During the latter half of the 1960s, the British Army adopted the concept of the CVR(T) - "Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)" - which essentially involved a family of light armored systems, based around a common chassis, modified to suit certain battlefield roles. This work produced the various "FV-designated" tracked vehicles in the Scorpion, Striker, Spartan, Samaritan, Sultan, Samson, Scimitar, Sabre and Stormer. The powerpack and running gear remained virtually the same throughout each design with slight-to-medium changes made to the hull structure. Crew numbers ranged from three to seven depending on the vehicle type and its intended battlefield role.
The FV105 "Sultan" was developed from this same concept and used in the Command and Control (C2) role. It featured a fixed hull superstructure set atop the usual CVR(T) running components which included five road wheels to a hull side with the drive sprocket at front and the track idler at rear. No track return rollers were used. The glacis plate was slope upwards to conform to the frontal face of the superstructure - which itself was boxy in its general appearance. Over the plate was fitted various components including stowage boxes, headlamps, smoke grenade dischargers and rear-view mirrors. The chassis was braced by a torsion bar suspension system for off-road travel.
Internally there lay a powerpack consisting of a Cummins BTA 5.9 liter diesel-fueled engine outputting 190 horsepower. The vehicle could make speeds of 80 kilometers per hour on paved surfaces and ranged out to 450 kilometers on internal fuel. The crew complement of the Sultan numbered six personnel and included a vehicle commander, radio operator, driver and other assistants. There was also a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) suite as standard.
Structural dimensions included a length of 4.82 meters with a width measuring 2.28 meters. The rear of the vehicle accepted a tent fixture to extend the operating space of the Sultan as needed An amphibious capability was also built-in for river crossings and such.
Armament was purely defensive in nature - a single 7.62mm FN MAG medium machine gun being fitted atop a pintle mount. It was expected that the Sultan would operate away from the active combat of the frontlines but within reach of friendly units so as to add a battlefield command and control function. It relied on its accompanying vehicles for true protection from enemy attack.
Operators of the Sultan went on to include Belgium, Honduras and Latvia beyond the Britiah Army. The Latvian Army purchased a stock of used British Sultans in September of 2014.