Anticipated by many, the FV 438 Swingfire is the first non-premium ATGM-equipped vehicle in the British lineup.
This fast, nimble - but hard-hitting - armoured vehicle will surely be favourite amongst the Queen’s loyal subjects.
Developed in the early 1960’s, “Swingfire” was a relatively slow missile that would allow directional changes of 45 degrees on the horizontal and 20 degrees of elevation which created the apt name. It was a 60 pound (27 kg), 3.5 ft (1 m) long rocket with range of 2.5 miles (4 km), capable of penetrating up to 500 mm of enemy armour. The FV 438 was a British light anti-tank vehicle, equipped with the wired-guided “Swingfire” missile. The 438’s primary weapon was launched through two Swingfire ATGM launchers, or bins, which could be reloaded from inside the vehicle. Apart from the 2 missiles stored in launchers, it could carry up to 12 additional reloads. Its only secondary armament was a 7.62 mm M1919 General Purpose Machine-Gun.
FV 438 Swingfire was based on the FV432 armoured personnel carrier, a vehicle that was very lightly armoured - it was meant to deliver its crew to combat, while keeping it protected from machine-gun fire. This platform was used for several other modifications amongst which is its sister vehicle already in game - the Falcon. FV 438 “Swingfire” was powered by a Rolls-Royce K60 multifuel engine with maximum of 240 horsepower. It was a quick and nimble vehicle with weight slightly exceeding 16 tons, which could reach up to 32 mph (52 km/h).
Although the Swingfire missile was used during various engagements on other platforms, the 438 carrier was never used in combat and was decommissioned in the 90’s. The vehicle was built in rather smaller numbers.
In the game, FV 438 “Swingfire” will be located as the first ATGM-equipped vehicle on Tier 5 within the British lineup to cope with other countries already armed by similar vehicles. While playing this vehicle, tankers should have on mind it’s very lightly armoured - the least of all ATGM carriers. It can be penetrated by any machine-gun fire from certain distances.
Its playstyle will be similar to Raketenjagdpanzer 2, but should be treated even more gently. Hit & run tactics is where the vehicle will excell most. Hide, locate the enemy, hit him with your powerful missile and relocate, while avoid being hit - or even better, spotted. If the situation is looking very bad - and you are flanked by lightly-armoured enemy vehicle or attacked from above, you can return fire from the top-mounted M1919 Machine-gun, but don’t rely on it - there are few vehicles in the game that can be dealt with by similar armament.
Luckily - the thin armour of your vehicle can be used to your advantage with its low weight. Relocate often, keep the distance between you and your enemy and be aware of your surroundings. Light armour and a vehicle packed with 14 high-calibre explosive missiles do not go well together when used in the first line. The FV 438 will be an excellent support vehicle. Apart from the obvious armour drawbacks, the vehicle dispenses powerful guided armament that perfectly hides the weaknesses of the carrier. We believe that this vehicle will surely find its fans amongst dedicated players that favour the taste of British vehicles.
The War Thunder Team