The Saladin was a six-wheeled armoured car built by Alvis, and fitted with a 76mm gun and was used by the 14th/20th Kings Hussars in Libya (1960’s), Singapore (1970), Hong Kong (1970 – 1973) and Northern Ireland (1973).

A Saladin of the 14th/20th King’s Hussars being loading onboard ship in 1970

The Saladin was the armoured car of Alvis’ FV600 series, using similar suspension and drive train components to the Saracen armoured personnel carrier, Stalwart high mobility load carrier and Salamander fire tender. It is named after the warrior Saladin, Alvis using names beginning with an “S” for the whole range of FV600 vehicles.

Libya 1960’s – a Saladin of the 14th/20th King’s Hussars whilst on manoeuvres / patrol

The Saladin was widely used by the Sultan of Oman armed forces throughout the Dhofar conflict and saw extensive action during the period 1972 to 1976, supporting ground forces and on convoy patrol. Often crewed by British servicemen (loan soldiers) and Omani servicemen, the Sultan’s Armoured Car Squadron consisted of an estimated 36 Saladins. They saw extensive action supporting troops from the British SAS, Oman Firqa, Oman regulars and Iranian forces in the conflict with the Adoo. The squadron’s vehicles were regularly attacked by Katyusha rockets, anti-tank mines, rocket propelled grenades and light and heavy machine gun fire. Many vehicles were mined and repaired and after the end of the conflict in 1976 the Saladin remained in service until the early 1980s.

Queens birthday parade Hong Kong 72, The 14th/20th King's Hussars
The 14th/20th King’s Hussars during the Queens Birthday Parade Hong Kong 1972

The Saladin was used by B Squadron The 16th/5th Lancers during their defence of Nicosia airport in 1974 and subsequent armed recce operations under the banner of the UN. During the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Saladins were filmed on the streets of Kuwait City defending Kuwait against Iraqi forces.

A Saladin of the 14th/20th King’s Hussars carrying out a dawn landing off HMS Intrepid during a beach landing exercise in Hong Kong circa 1972 / 1973

Saladin armoured cars could be seen in the streets of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa in the 2009 coup against President Manuel Zelaya.

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