Bri­tish Army re­ceives its first ‘drive-by-wire’ and re­motely con­trolled com­bat en­gi­neer ve­hi­cle


BAE Sys­tems’ Ter­rier com­bat en­gi­neer ve­hi­cle has been of­fi­cially ac­cepted into ser­vice by the Bri­tish Army. Ter­rier is the most ad­vanced com­bat en­gi­neer ve­hi­cle – de­liv­er­ing un­com­pro­mis­ing per­for­mance from a medium weight chas­sis. It is also the first UK com­bat ve­hi­cle to en­ter ser­vice de­signed with an in­te­grated elec­tronic ar­chi­tec­ture which fa­cil­i­tates ‘drive-by-wire’ and re­mote con­trol mak­ing the ve­hi­cle highly ca­pa­ble, sur­viv­able and adapt­able.

Likened to a com­bat ‘Swiss Army Knife’, Ter­rier is one of the most ver­sa­tile, ag­ile and adapt­able com­bat ve­hi­cles and can carry out mul­ti­ple roles in the most de­mand­ing bat­tle­field con­di­tions. Typ­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions in­clude pro­vid­ing mo­bil­ity sup­port (ob­sta­cle and route clear­ance), counter-mo­bil­ity (dig­ging of anti-tank ditches and other ob­sta­cles) and sur­viv­abil­ity (dig­ging of trenches and ar­moured fight­ing ve­hi­cle slots). With a fly­ing weight of 32 tonnes, which al­lows it to be trans­ported in the A400M air­lifter, Ter­rier pro­vides strate­gic air trans­porta­bil­ity as well as be­ing ex­tremely mo­bile on the ground on all ter­rains, reach­ing speeds of up to 70 kmph and with a road range of 600k.

Ter­rier is the first com­bat ve­hi­cle with drive-by-wire tech­nol­ogy and “spe­cial to role” com­put­ers which man­age the au­to­mo­tive and com­bat en­gi­neer sys­tems re­spec­tively al­low­ing elec­tronic signals sent by the ve­hi­cle’s com­put­ers to per­form func­tions. Phys­i­cal con­nec­tions are main­tained be­tween the driver and the es­sen­tial au­to­mo­tive sys­tems for safety and sur­viv­abil­ity rea­sons, but the ve­hi­cle is ca­pa­ble of be­ing fully con­trolled via the com­man­der’s joy­sticks through the drive-by-wire sys­tems and the front loader and the ex­ca­va­tor arm hy­draulic sys­tems are fully con­trolled through the databus.

More­over, the ve­hi­cle can be op­er­ated by wire­less re­mote con­trol up to 1km away, us­ing a gam­ing type con­troller and re­mote cam­eras. The re­mote con­trol in­ter­face would be read­ily recog­nised by any com­puter gamer, mak­ing this ca­pa­bil­ity easy for new re­cruits to learn.

David Bond, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Com­bat Ve­hi­cles (UK), said: “Ter­rier is a su­perb ca­pa­bil­ity and the lat­est com­bat en­gi­neer ve­hi­cle from BAE Sys­tems, join­ing the Ti­tan bridge layer and Tro­jan ob­sta­cle breacher al­ready in UK ser­vice, demon­strat­ing our unique spe­cial­ist skills in com­bat en­gi­neer­ing. Ter­rier rep­re­sents a step change in ve­hi­cle de­sign with its use of the most up to date ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy and is the most com­plex yet easy to use com­bat ve­hi­cle cur­rently in ser­vice with the Bri­tish Army.”

Sixty ve­hi­cles are be­ing de­liv­ered un­der the pro­gramme which are be­ing built in New­cas­tle. The fi­nal ve­hi­cle will be de­liv­ered to the Bri­tish Army by Jan­uary 2014, five months ahead of sched­ule.

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