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AEC Armoured Car

AEC Armoured Car
AEC Mk III Armoured Car
Place of origin United Kingdom
Production history
Number built 629
Specifications
Weight Mk I: 11 tonnes (12 short tons; 11 long tons)
Mk II, III: 12.7 t (14.0 short tons; 12.5 long tons)
Length 5.18 m (17 ft 0 in)
Width 2.74 m (9 ft 0 in)
Height 2.54 m (8 ft 4 in)
Crew Mk I: 3
Mk II, III: 4

Armor 16–65 mm (0.63–2.56 in)
Main
armament
Mk I: QF 2 pounder
Mk II: QF 6 pounder
Mk III: QF 75 mm
Secondary
armament
1 x Besa machine gun, 1 x Bren light machine gun.
Engine Mk I: AEC 195 diesel
Mk II, III: AEC 197 diesel
105–158 hp (78–118 kW)
Power/weight Mk I: 9.5 hp/tonne
Mk II, III: 12.4 hp/tonne
Suspension wheel 4x4
Operational
range
400 km (250 mi)
Speed 58–65 km/h (36–40 mph)

AEC Armoured Car is the name of a series of heavy armoured cars built by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) during the Second World War.

History

AEC of Southall, Middlesex, was a manufacturer of truck and bus chassis and its Matador artillery tractor was used for towing medium field and heavy anti-aircraft guns. The armoured car based on the Matador chassis was developed initially as a private venture and shown to officials in 1941 during Horse Guards Parade in London, where it made a favourable impression on Churchill and 629 vehicles were produced from 1942–1943.

AEC tried to build an armoured car with fire power and protection comparable to those of contemporary tanks. The first version carried a Valentine Mk II turret with 2 pounder gun. Subsequent versions received a 6 pounder or a 75 mm gun. The vehicle also carried two machine guns, smoke grenades discharger and No. 19 radio set.

The Mk I was first used in combat in the North African Campaign late in 1942, where a few vehicles were reportedly fitted with a Crusader tank turret mounting a 6 pounder gun. The Mk II and Mk III took part in the fighting in Europe with British and British Indian Army units, often together with the Staghound.

The vehicle remained in service after the end of the war until replaced by the Alvis Saladin. The Lebanese Army used the car at least until 1976.

Variants

  • Mk I: original version with turret from a Valentine tank, 129 built.

[[Image:IWM-STT-1438-AEC-Armoured-Car.jpg|none|thumb|AEC Mk

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