Cold War Kit. Part 4. British Tracked Rapier, Surface to Air Missile.

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The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

. RedEffect72dpi-4 .

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.

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Tracked Rapier, a British Cold War surface-to-air missile launcher.  It is still in service today.

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The Rapier SAM entered service in 1971 and eventually replaced most of the British Army and Royal Air Force SAM systems. The original systems came on wheeled launchers, towed by Land Rovers. There would be two vehicles, the Fire Unit Truck and the Detachment Support Vehicle.

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Development started on the Tracked version of the Rapier in 1978, deployed in 1983.

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Capable of carrying four surface-to-air missiles on each launcher.

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Parabolic antenna for sending guidance commands to the missiles.

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The missile has a fragmentation explosive close proximity warhead.

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The large cylindrical unit, containing the surveillance radar and Identification friend or foe (IFF) at the top.

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Mounted on an M548 chassis.

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The chassis is the cargo version of the well known M113 armoured personnel carrier.

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The lower part of the cylinder contains the guidance computer and radar transmitter and receiver electronics at bottom.

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The solid fuel rocket could power the missile to a speed of Mach 2.5.

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The Optical-Tracker would be operated from the left side of the crew cabin.

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On the right of the crew cabin you would find the driver and tactical controller.

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There were smoke-dischargers on each corner of the vehicle.

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The missile had a height ceiling of 3,000m.

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In the early 80s, 1 British Corps had 24 x Tracked Rapier and 24 x towed missile systems.

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During the Cold War, 1 British Corps and its respective divisions were very weak in respect to air defence.

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From movement to firing took only 30 seconds with the tracked Rapier, as opposed to the towed versions firing time of 15 minutes.

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Rory, who had just purchased my Novel, The Red Effect, posing in front of my stand at the War & Peace show. He is wearing his Second World War Soviet uniform, carrying the iconic PPS machine gun.

i hope this has given you a further insight into what kit was around during the Cold War in the 80s.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

. HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle and Paperback version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War. The Black Effect due out Mid September.

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Cold War Kit. Part 3. Soviet BMP-1 Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle.

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The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

. RedEffect72dpi-4 .

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.

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Soviet BMP. 

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The BMP is an amphibious mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle. The track, using the hydrodynamic fairings, would be used to propel the BMP through the water at about 5 miles per hour.

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A top road speed of about 45mph.

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This model is without the standard 73mm gun and Sagger missile.

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Over 20,000 BMPs were built.

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Suspension was individual torsion bar with hydraulic shock absorbers on the 1st and 6th road wheel.

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It weighed 13 tons and carried a crew of three plus eight motor-rifle troops.

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There are two airtight doors at the rear. They also contain fuel tanks.

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There are two vision blocks at the rear and one firing-port.

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The hydrodynamic fairings can clearly be seen on the upper rear of the track covers.

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Along each side of the troop compartment, there are four firing ports.

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The two firing-ports to the front, would be used by say a PKM, a light machine gun. The other six would be for the soldiers AK-47/74s.

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There would be a combination fume extractor and cartridge deflector available at each firing port. This could be clipped on to an individual’s weapon.

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Each firing-port had a vision-block above it.

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A padded bench seat on the left-hand side.

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Space was very tight.

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There were four D-shaped hatches in the roof of the troop compartment that could be opened from the inside.

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Padded bench on the right-hand side, looking towards the gunner’s position.

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Vision-blocks on the right-hand side.

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Vision-blocks and overhead hatches on the left-hand side.

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A D-shaped hatch near the turret.

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This BMP has had its 73mm gun removed. Now looks very similar to that of a BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle.

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Looking down at the driver’s station,  front, left-hand side.

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Driver’s position and steering yoke in front of the commander.

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Drivers controls and vision-block.

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Looking towards the Commander’s area.

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Commander’s area.

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The driver has two periscope vision-blocks and a binocular vision device.

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Looking back from the commander’s position.

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Commander’s position

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Driver’s binocular vision device.

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Driver’s hatch.

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The four D-shaped hatches can be seen open to the rear.

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BMP-1 showing the standard configuration of a 73mm gun and a Sagger anti-tank missile mounted on a rail above it..

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Rory, who had just purchased my Novel, The Red Effect, posing in front of my stand at the War & Peace show. He is wearing his Second World War Soviet uniform, carrying the iconic PPS machine gun.

i hope this has given you a further insight into what kit was around during the Cold War in the 80s.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

. HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War. Paperback edition imminent.

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Cold War Kit, Part 2. BTR-60PA.

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The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

. RedEffect72dpi-4 .

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.

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BTR-60, a wheeled Amphibious Armoured Personnel Carrier 

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The BTR-60 is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by a jet centrally mounted in the rear of the hull. The covers move sideways exposing the water jet.

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It was a revolutionary design in its time. Crew compartment in the front, troop compartment in the middle and the engine compartment at the rear.

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The power pack is 2 x Gaz-40P 6-cylinder gasoline engine. 90 hp each.

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Weighing 10 tons, it had a crew of 2 and could carry ten Infantry.

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Three firing ports on each side of the upper hull.

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Vents are open for cooling the two engines.

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In the roofed BTR-60PA version, the troops had to dismount through the roof hatches. This would expose the soldiers to enemy fire. The three steps in-between the wheels on either side were there to help the infantry mount and dismount.

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Before entering the water, the trim vane at the front of the hull would have to be lowered. This prevented water from flooding over the bow.

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In the travelling position, it provided additional armour.

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It had a top speed of 50mph on the road and 6mph in the water.

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The welded steel hull would provide protection against small arms fire and shrapnel. But, a 7,62mm round could penetrate the sides if as close as 100m.

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The engine vents.

 

i hope this has given you a further insight into what the Warsaw Pact, in particular the Soviet Army, had in their armoury.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

. HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War. Paperback edition imminent.

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Cold War Kit. CVR(T) Scorpion. Part 1.

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The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

. RedEffect72dpi-4 .

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.

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The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. 

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Manufactured by Alvis, it was put into service by the British Army in 1973.

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It was used as a reconnaissance vehicle or a light tank.

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3,000 were produced.

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The Scorpion was armed with a low-velocity, 76mm L23A1 gun, along with a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.

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The first British Regiment to be equipped with the Scorpion were the Blues and Royals

of the Household Cavalry in 1973.

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Its rate of fire was said to be six rounds per minute.

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The original engine was the Jaguar J60, a 4.2 litre petrol engine. It was later change to a Cummins or Perkins diesel engine.

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A Soviet airborne amphibious tracked infantry combat vehicle. It can be palletised and dropped by parachute or off-loaded from an aircraft after a standard runway landing.

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Present day, airborne troops in Abkhazia.

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It was also fitted with a nuclear, biological and chemical protection system. There was a toilet beneath the commander’s seat, an internal water tank and a BV. A Boiling Vessel for cooking or heating water.

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Two troops from B Squadron, Blues and Royals served in the Falklands War.

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Its low ground pressure, similar to a soldier on foot, was particularly useful on the boggy ground of the Falkland Islands.

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The armour was made of 12.7mm welded aluminium.

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A top speed of 45mph, although i am sure it has been driven at a higher speed.

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Torsion bar suspension.

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The close reconnaissance troop of an Armoured Regiment each had eight Scorpions.

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It was used by 21 other countries, including Spain and Togo.

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The basic chassis of the CVR(T), supported a range of vehicles. FV 102 Striker, anti-tank guided weapon carrier. FV 103 Spartan, armoured personnel carrier. FV 104. Samaritan armoured ambulance.

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FV 105. Sultan Command Post vehicle. FV 106. Sampson armoured recovery vehicle. FV 107 Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle.

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i hope this has given you a further insight into what NATO, in particular the British Army, had in their armoury.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

. HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War. Paperback edition imminent.

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