FV180 Combat Engineer Tractor
The Combat Engineer Tractor or more commonly known as the CET. The CET is a tracked lightly armoured amphibious vehicle fitted with a large bucket for earthworks such as bridge preparation, digging vehicle-fighting pits, constructing earthen barriers, repairing roads, recovery of disabled vehicles from water and other obstacles, preparing riverbanks for vehicle crossings and clearing obstacles. entering general service in 1979 to replace the Centurion AVRE.
The two crew sit in tandem positions on the left-hand side of the vehicle, each with a set of driving controls facing opposite directions. the large earth-moving bucket is fitted at the rear of the vehicle and a rocket-propelled anchor on a 100-meter hawser attached to an 8-tonne winch can be fitted to the front. When operated from the front-facing seat it can be driven on the road, with a maximum speed of 35mph.
An Auxiliary Lifting Attachment (ALA) – a davit with a winch rope roller – could be fitted to the inside of the earth moving bucket for lifting loads of up to 4 tonnes. such as Medium Girder Bridge pallets, which could be lifted vertically to a height of 1.8 meters allowing the loading onto cargo lorries with limited use due to lateral weakness of the ALA and the proximity of the load to the earth moving bucket. later withdrawn from service.
Two Dowty water impellers, one mounted on each side of the vehicle and controlled by the commander in the rear seat facing forwards, provide amphibious propulsion, the water jets are also used to steer the vehicle when swimming, by movable cowls directing the flow of water. When not in use, the propulsion unit water intakes are closed off with armoured covers to prevent damage during digging operations. Flotation aids are required to trim the vehicle for swimming and a “washboard” is fitted to the front of the vehicle to prevent the bow wave from flooding the crew compartment when entering the water, a maximum speed in water is 8.5 knots. The vehicle will wade in 1.8m of water and requires preparation for operating in deeper water than this as it achieves buoyancy. CET can tow a “Giant Viper” anti-mine system. Also, it is air-transportable weighing 17.5 tons by a C-130 Hercules aircraft.
The CET The vehicle is NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) proofed and has an air filtration unit, supplying clean air to the crew when operating with the crew hatches closed down in a contaminated environment. The NBC air system is also used to inflate the buoyancy aids required to trim the vehicle when swimming.
Powered by a 12.2-litre Rolls-Royce C6TFR turbocharged diesel engine, developing 320 hp.
- Weight: 17.5 tons
- Width: 9ft 8in.
- Height: 8ft 9in.
- Length: 24ft 9in.
- Max Speed: 35 mph
- Power/weight 19hp/tonne
- Suspension Torsion suspension
- Range: 300 miles
Crew of two: Driver, Commander/radio operator