- Ferret armoured car
Ferret Scout Car
Ferret Mk.1/2 in desert finish
Type Wheeled armoured fighting vehicle Place of origin United Kingdom Specifications Weight 3.7 t Length 12 ft 2 in (3.7 m) Width 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Crew 2 (commander, driver) Main
7.62mm GPMG if fitted
.30 M1919 Browning machine gun
none Engine Rolls Royce B60 Inlet over Exhaust I6 petrol
130 hp (97 kW)
Power/weight 35.1 hp/tonne Suspension 4x4 wheel Operational
190 mi (310 km) Speed 58 mph (93 km/h)
The Ferret armoured car, also commonly called the Ferret Scout car, is a British armoured fighting vehicle designed and built for reconnaissance purposes. The Ferret was produced between 1952 and 1971 by the UK company, Daimler. It was widely adopted by regiments in the British Army as well as Commonwealth countries throughout the period.
The Ferret was developed in 1949 as a result of the British Army's need to obtain a replacement model for its Second World War light armoured vehicles. Due to the success of their Reconnaissance Scout Car, the "Dingo", Daimler was employed to design and manufacture the Ferret.
The Ferret shared many similar design features with the Dingo and Canadian Ford Lynx, but featured a larger fighting compartment and an optional small machine gun turret. It was built from an all-welded monocoque steel body, making the vehicle lower but also making the drive extremely noisy inside as all the running gear was within the enclosed body with the crew. Four wheel drive was incorporated together with "Run flat" tyres (which kept their shape even if punctured in battle thus enabling a vehicle to drive to safety.) The turret, though not fitted to all models, carried a single machine gun. Six grenade launchers fitted to the hull (three on each side) could carry smoke grenades.
It is fast and small enough to be used in an urban environment but strong enough to negotiate rugged terrain off road. The Ferret is no longer in service in the British Army, although several Commonwealth countries still operate them to this day. They have been popular with private collectors due to the compact size and affordable price e.g. around $20,000 to $30,000 in the USA, $40,000 to $60,000 In Australia and New Zealand
A total of 4,409 Ferrets, including 16 sub-models under various Mark numbers, were produced between 1952 and 1971. It is possible to upgrade the engine using the more powerful FB60 version from the Austin Princess 4-Litre-R; this upgrade would provide 55hp over the standard B60 engine.
- Canada 124, (1954-1981)
- Croatia: 1 museum example during Croatian War of Independence
- France, during the Algerian war
- Hong Kong
- Lebanon: 20 supplied by Jordan in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Kingdom
- United Nations UN provided 12 new Ferret Mk2s to Irish peacekeepers with ONUC in the Congo in 1962.
There are several Marks of Ferret, including those with varying equipment, turret or no turret and armed with Swingfire anti-tank missiles. Including all the marks and experimental variants there have probably been over 60 different vehicles.
- Mk 1
- Liaison duties
- No turret
- MK 1/1
- Heavier armour than Mk 1
- Sealed hull for fording.
- Mk 1/2
- Extended height roof
- Crew of three
- Equipped with Browing .30 or later GPMG gun
- Mk 2
- Turret from Alvis Saracen APC
- Produced first
- Mk 2/1 to 5
- Small improvements at each stage including thicker armour.
- MK 2/6
- Mk 2/7
- Mk 2/6 stripped of anti-tank missiles after Vigilant withdrawn from service
- Mk 4
- Improved Mk 2
- Larger wheels
- Heavier armour
- Stronger suspension
- Flotation screen
- Mk 5
- Modified Mark 4.
- L7 GPMG
- Swingfire anti-tank missiles in unusual wide flat turret
- Ferret 80
- Ferret recognition diagrams
- The Ferret in Canadian Service
- Blogsite mostly about Ferret
- Ferret Walk Arounds on Prime Portal
- The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) Ferret Club, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
- King's Own Royal Border Regiment Museum, Carlisle Castle, Cumbria, Englandhas an Example on Display
See alsoPost-WWII British AFVs
Wheeled APCs and IFVs Light tanks and
SP artillery Main battle tanks UK unarmoured or non-fighting vehicles
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