this thread is in the same vein as French units that could have been, examining wondrous machines that could very well have graced our computer screens; this thread is different from the French one in one key aspect however, it isn't French and therefore better
If you have found any interesting British prototype vehicles please PM me and I will add them to the OP, these are all I could think of at the moment.
MCV 80 PROTOTYPES
Warrior VERDI-2 (Vehicle Electronic Defence Research Initiative)
A glorious twist on the tried and true Warrior IFV, the VERDI mounts 8 ready to fire Starstreak missiles on either side of RARDEN equipped turret. Troop carrying capability is removed totally and the inside is instead filled with all manner of computer equipment. VERDI-2 also features an extendible, mast mounted camera system for inconspicuous reconnaissance. A gloriously versatile vehicle combining the attributes of an advanced recon vehicle, a fire support platform, a premier SHORAD system and light, long range, high velocity anti tank capabilities. This is an also totally unique vehicle and could have made a fantastic "flavourful" addition to the UK roster.
Warrior LMT-105 (credit for discovery to hansbroger)
An exceptional marriage of the Warrior chassis with the South African Rooikat designed turret mounting a 105mm gun. This vehicle would afford Britain a hard hitting, mobile and reasonably well protected light tank. Such comparably light weight would have made it's deployment by fast moving marine forces possible giving the UK naval deck far more armoured bit than would otherwise be afforded by Scorpion's and their low pressure 76mm guns. It doesn't really fit with the British 'thing' for ponderous, absurdly well protected tanks but that is a good thing, it provides a unique capability to Britain's tank fleet.
Desert and Arctic Warrior
Clearly the RARDEN 30mm was not up to snuff when it came to the export market so the Desert and Arctic Warrior variants are fitted with the DELCO turret as seen on the LAV-25, with the same M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun. The main differences between the Arctic and Desert Warrior is the mounting for two TOW missiles exclusive to the Desert variety and wildly different environmental control elements for their respective environments. 254 Desert Warriors were purchased by Kuwait and the Arctic Warrior was evaluated by Norway. Desert Warrior would have provided what was functionally identical to a Bradley, the uparmoured Warrior MILAN was always a more realistic if less exotic choice.
Does what it says on the tin, this is a Warrior with the turret removed and replaced by TRIGAT missile pods. Such a vehicle would have provided the UK with a vehicle with far superior abilities compared to Swingfire in terms of Range and precision (something it sorely needs) However this vehicle only existed in model form, it's a real Chimera
This was simply a shortened Warrior chassis armed with only a cupola mounted 7.62mm machine gun, designed as a possible replacement for the ageing FV423. Although not very flashy or exciting it would provide the UK a very fast tracked APC with decent protection at low cost outside of the marine deck. A similar vehicle already existed but was moved to the recon section and kept away from the light and specialist troops it was DESIGNED to transport for reasons known only to the great creator
Warrior was also tested with a variety of turrets and weapons such as the CM90, C25 and HOT HTC.
25mm Chain gun
The MCV Chassis could also have formed the basis for the following vehicles.
PROTOTYPE AND EXPORT TANKS
This tank is to Britain what the Centurion is to everyone else, it could be a cheap baseline MBT. It does not have composite armour so protection is similar to other early NATO tanks such as AMX-30 and Leopard 1. It retains the turret from the Vickers MBT (Vijayanta) but has a redesigned hull, more powerful engine and an upgraded FCS.
Vickers (Valiant) Mk.4
The Mk.4 is the progenitor to the Vickers Mk.7 MBT prototype, this machine is roughly comparable to the French AMX-40 in terms of capabilities but I would consider it to be more versatile. It is just a fast with a top speed of 70km/h (provided with a 950hp engine) but has the luxury of a selection of guns, it can mount the ubiquitous German L44, the stately British L11A5 or even the French GIAT CN-120 F1 should the customer wish it. Versions existed both with and without Chobham armour so protection levels may vary. The first prototype was completed in 1979 meaning a CAT C tank with exceptional mobility and protection equivalent to that of earlier Chieftains. The Mk.4 also had a fully digital fire control system, revolutionary at the time. I would have considered this an exceptionally useful and interesting addition to the UK's armoured force.
The VFM-5 was a prototype light export tank borrowing from the design of the FMC XM8 Buford but with a simpler design to reduce cost. This is essentially a poor man's M8 AGS, no auto-loader here I'm afraid. Extremely fast and air portable by C-130 the VFM-5 would have filled out quite a niche role in the British deck, an airborne cavalry tank. And because it was offered for export it could be used to beef up Commonwealth forces too.
The Mk.7 is and evolution of the earlier Vickers Valiant MBT but superior in every aspect. Enhanced Chobham over the frontal arc offers more protection, a 1,500 horse power from Germany delivered slightly more speed and the Leopard 2 hull offered greater cross country mobility. The turret is a more developed version of that found on the Mk.4 and can mount the same array of 120mm guns but with more formidable modern ammunition. Because of it's ability to mount guns able to fire NATO standard rounds I would say this tank had a lot to offer to the British deck with it's superior rate of fire and armour penetration.
The Chieftain 900 was designed as a test bed for Chobham armour and as a possible successor to the Chieftain Mk.12. It featured a more advanced FCS and lighter weight thanks to it's advanced composite armour meaning slightly better mobility. It would have made a perfect bridge between the Chieftain Mk.11 and the Challenger 1 Mk.1 in the UK deck.
Vickers Mk.11 LRPV (hansbroger again!)
This a wheeled tank destroyer and FSV based on the Vickers Valkyr but with a turret from our old friend the VFM-5 plopped on the roof. It should be considered highly unique because 'wheels' and because it retains it's ability to transport infantry even with the large turret arrangement (although with diminished capacity meaning only smaller teams can be carried). High speed and good precision make this a major benefit to any motorized deck.
The PLC is a highly modified Stormer chassis armed with the French TS-90 high velocity 90mm gun. It is light weight at 12.9 tons and as a result is air transportable and as a result would be available to airborne decks as a light tank or tank destroyer. The PLC is also immune to 30mm cannon fire over the frontal arc while maintaining the mobility of the Stormer chassis. Supposedly stealth technologies were also integrated into the vehicle. Overall this would have been a most welcome addition to the family, alas it was not to be.
Striker SWIG (Swingfire With Improved Guidance)
This vehicle was first produced on the very edge of the prototype limit in 1995, it was an extreme overhaul of the CVRT Striker tank destroyer. The biggest and most important upgrade was the total replacement of all analogue electronics with digital systems. The more modern electronic systems allowed for a guidance upgrade from MCLOS to ACLOS (Automatic Command to Line Of Sight) this system meant that all the operator had to do was designate the target and the system would do the rest. Essentially it was fire and forget for the operator although LoS had to be retained for it to function. 60 Such vehicles were delivered to the British Army by 1996, the SWIG upgrade could give the UK the high accuracy ground based ATGM it is in need of.
This was an APC designed for export by GNK Sankey in the 90's but as an APC it holds little interest as we already have Saxon. The version pictures above is a very light weight tank destroyer variant armed with the same Cockerill Mk.III as found on the Scorpion 90. Because this vehicle is light weight and wheeled it could be considered an air transportable tank destroyer and because of this had quite a bit to offer the UK deck. It also features a more modern FCS than that found on the Scorpion meaning greater precision.
It's somewhat antiquated but looks like great fun, the Conway was a prototype tank destroyer based on the hulls of the Conqueror and Centurion (pictured above a centurion version). Conway's party piece is it's 183mm auto loading gun! a weapon so large that if the tank attempted full turret rotation it would tip over...
It was slow and the super structure was poorly armoured and angled, the FCS would also be massively obsolete by Wargame standards but this weapon would have monstrous suppression and the ability to totally wreck whatever it managed to hit at ranges unthinkable to a 105 or 120mm armed machine. Such a heavy shell would also be indispensable in a fire support situation against an entrenched enemy.
The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a supersonic strike and reconnaissance aircraft. The main objective of the TSR-2 was to penetrate a heavily defended front line at low altitudes and extremely high speeds in order destroy high value targets in the enemy's rear with either conventional or nuclear weapons. Although it was designed in the 1960's it made use of some of the most advanced aviation technology of the period, this made the TSR-2 the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its given field. This aircraft would have performance similar to the F-111F in Wargame with a very high speed and very large bomb load giving the UK the ability to saturate a large area with high explosives extremely quickly, an invaluable capability.
WAH-64 (AugustaWestland Apache)
In 1993 bidding started for the new British army attack helicopter program, and this magnificent machine was the victor beating the Tiger, SuperCobra, Comanche and Mangusta. The contract for the production of these helicopters were signed in 1996 putting it just in time frame. This British version of the Apache differed from the US version in a few key aspects, it utilised a pair of Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 01/12 engines instead of the original General Electric T700-GE-701C delivering 420 extra horse power overall. The WAH-64 also has folding rotor blades enabling it to operate from Royal Navy ships, this is especially important because it means the British Marine deck get a powerful attack helicopter for support with exceptional AT capabilities making it less vunerable to heavy armour. Sensors and avionics were also changed and upgraded to meet British requirements. The Hydra 70 was also dropped in favour of the superior CRV-7 which comes in High explosive, Kinetic penetrator and cluster munition flavours! Making this helicopter more versatile than the all Hellfire armed US Apache.
NAVAL UNITS (Lest we Forget )
This is without a doubt the hardest section to write, not because it is particularly difficult to find information but because it represents the biggest Turkey Slap Britain has yet received in terms of lost units and what can only be described as criminal under representation but oh well, stiff upper lip and all that Disclaimer: I am not suggesting all of these should have been included in the game, or even half of them, just that they were all pretty much a better choice than the Type 21...
Brutoni is responsible for pretty much all of the information and images for this section.
Type 12 (Leander Class)
More of a corvette than a Frigate the Leander Class in it's original form represents the lower end of Royal Navy capabilities. Low Displacement and procurement cost would have made it an ideal ship of the line for the escort of more valuable vessels, and support ship for landing operations thanks for it's ability to operate in green water close to shore and dual 4.5 inch guns. The first batch mounted no air defence or anti ship missiles however which greatly limited it's utility in open waters.
This upgrade of the Type 12 did away with the dual 4.5 inch guns and fitted 4 Exocets in their place as well as 3 launchers for the infamous Sea Cat missile. Procurement cost would have remained low however, such a vessel would have had the same ASW and AA capabilities as the larger Type 21 but in a smaller, more available, more affordable platform. This variant of the Leander class is far more suited to operations against enemy ships and aircraft less so against land targets.
Broad Beam Conversion
Bigger badder Leander weighing 1800 tons more than the base model, a general enhancement of the earlier Exocet conversion with more powerful sensors and an upgraded AA suite in the form of a 6 pack Sea Wolf launcher. The new AA missile would perform exceptionally in the short range air defence role and as the ships CIWS. This would make an ideal escort for something like the Type 22 or 42 but at a greater cost than even the Type 21.
Type 22 (Broadsword class)
Although designed as a large anti-submarine frigate I believe the Type 22 would have been an invaluable addition to the UK's line up even in it's first form. It's considerable size would have given it greater resistance to damage compared to the Type 21 as well as a marked advantage in anti aircraft firepower with four 20mm and two 40mm cannons as well as 2 6 cell Sea Wolf Launchers each with their own directors allowing for multiple targets to be engages simultaneously. The ship retains the quad Exocet arrangement from the Leander and Type 21.
Type 22 Batch 3
In Brutoni's own words, this was a beast of a frigate! It was fitted with extensive command and control facilities (making it superb candidate for command ship status) and had much improved acceleration to top speed. This Batch also had an impressive suite of electronic counter measures that could be considered equal to that of the more modern Type 23 making missile avoidance more of a likelihood. A Vickers 4.5inch/55 Mk8 naval gun has been added for delivery of precision fire onto land and sea targets and the elderly quad Exocet arrangement has been replace with a pair of quad cell Harpoon launchers, these changes massively improve the ASW characteristics of the ship. Hard kill measures against missiles are also very formidable with 12 ready to fire Sea Wolf missiles and a 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS. A very well defended tub indeed!
Type 23 (Duke Class)
More modern, lighter and faster than the Type 22 the Duke class is an excellent general purpose ship. In Wargame terms it provides very similar offensive capabilities to the Type 22 but is cheaper and has upgraded AA capabilities with it's rapid fire and deadly accurate Vertically launched Sea Wolf. Although lacking gun CIWS the high rate of fire of it's point defence missiles should nearly make up for it. A stretched prototype version was planed with an additional VLS and 2 Goalkeepers making this relatively small ship one of the best defended vessels in the world. The Duke class is another unit which would have helped the UK deck to no end.
Compared to the Type 21 Amazon class the County class are much larger and formidably armed with twin 4.5 inch guns, 4 Exocet missiles, Sea Slug missile launcher and 2 quad Sea Cat launchers. This is the first British ship with true long range AA missiles, which while antiquated against modern aircraft would pose as a powerful deterrent thanks to their long reach and heavy warhead. And the Sea Cat despite being largely obsolete can still be effective thanks to their great numbers. If the UK was still to get only a single ship in Wargame the County would still be a far Superior choice to the Amazon class.