Scarab's Winning Performance ­ Belgian Recce Programme
(Source : Alvis plc; issued June 17, 2002)


During 2001 Scarab completed a rigorous and demanding series of performance and reliability trials for the Belgian Recce 2001 programme, in competition with the Fennek and ACMAT vehicles. Scarab performed extremely well throughout the trials, demonstrating the maturity of its design. The vehicle successfully completed all the performance tests and performed particularly well in the reliability trials.

Scarab has also recently completed testing at the British Army's Armoured Trials and Development Unit for the UK MoD Future Command and Liaison Vehicle (FCLV) programme. The vehicle was picked out for its excellent off road mobility and good levels of protection and again performed reliably throughout the trials.

The Belgian Recce 2001 programme is for 121 vehicles with an option for a further 18. Contract award has been delayed, but a final decision is expected shortly from the Belgian procurement authorities and is keenly awaited by Alvis. It is expected that the winner of the Belgian competition will be in a good position to be selected for the Luxembourg Army requirement for approximately 44 reconnaissance vehicles.

Scarab is a highly cost effective, high mobility, armoured scout and liaison vehicle. Based on the latest Mercedes Unimog engine and 2100 series running gear, Scarab demonstrates the renowned mobility and reliability of the Unimog range. The use of COTS (commercial off the shelf) Mercedes automotives results in low manufacturing and running costs and the vehicle can be supported through the worldwide Mercedes service network.

Scarab's protection exceeds that of any other vehicle of its type. At a maximum battleweight of 11,100 kg(the Belgian vehicle weighs in slightly lighter at 10,800kg), it is armoured against heavy machine gun fire over the frontal arc, whilst retaining 7.62mm AP protection all-round. Anti-personnel and anti-tank mine protection has been built in from the start, and can be upgraded to include self-forging fragment tank-killer mines such as the TMRP-6 with an appliqué belly plate. Mine protection technology has been developed in collaboration with Mechem of South Africa.

The Reconnaissance Mission Suite has been developed in partnership with SAGEM in France and is optimised for the Belgian requirement whilst retaining the flexibility to be re-configured for other customers. The system is built around a Helio SWARM turret, mounting a 12.7mm machine gun together with co-axially mounted Sagem Iris thermal imaging camera, which provides detection, identification and recognition ranges of 8000m, 4000m and 2000m respectively. An Avimo eyesafe laser range finder and Radamec colour daylight camera are also fitted. A bank of smoke & fragmentation grenade launchers are fitted at the base of the SWARM turret.

The sighting systems are linked to a SAGEM Tactis battlefield management system and SAGEM Sigma navigation system plus GPS inside the vehicle. The whole mission suite is operated and controlled under armour by either the turret operator or the vehicle commander, or both working together. The system enables targets to be identified and located at range on the battlefield. Target information is then fed into the battlefield management system and transferred up the command chain via a secure communications link. The specification, development and integration onto the vehicle of the mission suite have been managed totally by Alvis.

The Reconnaissance Mission Suite comprises:
--Helio SWARM turret
--12.7mm MG
--Smoke & fragmentation grenade launchers
--SAGEM Iris TI camera
--Eyesafe laser range finder
--Daylight camera
--SAGEM Tactis BMS
--SAGEM Sigma navigation system
--GPS
--Frequency hopping radios


Alvis Vehicles Limited is based in Telford, UK and is wholly owned by Alvis plc. Alvis plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is involved with the design and production of armoured fighting vehicles and other specialist military vehicles. The Alvis Group turnover in 2001 was £150 million.

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