British Alvis Saracen FV603 Armored Personnel Carrier

Shortly after WWII the British began to develop the FV600 series of 6X6 armored vehicles. The initial vehicles were the Saladin armored car, an armored command vehicle, and the Saracen Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). Alvis Ltd completed the first prototype in 1952 and the first production vehicle at the end of the same year. The Saracen was the standard APC in the British Army until it began being replaced by the FV432 in 1963.

  • P7180151
  • saracenapc
  • saracenint
  • saracenside
P71801511 saracenapc2 saracenint3 saracenside4 sarencen.jm6


Crew  2 +10
Length 16' - 4"
Height 8' - 0" (w/turrent)
Width 8' - 3"
Weight (empty) 19,180 lbs or 9.59 tons
Top Speed 45 mpg
Electrical System 24 volt
Tires 12. x 20 Run Flats
Smoke Launchers 2 sets of 3 smoke grenade dischargers at front fenders
Country of Origin United Kingdom
Armament: 1x7.62 mm MG (turret)
1x 7.62 mm MG
Ammunition 3,000 x7.62 mm
Side slope 30%
Armor Type  16mm Thick Steel
Power to weight ratio 15.73 hp/ton
Fuel Capacity 200 liters
Engine Rolls Royce B80 inline 8 cylinder /gas
Ground Clearance 0.432 meters


The Saracen was used for many years as an internal security vehicle. Reportedly 1838 Saracen APCs were produced. A variety of variants were built including the APC, the command post vehicles, and an ambulance. The Saracen is of an all-welded steel hull with primary access gained thru the double doors on the rear. The driver sits centered in the front with the commander/gunner immediately behind him. Four troop seats line each side of the rear. The APC normally has a machine gun (MG) turret as well as a ring for an externally mounted MG over the top rear hull. Two sets of three smoke dischargers are mounted on the front fenders. The Saracen has no amphibious capability other than a deep fording kit.

British Armoured Personnel Carrier The Saracen would have to be considered as a medium size wheeled vehicle. It has excellent cross country performance but on the down side the extra axle increases the amount of maintenance. Several Saracens are used by law enforcement agencies across the US.

The Alvis Saracen was a six-wheeled armored vehicle which provided units with the ability to move personnel (such as assault troops) within an armored vehicle and signaled a change in role towards transporting personnel around the battlefield. It weighed nearly 10 tons and could reach a top speed of 70 km/h. It had a crew of two, could carry 10 personnel and was armed with a .30 cal machine gun. The Saracen carried a crew of two plus ten passengers protected by 16 mm thick armour and was armed with two 7.62 mm machine guns. A Rolls-Royce B80 Mk 6A eight-cylinder petrol engine provided a top speed of 72 kmh and a range of 400 km.

The Saracen series also includes:

  • FV 604 Armored Command Vehicle (ACV): with extra radio equipment and distinctive "penthouse" roof extensions to support.
  • FV 610 Armored Command Post (ACP): higher sides to the armored rear compartment allowed radios to be racked above the map tables. There were also fittings for canvas awnings to the rear and sides. A small generator was also carried on a front wing.
  • FV 606 / FV 611 Armored Ambulance.