UL­STER SNATCH

Re­stored CAV 100 Defender

Land Rover Monthly - - Military - Story: Bob Mor­ri­son

FOL­LOW­ING THE main draw down in 2009 of UK Forces de­ployed to Iraq on Op­er­a­tion Telic, al­though a small pres­ence would re­main in the Bas­rah area for another cou­ple of years and new op­er­a­tions against the IS/ISIL in­sur­gency would later com­mence fur­ther north, a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of the UK ar­moured Land Rover fleet used in the wartorn coun­try was cast.

For a brief pe­riod, tired ex­am­ples of the CAV 100, or Snatch, Land Rover model could be picked up for next to noth­ing from the gov­ern­ment’s of­fi­cial dis­posal agents, but just a few years later it is hard to find a good con­di­tion newly-cast ex­am­ple for less than £25,000.

Robert Hamil­ton, one of the pri­mar­ily Not­ting­hamshire-based Call­sign Al­pha group of ex-mil­i­tary Land Rover en­thu­si­asts and re­stor­ers, runs a nicely-pre­sented Snatch – of­fi­cial des­ig­na­tion is TRUCK UTY MED HT W/ VPK Land Rover 110 V8 – which was cast in De­cem­ber 2010 and dis­posed of the fol­low­ing month.

Ac­cord­ing to the ve­hi­cle’s MER­LIN (Mul­tiEch­e­lon Re­source & Lo­gis­tics In­for­ma­tion Net­work) data, ob­tained un­der a Freedom of In­for­ma­tion request, its ISD (In Ser­vice Date) was June 7, 1993, and it was re­turned to the JSCS (Joint Ser­vices Chain Sup­ply) de­pot at Ashchurch by its last al­lo­cated user unit on Septem­ber 26, 2007.

By this time the re-en­gined 300Tdi batch of Snatch Land Rovers, com­plete with up­rated chas­sis, had en­tered ser­vice and the orig­i­nal petrol V8-pow­ered ve­hi­cles were mostly be­ing with­drawn from front­line ser­vice.

As I most re­cently cov­ered the Snatch Com­pos­ite Ar­mour Ve­hi­cle, known as the CAV 100 by Cour­taulds / NP Aerospace who man­u­fac­tured it, in the July 2017 is­sue I don’t plan to talk too much more about the gen­er­al­i­ties for now, but will con­cen­trate on Rob’s ex­am­ple.

Af­ter we took 30KK62 out for the pho­to­shoot over the May Day bank hol­i­day weekend, just ahead of the 2017 show sea­son, Rob told me a lit­tle about its his­tory af­ter de­mob. “I bought it in 2014 from a farmer who was sell­ing them off,” he said.

“He had bought them from Withams as a batch lot of 60 – him and another farmer from down south went halves on them and he was tak­ing out axles and gear­boxes. That’s all they wanted them for. They were just sat in a field, ob­vi­ously the worse for wear and non-run­ners.”

Rob and his fa­ther Nick, who is also an ac­tive mem­ber of the Call­sign Al­pha liv­ing his­tory group, went down to view one of the com­plete ve­hi­cles up for sale, and ob­vi­ously liked what they saw.

He re­called: “It took us four and a half months to get it back to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion I wanted it to be in for shows. When it left the Army it was to Iraq spec but I have put it back to North­ern Ire­land spec, how it was when it started ser­vice life in 1993.

“The en­gine is a 3.6 V8. It’s a low-com­pres­sion orig­i­nal Rover unit, so it’s not an

Pic­tures: Carl Schulze

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