Operation Panther's Claw

This scimitar CVR(T) of the Light Dragoons was part of the 3rd phase of the operation started on 3rd July 2009. The aim was to clear and secure the Malgir and Babaji areas of insurgents to encourage the population to vote in the elections in August of that year. More than 700 British soldiers were involved in the Battlegroup operation which was called Panther's Claw (in Pashtu it is Panchai Palang), and 300 personnel from the Afghan National Security Force. This was the main focus of Operation Herrick 10. The British soldiers were of the Light Dragoons, commanded by Lt-Col Gus Fair, and the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment. The Scimitar has the extra protection of anti-RPG frames and perforated plates, as the armour has not been increased. Without the frames the vehicle is only protected against 14.5mm heavy machine gun fire over the frontal arc and 7.76mm rounds over the remainder of the tank. The frames are also draped with camouflage material. The engine is a 200bhp Perkins turbo-charged diesel.

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by Stephen Luscombe