British F.V. 603 Saracen APC

British Fighting Vehicle F.V. 603 Saracen Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).

The F.V. 603 Saracen is an armoured personnel carrier based on the six-wheeled chassis of the Saladin armoured car. The specification for the Saracen was issued after that of the Saladin, but the vehicle had to be rushed into service first, because British troops engaged in the Malayan Emergency needed the armoured personnel carrier more urgently. Firing ports in the sides and rear doors theoretically enable the rifle section to fight mounted, but it is policy that the infantry dismount when in action, in which case the Saracen provides fire support with its turreted .30 calibre machine gun. A ring mounted light machine gun is available for air defence. Three variants of the Saracen exist: the Mk.1 has a smaller turret than the two subsequent marks, the Mk.2 received the turret of the Ferret armoured car, and the Mk.3 is a Mk.2 fitted with a reverse flow cooling system (R.F.C.) designed for use in the Middle East.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 1:76 Archer Models MGB07
  • 1:76 JB Models 1007
  • 1:76 Matchbox 54A (die-cast)
  • 1:285 GHQ N60
  • 1:300 Heroics & Ros BM13

Technical Specifications

  • F.V. 603 Saracen Armoured Personnel Carrier
  • Motor: Rolls-Royce B80 Mk.6A, 8 cylinder petrol engine, 119 kw
  • Speed: 72 km/h on roads, 32 km/h cross country
  • Range: 400 km on roads
  • Length: 4851 mm (5233 mm, Mk.3)
  • Width: 2539 mm
  • Height: 2463 mm
  • Wheel Track: 2083 mm
  • Weight: 8640 kg (unladen)
  • Payload: 1530 kg
  • Military Load Class: 11
  • Armament: .30 L3A3 turret machine gun, .303 Bren AA machine gun, two sets of three smoke grenade dischargers
  • Crew: Commander, Driver, Radio Operator, nine man rifle section

Historical Employment

  • British Army 1954–1991
  • Nigerian Army

The Saracen is a versatile armoured personnel carrier with good cross country mobility. The vehicle has seen action from the Malayan Emergency to the Gulf War, and it will be very useful to wargamers simulating any of these conflicts in miniature.

Cold War Miniatures