QF 3.7-inch AA gun

The QF 3.7-inch AA was Britain’s primary heavy anti-aircraft gun during World War II. It was roughly the equivalent of the German 88 mm FlaK and American 90 mm, but with a slightly larger calibre of 3.7 inches, approximately 94 mm. Production began in 1937 and it was used throughout World War II in all theatres except the Eastern Front. It remained in use after the war until AA guns were replaced by guided missiles beginning in 1957.

QF 3.7-inch AA gun

Challenger CR 1 Main Battle Tank

At the back is a Challenger CR 1 Main Battle Tank.

Challenger CR 1 Main Battle Tank

Prototype of British main battle tank developed in the 1980s, crew of 4, powered by Rolls-Royce Meteor CV12 diesel engine. The production Challenger 1 was fitted with Chobham armour and armed with a 120mm gun and two machine guns.

Duxford failed to acquire a main production run vehicle (the Duxford vehicle is not fitted with Chobham armour, nor does it carry a TOG – thermo optic guidance – box) because all such vehicles were sold to Jordan and the MOD refused to save any vehicles for the nation, stating Treasury guidelines to maximise receipts from the sale of end of service items, which is a pity.

In the foreground is a Springer All-Terrain Vehicle. The Springer is an all-terrain vehicle developed for the UK Army by UK-based Enhanced Protection Systems (EPS). Supporting British troops in Afghanistan, the new vehicle fleet of 75 vehicles was delivered to the army in summer 2009 at a cost of $10.3 million.

GKN Saxon APC

Very much a vehicle for the Cold War era.

GKN Sankey Saxon APC

The Saxon was intended to act as a cheap but efficient “battle-taxi” for units that would have to make long journeys from the UK to reinforce the British Army of the Rhine. It was made as a relatively low cost armoured personnel carrier based on a revised Bedford M series 4×4 truck chassis and other commercially available components. As a lightly armoured wheeled vehicle, it is much faster – especially on roads – and easier to maintain than a tracked vehicle. Indeed, it shares many parts with commercial trucks, reducing the operating cost. It is armoured against small-arms fire and shell splinters, but is not intended to stand up to any anti-vehicle weaponry. The vehicle has a single machine gun for local air defence.

FV433 Abbot SPG

FV433, 105mm, Field Artillery, Self-Propelled “Abbot” is the self-propelled artillery, or more specifically self-propelled gun (SPG), variant of the British Army FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), using much of the chassis of the FV430 but with a fully rotating turret at the rear housing the 105 mm gun and given the vehicle designation of FV433.

Designed as a Sexton replacement, its correct designation was “Gun Equipment 105mm L109 (Abbot)”; L109 was little used, probably to avoid confusion with the 155 mm M109 howitzer that entered UK service at about the same time. The name “Abbot” continued the Second World War style of naming self-propelled artillery after ecclesiastical titles. The FV433 used a different configuration of power pack from other vehicles in the FV430 series.

This Abbot SPG is on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

FV433 Abbot SPG
FV433 Abbot SPG

British self-propelled gun, developed in the 1960s, crew of 4 with 2 additional personnel travelling in the ammunition vehicle, powered by Rolls-Royce K60 6-cylinder multi-fuel engine, armed with 105mm gun and a machine gun.

FV433 Abbot SPG

Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance CVR(T) FV101

Following the posting of my photographs of the Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance CVR(T) FV101 from Bovington, here is a Scorpion at Duxford.

Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance CVR(T) FV101

I like the big wing mirrors on this tank.

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.

Scorpion became the first of a whole family of fighting vehicles including Scimitar, Striker and Samaritan. It served in the Falklands and the Gulf as well as being a success on the export market. Changes in British policy, and the international situation meant that surviving Scorpions were fitted with a new weapon, the 30mm Rarden Cannon, and renamed Sabre.

It has been supplied to Belgium, the Irish Republic, Malaya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman and Venezuela.

I have some Team Yankee Scorpions, they are currently in the process of being painted as BAOR versions.

Some thoughts on the RAF Regiment Scorpion I saw at RAF Cosford.

Centurion Tank Mk 3

A view of a Centurion Mk 3 Tank on a low loader at Duxford.

Centurion Mk III

The Centurion, introduced in 1945, was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period.

Production of the Mk 3 began in 1948. The Mk 3 was so much more powerful than the Mk 1 and Mk 2, that the earlier designs were removed from service as soon as new Mk 3s arrived, and the older tanks were then either converted into the Centurion armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) Mark 1 for use by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers or upgraded to Mk 3 standards.

It was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades. The chassis was also adapted for several other roles.

Development of the tank began in 1943 and manufacture of the Centurion began in January 1945, six prototypes arriving in Belgium less than a month after the war in Europe ended in May 1945. It first entered combat with British Army in the Korean War in 1950, in support of the UN forces. The Centurion later served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, where it fought against US-supplied M47 Patton and M48 Patton tanks. It served with the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in Vietnam. Israel used Centurions in the 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1975 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. Centurions modified as APCs were used in Gaza, the West Bank and the Lebanese border. South Africa used its Centurions in Angola. The Royal Jordanian Land Force used Centurion tanks, first in 1970 to fend off a Syrian incursion within its borders during the Black September events and later in the Golan Heights in 1973.

It became one of the most widely used tank designs, equipping armies around the world, with some still in service until the 1990s. As recently as the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict the Israel Defense Forces employed heavily modified Centurions as armoured personnel carriers and combat engineering vehicles.

T-55

Former East German T55 on display at Duxford.

Russian cold-war period main battle tank, crew of 4, powered by 12-cylinder diesel engine, armed with 100mm gun and one machine gun.

The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of Soviet main battle tanks introduced in the years following the Second World War. The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in military history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000.

Many are still in service today.

Ferret MkII Scout Car

The Ferret armoured car, also commonly called the Ferret scout car, is a British armoured fighting vehicle designed and built for reconnaissance purposes. The Ferret was produced between 1952 and 1971 by the UK company Daimler. It was widely adopted by regiments in the British Army, as well as the RAF Regiment and Commonwealth countries.

This one was at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

They also had a sand coloured Ferret on display as well.

This Ferret MkII Scout Car in a white UN paint scheme was on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Ferret MkII Scout Car

There was a similar painted Ferret at the Tank Museum as well.

 

MGR-1 Honest John

The MGR-1 Honest John rocket was the first nuclear-capable surface-to-surface rocket in the United States arsenal. Originally designated Artillery Rocket XM31, the first unit was tested on 29 June 1951, with the first production rounds delivered in January 1953. Its designation was changed to M31 in September 1953. The first Army units received their rockets by year’s end and Honest John battalions were deployed in Europe in early 1954. Alternatively, the rocket was capable of carrying an ordinary high-explosive warhead weighing 1,500 pounds (680 kg).