Russians captured 1976 UK FV104 Samaritan evacuation vehicle

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On May 18, the Russian Ministry of Defense unveiled their latest captured treasure: a damaged FV104 Samaritan, a medical evacuation vehicle from the British Army. This addition to their collection follows its capture by the motorized rifle brigade of troop group Vostok. 

Photo credit: Izvestia

The Russian forces swiftly transported the FV104 Samaritan to the rear for restoration. After repair work, they are gearing up to showcase this foreign vehicle alongside other captured assets from the Ukrainian Armed Forces [UAF]. 

The daring night-time evacuation saw personnel from the recovery team hauling the vehicle away under cover of darkness. Once secure, it was delivered to the brigade’s repair unit for quick fixes and routine maintenance. The FV104 Samaritan, a part of the armored Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance [tracked] family, has been in service with the British Armed Forces since 1976 and can carry up to six people.

‘It is a rare collector’s item’

“Great Britain supplied this equipment to Ukraine. Out of the total 100 machines produced, this is one of them, making it a rare collector’s item that’s highly sought after. Its history is long and storied, dating back to the 1970s. Manufactured in Great Britain, it can evacuate four people, including two crew members, and features anti-mine protection—an essential advantage for the crew,” stated the specialist in automotive equipment repair from the army corps of the Vostok troop group, identified by the call sign German. 

On May 17, Sergey Shaleny, the deputy head of the Main Armored Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense, spoke to “Izvestia” regarding the vulnerabilities of Western equipment captured during a special military operation [SVO]. He emphasized that the captured specimens, currently on display in Moscow at an exhibition on Poklonnaya Gora, do not offer any significant advantages over Russian military machines.

That same day, the Russian military executed an operation to recover a captured German-made Marder infantry fighting vehicle [IFV] from the contact line. This nighttime operation was meticulously planned. Before the extraction, the military conducted a reconnaissance of the area. Engineers built a new road, neutralized enemy mines, and secured the route to access the vehicle.

Photo by Alf Van Beem

About FV104 Samaritan

The FV104 Samaritan is a specialized armored vehicle developed by the British Army. It is part of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance [Tracked] or CVR[T] family, which includes various models designed for different roles on the battlefield. The Samaritan specifically serves as an armored ambulance, providing medical evacuation capabilities under combat conditions.

In terms of dimensions, the FV104 Samaritan has a length of approximately 4.8 meters [15.75 feet], a width of 2.2 meters [7.22 feet], and a height of 2.1 meters [6.89 feet]. Its compact size allows it to navigate through challenging terrains while offering protection to its occupants.

The drivetrain of the FV104 Samaritan is built around a robust engine and transmission system. It is powered by a Jaguar J60 4.2-liter 6-cylinder gasoline engine, which produces around 195 horsepower. This engine is coupled with a David Brown TN15D automatic transmission, providing the vehicle with reliable performance and maneuverability.

Medical and support equipment

Technical characteristics of the FV104 Samaritan include a maximum road speed of about 72 km/h [45 mph] and an operational range of approximately 483 kilometers [300 miles] on a full tank of fuel.  The  vehicle’s armor provides protection against small arms fire and shell splinters, ensuring the safety of both  the crew and the patients it transports. 

The FV104 Samaritan is equipped with various types of medical and support equipment. Inside, it features stretcher racks, seating for medical personnel, and storage for medical supplies. The vehicle is designed to carry up to four stretcher patients or a combination of seated and stretcher patients, depending on the  mission’s requirements. 

In addition to its medical equipment, the FV104 Samaritan includes standard components found in other CVR[T] vehicles. These components encompass a radio communication system for coordination with other units, night vision equipment for operations in low-light conditions, and a fire suppression system to enhance crew safety in case of emergencies.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

Photo credit: Twitter

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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