The Scimitar belongs to the family of full track chassis and lightweight armoured military vehicles. It was designed and built in order to fulfill a wide range of military roles and saw its first deployment to the Battlefield in 1970 primarily as an armoured reconnaissance tank.
The Scimitar can be operated by a crew of 3 men and it can reach a top speed of almost 90 km/h. The original vehicle was powered by the Jaguar gasoline engine and can be used in order to defeat small military vehicles and lightly armoured targets. The tank can be operated by the driver, the gunner and the commander.
Scimitar Tank Armament
The main Scimitar armament consists of a 30mm (L21 RARDEN) cannon. The cannon can fire a range of projectiles, which include: incendiary, high explosive and armour piercing projectiles. The cannon can reach a fire rate of 50 rounds per hour and over 165 rounds can be stored.The cannon can be fired in single shot or automatic modes when mounted together with the co-axial GPMG.
Its secondary armament consists of a7.62-mm coaxial machine gun(L94A1 Chain Gun), which provides a rapid fire rate of 125 rounds per minute. The vehicle can store over 2000 rounds of 7.62 ammunition. Smoke grenade launchers can be installed in order to lunch the necessary smoke screens.
Fire Control and Observation
The gunner and the commander will be provided with day sights. These day sights are improved with several magnifications of x1 and x10. But gunner will also be provided with the so-called passive night sight in order to increase the protection of its crew. He will be able to spot and identify the enemy target during nighttime without risking his life. The night sight can also be upgraded to the thermal sight by using the laser rangefinder.
Scimitar Tank Upgrades
The upgraded versions of the Scimitar were provided with the superior Cummins 5.9-liter diesel. This upgrade was included in the so-called life extension program in order for this vehicle to be improved. Scimitar was based on the same successful line of all the Scorpio chassis systems that are used for the operations performed by the British military forces and by some of the export countries. The latest Scimitar is armed with the 30mm gun in order to supplant the light observation and its reconnaissance role on every type of battlefield. The entire system of this vehicle is designed in order to provide the crew with increased agility and mobility on the battlefield. The treads are fit with the road wheels per side in order for the system to become more effective. A very small profile is guaranteed and the driver will sit right in the front left together with the commander and the vehicle's gunner.
This system was already used and has proven its efficiency in the Bosnian conflict when the troops were using the Scimitar when in combat.
Scimitar remains the main reconnaissance vehicle that can be used in order to provide its crew with an armoured protection. This vehicle can be used in order to provide accurate and timely information when it comes to the enemy fire and disposition. It can help the troops to find everything about the possible intentions and strengths of the enemy. The crew will be protected and provided with the necessary and safe environment in order to find and fix the possible problems on the battlefield. These impressive results can be achieved thanks to the light and armoured protection that can be provided by the Scimitar.
The aggressive use of this military vehicle is likely to be limited by its small firepower. This restriction is extremely helpful when dealing with difficult combat conditions. The key element when it comes to the Scimitar is its increased mobility on the battlefield. It has a very low ground pressure and its relatively small size can transform this vehicle into a highly useful military device that can be used in order to reach the most remote combat areas. Scimitar can be used in order to provide the necessary and additional firepower. It can also provide its crew with an armoured protection by leaving aside the standard logistic burden that is usually associated with the larger armoured vehicles.
Scimitar has provided its crew with an increased survivability rate because its armour is quite resistant when dealing with roadside bombs and mines. Its armoured protection has played its role quite well when on the trial periods. For instance, the operations in Iraq, Bosnia and Island have used these vehicles in operations that turned out to be a real success. The light armour is extremely effective when dealing with difficult combat conditions and the crew will be protected from shock waves. For instance, the armour of the Scimitar was designed and built in order to withstand the grenades and the small arms.
Additional protection comes from the crew's ability to make the best use of everything they know when it comes to tactical and skillful handling of this relatively small military vehicle. The crew will make the best use of the ground in order to protect theitr lives and the design of this vehicle will help them to achieve their combat goals. The current armoured protection is likely to be enhanced by adding and fitting the appliqué armour. This additional feature will increase the survivability and mobility of the crew. But this vehicle can also be equipped with the Battle group Thermal Imaging in order to boost its performance in the combat situations.
The suspension of the Scimitar belongs to the torsion bar type and it has 5 rubber coated wheels that can be used for road operations. The ground clearance of the Scimitar is of 0.35 m.
The design of this vehicle is also provided with the drive wheel and idler but the following upgrades are likely to include some modifications of this initial structure. For instance, the upgraded Scimitar will come along with a full package that will contain the auxiliary power unit, the secondary generator that will be used for the standby battery charging, the turret fume extractor, the new sight turrets, the automatic fire suppressions, the better engine cooling system, the laser rangefinder, the externally and highly effective mounted machine guns, the driver's new and passive night scope, the upgraded sensors, the larger storage bins and the upgraded communication equipments. All these upgrades will be optional ones but they will not modify the basic design of the Scimitar.
The general rule states that the UK armoured vehicles are provided with an effective forced air system. Therefore, the crew is able to lock down in the CBRN environment. This is the main reason why the armoured vehicles are fully equipped with the boiling vessel BV in order for the crew to be able to make hot drinks and to cook when isolated. The center of the commander's seat has a hole that can be used as a toilet for the emergency situations and the Scimitar is not an exception from this rule and design.
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