The CVR(W) Fox (FV721) was developed from 1965 by Daimler of Coventry. 15 prototypes were built for user trials from 1968 until October 1969. The following year, Fox was accepted for service by the British Army and a production order was placed with Royal Ordnance, Leeds, Production began in 1972. Fox was intended as a replacement for Ferret and Saladin. It was introduced into service with B Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment at Tidworth in 1975, and withdrawn 1993–94. As it turned out, Ferret actually outlived Fox in British service. 180 were built for the British Army and 145 exported to African and Middle East countries.
It had a crew of three with a low-profile turret armed with a 30 mm RARDEN cannon, manually fed with three-round clips. 99 rounds were carried. It had a combat weight of 6.75 tons and was designed to be air portable. Three Foxes could be carried by one Hercules aircraft. Fox had aluminium armour and was initially fitted with a flotation screen. Powered by a Jaguar 4.2-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine, Fox was one of the fastest vehicles of its type. (Early Service Fox is also available CK3559B.)
It was principally used by the Royal Yeomanry and the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, the brigade reconnaissance regiments in 2 Division, BAOR’s rear area formation. Small numbers were also attached to air mobile, armoured and mechanised infantry battalions to form a reconnaissance platoon.
After retirement, 136 Fox turrets were mounted on Scorpion chassis (also retired around the same time) to create Sabre (SMM3528). 13 turrets were also mounted on FV432/30 (SMM3561) for the Berlin Infantry Brigade.
Features to distinguish later service Foxes are deletion of the flotation equipment, open flotation boxes, the large bumper across the front, large extinguisher on the right hull side. Some replaced the basket with a larger turret bin. The right side smoke launchers were split with two fitted under the gunner’s hatch and just two at the front.
SMM3559B CVR(W) Fox - late service
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