Centurion ARV Mk2 (Armoured Recovery Vehicle) FV 4006 was introduced, after extensive trials, in 1956. The Mk1 ARV was simple tug vehicle converted from earlier versions of gun tanks. The Mark 2 was mostly newly built as an ARV. The Centurion ARV consisted of a basic tank hull with a box superstructure in place of the turret; this accommodated the winch and separate winch engine, (a 160 hp. Rolls Royce B80.) The engine powered a generator supplying electric power to the winch. The cable emerged from the back of the winch housing and a rear mounted spade gave stability whilst winching. The winch has a 31 tons direct pull capacity and, using 3:1 snatch blocks, is capable of pulling up to 90 tons.
The Centurion ARV is fitted, on the exterior of the cupola, with a 30in No.7 MK 1 browning machine gun for use by the commander in defence against ground troops and low flying aircraft. You will notice smoke discharges fitted on all four corners of the hull which would provide a readily available smoke screen to allow the vehicle to manoeuvre under smoke cover, the dischargers are designed to fire the No.80 grenade using electric No.F103 MK 2 and 3 fuse’s as propellant.
The Centurion ARV is fitted with the Rolls Royce Meteor Mk 4B ‘V’12 cylinder, 27 litre water cooled petrol engine producing 650bhp at 2500rpm giving the vehicle a top speed of 21mph and a fuel consumption of about 3-4 gallons per mile (depending on driving conditions). The vehicle is also fitted with a Morris USHNM Mk 2 water-cooled, 4 cylinder side valve petrol engine, producing 20bhp, to drive a 3kw Dynamo for charging the batteries
The suspension is of the Hortmann type, a system that uses Coil Springs and has the advantage of a relatively long travel. Housed within a self-contained Bogie which is bolted to the outside of the hull it causes little or no encroachment on internal hull space, consequently, the entire suspension unit may be relatively easily removed and replaced if damaged, e.g., by Mine. There are six pairs of road wheels on each side with the drive sprocket at the rear and idler at the front, three track return rollers are fitted.
- Weight: – 50 tons
- Width: – 11.2ft
- Height: – 9ft 10in.
- Length: – 25ft 6in
- Speed: – 21MPH
- Horstmann suspension
- Power/weight; 13hp/ton
Crew of four: Driver, VM (vehicle mechanic), Radio operator, Winch operator.