|Manufacturer:||Tenix Defence Systems Pty Ltd.|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
The Shorland armoured patrol car was originally designed in 1965 specifically to meet the requirements of the Royal Ulster Constabulary for use in Northern Ireland.
First production vehicles were completed at Short Brothers and Harland's facility at Newtownards in 1965. By the end of 1982, over 1,000 vehicles had been produced, since when production has continued for the export market and it is now used by some 45 countries.
The first production models were powered by a four-cylinder Rover petrol engine which developed 67 hp at 4,000 rpm. The Mk 2 was based on the Series 2 Land Rover chassis and was powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine which developed 77 bhp at 4,000 rpm. The Mk 3 was introduced in 1972 and fitted with a 2.6 litre six-cylinder engine which developed 91 bhp at 4,500 rpm. The Mk 4, employing the new V-8 engine, went into production in 1980.
The latest Series 5 version was designed to take advantage of the Land Rover Defender 110 in chassis with its improved coil spring suspension and wider wheel track. Other improvements introduced with the new chassis were improved performance, a tighter turning circle and power steering to reduce driver fatigue.
Today, the complete Series 5 family consists of the S52 Armoured Patrol Car, the S53 Air Defence Vehicle, the S54 Anti-hijack Vehicle and the S55 Armoured Personnel Carrier. Full details of the S55 are given in the Armoured personnel carriers (wheeled) section.
Late in 1996, Shorts sold its complete line of Shorland (4 x 4) light armoured vehicles and the more recently developed S600 (4 x 4) armoured personnel carrier, to British Aerospace Australia Limited.
Early in 1999, Tenix Defence Systems, prime contractor for the Australian Army M113 series upgrade programme, acquired the military vehicle design and production capability of British Aerospace Australia.
In future, depending on the quantity and numbers of vehicles involved, production will be undertaken in Australia or Northern Ireland.
In early 1999, it is understood that no production of the Shorland S52 or its variants had been undertaken in Australia.
The Shorland S52 is based on the 110 in heavy-duty Land Rover Defender chassis which has permanent four-wheel drive and a lockable central differential.
Normal power is the 3.5 litre Rover V8 petrol engine with the Rover 2.5 litre Turbo diesel available as an alternative.
The chassis is strengthened to take the armoured body and fitted with stronger axles and suspension and a different final drive ratio. Nevertheless, some 85 per cent of the automotive and mechanical components are stock Land Rover parts which reduces the spares and maintenance problem.
The vehicle hull provides protection against right angle fire by NATO 7.62 x 51 mm ball ammunition down to 25 m range while the bullet-resistant glass provides the same degree of protection as the steel and meets the test requirements of BS 5051 part 1 Class R2.
The engine and radiator are fully armour protected and the floor is made from reinforced glass fibre to give protection against mines and improvised explosive devices. The fuel fillers are under armoured hatches which can also be released from inside the vehicle. Vehicles are trimmed internally with a fire-retardant material which provides thermal insulation.
The manually operated turret has full 360° rotation and is fitted with an adjustable seat for the gunner. A mechanical lock prevents rotation when not in use. An optical periscope sight is fitted, this being boresighted to the armament. A searchlight is provided and this is also linked to the periscope sight. The most common armament is the FN HERSTAL SA 7.62 mm GPMG but most other light machine guns can be fitted. Two four-barrelled grenade launchers can be fitted, one to each side of the turret. These fire 66 mm electrically initiated smoke/illumination/CS gas grenades. In the observation role the turret is operated with the rear part folding forwards and upwards and the turret back folding downwards.
The vehicle has a crew of three, driver and commander seated side by side in the front and the gunner in the turret. Alternative seating for the gunner is fitted behind the commander. The hull also contains the spare wheel and ammunition and there is ample room for other equipment such as radios. An escape hatch is provided in the rear panel.
The large bullet-resistant windscreen and side windows provide excellent visibility for the driver and commander. Two extraction fans are fitted, one mounted on the sloping rear roof is controlled from the dashboard while the second one in the turret is controlled by the gunner and is specifically intended for fume extraction when the armament is being fired.
Standard equipment normally includes seat belts and air conditioning, optional equipment includes drop down visors with vision blocks in place of the bullet-resistant windscreen, run-flat tyres, a loudhailer, automatic fire protection and various radio installations. Right- or left-hand steering can be specified.