The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. This one was on display in the Cold War Exhibition at RAF Cosford.

The BMP-1 was the first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) of the Soviet Union. The Russian BMP-1 went into production in the early 1960’s and marked an important departure from previous armoured personnel carriers. Not just an infantry carrier, it provided a measure of combat capability with the vehicle. Its high mobility, effective anti-tank weapons combined with its armoured protection made it a significant addition to Soviet battlefield forces.

This is a Czechoslovak licence produced variant.

There was an ex-Iraqi model on display at Duxford.

More photographs of the Cosford BMP-1.

RAF Regiment Scorpion CVR(T) FV101

This RAF Regiment Scorpion light tank was at RAF Cosford that was on display in the Cold War exhibition.

RAF Regiment Scorpion CVR(T) FV101

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.

The RAF Regiment’s mission is protection of RAF bases from ground attack, and patrolling a large area around main operating bases abroad, in order to defend aircraft on ingress and egress from surface to air attack.

It was in November 1981, the RAF Regiment took delivery of its first Scorpions.

Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance CVR(T) FV101 at Duxford.

Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (tracked) FV101 at Bovington.

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.

Alvis Saladin

This Alvis Saladin was on display at RAF Cosford.

Alvis Saladin

The FV601 Saladin is a six-wheeled armoured car developed by Crossley Motors and later manufactured by Alvis. Designed in 1954, it replaced the AEC Armoured Car in service with the British Army from 1958 onward. The vehicle weighed 11 tonnes, offered a top speed of 72 km/h, and had a crew of three. Saladins were noted for their excellent performance in desert conditions, and found favour with a number of Middle Eastern armies accordingly. They were armed with a 76 mm low-pressure rifled (spin-stabilised) gun which fired the same ammunition as that mounted on the FV101 Scorpion.

Alvis Saladin

Despite the vehicle’s age and dated design, it is still in use in a number of countries in secondary roles.

The Alvis Saladin at The Tank Museum.

Sikorsky MH-53J Pave Low III

This Sikorsky MH-53J Pave Low III was on display in the Cold War Exhibition at RAF Cosford.

The MH-53J Pave Low III helicopter was the largest, most powerful and technologically advanced transport helicopter in the US Air Force inventory.

The terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, forward looking infrared sensor, inertial navigation system with Global Positioning System, along with a projected map display enable the crew to follow terrain contours and avoid obstacles, making low-level penetration possible.

The MH-53J’s main mission was to drop off, supply, and pick up special forces behind enemy lines. It also can engage in combat search and rescue missions.

Low-level penetration was made possible by a state-of-the-art terrain following radar, as well as infrared sensors that allow the helicopter to operate in bad weather.

It was equipped with armor plating.

Short Belfast

The Short Belfast is a heavy lift turboprop freighter that was built by British manufacturer Short Brothers at Belfast. Only 10 aircraft were constructed, all of which entered service with the Royal Air Force.

There are two left, one in Cairns Australia and the other at RAF Cosford.

Upon its entry into service, the Belfast held the distinction of becoming the largest aircraft that the British military had ever operated up to that time.

Bandvagn 202

Bandvagn 202 (Bv 202) is an amphibious oversnow tracked articulated, all-terrain vehicle developed by Bolinder-Munktell, a subsidiary of Volvo, for the Swedish Army in the early 1960’s. The Bv 202 carries a driver and a commander in the front unit and up to 8 troops or 800 kg in the trailer unit. It can be adapted for other applications.

This Bv 202 was on display at RAF Cosford.

Bandvagn 202

Once the British Army took over its NATO role of Northern Flank defence of Norway it selected this fully-tracked and articulated Swedish vehicle for its over-snow performance. 

Bandvagn 202

Since its introduction into British service in the late 1960s it became an indispensable maid-of-all work load carrier.

Bandvagn 202

The Bv 202 was replaced by the Bv 206 and this was then replaced by the BvS10 or as it is known by UK forces, Viking.

Handley Page Hastings

Handley Page Hastings TG511 (T5) on display in the National Cold War Exhibition at the RAF Museum Cosford.

The Handley Page Hastings was a British troop-carrier and freight transport aircraft designed and built by Handley Page Aircraft Company for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Upon its introduction to service during September 1948, the Hastings was the largest transport plane ever designed for the service.

Development of the Hastings had been initiated during the Second World War in response to Air Staff Specification C. 3/44, which sought a new large four-engined transport aircraft for the RAF. The aircraft was designed to be capable of carrying a payload of up to 30 tons, and to have a range of 2,500 miles.

The first prototype Hastings took to the air on 7 May 1946, and the aircraft entered service with the RAF in September 1948. The Hastings quickly became a workhorse of the RAF, and was used in a variety of roles, including troop transport, freight carriage, and paratroop dropping.

The Hastings saw extensive service during the Berlin Airlift, when it was used to deliver supplies to the beleaguered city. The aircraft also saw service in the Suez Crisis, the Malayan Emergency, and the Cold War.

The Hastings was retired from RAF service in 1977, and was replaced by the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. However, the aircraft remained in service with other air forces for some years, and was used by the Portuguese Air Force until 1991.

The Handley Page Hastings was a capable and versatile aircraft, and served the RAF with distinction for over 30 years. The aircraft was well-liked by its crews, and was known for its ruggedness and reliability.

More photographs of the Handley Page Hastings at RAF Cosford.

Krauss-Maffei Leopard 1

This Krauss-Maffei Leopard 1 was on display at RAF Cosford.

Krauss-Maffei Leopard 1

The Kampfpanzer Leopard is a main battle tank designed by Porsche and manufactured by Krauss-Maffei in West Germany, first entering service in 1965. Developed in an era when HEAT warheads were thought to make conventional heavy armour of limited value, the Leopard design focused on effective firepower and mobility instead of heavy protection. It featured moderate armour, only effective against low caliber autocannons and heavy machine guns, giving it a high power-to-weight ratio. This, coupled with a modern suspension and drivetrain, gave the Leopard superior mobility and cross-country performance compared to most other main battle tanks of the era, only being rivaled by the French AMX-30 and Swedish Strv 103. The main armament of the Leopard consisted of a German license-built version of the British Royal Ordnance L7 105 mm rifled gun, one of the most effective and widespread tank guns of the era.

Leopard 1 at The Tank Museum.

Tracked Rapier

The Tracked Rapier was a self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. It was based on the towed Rapier system, but mounted on the chassis of a modified American M548 tracked carrier. This gave the Tracked Rapier greater mobility and speed than the towed system, making it more suitable for deployment in forward areas.

This Tracked Rapier unit was on display at RAF Cosford.

The Tracked Rapier was armed with four Rapier missiles, which could be fired against a variety of targets, including aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles. The missiles were guided by a semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) system, which allowed the operator to track the target using a sight mounted on the vehicle. The missile was then guided towards the target by a radio link.

The Tracked Rapier entered service with the British Army in 1981 and saw action in the Gulf War in 1991. It was also exported to a number of other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Tracked Rapier was retired from British service in the early 1990s, but it remains in service with some other countries. It has since been replaced by the Starstreak missile system.

RAF Green Goddess Fire Engine

RAF Green Goddess Fire Engine

The Green Goddess is a colloquial name for the RLHZ Self Propelled Pump manufactured by Bedford Vehicles. It was originally used by the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS), and latterly held in reserve by the Home Office until 2004. The Green Goddess was called into service on two occasions, in 1977 and 2002, to provide fire cover during fire-fighters’ strikes.

The Green Goddess is a large, green-painted vehicle that is based on a Bedford RL series British military truck. It is powered by a 6-cylinder petrol engine that produces 150 horsepower. The Green Goddess has a top speed of 50 mph and a range of 200 miles.

The Green Goddess is equipped with a powerful water pump that can deliver up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute. It also has a variety of other fire-fighting equipment, including hoses, ladders, and axes.

The Green Goddess was used by the RAF during both of the fire-fighters’ strikes. In 1977, the RAF deployed 1,000 Green Goddesses to provide fire cover for the UK. The Green Goddesses were also used during the 2002 fire-fighters’ strike, when the RAF deployed 800 vehicles.

The Green Goddess is a versatile fire engine that can be used in a variety of situations. It is well-suited for providing fire cover during large-scale emergencies, such as fire-fighters’ strikes or natural disasters. The Green Goddess is also a valuable asset for the RAF, as it can be used to provide fire cover at military bases and other strategic locations.