Ferret armoured car

Ferret armoured car
Ferret Scout Car
Ferret Mk.1/2 in desert finish
Type Wheeled armoured fighting vehicle
Place of origin  United Kingdom
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)

7.62mm GPMG if fitted
.30 M1919 Browning machine gun
Engine Rolls Royce B60 Inlet over Exhaust I6 petrol
130 hp (97 kW)
Power/weight 35.1 hp/tonne
Suspension 4x4 wheel
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.


Operators of the Ferret armoured car
The interior of a Ferret on display at Imperial War Museum Duxford

Current Operators

Previous Operators


A United Nations Ferret on display at Bovington Tank Museum

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
  • FV701C
  • 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 Ferret in Batey ha-Osef museum, Israel.
Mk 2
Mk 2/1 to 5
  • Small improvements at each stage including thicker armour.
MK 2/6
Mk 2/7
  • FV701
  • Mk 2/6 stripped of anti-tank missiles after Vigilant withdrawn from service
Mk 4
  • FV711
  • Improved Mk 2
  • Larger wheels
  • Heavier armour
  • Stronger suspension
  • Flotation screen
Ferret Mk 5 at Bovington Tank Museum
Mk 5
  • FV712
  • Modified Mark 4.
  • L7 GPMG
  • Swingfire anti-tank missiles in unusual wide flat turret
Ferret 80

External links

See also

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