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Ex-British FV432 APCs join active service into Ukrainian Army

As reported by Praise the Steph on September 30, 2023, Ukraine has recently expanded its military capabilities through the reception of numerous ex-British Army FV432 armored personnel carriers (APCs) from the United Kingdom and various non-governmental organizations. These FV432 vehicles, which belong to the FV430 family, have been put into active service with the 22nd Special Purpose Battalion of the Ukrainian Separate Presidential Brigade, featuring the 2021 standard pixel camouflage pattern.
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Ex-British Army FV432 APC inducted in the Ukrainian Armed Forces (Picture source: Ukraine MoD)

The FV432, a long-standing armored personnel carrier (APC), has played a significant role in the British Army's FV430 series since its introduction in the 1960s. The production began in 1962 under the auspices of GKN Sankey and concluded in 1971, resulting in approximately 3,000 vehicles. Primarily designed for infantry transport on the battlefield, it has been a consistent presence in military operations for many years. At its height of usage in the 1980s, nearly 2,500 FV432 vehicles were operational.

These FV432s come equipped with various armaments, depending on their specific roles. In the British Army, infantry battalions deploy them with pintle-mounted L7 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), while vehicles assigned to the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Royal Signals were initially fitted with the L4A4 variant of the Bren light machine gun, but they have since transitioned to the GPMG. The vehicle's armament is complemented by two three-barrel smoke dischargers at the front.

While the initial plan was to retire the FV432 in favor of more modern alternatives such as the Warrior and CVR(T), a decision was made to extend the service life of 500 units, ensuring their continued operation into the 2020s. This decision was prompted by the need for additional armored vehicles in theaters like Afghanistan and Iraq.

In August 2006, the Ministry of Defence initiated an upgrade program for these vehicles, with BAE Systems leading the effort. The upgrades included an engine enhancement, a new steering unit, and an improved braking system. These modifications brought the armor protection of the FV432s closer to the standards set by the Warrior. Notably, plates lined with Kevlar were added to the vehicle's bottom hull to enhance protection against improvised explosive devices. This initiative aimed to free up Warrior vehicles for reserve firepower and rotation out of active theaters. The updated version of the FV432 is known as the Bulldog.

The FV432 features an all-steel construction and a conventional tracked design. It accommodates a driver and up to 10 troops, with seating that can fold up to provide a flat cargo space. Importantly, an NBC system is fitted to ensure protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.

The FV432 is powered by a Rolls-Royce K60 multi-fueled 6-cylinder engine developing 240 hp, allowing a maximum road speed of 52 km/h, and an operational range of 580 km. Its weight stands at 15 tons, with dimensions of 5.25 m in length, 2.55 m in width, and 2.28 m in height.


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