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Test Vehicle TV.1000 - The ultimate off-roader?

CJGibson

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In RE Smith's British Army Vehicles and Equipment (Ian Allan, 1964) There is an entry for the "T.V.1000". Described as a 6x6, differentially steered test vehicle powered by a 535bhp Meteorite petrol engine dating from 1959. It is continues: "one of the most powerful wheel vehicles then in existence." It was developed by FVRDE and MEXE (Military Engineering eXperimental Establishment).

I initially thought this led to the Stalwart or Saracen six-wheeled vehicles, but it soon became clear that this was a different breed, possibly the ultimate off-road / school run machine. A web-check revealed nothing on this, so does anyone know what happened to this and whether it formed the basis of any other vehicles. I can supply pics if anyone wants a couple emailed to them. (it is an Ian Allan publication after all)

Something else mentioned in this book is the "Great Eastern Ramp" Bridge that is shot across a gap. How did this work (apart from light blue touch paper, retreat to safe distance...) and what motors did it use?

Thanks

KB
 

starviking

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Kelly Bushings said:
In RE Smith's British Army Vehicles and Equipment (Ian Allan, 1964) There is an entry for the "T.V.1000". Described as a 6x6, differentially steered test vehicle powered by a 535bhp Meteorite petrol engine dating from 1959. It is continues: "one of the most powerful wheel vehicles then in existence." It was developed by FVRDE and MEXE (Military Engineering eXperimental Establishment).

I initially thought this led to the Stalwart or Saracen six-wheeled vehicles, but it soon became clear that this was a different breed, possibly the ultimate off-road / school run machine. A web-check revealed nothing on this, so does anyone know what happened to this and whether it formed the basis of any other vehicles. I can supply pics if anyone wants a couple emailed to them. (it is an Ian Allan publication after all)

Something else mentioned in this book is the "Great Eastern Ramp" Bridge that is shot across a gap. How did this work (apart from light blue touch paper, retreat to safe distance...) and what motors did it use?

Thanks

KB

From Tanknet http://www.tank-net.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t9253.html we get this from a poster named hojutsuka


There have been multiple efforts to develop skid-steered wheeled vehicles post World War II. In Britain, the TV 1000 was designed in 1956-57. This was a 6 wheeled, skid-steered vehicle weighing 20 tonnes, built for testing skid-steering. It was tested in 1964 at Tyneham by the RAC School of Tank Technology. It did not prove a success, and the proposal to build a 13.6 tonne 6 wheeled, skid-steered reconnaissance vehicle (the AVR, or Armoured Vehicle, Reconnaissance) was abandoned.
 

robunos

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The ultimate off-roader? still thiink that's the lockheed twister, or maybe even the "jumping jeep"? regarding the Churchill Great Eastern, page 186, "british tanks and fighting vehicles 1914-1945" B.T.White ian allan publications, 1971. there is a picture, ok to scan and post, overscan?, plus a description of how it operated, it used 3 inch electrically fired rockets to propel the bridge up and over the obstacle. apparantly it ws deployed but not used in action.

Robin
 

robunos

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here's the photo from B.T. White's book, and another one i found from "AFV Weapons Series, Profile Book 3, 79th Armoured Division hobo's funnies", Nigel Duncan, showing the ramp deployed.
 

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CJGibson

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Thanks Rubonos,
Must've been a spectacular sight. Speaking of Hobart's Funnies, are there any recent books anyone could recommend on them. I recall a series of articles in Airfix Magazine in the 1970s, but wondered if any updated work was available.

Thanks

KB
 

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Starviking said:
we get this from a poster named hojutsuka
There have been multiple efforts to develop skid-steered wheeled vehicles post World War II. In Britain, the TV 1000 was designed in 1956-57. This was a 6 wheeled, skid-steered vehicle weighing 20 tonnes, built for testing skid-steering. It was tested in 1964 at Tyneham by the RAC School of Tank Technology. It did not prove a success, and the proposal to build a 13.6 tonne 6 wheeled, skid-steered reconnaissance vehicle (the AVR, or Armoured Vehicle, Reconnaissance) was abandoned.
This doesn't agree for dates or reasons with the Profile No 34 for the Scorpion series, by Richard Ogorkiewicz where it says:
 

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CJGibson

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16 Swingfire! Were BAC (GW ) on the design team? Given the time scales, would this vehicle / missile combination have been intended for the same requirement as (or redraft of) the cancelled FV.426 / Orange William system?

KB
 

Mike Pryce

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Here is the TV1000:

http://www.tankmuseum.co.uk/colhid_0502.html

Of course, I would argue the 'ultimate off-roader' is the Harrier!
 

smurf

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Four well-illustrated pages on TV-1000 Rhino by David Fletcher of the Tank Museum in Classic Military Vehicles No13, June 2002 p27
More on the AVR in Chapter One of The Scorpion Family by George Forty [ex Tank Museum]
with diagrams [publisher Ian Allan 1983]
 

smurf

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Sorry cut off before complete.
George Forty's info refers to the slightly later stage around 1964 when Scorpion was being developed
They are the c5ton set, not the earlier 13 ton vehicle.
 

Petrus

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smurf said:
This doesn't agree for dates or reasons with the Profile No 34 for the Scorpion series, by Richard Ogorkiewicz where it says:

I wonder where the driver was to be seated.

By the way, according to the Osprey's 'Scorpion Reconnaissance Vehice 1972-1994' after the AVR project was dropped a new design was developed. This is what it said on that:

"The proposed chassis was used as the basis for a family of Lightweight High Mobility Tracked Vehicles that would be truly airportable, with any three being carried in an Argosy transport aircraft. At a maximum weight of 4.5 tons, there were four variants in the family including a 120mm recoilless rifle carrier; a reconnaissance detachment carrier; a two-stretcher ambulance and an anti-APC infantry support carrier".

Do you know anything more about the LHMTV? I would be really grateful for any pictures showing the projected vehicles.

Best regards,
Piotr
 

smurf

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I wonder where the driver was to be seated.
Of which vehicle?
the LHMTV?
The text and diagrams of Forty's book on the Scorpion Family are these.
ISBN0 7110 1175 3 Publisher Ian Allan.
The Profile I mentioned has pictures of models of some of them. I'll see what I can do.
 

Petrus

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Lots of thanks! It's very interesting. I didn't know that the British worked on designs similar in concept to the French ELC (Engine Legere de Combat). Especially the model sporting a 120mm gun in the trunion turret is almost identical to a vehicle designated as the ELC Even (take a look at http://www.chars-francais.net/archives/even_elc.htm).

By the way, do you have those pictures coming from Forty's book? If so, could you please send them in?

As for the position of the driver I meant the AVR. My thinking is that the driver was seated at the turret's right and the turret was fixed in 12 o'clock position when the vehicle was on the move. During a stop it could be traversed, and the gun aimed at a target. I wouldn't be surprised if the driver acted as a gunner as well. But perhaps that role came to the vehicle's commander?
Another French design, the AMX-ELC (http://www.chars-francais.net/archives/amx_elc.htm) had a similar feature. Apparently the designers from both France and Britain had similar thoughts at the time.

Best regards,
Piotr

PS. Yet another question has just came to my mind. The LHMTV was to be lightweight, tracked, and high-mobility vehicle, but was it to be an ARMOURED vehicle?
 

smurf

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By the way, do you have those pictures coming from Forty's book? If so, could you please send them in?
You have forgotten the copyright issue with Ian Allen publishers.
 

Petrus

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To me it seems unlikely that the gun in the turret was a 120mm recoilless gun. It looks as if it were a normal, non-recoilless, gun.

What do you think about that?

Piotr
 

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Rickshaw

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Actually, a trunnioned turret with a RCL mounted in it allows quite a light AFV to be built. The British at the time had developed an autoloading 120mm RCL using a revolver type loading system. I suspect this vehicle would have used it.

I remember BTW seeing film of the TV.1000 on the Pathe website where you can download newsreels. It looked a bit like a Saladin chassis but obviously steered with skid-steering, with a driver's cab with large glass windows in the hull front.

Its interesting that the reason why the British abandoned skid-steering was because of excessive tyre wear, while the French with their AMX-10RC armoured recce vehicle were willing to accept that and went onto to produce quite a good vehicle.

The original armament of the TV.1000 was to be a 2 Pdr "Pipsqueak" gun which used a squeeze bore system to create high muzzle velocities and a half a dozen Vigilant ATGW. The Vigilant were to be IIRC mounted in the lower glacis plate.
 

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Rickshaw said:
The original armament of the TV.1000 was to be a 2 Pdr "Pipsqueak" gun which used a squeeze bore system to create high muzzle velocities and a half a dozen Vigilant ATGW. The Vigilant were to be IIRC mounted in the lower glacis plate.
What are your sources for this, please?
My understanding is that TV-1000 was purely a test vehicle, to compare wheeled and tracked vehicles with skid steering, and was designed solely because no wheeled vehicle sufficiently large for good comparison existed, and it was never intended to carry armament.
Pipsqueak 2pdr was the original armament for Saladin, whose original design dated from the late 1940s. Pipsqueak was replaced by a 76mm gun capable of firing HE, and abandoned at an early stage, only a wooden mockup of a Pipsqueak Saladin being constructed. There was a version of Saladin with Swingfires either side of the turret.
Work did not start on TV-1000 until 1957, ten years later.
As you say TV-1000 had
a driver's cab with large glass windows in the hull front.
From its photos, no glacis plate - have a look where the driver's feet would be - nor armour, nor space for a turret.
It weighed 20 tons - a bit big for a 2pdr in 1960.
I'm afraid you have your wires crossed.
 

Rickshaw

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Having gone back to the Pathe website and reviewed the newsreel I mentioned perhaps you'd care to ID this vehicle then? It is skidsteered and appears to me to pretty much fit the description, AIUI of the TV.1000:



The relevent newsreel, is entitled VEHICLES FOR ARMY and dated 01/10/1962 1731.41. The Pathe website is at: http://www.britishpathe.com. I can't provide a direct link to it because of being unable to figure out how to do it.

As to my mention of proposed armament for the proposed skid steer recce vehicle which was to be developed from the TV.1000 its from having read various books on British post-War AFV development (with particular reference to the CVR(T) series IIRC). I can't remember the name of the book but I read it over 25 years ago.
 

smurf

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Yes, that is TV-1000. Note the date, 1962. You can see the windows. For a front view see the earlier posts. All agreed so far.
But your armament descriptions relate to Saladin, at least as far as the Pipsqueak goes. I have not seen Vigilant for either. My information comes from books 25 years or more ago, or later, which I still have and to which I have referred to in my earlier post.
Sorry, that part of your post is not correct. I fear your memory has played a common trick, and conflated two separate things. Saladin and TV-1000 are very similar in layout.
Incidentally, the Pipsqueak was a long-barrelled improved 2pdr,
"an improved version of the same calibre having an armour penetrating perfomance equivalent to that obtained ...through the reducing calibre [squeeze bore] device known as the Littlejohn Adapter."
[from Profile 27, Saladin Armoured Car by Major M. Norman, Royal Tank Regt, from which comes the attached picture, showing clearly the long barrel. Though it does not say so, the vehicle is actually a wooden mockup] The Littlejohn had been fitted to Daimler armoured cars during the war, but fired only APCNR ammunition - composite non-rigid – and could not fire HE at all. The Pipsqueak was to fire 2lb HE shells and obtained better armour piercing performance through a longer barrel (L70 I think) not a squeeze bore, firing APDS shot at the increased muzzle velocity of 4250 ft/sec,.
Pipsqueak outline design was ready in 1946, but the army decided (Feb 1948) that a gun able to fire a heavier HE shell was needed, and Pipsqueak was finally abandoned in Nov 1949. [Info all from Norman's Profile.] Note Pipsqueak abandoned 8 years before TV-1000 design work started.
Rickshaw also refers to
proposed armament for the proposed skid steer recce vehicle which was to be developed from the TV.1000
I think you mean the ATR1 in my earlier post. This was to be skid steered, but was not developed from the TV-1000, using a somewhat different system. Its armament was to be a 105mm cannon. [see above for picture and Scorpion Profile for details]

I would however be very interested if you have any further information about the autoloading 120mm RCL.
 

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Petrus

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Well, I don't have any further info on the British 120mm autoloader RCL but I do have some info on an American vehicle that was similar in concept. This was a variant of the T114 armoured recce vehicle (i.e. a prototype of the M114) armed with the 106mm recoilless gun with autoloader. Here you've got some photos of the vehicle as well as of the autoloader itself.

Hopefully you'll find them interesting.

Regards,
Piotr
 

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Rickshaw

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smurf said:
Yes, that is TV-1000. Note the date, 1962. You can see the windows. For a front view see the earlier posts. All agreed so far.
But your armament descriptions relate to Saladin, at least as far as the Pipsqueak goes. I have not seen Vigilant for either. My information comes from books 25 years or more ago, or later, which I still have and to which I have referred to in my earlier post.
Sorry, that part of your post is not correct. I fear your memory has played a common trick, and conflated two separate things. Saladin and TV-1000 are very similar in layout.
Incidentally, the Pipsqueak was a long-barrelled improved 2pdr,
"an improved version of the same calibre having an armour penetrating perfomance equivalent to that obtained ...through the reducing calibre [squeeze bore] device known as the Littlejohn Adapter."
[from Profile 27, Saladin Armoured Car by Major M. Norman, Royal Tank Regt, from which comes the attached picture, showing clearly the long barrel. Though it does not say so, the vehicle is actually a wooden mockup] The Littlejohn had been fitted to Daimler armoured cars during the war, but fired only APCNR ammunition - composite non-rigid – and could not fire HE at all. The Pipsqueak was to fire 2lb HE shells and obtained better armour piercing performance through a longer barrel (L70 I think) not a squeeze bore, firing APDS shot at the increased muzzle velocity of 4250 ft/sec,.
Pipsqueak outline design was ready in 1946, but the army decided (Feb 1948) that a gun able to fire a heavier HE shell was needed, and Pipsqueak was finally abandoned in Nov 1949. [Info all from Norman's Profile.] Note Pipsqueak abandoned 8 years before TV-1000 design work started.
Rickshaw also refers to
proposed armament for the proposed skid steer recce vehicle which was to be developed from the TV.1000
I think you mean the ATR1 in my earlier post. This was to be skid steered, but was not developed from the TV-1000, using a somewhat different system. Its armament was to be a 105mm cannon. [see above for picture and Scorpion Profile for details]

I would however be very interested if you have any further information about the autoloading 120mm RCL.
It appears I was mistaken. I'll just pull my head back in.
 

smurf

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Rickshaw, thanks very much for the T114 info, and especially the pictures. That's very interesting.
As for the TV-1000, as I get older I dare not rely on my memory as I did. As you will have seen, perhaps, the ATR I posted was the tracked version! Of the wheeled version, the Scorpion 'Profile' says "its layout was more conventional [I think from other sources that meant a normal turret] except that its automotive design was related to that of the TV-1000, a large six-wheeled test vehicle with skid steering" so your only error was armament, in particular Pipsqueak.
 

Mike Pryce

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Related to TV1000 as part of 'Project Prodigal' was Contentious, the 'British S-Tank'. See:

http://www.tankmuseum.co.uk/colhid_0902.html

This was intended to have a 120mm autoloaded gun.

Annoyingly, there does not appear to be an index page for Bovington's 'Hidden Treasures' web pages, and using Google to search the site is no use either, it seems. However each one has a link (at the side or bottom of the page) to previous articles, which provide many details of little known projects. The most recent one (currently TV15000) is at : http://www.tankmuseum.co.uk/colhid.html
 

smurf

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This was intended to have a 120mm autoloaded gun.
From your website link, a 20pdr for trials, 105mm for a production version (if any). The 105mm L7's external dimensions were identical to the 20pdr.

I wondered how to find these tank Museum links, as their website doesn't list them. Thanks
 

robunos

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Related to TV1000 as part of 'Project Prodigal' was Contentious, the 'British S-Tank'.

The Arcane Fighting Vehicles [AFV] site has been updated, with some pictures of the 'Contentious', see :-


http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/7413/fv4401contentious.html


cheers,
Robin.
 

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You can (or could, years ago) buy copies of a series of prints of Contentious from the Tank Museum, which clearly showed how the gun elevation was adjusted by altering the suspension. There was limited traverse on the mount, otherwise a similar idea to the Swedish S-tank.
 

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Were there ever any production standard concepts of Contentious done? Interesting to see if those designs would have bore any resemblance to the S Tank.
 

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Contentious had some relationship to Project Prodigal - I remember discussing it with David Fletcher at the Tank Museum about 15 years ago, so I don't remember the details. Some of the prodigal concepts had recoilless guns.
The national Archive records include
AVIA 65/1540 Project PRODIGAL: army vehicle with limited airborne capability 1960-1962 BZ/8/05 Pt A
AVIA 67/18 Combustible cartridge cases in aid of project PRODIGAL 1961-1963 WAE/244/02 Pt A
DEFE 15/1214 Project PRODIGAL: some initial designs for automatic feed systems for main battle tanks [1963] INTERNAL MEMORANDUM P1/2/63

I don't think anything got near to production.
 

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In today's post!
Classic Military Vehicle October 2009 pages 26 - 29
"Contentious" by David Fletcher
 

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Was about to have a flick through that in WH Smiths this afternoon during lunch but realised I was short on time, better call in during tomorrows lunch time skive.

Thanks for the info.

Regards.
 

Petrus

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I can't remember if pictures of the FV4401 have already been posted in our forum. It seems they did not, so you'll find them here attached. There is quite a comprehensive chapter on the Project Prodigal, a one-man tank destoyer armed with two 120mm recoilless guns fitted with autoloaders, in "Chieftain" by Rob Griffin, from which the pictures come.

Best regards,
Piotr
 

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Rickshaw

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Interesting. Any details on how the guns were loaded? The US 106mm RCL with automatic reloading on the T114 slid the barrel forward to first eject the spent case and then slid it back to ram the new round. This one appears to be perhaps a revolver weapon?
 

robunos

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From 'AFV WEapons Profile 44 - Ferret and Fox

AVR and TV 1000

"The development of the CVR(T), aka Scorpion, also led to a successor to the Ferret series, namely the
CVR(W). This would eventually emerge as the Fox.
The origins of both CVR(T) and CVR(W) go back to 1960 when the British Army began to consider a Saladin
successor. This was conceived as a highly sophisticated vehicle, capable of performing multiple roles, and
called the AVR, or Armoured Vehicle, Reconnaissance. It was to weigh around 13 tonnes, and be armed with
guided missiles, as well as a medium velocity 76 or 105mm gun.
The original AVR design put forward by FVRDE envisaged a tracked vehicle. However in 1963, FVRDE
proposed an alternative, six wheeled AVR, weighing 13.6 tonnes, and armed with Swingfire missiles and a
76mm gun. The design took two forms, turreted, and turretless, the latter being attractive for a reconnaissance
vehicle, as it resulted in a reduced silhouette. In both cases, however, the wheeled AVR was to be skid
steered, like a tracked vehicle. The use of skid steering in the AVR followed the construction of the TV 1000, a
20 tonne test vehicle, designed in 1956-57 as a possible basis for a wheeled tank, the thinking being that the
hull could be wider in relation to it's overall width, because no space was needed for the turning of it's wheels.
However, the TV 1000 suffered from the same turning problems as exhibited by tracked vehicles, and in
addition, suffered from rapid tyre wear, and poor stability when running fast on roads.
The AVR proposals were rejected in 1963,when it was decide that they were too heavy, especially for air-
portability, still considered important by planners. Therefore, in 1964, two new proposals were put forward by
FVRDE. One was for a family of light tracked vehicles, which became the CVR(T), the other being for a series
of light, 6 to 8 tonnes, six wheeled vehicles with skid steering. This latter proposal was rejected, in part as a
result of trials conducted in 1964, which demonstrated the fundamental weakness of the skid steering of the
TV 1000 on soft ground."


cheers,
Robin.
 

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robunos

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From 'The Universal Tank - British Armour in The Second World War part II' (the sequel to 'The Great Tank Scandal'), page 109 :-

A schematic of the 'Great Eastern' ramp tank.


cheers,
Robin.
 

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Mike Pryce

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A great article, with some nice pics of TV.1000 and other vehicles:

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/06/a-brief-history-of-fres/







I love the term 'omnishambles' used for FRES! And the news that after all the years of wasting money on studies for replacements, CVR(T) is back in production (hull anyway), and a new version (Scimitar 2) has emerged:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47209/message/1304539227/Britain%27s+latest+main+battle+tank%21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW3rYMr_RtU

All that, and Mott the Hoople too!
 

JFC Fuller

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The money has been wasted on more than just studies, plenty of prototypes have also gone the way of the dodo. As others will attest here I am normally prepared to give the establishment the benefit of the doubt but the failure of British Army (and government) armoured vehicles policy, at both an industrial and simple procurement level, since the 80s has been catastrophic and is wholly indefensible- it remains to be seen whether this sorry saga is has reached an end yet.


One thing I will say: the story about the Army preferring CV90 and the Treasury preferring ASCOD- I will not name names but it did not originate from either the Army or the government but from the same place that also optimistically declared that CV90 Scout was "production ready".
 

Grey Havoc

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A great article indeed harrier, thanks!


sealordlawrence said:
The money has been wasted on more than just studies, plenty of prototypes have also gone the way of the dodo. As others will attest here I am normally prepared to give the establishment the benefit of the doubt but the failure of British Army (and government) armoured vehicles policy, at both an industrial and simple procurement level, since the 80s has been catastrophic and is wholly indefensible- it remains to be seen whether this sorry saga is has reached an end yet.

Too true, although you could argue it was the 90's when the rot really set in.

One thing I will say: the story about the Army preferring CV90 and the Treasury preferring ASCOD- I will not name names but it did not originate from either the Army or the government but from the same place that also optimistically declared that CV90 Scout was "production ready".

[groans]


Back to the 'turretless' recon version of the AVR design; did they ever study a tracked version? It would seem to have been a logical step.
 

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