On Air Now
Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
5 June 2013, 06:14 | Updated: 5 June 2013, 11:02
The British Army has taken delivery of its most advanced engineering vehicle - a remote controlled armoured digger that has been tested in Dorset.
The 30-tonne vehicle, known as Terrier, can be used to dig holes, lift objects, drill into the ground and even shatter concrete with troops a safe distance away.
Terrier, which can reach speeds of almost 50mph, will be used by the Royal Engineers to carry out tasks in the UK and on "the battlefields of the future''.
The British Army will receive 60 Terriers as part of a #360 million project with BAE Systems, which designed and built the vehicles in the UK.
Warrant Officer Steve Cahill of the Royal Engineers, who has trialled Terrier, said:
"The Terrier is a world-leading engineer support and combat vehicle, which can dig holes, lift objects and drill into the ground of shatter concrete.
"All whilst being controlled remotely and providing armoured protection, top cover and smoke shields to our troops.
"Very much in line with the ethos of The Corps of Royal Engineers, Terrier is a versatile vehicle capable of taking on a variety of tasks.''
Terrier is fitted with five onboard cameras and thermal imaging technology to provide soldiers with a 360 degree surveillance capability day and night.
The vehicle, able to transport up to 5,000kg, has interchangeable equipment such as a forklift and rock hammer, making it "highly adaptable''.
A 7.62 mm General Purpose Machine Gun and smoke grenade launchers can also be fitted to Terrier for use in combat.
Head of the British Army, General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, said:
"The Terrier armoured digger is excellent news for the Army.
"Its versatility will pay huge dividends on the battlefields of the future. We could not be happier with this new Armoured Engineer capability.''
Pictures released today show the vehicle being put through its paces by soldiers from the Defence Armoured Vehicle Centre in Bovington in Dorset.
Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, added:
"The Terrier Vehicle is a great example of the contribution that the British Defence industry makes to our Armed Forces.
"Designed and built in the UK by BAE Systems, it will provide technological advances for our troops with a more robust and versatile engineering capability.''