BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s largest defense company, said it delivered the first Terrier combat vehicle to the British army in a project worth 360 million pounds ($550 million).
The Terrier, an armoured digger, can be operated by remote control enabling soldiers to clear routes from a safe distance. The project will equip British troops with 60 vehicles due for delivery by January, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said today in a statement. The 32-ton tracked vehicle, which can be equipped with a 7.62mm machine gun and fire smoke grenades, can travel at speeds of almost 50 miles per hour and carry 5,000 kg.
“Terrier represents a step change in vehicle design,” David Bond, managing director of Combat Vehicles for the London-based company said in a separate statement, likening the vehicle to a combat Swiss army knife.
Remote control operations include a 1km wireless link, with the operator using video-game like controls. The Terrier is also equipped with five onboard cameras that allow remote operations at night.
Terrier’s “versatility will pay huge dividends on the battlefields of the future,” General Peter Wall, head of the British Army said in the ministry’s statement. The vehicle is being used by the Royal Engineers.
The vehicle, which BAE will help maintain for at least the first five years, has a range of 600 km, the company said, adding that deliveries will be completed five months ahead of plan.