Alvis FV603 Saracen

The Alvis FV603 Saracen is a six-wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) used by the British Army and RAF Regiment mainly between 1952 and 1976, although some units retained them until the early 1980s.

Front-left view of the Alvis FV603 Saracen APC
The Alvis FV603 Saracen APC as seen at the Heritage Centre.

The FV603 Saracen was the armoured personnel carrier of Alvis’ FV600 series. The RAF Regiment used the Saracen in helping to keep the peace on the “Green Line” in Cyprus during the mid 1960s. The livery of the example at the Heritage Centre relates to this period.

Besides the driver and commander, a squad of eight soldiers plus a troop commander could be carried. Most models carried a small turret on the roof, carrying a Browning .30 machine gun or 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). Secondary armament was in the form of 6 smoke grenade launchers.

The Rolls Royce B80 petrol engine gave it a range of about 250 miles (400Km) and a top speed of 45mph (72kph).