Alvis Saladin

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Alvis Saladin
FV 601 Saladin in Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Latrun.
Type Armoured car
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
Wars Six Day War
Vietnam War
Biafran War
Dhofar Rebellion
Sri Lankan Civil War
Production history
Manufacturer Alvis
Produced 1958-1972
Weight 11.6 t
Length 4.93 m
Width 2.54 m
Height 2.39 m
Crew 3

Armor up to 32 mm
76 mm L5A1 gun
2 x M1919A4 machine guns
Engine Rolls-Royce B80 Mk.6A, 8 cyl petrol
170 hp (127 kW)
Power/weight 15.5 hp/tonne
Suspension 6x6 wheel
400 km
Speed 72 km/h

The Saladin (FV601) is a six-wheeled armoured car built by Alvis, and fitted with a 76mm gun.

Used extensively by the British Army, it replaced the AEC Armoured Car that had been in service since World War II.


The Saladin was the armoured car of Alvis' FV600 series, using similar suspension and drive train components to the Saracen armoured personnel carrier, Stalwart high mobility load carrier and Salamander fire tender. It is named after the warrior Saladin, Alvis using names beginning with an "S" for the whole range of FV600 vehicles.

The Saladin was widely used by the Sultan of Oman's armed forces throughout the Dhofar conflict and saw extensive action during the period 1972 to 1976, supporting ground forces and on convoy patrol. Often crewed by British servicemen (loan soldiers) and Omani servicemen, the Sultan's Armoured Car Squadron consisted of an estimated 36 Saladins. They saw extensive action supporting troops from the British SAS, Oman Firqa, Oman regulars and Iranian forces in the conflict with the Adoo. The squadron's vehicles were regularly attacked by Katyusha rockets, anti-tank mines, rocket propelled grenades and light and heavy machine gun fire. Many vehicles were mined and repaired and after the end of the conflict in 1976 the Saladin remained in service until the early 1980s. An unpublished account called The Tinned Equivalent was written in 1977 and details many of the events of that period of conflict.

The Saladin was used by B Sqn 16/5 Lancers during their defence of Nicosia airport in 1974 and subsequent armed recce operations under the banner of the UN. During the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Saladins were filmed on the streets of Kuwait City defending Kuwait against Iraqi forces.

The Indonesian Army (TNI AD) uses the Saladin for "KOSTRAD Cavalry Battalion", "KOSTRAD Recon Company" and Armoured Car Company.

The Australian Army mounted Saladin turrets on M113A1 APCs to produce the Fire Support Vehicle. A new FSV based on the British FV101 Scorpion Light Tank turret was accepted for service in 1976, the first RAAC AFV fitted with a passive (image intensifying) night sight; this was redesignated the Medium Reconnaissance Vehicle (MRV).[1] Royal Australian Armoured Corps(RAAC) personnel referred to the resulting vehicles as "Beasts". The Sri Lanka Armoured Corps used Saladins extensively during the early stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War; they remained in reserve status till the end of the war in 2009. It forms the tank crew pin of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps.

In 2014, the Indonesian Army confirmed that it was continuing to deploy the Saladin in active operations.[2]

Saladin armoured cars could be seen in the streets of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa in the 2009 coup against President Manuel Zelaya.[citation needed]

Surviving vehicles

There is a Saladin on display as a gate guard at Episkopi Garrison, British Sovereign Base, Cyprus.

There is an FV 601 Saladin in Yad la-Shiryon museum, Latrun.

There is an Alvis Saladin at Sri Lanka Armoured Corps Training Centre, Anuradhapura - a gate guard.

Several Saladins are parked at a tank garage at The Indonesian Army 4th Cavalry Battalion.

There are three surviving Saladins in The Tank Museum, Dorset, England. One, in all over green, is displayed in the tank story exhibition. The second, in all over tan, is in operational condition and used in events. The third, in a tan and green camouflage pattern, is part of the museum's reserve collection and is stored in the vehicle conservation centre.

There is a Saladin in Norfolk Tank Museum, Norfolk, England. It can be seen running at various time during the year.

There is a Saladin at the York depot of the Queen's Own Yeomanry, a Territorial Army regiment.

There is a Saladin at the Aldershot Army Museum[3]

There is also a non-functioning Alvis Saladin displayed outside the Lebanese Army's military outpost in the mountain region of Baabda located between Hammana and Chbaniyeh.

An American college sports enthusiasts club in Knoxville, Tennessee, the "Big Orange Army" operates a Saladin painted orange as an advertising device.

There is another privately owned and fully operational restored 1959 Saladin AFV in Knoxville Tennessee. It has a live L5A1 76mm main gun and a coaxial 1919A4 BMG with a Browning M2 Machine Gun top mounted on authentic US Mark 93 mounting hardware and gun shield plate. [Sorry I can't get pictures to post here]

There is a privately owned Saladin in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area of Texas.

There is a privately owned Saladin in the Vancouver, British Columbia area of Canada.

There is a Saladin at the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Numerous Saladin survive in Australia, one example is on display at the RAAC Memorial and Tank Museum Puckapunyal, Victoria.[4] and another complete operational, privately owned ex-British Saladin exists in the outer metropolitan region of Sydney. Many ex-Australian Army Saladins remain turretless because of the fitting of Saladin turrets on M113 carriers to make the Fire Support Vehicle (M113-A1 FSV) used in the Vietnam conflict.



  2. "Ribuan Prajurit TNI Berhasil Kuasai Asembagus | WEBSITE TENTARA NASIONAL INDONESIA". Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. [1] Archived September 26, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  4. [2][dead link]
  5. [3] Archived July 19, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Revisita Cavalaria" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. [4] Archived September 17, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Richard Lobban, Jr. Global Security Watch: Sudan (2010 ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-313-35332-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Uganda: How the West brought Idi Amin to power | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal". Retrieved 2015-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Saladin | Military In the Middle East". Retrieved 2015-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links