I came across this web site where someone was trying to find out details of the registration numbers of the FSA Rapier Launcher trailers and the possible source of a Rapier generator Set.
As I am one of the few ex B.Ae. engineers left who was involved in the design and development of the Rapier system, in particular the electrical power generating systems. I have in recent years taken an interest in recording some of its long history in service. Next year 2021 marks the 50 th Anniversary of the into service date of the missile and it has not changed much in this time. There have been a number of versions of the ground equipment which have all been vehicle mounted, so I think can be classed as a military vehicle so is appropriate for this site.
The main versions of Rapier are, Field Standard A ( FSA), evolving into FSB1 & 2, Tracked, originally developed for Iran but was stopped when the revolution took place, subsequently taken up by M.O.D. and Field Standard C ( FSC ) this latter one I understand is still in service but soon to be be replaced by Landceptor. In to day's money it is estimated that Rapier has generated something like eight billion pounds worth of work for the UK defence industry.
I have for the last 8 years been very involved in the Aerospace Bristol museum in Bristol in restoring, acquiring and displaying the guided weapon products that were designed and produced at the Filton factory where I worked for 32 years. Unfortunately the management of the museum are besotted with Concorde and have a streak of political correctness running through them as far as weapons are concerned, so it is an uphill battle to get them to display the equipment we have. Which is a complete FSB1 system, launcher, radar tracker, optical tracker, pointing stick and S.E.Z., a Tracked Rapier and a FSC Launcher. At present only the Launcher less generator set, optical tracker and S.E.Z. are on display.
I have attached pictures of the FSB items on display and of probably the only example of the FSC launcher that will ever be released by the M.O.D. unfortunately this has no internal working parts but externally is in excellent condition as it was re painted by MBDA approximately 2 years ago. As AB are not eager to display the FSC launcher it resides in a field near Bristol and its future is uncertain.
There are not many of us left now, but at the end of the 1950's I was conscripted National Serviceman ( there were no women involved in those days) into the Royal Air Force where I became an Air Wireless Fitter but never saw an operational aircraft, as I was posted to RAF Mountbatten in Plymouth where the last activities of the sea going RAF were stationed, in very nice billets overlooking Plymouth Sound. In those days there were sometimes visits by Atlantic liners, it was before the jet civil aircraft had taken over totally.