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— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

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My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

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

Issue No. 12 | June 16-30, 2013

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.