Monday, April 6, 2009
Armored land vehicles can be tracked or wheeled (or some combination, such as half-tracks or the convertible Christie tank). Wheeled armor is cheaper to make, lighter, and faster. Tracks have considerably more mobility over rough ground, and are less vulnerable to obstacles and enemy fire.
The Alvis Saladin FV 601 is a British armored car designed in the late 1950s. It has six wheels, a 76mm main gun, and two 7.62mm machine guns, one coaxial and one AA. The Saladin had a 72 kph top speed, and was powered by an eight-cylinder gasoline engine that produced 170 hp. It shared a chassis with other Alvis vehicles: the FV 603 Saracen personnel carrier, Salamander crash tender, and the FV 620 Stalwart amphibious truck. About 1200 Saladins were built, and they were used by a variety of nations, most especially in Africa and Asia.
The Saladin weighs a little over 11.5 tons, and is suitable for the armed reconnaissance mission the U.S. describes as Calvary Scout (and for which has recently used Bradley tracked vehicles, Stryker IAV, or HMMWVs). Army propaganda follows: