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"Missile Ferret scout cars" Topic

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nikolas93ts28 Dec 2017 7:47 a.m. PST

Does anybody have some more informations on service of two variants of the Ferret Armored Car: an early version (Mk 2/6) that mounted Vickers Vigilant anti-tank missiles in boxes on the side of the turret, and Mk.5 Ferret mounting a peculiar turret carrying four Swingfire missiles?

Were they operated by RA or reconnaissance units? When they entered service and when they were withdrawn?

Best regards, Nikola

Formerly 298TYR28 Dec 2017 2:12 p.m. PST

Nikola, I believe the Ferret 2/6 with Vigilant were almost all deployed with the Armoured Car Regiments in the reconnaissance role in the late 1960's. 1 per Troop making 4 per Squadron / total 12 per Regiment. They were also deployed in the Armoured Car or Reconnaissance Squaderon attached to the Parachute Brigade where I believe they replaced the Humber Pig / Hornet conversion.

I don't think they were ever operated by the Royal Artillery, since when they took over the Anti-Tank role in the late 1970's they operated FV438 with Swingfire.

To the best of my knowledge the RA never had the Ferret 2/6, but I am open to being proven wrong on that !

Niall Hall

nikolas93ts28 Dec 2017 4:55 p.m. PST

Thank you very much!

I read it was Mk.5 to have replaced the Humber Hornet, and I also read only around 50 of these (Mk.5) were ever built, so deployment must have been fairly limited.

nikolas93ts28 Dec 2017 8:35 p.m. PST

Correct, Mk.5 replaced Hornet operated by RAC Parachute Squadron around 1968-1969. Since RAC Parachute squadron was disbanded in 1976, it was likely that was the end of their career, although I don't know what share of production run went to the above-mentioned unit.

The two Vigilant Platoons, X and Y, were formed in 1966 to provide anti-tank support to the 16th Parachute Brigade utilising the Vigilant wire-guided missile.

The two platoons each had about twenty troops, from all three parachute battalions. They turned down their Vigilants after 1974, likely in 1976. However, while in 1967 the RAC Parachute Squadron took over the Ferret scout cars from the Guards Independent Company, in addition to the Ferret Mk 5s, so giving the Squadron an armoured reconnaissance capability if required, it seems X and Y platoons used ground launchers and likely not Ferret Mk.2/6.

Formerly 298TYR03 Feb 2018 4:08 p.m. PST

as a bit of an addendum to the above, I have discovered that the Royal Artillery did have some Ferret with Swingfire – 32 Guided Weapons Regiment based in the UK had in 1978 Ferret V with Swingfire.

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