The FV106 Samson, formed from the CVRT family vehicle initiative by the British, is still in service today despite its Cold War roots.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The CVR(T) - Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) - concept was developed for the British Army in the middle-to-late 1960s and resulted in a family of vehicles utilizing a common chassis and powerpack. One of the type to be born from this initiative became the FV106 "Samson" and this vehicle was used in the Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) role. The Samson was taken into service with the army forces of Belgium, Brunei, Latvia, Oman, Philippines, Thailand and the United Kingdom (used by both the British Army and Royal Air Force in the latter). The Samson variant was developed in the early 1970s and adopted in 1978.
The vehicle retained the form and function of the base CVR(T) approach. The running gear involved five road wheels to a hull side with the drive sprocket fitted forwards and the track idler at the rear. The hull superstructure was modified with a slightly raised approach in which the glacis plate met the hull roof line overhead. The plate was also home to the engine exhaust grille, driver's hatch (front left), smoke dischargers and various areas for stowing pioneer tools. At the hull roof line was the commander's cupola and over the rear of the hull was fitted an extendable powered crane arm. A powered winch was also installed to help pull vehicles to safety. The rear face of the fighting cabin contained a rectangular entry-exit door hinged to open to the right. Construction of the hull involved all-welded aluminum surfaces for basic ballistics/artillery spray protection.
Dimensions included a length of 5 meters with a width of 2.4 meters and a height of 2.8 meters.
Internally, the crew numbered three and made up of the vehicle driver, commander and an assistant. The vehicle was defending by a single 7.62mm L7 medium machine gun and could provide its own smoke screen via the 8 x Smoke grenade dischargers set at the bow. Power was from a single Jaguar 4.2 liter gasoline-fueled engine with road speeds reaching 72 kilometers per hour and ranges out to 483 kilometers.
The primary purpose of the Samson was to be able to recover its own family of CVR(T) vehicles but it also had the ability to tow/assist other light-class military types as well - adding to its already inherent battlefield versatility. Prior to beginning a pull operation, the crew would lower support legs to dig the vehicle into the earth for added stability.
The Samson remains in service today (2018) with a handful of operators including the British Army. Oman owns three of the type and the Philippines another six.
Manufacturing Alvis - UK
Production 150 Units
Belgium; Brunei; Latvia; Oman; Philippines; Thailand; United Kingdom
- Support / Special Purpose |
16.40 ft (5 m)
7.87 ft (2.4 m)
9.19 ft (2.8 m)
10 tons (8,700 kg; 19,180 lb)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Alvis FV106 Samson production model)
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