Sappers to get heavyweight workhorse

The MoD has unveiled Tellar, a £415,000 heavily-protected vehicle to transport bomb disposal teams.

The vehicle, developed by the Specialist and Utility Vehicles Integrated Project Team at Defence Equipment and Support, is scheduled to appear later this month on an all-terrain test and development facility at DVD2007, the annual event run by the MoD at Millbrook.

The 9.5-tonne explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) vehicle will be supplied to the Royal Engineers and replaces the fleet of Land Rovers currently employed by the regiment.

The vehicle, which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 62mph (100kph) can carry all equipment required by bomb experts to carry out conventional munitions disposal.

Tellar is also fitted out as an emergency response vehicle with a mobile phone, force protection suite, a personal address system and two global positioning systems — a Bowman radio GPS, and a commercial off-the-shelf GPS. The vehicle also has a degree of riot protection. The MoD has bought 18 of the vehicles at a cost of £7.5m. Fourteen will in the near future be deployed on overseas operations, while the remaining four will be held in the UK for training and reserves.

Tellar will be deployed with the Joint EOD force on Operations Herrick in Afghanistan, and Telic in Iraq.