if the current CVR(T)s can’t make it untill FRES, than I too ask why the Warrior can’t gap-fill untill FRES is ready.

True, it would need some surveillance kit added, but using modded Warriors would be ridiculously cheap (already in inventory, parts already available) and easy (training and transport are known variables).

I mean what’s the CVR(T)/FRES gap in years? Surely no more than ten?

May 2, 2010 7:40 pm

The purpose of the new CVRT is to operate concurrently with FRES, but with light and airborne units where FRES is too heavy. For this reason I reckon it will be a scimitar type version armed with the FRES 40mm cannon.

phil Darley
May 2, 2010 9:01 pm


Yes Sabre is a Scopion with a Fox turret used in place of Scimitar which was basically a scopion with its own turret housing the 30mm RARDEN cannon???

I didn’y mention that it wasn’t… Did I???

I did say and it is true that STORMER was based on a stretched SPARTAN (which was the very small APC version of the CVR(T) range, other being:

Samaritan – Ambulance
Striker – Swingfire ATGW
Samson – Engineer
Sultan – Command
Scimitar – Recce with 30mm RARDEN
Scopion – light Tank with 76mm gun
Spartan – APC

the rumour mill seems to be indicating that this order is for both replacement hulls and some NEW capability, the like of which we can only speculate or NOT as it might infringe on OPSEC…though I very much doubt it. I think Terry Taliban can work out what you might want to do with something like the CVRT and as already mentioned fitting an improved waepons system (like the CTA40) might be an option.

May 2, 2010 11:31 pm

Sorry admin, a different subject but i’m looking for information on the Landing Craft Air Cushion (light). I’ve done the usual Google but info seems sparse. Can you point me in the right direction?

May 3, 2010 1:26 am

CVRT isn’t in the same class as the selected FRES recce vehicle, never has been, my guess is we’ll be looking at something along the lines of Stormer 30, but with the CTA gun, as the simple fact is that our new light tracked runaround (warthog) cannot mount an autocannon.

Frankly I don’t expect the ASCOD2 purchase to go ahead anyway, BAe seem willing to do anything to get the contract, so a UK line building Warrior 2000 with the lethality enhancement pack plus a full life reset of existing hulls would probably save quite a bit of money for the MOD while giving BAe a nice payday. I never understood why we were replacing them anyway.

Evolution, not revolution, after all, it’s just a metal box, everything else is negotiable.

phil Darley
May 3, 2010 2:01 pm


I do hope you are right. There is something about the ASCOD 2 that makes me uneasy. Warrior 2000 was supposed to have been a formidable vehicle. I understand it was developed with an eyo to the Swiss Army who were in the market for a new AFV. They chose the CV90 stating they didn’t need anything as advanced as the Warrior 2000. I think however id the ASCOD 2 is not carried forward it will be as you say uprated Warriors or maybe a few CV90s.

I never understood why the Stormer was not developed futher and that we didn’t buy more than the handfull for Startstreak and Shielder.

I am surprised that Warthog won’t take an autocannon as it has a mortar version!!!

May 3, 2010 2:41 pm

I’m in the camp who thinks this is a temporary bridging measure to ensure that the current vehicle fleet literally does not fall to bits and disintegrate in the field or while sitting in storage. However if we are doing this as a bridging measure why not make it a tad longer and get something more suitable for a scout role. As for Warrior 2000 although it is probably an excellent vehicle I would rather just hold onto the current fleet run them into the ground and replace them with some high tech contraption.

Phil the Warthog won’t take an auto cannon as the articulated tracked vehicles all are quite tall and narrow compared to wide flat traditional APC’s so all that weight from a gun and turret would make it a bit top heavy. The Mortar system however is on the rear unit on the chassis or floor so all the weight is down as low as possible alongside all the heavy ammo storage I would guess. Well that is what I think and I’m no expert so I might be wrong but it seems like common sense to me :-)

May 5, 2010 10:18 am

I agree that ASCOD2 will never see the light of day. It will be one of the first victims of the next government’s austerity programme. I am not convinced that the Warrior upgrade with the 40 mm CTA will progress either. I also agree that any FRES SV option is unlikely to have a capability that cannot be matched by that of Warrior. In short, there is no urgent need for a brand new FRES SV vehicle. The MoD probably knows this so they’re doing what you’d expect: making sure that the existing capability is viable.

Mike W
May 5, 2010 8:38 pm

Nicholas, I do so hope that you are wrong about FRES SV and possibly the Warrior upgrade not going ahead. However, I fear that you may be only too right and that they will disappear in the next round of defence cuts, together with many other programmes.

The Commandant General Royal Marines in a recent speech stated that the national debt is currently £799 billion and quoted Dr.Liam Fox, who characterised it by saying that it equated to overspending by £1.1 million a day, every day, since the birth of Christ. He concluded that, as our current Defence aspirations are unaffordable, very hard choices will have to be made.

It is unfortunate that defence cuts always seem to result in the salami slicing of Army equipment rather than the cancelling of the really large projects. So What will the Army have to look forward to? A few hundred LPPVs? The public outcry would be just too great if the Snatch replacement were cancelled. But farewell to FRES SV nd all the other medium armour variants? No Warrior upgrade and therefore no ABSV either? No Fire Shadow or M777 for the Artillery? No OUVS? etc. etc.

What a depressing prospect! It rather reduces all of the extremely well-informed debate and discussion on this site as to what future UK defence equipement programmes should be to the level of unrealistic fantasy.

Or am I being too pessimistic?

Richard Stockley
Richard Stockley
May 5, 2010 9:26 pm

“It rather reduces all of the extremely well-informed debate and discussion on this site as to what future UK defence equipment programmes should be to the level of unrealistic fantasy.”

Mike, I wouldn’t get too disheartened, it wouldn’t be the first time that good ideas and quality projects have been shelved because of what the bean counters say rather than the troops. The debate just shifts focus from ‘what would we like’ to ‘this is all we have, what can we do with it’. This is something we can still sink our teeth into.

For the UK based commentators, we can always badger our MP’s about defence issues, I do and often. My MP is not an ex-serviceman, I see my role as educating them about defence issues whether they like it or not. The best thing about TD is that we can bounce ideas of each other and argue pros and cons, and test our ideas. If you disagree with Government defence policy tell them, sometimes you get the usual blurb as I did……

…….but sometimes you can get a more positive response. Some people hug trees and roll whales back into the sea. Me, I write to MP’s and highlight where I think our defence policy is lacking. It might not be much, but every little helps, some of them just need a little nudge in the right direction.

As it says on the TD tin, “the collected ramblings of a few people who wish defence to go higher up the UK national agenda.”

As a general poll, does anyone else out there regularly write to their MP/Congressman about defence issues?

Mike W
May 5, 2010 10:04 pm

Richard, thanks very much for the reply. Yes I often write letters, not so much to my MP, who is a Lib-Dem and whose views on defence spending I know only too well, but to the MOD, the Treasury, the PM, etc.etc. Like you, I often get the stock, bland civil service type of reply. Still, your point about educating the MPs is is a very sound one and has been taken on board.

Phil Darley
May 5, 2010 11:20 pm

Not only do I think FRES SV and the Warrior upgrade will not see the light of day but neiter will the likes of CVF, F35, FSC or even the 22 extra Chinooks.

Mike W
May 6, 2010 10:56 am

Admin, thanks for your reply. No criticism of the site was intended. In fact, I think it is easily the best I have come across in the area of defence. The contributions are invariably intelligent and knowledeable.

All I really meant was that as a result of public spending profligacy resulting in near economic meltdown, it looks as if defence will now have to be cut severely again, and that after years of neglect and underfunding! The suggestions on your site range from the realistic and achievable to the more fanciful. I enjoy reading them all very much, especially the latter. However, the appalling economic situation means that even the more down-to-earth and achievable of those suggestions must now sadly be regarded as somewhat unrealistic. Hope that is now clearer and that I may continue to contribute, albeit rather infrequently, in the future!

John L
John L
May 12, 2010 11:39 pm

I have heard that only a few CVR(T) will be rehulled, with significantly better Mine Blast Protection. I cannot understand how ASCOD replaces CVR(T) when it looks just like a Warrior. Probably MoD have decided that they need both medium and light Recce vehicles. They ought to decide which one Warrior or ASCOD they want, both seems needless if money is tight.

April 14, 2011 7:54 pm

somebody may have asked this question before but why are the mod looking to buy a new afv the fres why not ask whoever has the rights to the CVRT to modernise it for the british army no cost on buying a new spare`s inventory and less training costs?

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
April 15, 2011 3:33 am

simmo, the main problem is that the CVRT is perceived to be far too small and light to carry the quantity of armour protection now deemed necessary.

Mind you, they do seem to be going from one extreme to the other…

April 15, 2011 6:24 am

RE ” CVRT is perceived to be far too small and light to carry the quantity of armour protection now deemed necessary”
– certainly true
– the fleet, all variants together, is huge; stripping for spares should have potential for limited LEP’ping (but there was talk of some other type of improvements specifically to keep them in the game in A-stan)

What I have been advocating is to use the Stormer versions for roles that typically are only exposed to indirect (possibly also A2G) fire, which follow other parts of the formation through routes already used (to counter high vulnerability to mines), and in which roles high mobility, if not for any other reason than concealing positioning, is a plus. That would make it
– the config with Starstreak for AA on the move (ample stocks of the missile, too)
– the same model, when attached to air-deployed units can, in the early days, provide fire support that otherwise would be down to just (not so mobile) light guns, Javelins and light/ medium mortars
– talking about mortars: sticking the std 81 mm in the back and for every two vehicles, assigning a third as ammo carrier? You’ll get them where they are needed much faster, and fire becomes more sustainable

Not a 100% solution, even for vehicle commonality within units (bn/ bde level), but getting Scout into production at all I expect to lead to very slow rate of production, delaying any SU for yonks, while the numerous Bulldog fleet is rumoured to be on its way out
– some gap covering, instead of holiday, for a change?

April 15, 2011 1:17 pm

There is at least once instance of IEDs being lain after the minesweepers but before the convoy in Afghanistan.

At the end of the day, you dont need mine resistant vehicles unless you intend to let the enemy lay mine fields behind your lines.

April 15, 2011 2:31 pm

Dom – you appear to have just successfully contradicted yourself with just two sentences !

It’s contextual and depends on the scenario – but in the Stan for instance, I doubt if you deployed an army of over a million, that you could stop all IED’s being buried, hidden, laid somewhere that would hurt you.

April 15, 2011 3:46 pm

The biggest problem with ieds isnt that they are lain within or around Taliban strongholds, they’re annyoing, but that big rocket powered bomb rope thingy pretty much does the job.

They are lain INSIDE our lines, and take a terrible toll on our patrols.
If you wanted to secure a road, the obvious answer, manpower aside, is to build a section house every 500m and from within, shoot anyone laying mines.

Or use another method of securing our zone of occupation.

Had the cold war gone hot, I wouldnt have expected American units landing on the French coast to be blundering into Russian mine fields in Belgium

The Argentinians laid quite extensive mine fields in The Falklands, but they werent laying them on the road from the beach head to Stanly whilst we were pushing on the ridges.

April 15, 2011 4:06 pm

This to me smacks off the tail wagging the dog. You can always get the knowledge to builds bigger more effective ieds. At that rate of going we will all be driving round in up armoured challengers. they are planted on roads and crossing they know well have to use. If you have a very mobile light vehicle and helicopters you can open up many more routes thereby keeping them quessing by varying routes. In the end it’s gd intelligence that will defeat the Ied not more armour