The BAE Systems Terrier tank is the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of combat vehicles

Posted on 16 Feb 2016 by Aiden Burgess

The British Army has unveiled its reworked BAE Systems’ Terrier tank – a combat vehicle described as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of combat vehicles due to its multitude of tools and functions.

The versatile Terrier tank can perform numerous functions to help meet the challenges of modern warfare, such as digging ditches, drilling holes, probing for buried explosives, excavating defensive positions and clearing obstacles such as mines, cars and logs.

The Terrier was designed by British defence and aerospace firm BAE Systems, with the versatile combat vehicle originally launched in 2013 as part of a £360m project with the UK government’s Ministry of Defence.

BAE Systems has developed an upgraded version of the Terrier tank which will be used by the British army - image courtesy of BAE Systems.
BAE Systems has developed an upgraded version of the Terrier tank which will be used by the British army – image courtesy of BAE Systems.

The Terrier was designed to provide the British Army with maximum flexibility from a single vehicle in a combat environment, one that could perform multiple tasks that would normally take a number of vehicles to achieve, thus allowing the British Army to reduce their equipment and logistic load and presence.

The newly revamped Terrier can now perform vital combat functions such as wading through deep  waters, being able to withstand waves of up to 2m, and clearing mines on the move for greater mobility in hostile environments.

The remote controlled Terrier also recently received a further upgrade in the form of a telescopic arm that can probe up to 26ft to investigate for suspected explosive devices both buried and on the surface.

Other modules of the telescopic arm include a rock hammer, ripper and earth auger.

Versatility of the Terrier tank

BAE Systems Land (UK) export sales manager Rory Breen said the Terrier was the most advanced combat vehicle on earth that could be used for a number of situations.

“The greater wading depth and surge protection will make Terrier even better suited for use in coastal or low lying areas, where it can play an important role in disaster relief as well as combat situations,” he said.

“Along with the new telescopic arm and other attachments, Terrier remains the most technologically advanced and flexible combat engineer vehicle in the world,

“Due to the modular nature of the vehicle, it could also be quickly adapted for a range of other situations, such as clearing paths through jungle or thick foliage.”

The 32-tonne Terrier can reach speeds up to 45mph (70kmh) and can be remote controlled from up to 1km (0.62 miles) away.

The front loader system of the Terrier can lift weight of up to five tonnes and can shift 300 tonnes of earth an hour.

As well as its weight lifting capabilities, the Terrier can also clear minefield through the use of its Python rocket, which shoots a 200m hose of explosives from its front as an effective minefield breaching system that can provide a clear path free of any buried explosives.

The Terrier also features a plough which pushes through the earth to clear mines and the way for the British Army infantry in a hostile and dangerous environment which may be swarming with unseen dangers such as mines buried under the surface.

The Terrier has an internal crew of two but can also be operated remotely through the use of an Xbox-style controller and laptop.

The innovative mobile combat vehicle features an internal ‘drive by wire’ joystick control system, as well as a 360 degree camera system that has full night vision and thermal-imaging capabilities.

BAE Systems are continuing to develop new attachments for the Terrier, allowing potential and current customers to upgrade their combat vehicles to meet new requirements without changing platforms.