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Armoured Vehicle Image Intensifier Periscope - L4A1


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I have recently acquired an MEL L4A1 periscope, but obtaining the specifications, manufacturing history, operating and service manuals etc. is proving to be an absolute nightmare.


I would also like to find out as much as I can about its use prior to 1991. From that date I know it has been 'mothballed'.


Here is the tech info I have managed to discover so far:

LABEL INFORMATION:- “PERISCOPE ARMOURED VEHICLE IMAGE INTENSIFIED L4A1 0S 2416 GA 6650-99-963-0655 MEL / Type 1622 / Serial No. [MPD] 1073 / 1977”, plus top section label – “MEL Type no. UA 1768/00 / Serial MPD 1073”


Other info. from internet - NSN - 6650-99-963-0655 / Associated Part Numbers – 999630655 / 99-963-0655


Part nos. on male 24v power connector – 1) MS 3102E 10SL – 3p 2) 7552-1


There are handwritten Arabic numerals on the mid-section of the device. The last number is very faint; only the top left quarter of a circle can be seen. I assume therefore (unless the final character is actually a letter) that the full number is 8385 or 8389.


I have found various sources of female MIL DIN connectors for the device (I would prefer an angled connector), but would be happy to use a decent second-hand one due to the high cost of new ones.


I am hoping one of you guys can help me find the info I need and point me in the right direction for a connector.

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Here is some more info for you on the periscope's 'recent' history: it was removed along with ordnance from a Russian BMP IFV by a former Royal Engineer on the 'Basra Road'/'Highway of Death' in preparation for the removal of war dead by the Red Cross. If you look carefully at the mid-section you can make out the Arabic numerals.







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The connector is a 'box' type with three pins and a guide lug on the inner side of the threaded section. The lug is located at the 12 o'clock position above the two uppermost pins.


I know that the part no. for one connector that will fit is MS3101E10SL–3S.


The pins need to be cleaned somehow to allow electrical contact. I understand that earlier versions of the periscope were not to be operated in the daytime with the metal irises open wide for fear of damaging the image intensifier. It would be useful to know if that is an issue with the L4A1.

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It's an FV432 drivers night sight, loads of these about.


I met an ex-Bovington Warden on Monday to find out more about it, and he said he reckons it was made for the Chieftain. He said he would try and get some more info from some of his contacts, but advised me in the meantime to get hold of any manuals for it and a letter of authenticity from the ex Royal Engineer who removed it.

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I wasn't looking for one of these it just sort of landed in my lap, and I couldn't turn it down. I want to find out as much as I can about it, get it working, and then if someone out there is clearly more interested in it than I am I may let it go to a good home.


The ex RE I got it from had a case full of Iraqi machine gun sights and other small items, but didn't want to let them go. How often does equipment used during the Gulf Wars come on the market?

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I've been looking for the AESP (Army Equipment Support Publications) getting myself led astray seeing a NSN as the NSC identifies the octad for the AESP. But the device is not included in the AESP system. It is covered in EMERs & Army Code Publications.


The books you need to look for are:


Army Code No. 61108 - User Handbook

Army Code No. 61492 - Parts List


EMER (Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Regulations) INSTRUMENTS

C 280 Data Summary

C 282 Technical Description

C 283 Unit Repairs

C 284 Field & Base Repairs

C 287 Modification Instructions

C 288 Inspection Standards

C 289 Miscellaneous Instructions


Not all of the above EMERs may actually exist. Only C 280 was listed in 2003.


I don't have any of these but at least you now know what to be looking for. It is possible that some of the above may be in the libraries of the REME Museum (Arborfield) or the Tank Museum (Bovington)

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Thanks to you all for your help, especially Clive. I have now heard from Bovington & the REME museum and will update the thread accordingly when I have got any manuals etc. from them.


Off at a tangent a bit now, but I presume the chances of tracing the periscope's path from British manufacturer to the Iraqi army using the serial no. and handwritten codes on the device are not good? I've been told that the Iraqis burnt many of their military records Luftwaffe-style at the end of the First Gulf War.

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I think you'll find that the power connector is the same as that used for penthouse lights. Usually plentiful on eBay!




Some of the penthouse light connectors are two pin, others three pin. Presumably there are different models of light, one without a cabled earth.

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I've never seen a penthouse or map reading fluorescent light that has not had a 3rd pin for the cable screening. As the fluorescent tube relies on an inverter they can radiate a fair bit of RF interference. So I would have thought they should all have 3 pins.


Watch out though the 240v AC lights they look similar but their sockets are larger. But even so with no inverter these still have an earth shield connection ie 3 pins.

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My periscope was removed from one of these (see below). Did the Iraqis perform a good old British-style bodge job to fit them in, or did the manufacturers supply a kind of 'universal clamping kit' for the purpose?


I have not found out yet whether the BMP was a casualty of Warthog or artillery fire (when dead bodies are involved it pays to be careful how and when you ask), but the 'scope's condition suggests that the vehicle had been abandoned along the 'Basra Road' instead. I presume that had it been hit the chances are that everything inside would have been fried.


Russian BMP IFV.jpg

Ex-Iraqi BMP-1 IFV captured by the US forces in Iraq during the First Persian Gulf War.


Source - Wikipedia / http://www.defenseimagery.mil/assetDetails.action?guid=192cfab9fdd081bfd39116b978fb71d909cc07b9

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