The FV603 Saracen is a six-wheeled armoured personnel carrier designed and produced by Alvis since 1952. It has been used by a variety of operators around the world, and is still in use in secondary roles in some countries.

The Saracen became a recognisable vehicle as a result of its part in the policing of Northern Ireland as well as for its role in the South African government’s enforcement of apartheid.

Armour: 16 mm Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA)

Main armament: Browning M1919 machine gun or L37 GPMG

Secondary armament: Bren LMG, 6–12 smoke grenade launchers

Engine: Rolls-Royce B80 Mk 3A or Mk 6A, 8 cyl Inlet over Exhaust petrol, 160 hp

Power/weight 14.5 hp/tonne

Suspension 6×6 wheel, independent torsion bars

Operational range: 400 km

Maximum speed 72 km/h (off-road 32 km/h)

Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd was a British manufacturing company in Coventry from 1919 to 1967. In addition to automobiles designed for the civilian market, the company also produced racing cars, aircraft engines, armoured cars and other armoured fighting vehicles.

Car manufacturing ended after the company became a subsidiary of Rover in 1965, but armoured vehicle manufacture continued. Alvis became part of British Leyland and then in 1982 was sold to United Scientific Holdings, which renamed itself Alvis plc.

Read more: Tanks and fighting vehicles with Andrew Pantele ...