Route-clearance vehicle

A fleet of 60 armoured earthmoving tracked vehicles, which will give the Royal Engineers a powerful route-clearing capability, will be built at BAE Systems’s Newcastle factory.


A fleet of 60 armoured earthmoving tracked vehicles, which will give the Royal Engineers a powerful route-clearing capability, will be built at BAE Systems’s Newcastle factory.


BAE Systems was awarded a £300m contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to build the TERRIER line of vehicles.


The vehicles will remove obstacles and open routes and provide assistance on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.


‘TERRIER will be a hugely powerful and versatile machine, like a cross between an armoured vehicle, an excavator and a loader, and I am pleased to confirm this order for our highly skilled Royal Engineers,’ said Quentin Davies, minister for defence equipment and support.


‘Designed in Leicester and integrated by BAE Systems in Newcastle, the order is also good news for British industry as more than 90 per cent of the manufacture will be supported by companies from across the country, demonstrating the great level of skills and workmanship we have in the UK,’ he added.


A TERRIER vehicle weighs approximately 30 tonnes and can carry a crew of two.


The vehicle has an armoured chassis so it can safely operate in a combat environment. When required, it can operate remotely.


It is claimed that the tracked vehicle has the ability to negotiate almost any terrain. While it is mostly designed for digging and obstacle-clearing tasks, it can also be used to clear routes of surface-laid munitions. The MoD says that this is possible by replacing the vehicle’s bucket with a surface mine-clearance device and combining it with a route-marking system.


After recent operational experience, the MoD has made changes to the vehicle design to provide additional protection against mine attacks and the vehicles will be equipped with extra armour to equip them for service on operations.


BAE Systems will begin production on the vehicles at its Newcastle site in 2010. They are due to enter service in 2013.