Saxon Four wheeled armoured personnel carrier

As a vehicle capable of protecting infantry from shell splinters and machine-gun fire in Europe during the Cold War years, Saxon was a useful addition for the formerly larger Army.


It does not, however, have the speed and agility which the lessons of recent mobile combat suggest will be necessary for infantry to survive in the assault in the future. The vehicle is fitted with a 7.62mm machine-gun for LLAD.


The Saxon was manufactured by GKN Defence and the first units for the British Army were delivered in late 1983. 

The vehicle, which can be best described as a battlefield taxi, is designed around truck parts and does not require the same level of maintenance of track and running gear normally associated with APC/AIFVs. 


Each vehicle cost over 100,000 at 1984 prices and they are on issue to Mechanised Infantry Battalions assigned to 3 (UK) Division in the British Army.

Essentially a mine-proof lorry, rather than an armoured personnel carrier, the vehicle has been used very successfully by British Mechanised Battalions serving with the UN in Bosnia.

The Army holds a number of Saxon IS (Patrol) vehicle for service in counter insurgency operations. The IS (Internal Security) equipped vehicle has a Cummins BT 5.1 engine, instead of the Bedford 6-cylinder installed on the APC version and other enhancements, such as roof-mounted searchlights, improved armour, a barricade removal device and an anti-wire device.

Saxon Patrol comes in two versions, troop-carrier and ambulance. The troop-carrier carries ten men and the ambulance, two stretcher cases. Industry sources suggest that this latest contract was for 137 vehicles, at a cost of some 20 million, resulting in a unit cost per vehicle of approximately 145,000. 

Saxon is in service with the following overseas customers: Bahrain - 10, Brunei - 24,  Hong Kong - 6,  Malaysia - 40,  Oman - 15.


Saxon is in operational service with British forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


SAXON Specifications
Type Four wheeled armoured personnel carrier
Manufacturer GKN Defence
Crew  2 + 10 troops
Weight 10,670kg
Length 5.16m
Width 2.48m
Height 2.63m
Ground Clearance (axles) 0.33m
Max Road Speed  96km/h
Max Road Range 510km
Fuel Capacity 160 litres
Fording 1.12m
Gradient  60 degrees
Engine Bedford 600 6-cylinder diesel developing 164bhp at 2,800rpm 
Armour Armour proof against 7.62 rounds fired at point-blank range
Variants Recovery vehicle; armoured ambulance; command post vehicle; internal security version; and vehicles modified to carry an L37 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) turret. Saxon IS (Patrol) vehicle fitted with Cummins engine, roof-mounted searchlight, barricade removal and anti-wire devices