FV432 front q.jpg
FV432 tt Holcot Steam Rally 2008
Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Production history
Manufacturer GKN Sankey
Weight 15 tons (15.3 t)
Length 5.25 m
Width 2.8 m
Height 2.28 m
Crew 2 + 10 troops

Armour 12.7 mm max
7.62 mm L7 GPMG
smoke dischargers
Engine Rolls-Royce K60 multi-fuel
240 hp
Power/weight 15.7 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion-bar, 5 road wheels
580 km
Speed 32 mph (52 km/h)

The FV432 is the armoured personnel carrier variant of the British Army's FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles. Since its introduction in the 1960s it has been the most common variant, being used for transporting infantry on the battlefield. In the 1980s, almost 2,500 vehicles were in use, with around 1,500 now remaining in operation - mostly in supporting arms rather than front-line infantry service.

Although the FV432 Series was to have been phased out of service in favour of newer vehicles such as the Warrior and the CVR(T) series, they are now gradually being upgraded to extend their service through into the next decade.

In light of the army's need for additional armoured vehicles in the Afghan and Iraqi theatres, the Ministry of Defence announced in August 2006 that an extra 70 vehicles would be upgraded by BAE Systems in addition to 54 already ordered as part of their force protection initiative. The improvements take the form of an engine upgrade, new steering unit, and new braking system as well as improving armour protection to a level similar to that of the Warrior. The concept is that these FV430s will free up the Warrior vehicles for reserve firepower status and/or rotation out of theatre. The Updated version is to be called the "Bulldog".

History[edit | edit source]

The FV432 was designed to be the armoured personnel carrier in the FV430 series. Production started in 1962 by GKN Sankey and ended in 1971 giving approximately three thousand vehicles.

The FV432 is an all steel construction. The FV432 chassis is a conventional tracked design with the engine at the front and the driving position to the right. Directly behind the driver position is the vehicle commander's hatch. There is a large split-hatch round opening in the passenger compartment roof and a side-hinged door in the rear for loading and unloading. In common with such an old design there are no firing ports for the troops carried - British Army doctrine has always been to dismount from vehicles to fight. The passenger compartment has five seats either side - these fold up to provide a flat cargo space.

Wading screens were fitted as standard, and the vehicle has a water speed of about 6 km/h when converted for swimming.

The FV432 with infantry regiments is equipped with a pintle-mounted L7 GPMG (if not fitted with the Peak Engineering turret). Vehicles with the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Royal Signals were originally fitted with the L4A4 variant of the Bren light machine gun, they now also use the GPMG. There are two three-barrel smoke dischargers at the front.

A number of surplus vehicles were sold to the Indian Army after being withdrawn from British service. Five others have since been converted by a company in Leicestershire for use in Tank Paintball.[1]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Side view of Brian Bailey's FV432 at Holcot Steam Rally 2008

The FV432 has been produced in three major variants, the Mark 1 (with a Mark 1/1 minor variant) with petrol engines, the Mark 2 with a multi-fuel engine and the Mark 3 with a diesel engine. The Mark 2 minor variant, the 2/1, has its NBC pack flush with the hull side. An uparmoured variant, for use in Iraq and Afghanistan, of the Mark 3 was known as Bulldog. This name appears to be being extended to all Mark 3 version of the FV430

The FV432 has proven to be flexible in use and can be converted from one role to another with reasonable ease using 'installation kits' (IK) or more permanently with minor modifications to the hull. Major or more significant modifications have usually led to a new FV43n number being allocated. In addition to the normal armoured personnel carrier role, it has been used as:

  • a command vehicle (with an additional canvas "penthouse")
  • an ambulance, with facilities for up to four stretchers
  • a cargo carrier, for up to 3,600 kg
  • a communications vehicle
  • a recovery vehicle. Designated as the FV434, it includes a rear cutout to form a "pickup-truck" body to carry a spare engine/other stores with tool store below, an internally-mounted winch, and a 2.5 tonne lift arm. Frequently equipped with the canvas "penthouse".

FV432s used by combat infantry units have also been equipped with:

FV432s used by the Royal Artillery have been equipped with:

  • a battery command post with FACE fire control computer
  • a battery command post with BATES battlefield artillery target engagement system
  • Cymbeline mortar-locating radar
  • sound ranging equipment
  • observation post vehicle ZB 298 radar

FV432s used by the Royal Engineers have been equipped with:

Bulldog[edit | edit source]

The need to upgrade the FV432 to extend its service life further led the MoD to sign an £85m contract with BAE Systems Land Systems to update over 1000 FV 432 to Mark 3 standard. Major changes include a new diesel engine and braking system. Initially, only FV432 and FV434 models were converted but other variants are being considered. The first 500 of the batch were handed over to the British Army in December 2006. For service in Iraq and Afghanistan air-conditioning, enhanced reactive armour and IED jammers have been added. Initially only these further enhanced versions were known by the name Bulldog but the term now appears to be applied to all Mark 3 vehicles.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • M113 - a visually similar American-built armoured personnel carrier
  • MT-LB
  • BTR-50

Pop Culture[edit | edit source]

Preservation[edit | edit source]

A Number of examples are in private hands and occasionally appear at UK Steam fairs & other events that feature Military vehicles.

Some privately owned FV432 have been modified into World War Two vehicles for films and re-enactment. At least one FV432 which had been modified into a WW2 German Stug Assault Gun and appeared in the television mini-series Band of Brothers.

Events[edit | edit source]

Events that have featured examples on display or running.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Howard, Les "Winter Warriors - Across Bosnia with the PBI", ISBN 978-1846240775 Critical account of a British army Peacekeeper operating from FV 432s at the end of the Bosnian civil war

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hardman, Robert (2006-10-23). "Weapons of mass decoration", The Daily Mail. Retrieved on 2008-01-09. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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