The British Army has used Land Rovers since the 1950s, as have many countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. The British Army replaced its Series III fleet with 110 Defenders in 1985.
The Snatch is based on the Land Rover Heavy Duty Chassis, a militarised version of the Defender 110 (similar to the Land Rover Wolf). It was originally procured for use in Northern Ireland by the British Army and was first introduced in 1992.
Six versions have been produced, the first being the original Snatch-1, equipped with a V8 petrol engine. Nearly 1,000 were produced, with 278 being “desertised” and reclassified as the Snatch-1.5.
Most were upgraded to a second variant standard:
Snatch-2 12v, LHD with ACU – training variant
Snatch-2A 24v, RHD with ACU – Rest of World variant – deployed Afghanistan
Snatch-2B 24v, RHD, no ACU – N.Ireland variant
These later versions were retro-fitted with “300 Tdi” diesel engines and the 2A is also fitted with air conditioning.
The British Army SNATCH-2 Patrol Vehicle Specifications
Weight 4,050 kilograms
Primary armament none, personal weapons carried by “top cover”
Engine 111hp Land Rover 300 Tdi
Power/weight 37 hp/tonne
Suspension Wheel 4×4
Operational range 510 kilometres
Top Road Speed 97 km/h
The British Army SNATCH-2 Patrol Vehicle Replacement
Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced on the 6 March 2010, during his surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan, that the Snatch Land Rover would be replaced by a new “light patrol vehicle”. This new vehicle was revealed by the Ministry of Defence as the Ocelot on 22 September 2010.
Force Protection Europe has signed a contract with the UK MoD to supply an order of 200 Ocelots, and an initial spares package, for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicles (LPPV) programme. The contract is valued at approximately £180 million and delivery of the vehicles is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2012.