Say Hello to Nigerian Army’s Family of Scorpion armoured vehicles

The United Kingdom once had some of the world’s best defence industry. They churned out fighter jets, tanks, amoured vehicles etc. Akin to the relationship between France and her francophone, Nigeria benefited immensely from the UK’s thriving defence industry.

In the 80’s the Nigerian military placed more premium on quality over quantity. Over half the equipments in the Nigerian army and air force was made in the UK. The Brits supplied everything from heavy and light tanks to reconnaissance vehicles, fighter/inequipment and blowpipe shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles.

The most numerous of these weapons were the Alvin Scorpion family of amoured and fire support vehicles and anti-tank missile vehicles. The family of vehicles includes :

FV101 Scorpion light tank

FV107 Scimitar recoonaisance vehicle

FV1O2 Striker anti-tank missile vehicle.

FV103 Spartan amoured personnel carrier.

FV104 Samaritan (Ambulance)

FV105 Command Vehicle.

FV101 SCORPION LIGHT TANK

Nigeria procured 157 FV101 Scorpion light tanks in the early eighties. The 76 mm equipped Scorpion serves as an infantry support recconaisance vehicle.

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FV101 Scorpion light tank during a military parade at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
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FV101 Scorpion light tank during a military parade at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
FV101 Scorpion light tank during a military parade at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

FEATURES

Stealth

The scorpion with its Jaguar SK engines can run quite quiet. Thanks to its narrow width and low ground pressure it is able to go where few other tracked vehicle can. The combination of silent running and excellent off road capability makes it extremely good at ambushing and reconnaissance.

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The Scorpion tank has stealth characteristics and is able to traverse even the most difficult of terrains

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The Scorpion is a three man vehicle powered by 8 cylinder jaguar sports car engine, which gives it a top speed of 50 miles per hour.

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Scorpion tanks on the streets of Port Hacourt, Rivers State Nigeria during Operation Crocodile Tears military exercise in 2017.
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Twin hatch of a Scorpion tank.

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Air mobile

Weighing only eight tons, they can be transported by Hercules C-130 cargo plane.

Firepower

Although it is originally designated a track reconnaissance vehicle, its powerful guns are capable of dealing with some enemy light armour and fortification. It’s main 76 mm gun fires APDS ( armour piercing discarding salvo) munitions, effective at up to 1,600 yards.

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Nigerian army Scorpion tank at a shooting range during a Nigerian army firepower demonstration exercise in Baychi, home of the army amoured Corp.
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Nigerian army Scorpion tank at a shooting range during a Nigerian army firepower demonstration exercise in Baychi, home of the army amoured Corp.
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Nigerian army Vickers Mk.3 Main Battle Tank at a shooting range during a Nigerian army firepower demonstration exercise in Baychi, home of the army amoured Corp.
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Nigerian army Scorpion tank at a shooting range during a Nigerian army firepower demonstration exercise in Baychi, home of the army amoured Corp.
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Nigerian army Scorpion tank at a shooting range during a Nigerian army firepower demonstration exercise in Baychi, home of the army amoured Corp.

FV107 Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle

The Scimar is armed with a quick firing 30 mm cannon which is devastating against lightly amoured vehicles.

FV1O2 Striker anti-tank missile vehicle.

FV103 Spartan amoured personnel carrier.

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FV103 Spartan APC in an army storage facility.
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FV103 APC deployed to the frontlines in Nigeria’s northeast.
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FV103 APC deployed to the frontlines in Nigeria’s northeast.

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