The first production Scorpions were delivered to the British Army in January 1972 with first deliveries being made to the Belgian Army in February 1973. Many countries have ordered Scorpions modified to meet their own particular operational requirements. The Malaysian vehicles have the Perkins Engines Company diesel engine, 90 mm gun and German Wegmann 76 mm grenade launchers. In June 1988, Alvis won an US$85 million contract from Venezuela for the supply of an undisclosed number (believed to be 84) of Scorpion 90 light tanks, support vehicles, ammunition, communications equipment and both turret and desktop training equipment. First vehicles were completed late in 1989 and deliveries were completed in 1992. Early in 1995, Indonesia placed a contract with Alvis worth around £90 million for the supply of Scorpion 90s and Stormer APCs with deliveries running from 1995 through to 1997. Late in 1996, Alvis Vehicles won a second contract from Indonesia for the supply of about 50 members of the Scorpion armored vehicles.
For the export market Alvis has fitted a Scorpion with a 90 mm Cockerill Mk III gun. The turret of the Scorpion 90 is designated the AC 90 and is almost identical to that fitted to the basic vehicle. The COCKERILL Mk8 is a medium pressure 48.5 cal 90mm gun designed for vehicles in the 10t to 20t class. Firing high efficiency ammunition, it offers performances very close to the 105mm guns fitted on heavier vehicles. The turret is equipped with fully stabilised day/night (thermal) gunner sight with laser range finder and ballistic computer for firing on the move and at moving targets and a fully stabilised panoramic commander sight offering almost hunter-killer capability. A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the left of the main armament. A range of four smoke grenades discharger are mounted to each side at the front of the turret.
The hull of the Scorpion is made of all-welded aluminium armour and provides the crew with protection against attack over its frontal area from 14.5 mm projectiles and against 7.62 mm armour-piercing rounds over the remainder of the vehicle. The aluminium armour is also particularly effective against shell splinters.
The Indonesian version of Scorpion 90 is fitted with the Perkins Engines Company diesel engine. The torsion bar suspension either side consists of five rubber-tyred aluminium road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. There are no track-return rollers. Hydraulic lever-type shock-absorbers are provided for the first and last road wheel stations either side.
The Scorpion can ford to a depth of 1 m without preparation. A flotation screen carried collapsed around the top of the hull can be erected by the crew in 5 minutes and the vehicle is then propelled and steered across the stream or river by its tracks at a speed of 6.5 km/h. A propeller kit has also been developed and when fitted the Scorpion has a maximum water speed of 9.5 km/h.
One 90 mm Cockerill Mk III gun, one coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, one roof mounted 7.62 mm machine gun.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Venezuela.
NBC system, night vision equipment
All-welded aluminium armour provides protection against 14.5 mm ammunition at the front and 7.62 mm for all the hull.