×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
Advertisements
HOME
ARMOR
MODERN ARMIES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR

FV438 Swingfire


Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Carrier Vehicle (1975)


Land Systems / Battlefield

For a time in modern British military history, the FV438 Swingfire weapons carrier took up the mobile anti-tank role, fielding the potent Swingfire ATGM series.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/17/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Advertisements
The FV430 family of vehicles proved critical to the British armored force during the Cold War period (1947-1991). This designation encompassed a "common chassis" deisgn developed to undertake a variety of battlefield roles - troop-carrying, fire support, airspace denial. Among the lot was the FV438 "Swingfire", a tracked, light-armored vehicle assigned the Anti-Tank, Guided Missile (ATGM) role - carrying the potent "Swingfire" ATGM (the FV102 "Striker", detailed elsewhere on this site, was also arranged with the Swingfire missile series but instead used an elevating five-missile launching pack over the rear hull).

The wire-guided Swingfire missile was born under a British requirement of the 1960s and 46,650 units were eventually produced from the period of 1966 to 1993. Development was headed by Fairey Engineering with assistance from British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Its chief advantage was the missile's capability to quickly turn 90-degrees in-flight, allowing for in-the-field flexibility. Furthermore, a remote system allowed the weapon to be fired from 100 meters away - helping the firing team to remain concealed during an attack. In British Army service, the Swingfire was used to succeed the Vickers "Vigilant" missile developed during the 1950s.

The FV430 chassis proved a viable candidate for being fitted with a two-missile launching unit atop its hull roof line and the FV432 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) form became the actual model seelcted for conversion to the new form - retaining the existing and proven drive arrangement of the original: five double-tired roadwheels to a hull side, the drive sprocket at front with the track idler at rear (torsion bar suspension system). The hull utilized slab-sides with a slightly-angled glacis plate while the operating crew numbered just three. The total missile load was fourteen Swingfires ready-to-fire and held under the protection of the hull - the reloading process was entirely handled from within the confines of the vehicle (thus protecting the crew from the elements and battlefield dangers).

An optional 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) could be installed to provide point-defense against low-flying threats and land-based vehicles up to light armor. Optional secondary armament was the 7.62mm L7 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) for an anti-infantry measure. Three smoke grenade dischargers were fitted to the forward corners of the hull for a total of six - this provided the crew with a self-screening option to conceal the vehicle's movement.

The completed vehicle weighed 16 tons and had an overall length of 5 meters, a beam of 3 meters and a height of 2.7 meters. Armor protection reached up to heavy small arms fire (12.7mm caliber) and artillery spray but little else - these were not to be direct-contact fighting vehicles but more of a ranged deterrent against enemy armor, principally the Soviet Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) of the period. Power was from a single Rolls-Royce K60 multi-fueled engine of 240 horsepower allowing for a road speed of 52 kmh and a range out to 480 kilometers to be reached.

Initially, the British Army assigned their new FV438 missile carriers to the Royal Armoured Corps but the role was later overtaken by Royal Artillery.

The FV438 is no longer in service and was never exported, its role overtaken by other, newer developments for the modern battlefield.

Specifications



Service Year
1975

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Crew
3
CREWMEN
Production
100
UNITS


State Factories - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom (retired)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Tank / Anti-Armor
Base model or variant can be used to track, engage, and defeat armored enemy elements at range.


Length
16.7 ft
5.1 m
Width
9.8 ft
3 m
Height
8.9 ft
2.7 m
Weight
35,715 lb
16,200 kg
Tonnage
17.9 tons
LIGHT
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base FV438 Swingfire production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Rolls-Royce K60 multi-fuel engine developing 240 horsepower.
Speed
32.3 mph
(52.0 kph)
Range
298.3 mi
(480.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base FV438 Swingfire production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
2 x "Swingfire" missile launchers.
1 x 7.62mm L7 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
2 x 3 Smoke Grenade Dischargers.


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of tank /armored vehicle smoke grenade dischargers


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
14 x Swingfire missile reloads.
650 x 7.62mm ammunition.
6 x Smoke Grenades


FV438 "Swingfire" - Base Series Designation.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-