FV438 Swingfire

The FV438 Swingfire was an armoured anti-tank vehicle of the British Army.

FV438 Swingfire
TypeAnti-tank vehicle
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Mass16.2 t
Length5.1 m
Width3 m
Height2.7 m

Armor12.7 mm max
Two Swingfire ATGM launchers

2 ATGM in launchers with 14 more missiles stored inside.

Launchers could be reloaded inside the Vehicle.
7.62 mm L7 GPMG, smoke dischargers
EngineRolls-Royce K60 multi-fuel
240 hp
Power/weight15.7 hp/tonne
Suspensiontorsion-bar, 5 road wheel
480 km
Speed52 km/h

It was derived from the FV430 series of vehicles by converting the FV432 to accommodate a launcher for Swingfire anti-tank guided missiles.

It had two firing bins and could carry fourteen missiles, which could be reloaded from inside the vehicle. Instead of using the mounted guidance system a control unit could be deployed and the missiles aimed and fired from up to 100 metres away, allowing the vehicle to remain completely hidden from the enemy; the Swingfire missile was capable of making a ninety-degree turn immediately after firing.

When FV438s entered service in the 1970s, they were operated by specialised anti-tank units of the British Infantry and Royal Armoured Corps. In 1977, the anti-tank role was transferred to the Royal Artillery, which formed the FV438s into four independent Royal Horse Artillery batteries, one for each Armoured Division in the British Army of the Rhine. In 1984, the Royal Artillery relinquished the anti-tank role and the FV438s were formed into guided-weapon troops (each of 9 vehicles), one for each Armoured Regiment.[1][2][3][4]

See also

  • FV102 Striker, another Swingfire carrier, based on the CVR(T) chassis, with a fixed-azimuth five rail launcher hinged towards the rear of the hull roof.


  1. "3rd Regiment RHA". The British Army. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  2. "3rd Regiment RHA". British Army Units and Locations from 1945 to present day. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  3. Nigel F. Evans. "ANTI-TANK ARTILLERY". BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. Watson, Graham E.; Rinaldi, Richard A. (2005). The British Army in Germany: An Organizational History 1947-2004. Tiger Lily Publications LLC. p. 75. ISBN 0-9720296-9-9.

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