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February 2006 Homepage (UK/Europe)

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Series Land Rovers in Military Use

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Right from the start, the military took a shine to the Series I Land Rover, even though it wasn't designed specifically for them. Initial military orders were for standard vehicles that farmers would also use but with modifications of the lighting and facilities added for towing. Over the ensuing years as military orders increased, the Bronze Green that the military preferred became the standard colour for the Series Land Rovers. Some vehicles left the Land Rover factory as standard but were modified in military workshops. Examples of these are the FFW (Fitted for Wireless) and the FFR (Fitted for Radio).

Series I Land Rovers saw military action in the early 1950's in Korea where they proved themselves to be versatile , though somewhat under powered.

Not long after the Series II was introduced the special requirements of the military began to be taken into account on the production line; these were:

towing hook and reinforced rear cross-member
split wheel rims
twin fuel tanks
vehicle lashing eyes
freight lashing cleats
rear bumper
modified front bumper to aid pushing
oil cooler
8 blade fan
waterproofed lighting
mounting points to allow wireless installation if required

FFR Land Rovers were now built on the production line at Solihull. Chassis were bitumen coated. It was during this period that the viewpoint developed that 'military Land Rovers were made upto a standard and others were made down to a price'.
The military ordered relatively few 109 LWB vehicles. The ones that were ordered had extensively strengthened chassis so they could carry 3/4 ton payload as opposed to the 1/4 ton of the SWB. Examples of Series Land Rovers that were deployed in military service include:

  • quarter ton cargo
  • quarter ton General Service Lightweight
  • quarter ton FFR
  • three quarter ton cargo
  • three quarter ton FFR
  • three quarter ton Airfield Crash Rescue
  • Ambulance
  • 1 ton airportable (with flotation kit)
  • half ton General Service Lightweight
  • 1 ton cargo (Forward Control)
  • 1 tonne Ambulance (Forward Control)

Particular roles played by Series Land Rovers in the military include: Emergency stretcher carrier; WOMBAT missile carrier; Line layer; 3.5KW Onan generator; Helicopter & light aircraft starter; Electronics installation;


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