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Crew: 2 + 10 

Combat Mass: 10.1 mt 

Armament: 7,62 mm Browning Machine-gun 4 x 81 mm Smoke Generator Launchers 2 -in Mortar (Smoke bombs only) 

Engine: Rolls Royce; B80 Mk 3A or Mk 6A; 8 Cyl in-Line Liquid Cooled; Gasoline; 119 kW (160 hp) at 3 750 r/min 

Transmission: Gearbox - Daimler; Pre-selective; Epicycle; 5 Speed; Gear change pedal Clutch - Fluid Coupling Transfer Box - Forward and Reverse Configuration - 6x6

Speed: Road 72 km/h - Cross Country 

Operating Range: 32 km/h Road 400 km - Cross Country 209 km 


Shortly after the Second World War the then British Fighting Vehicle Research and Development establishment began the design of the FV 600 series 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicles. Design parent for the FV 600 series was Alvis Ltd of Coventry which completed the first prototype Saracen in 1952, and in December of the same year started production with a total amount of 1 838 vehicles built by 1972. The Saracen was the standard APC of the British army and was replaced from 1963 by a tracked APC. To date the Saracen is still in service with the British Army, mainly for internal security operations in Northern Ireland. In 1953 South Africa purchased 10 Saracen Mk 1’s for evaluation. A further order of 270 was placed with Alvis Ltd the following year, arriving in South Africa in 1956. The majority of the vehicles, on arrival, were placed in storage to form part of the Centurion, Saracen and Ferret fleet for the South African Armoured Corps. A quantity were used for training. Eight Saracens were allocated to the South African Police for internal security operations. Through lack of engine spares caused by the United Nations arms embargo the Saracens were withdrawn from service in 1975 and once again placed in storage as reserve. In 1977 South Africa started on a modification and upgrading program. After extensive trials which lasted until 1979 a refurbishing contract was awarded to the South African Railway Workshop, Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape. Refurbishing took place from 1979 to 1981, modifying 270 vehicles. These modified Saracens were again introduced to the South African army until they were withdrawn from service in 1991 to be replaced with the Ratel Infantry Combat Vehicle. A quantity of these Saracens were also sold to local security firms.

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