The British FV180 Combat Engineering Tractor was operated by the British Armies Corps of Royal Engineers since 1976 and has been replaced by the TERRIER in 2011.
It is used to prepare ground for bridge construction, digging vehicle fighting pits, constructing earth barriers/defences, repairing roads, recovery of disabled vehicles from water (vehicle is amphibious), preparing riverbanks for vehicle crossings and clearing obstacles.
The large earthmoving bucket looks as if its fitted to the front of the vehicle, however it is fitted at the rear. The two crew sit in tandem positions on the left hand side of the vehicle, each with a set of driving controls facing opposite directions so they can face the direction of the tool they are using, the second being the rocket-propelled anchor on a 100m hawser attached to an 8 tonne winch fitted to the front of the vehicle.
The vehicle is NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) proofed and has an air filtration unit, supplying clean air to the crew when operating with the crew hatches closed down in a contaminated environment. The NBC air system is also used to inflate the buoyancy aids required to trim the vehicle when swimming. The amphibious propulsion is provided by to two Dowty water impellers, one mounted on each side of the vehicle and controlled by the commander in the rear seat facing forwards. The water jets are used to steer the vehicle when swimming. When not in use, the propulsion unit water intakes are closed off with armoured covers to prevent damage during digging operations.
The British FV180 Combat Engineering Tractor Specifications
Weight – 17.5 ton
Length – 7.54 m (24 ft 9 in)
Width – 2.94 m (9 ft 8 in)
Height – 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in)
Crew – 2
Armour – Honeycombed twin skin aluminium alloy
Primary armament – None (Crew armed with personal weapons only)
Engine – Rolls Royce C6TFR 320 hp
Power/weight – 19 hp/tonne
Suspension – Torsion Bar
Operational range – 480km (300 mi)
Speed – 56 km/h (35 mph) (road) / 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) (water)
The British FV180 Combat Engineering Tractor Operators
British Army (Retired)