Land Weapons

Self-Propelled Gun (1965)




The Abbot was Britain's only domestically-designed self-propelled gun of the Cold War, meant to replace the venerable, wartime-era Sexton SPGs that remained in service as late as the 1960s. The Abbot was based on the FV432 family of APCs, sharing a similar chassis, powertrain, and suspension, and was characterized by an all-welded hull and a conventional layout with the driver seated at the front right as well as a removable multi-fuel powerplant in the rear. The turret houses a 105-mm L13A1 gun which was compatible with the caliber of most of the British Army's towed artillery at the time, and also served as an alternative to the 155-mm caliber of the US-built M109 which entered service in the UK at the same time. The gun had a range of 17 km and could fire up to 12 rounds per minute. Defensive armament consisted of a 7.62-mm Bren light machine gun in the commander's cupola. The Abbot was amphibious thanks to a flotation screen, and was also provided with NBC protection. The turret featured powered traverse but manual elevation, in addition to powered rammer. The Abbot was deployed to Royal Artillery regiments in the UK and Germany where they served for much of the second-half of the Cold War, while a knocked-down version was offered to India, it's only export customer. However, it did not see active service with the British Army and was eventually replaced by the AS-90.

The first prototype of the FV433 Abbot was ready in 1961 with production beginning three years later in 1964. There were no major variants aside from the V/E Abbot (or Value-Engineered) which was offered to India and which lacked the original's flotation screen, powered traverse, NBC protection and defensive-armament, among other features. A more advanced version known as the Falcon was cancelled.

Preceded by:

Sexton (1943)

Succeeded by:

AS-90 (1993)


DesignAbbotV/E Abbot
TypeSelf-Propelled GunSelf-Propelled Gun
Length (w/Gun)5.71 m (5.84 m)5.33 m (5.71 m)
Width2.641 m2.641 m
Height2.489 m2.489 m
Ground Clearance0.406 m0.406 m
Track2.184 m2.184 m
Track Width343 mm343 mm
Track on Ground2.844 m2.844 m
Combat16,556 kg15,900 kg
Empty14,878 kg14,200 kg
Ground Pressure0.89 kg/cm²0.81 kg/cm²
SuspensionTorsion barTorsion bar
Speed (Off-Road)48 km/h48 km/h
Range (Off-Road)390 km390 km
Fording1.22 m1.12 m
Vertical Obstacle0.61 m0.61 m
Trench2.06 m2.06 m
Side Slope30%30%
Engine1 x 240-hp
K60 Mk 4G
1 x 213-hp
K60 Mk 60G/1
FuelMulti-fuel: 386 LMulti-fuel: 386 L
Power/Weight14.50 hp/t13.40 hp/t
Main1 x 105-mm

Field Gun
↑ 70° / ↓ -5° / ↔ 360°
1 x 105-mm

Field Gun
↑ 70° / ↓ -5° / ↔ 360°
1 x 7.62-mm
L4A4 Bren MG
Ammo7.62-mm: 1,200
Thickness6 - 12 mm6 - 12 mm
Max Effective10 - 12 mm RHAe10 - 12 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front12 mm12 mm
Hull Lower Front12 mm12 mm
Hull Upper Sides12 mm12 mm
Hull Lower Sides12 mm12 mm
Hull Upper Rear10 mm10 mm
Hull Lower Rear10 mm10 mm
Hull Top10 mm10 mm
Hull Bottom6 mm6 mm
Turret Front10 mm10 mm
Turret Sides10 mm10 mm
Turret Rear10 mm10 mm
Turret Top12 mm12 mm