The Sabre was originally in the game and was going to be a reward from the Lords Of War game mode that actually never made it into the game, so its kind of sat there almost unused, at least from the point of view of being a playable vehicle. It did make it in as a vehicle that the AI use in PvE though, so the model hasn’t sat there being completely unused.
The Sabre itself was actually designed as a hybrid vehicle, supposed to take on the role of both the 76mm armed Scorpion and the FV721 Fox, both of which were taken out of service and replaced with the Sabre. It was pretty much nothing more than an aging scorpion hull with the fox’s turret mounted onto it. The Sabre really did not last very long however, phased out of service after only 9 years, but bearing in mind it was trying to reuse 40 year old components, you could argue it was fairly successful in what it did. It did get some use while peacekeeping in former Yugoslavia, and a very limited amount of use during the Iraq war. Now however, its role is filled by another vehicle, the Scimitar 2, which is currently in service with the British Army.
So what can you expect from it if you get your hands on it? Well like I said earlier, its a tier 6 premium armored fighting vehicle armed with missiles and a cannon. I know thats a very simplistic look at it, so lets look more in depth at the vehicle and what you can expect from it.
Well lets start off with the vehicles strongest feature, the missiles, which as far as I could actually tell, it never had on the real vehicle. These are pretty much ripped straight off of the tier 6 Swingfire, although it doesn’t get the upgraded missiles that the Swingfire does, so it gets the ones with 700 damage and 625 penetration, instead of 700 and 700. Honestly though, this doesn’t affect it too much in reality, its still more than enough to deal with certainly any lighter targets, plus MBTs frontally provided you are aiming for weakspots. Aiming for those weakspots though can be rather tricky though, because it has the same kind of firing mechanism as the Swingfire, which is that they fire almost straight up, from the tubes on the back of the vehicle. This is nice for some top down attacks on things like engine beds of heavier vehicles or up and over cover, which I use it fairly often for, but it does make it kind of tricky to aim for specific spots, especially lower plates, that other vehicles with ATGMs that fire horizontally can do, such as the BMP or the Fox for example.
The 30mm Rarden Autocannon that it gets really isn’t anything to write home about. Its actually worse than the same gun on the Scimitar at tier 2 as well as the Fox also at tier 6, which is even funnier since its even the same turret as on the Fox. Both of those vehicles get 45 damage and 150 penetration, while the Scimitar has 45 damage and 125 penetration for some reason that honestly, I can’t work out. It really could do with that 25 extra pen that the other vehicles with the same gun get, especially since its got to complete with the constant firing BMP3 which has slightly less damage, but the same penetration, plus doesn’t have to reload every 6 shots, a feature that honestly I do like on the Rarden because it gives the gun a little character, but it needs to be given slightly better stats to compensate for that, which it doesn’t really.
One thing that the Sabre does well is in its role as a scout. With higher camo rating than either the BMP3 or the Fox, it can stay hidden while firing extremely well, especially if you combine that with some of the upcoming camo skills in the new commander tree, making it extremely difficult to spot. Which is good, because it has exactly the same view range as a BMP3 of 430m and that means it actually has 10 less metres of view range than the Fox. So you are going to need that extra camo to remain unspotted if you want to be hiding in a bush throwing missiles at the enemy.
When you do get spotted though, you do have the mobility to relocate, top speed of a shade under 80kph isn’t even close to that of the fox with its 104, but is faster than the BMP3, although only just. Acceleration between the Sabre and the BMP is pretty similar, both around 2.9 seconds to 32kph, although once again the superior engine in the fox means that despite it being slightly heavier, it accelerates quite a bit faster taking just 1.7 seconds to hit 32kph.
So that brings me to this, my conclusion, my overall opinion on the Sabre. Do I like it, do I think its a good vehicle, and the answer is that yes, I think its a good vehicle. While no, on paper its not as good as either the BMP 3 or the Fox, with it falling short in many regards when you compare the Sabre against those, that doesn’t mean that its a bad vehicle, just not as good as those two.
Properly fitted, with its fantastic camo plus the telescopic lenses mark 2 and maybe the electro-optical absorbing paint, you can raise your view range up to 500 metres while you are stopped, plus have 52% camo on top of that. This means you can sit at range, lobbing missiles at anything you spot, outspotting everything, while having the mobility to shoot and scoot, moving after you get spotted. This reminds me a lot of the old school Swingfire, which used to be able to carry the entire back end of a game because it was hard to spot, yet fast enough to relocate a lot, and could throw missiles in your direction at a crazy rate. It was super frustrating to fight against, yet was super effective, and the sabre can also do that.
I had a lot of fun in the Sabre, and while statisticly I would have been better off in a BMP or the Fox, I didn’t at any point wish that I was. I like this little thing quite a bit, and maybe bring british I am slightly biased, but honestly, its a good little machine if you play it right. I play it far too aggressively, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but its a lot of fun to play with. The only real criticism of it that I have honestly is that I would like to see that Rarden cannon regain that extra 25mm of penetration, since honestly, it doesn’t make sense to be worse than literally exactly the same gun on the other vehicles. The other differences between it and the fox are down to historical accuracy, mostly the engine being straight up worse than the foxs, but the cannon is something I would like to see remedied.
I’m not 100% sure how the Sabre will make it into the game, whether it might be a reward vehicle for an upcoming stage of the campaign, I have no idea, but honestly, I know I’ll be grinding my butt off to try and get a hold of this fun little machine.