Alvis FV4333 Stormer
Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Multirole Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV)
The versatile British Alvis Stormer light armored tracked vehicle continues to serve the APC role.
Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited:
The British FV4333 Alvis "Stormer" was developed from the established line of CVR(T) ("Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)") vehicles emerging in 1970. The line encompassed several mission-minded battlefield forms including the FV101 Scorpion, the FV102 Striker, and the FV107 Scimitar - all detailed elsewhere on this sight. The Stormer tracked vehicle became a Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) offering with a multirole aspect that eventually allowed it to be adopted for other roles as required.
The Stormer evolved the form and function established by the Scorpion, retaining its drivetrain and general shape for logistical friendliness. The hull was lengthened some to increase internal volume and this lengthening required the addition of an extra roadwheel to each hull side for better ground weight displacement and drive performance. The general shape was still largely faithful to the CVR(T) line as a whole with well-sloped glacis plate at front, a flat unobstructed hull roof line, and a squared-off rear hull face. The drive sprocket of the track-and-wheel arrangement was mounted at front with the track idler at rear. Smoke grenade dischargers were affixed to the upper regions of the glacis plate (in two banks of four grenades each) and roofline hatches allowed for the needed situational awareness. A large, rectangular door was seated within the rear hull wall for passenger embarking/disembarking. A typical operating crew numbered just two - a driver and commander seated in tandem - with internal seating for up to nine passengers. The driver was seated at front-left in the hull with the hatch on the glacis plate and the engine lay to his right. The commander's position was directly behind the driver, his hatch on the hull roof proper. The vehicle was in the 14-ton range (short) and exhibited a length of 5.27 meters with a width of 2.4 meters and a height of 2.49 meters with its machine gun installed - this made it air-transportable in the hold of a Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport or similar aircraft. Standard armament was a sole 7.62mm machine gun at a third, right-hand side, hull roof hatch. NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection and night vision equipment were optional for the crew.
Power for the line was served through a Perkins T6/3544 liquid-cooled, 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine of 250bhp at 2,600rpm/ Road speeds reached 50 miles per hour with a road range out to 640 miles. The vehicle relied on a torsion bar suspension system for cross-country travel. The Stormer was given an inherent amphibious quality though this required some prior preparation by the crew before entering water sources of up to 1 meter deep.
Production of the Stormer product began in 1981 under the Alvis Vickers brand label and this later changed to the BAe Systems Land Systems label as Alvis was absorbed. While the British Army became the primary, notable operator of the type with at least 150 vehicles delivered, Malaysia joined as a foreign customer and took on an initial stock of 25 - twelve of these vehicles coming equipped with a powered turret mounting a 20mm Oerlikon autocannon for the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) role and 7.62mm machine gun for local defense. The remaining stock held an armament of 2 x 7.62mm machine guns only. Forty vehicles were also delivered to the fighting forces of Indonesia and Oman received four of its own Stormers.
In 1986, the British Army pursued a self-propelled anti-aircraft platform and selected the Stormer to form the base carrier component. To this was added an unmanned, traversing powered turret emplacement over the rear section of the hull which mounted two quad missile Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) launchers for the air defense role. The passenger-hauling capability was lost and the operating crew increased to three. To shore up a mine-laying requirement for Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the Stormer was modified with a new flatbed rear and, to this, was added the French-based "Minotaar" mine dispersal system. From 1995 onwards, the vehicles carried the "Shielder" mine-laying system instead. First operational use of the Shielder was in 1999.
Various models were ultimately showcased by BAe Systems over the life of the vehicle including an armored battlefield ambulance, Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV), and mortar carrier (81mm and 120mm carrier types) among others. The "Stormer 30" was proposed as a tank-killing AFV outfitted with a dual-feed 30mm "Bushmaster II" automatic cannon and optional TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) launchers. A bridgelaying vehicle and Command and Control (C2) vehicle were also included - all built upon the proven chassis and running gear of the CVR(T) family.