The UK Army has received the first Terrier light-armoured vehicle under contract from BAE Systems for use by the Royal Engineers.
Around 60 vehicles were ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with logistics support and training package under a £350m deal to replace the Royal Engineers' existing FV180 combat engineer tractor fleet in July 2002.
Weighing 30t, Terrier is designed to remove obstacles and mines for frontline troops, dig anti-tank ditches, trenches and armoured fighting vehicle slots, and clear and maintain routes in conflict zones.
Air-transportable by C-17 Globemaster III or Airbus A400M, Terrier represents the first combat vehicle to feature drive-by-wire technology and special to role computers that can manage automotive and combat engineer systems respectively enabling the vehicle's computers to perform functions.
UK defence equipment, support and technology minister Philip Dunne said the vehicle would provide technological advances for British soldiers with a more robust and versatile engineering capabilities.
BAE Systems Combat Vehicles (UK) managing director said David Bond said: "Terrier represents a step change in vehicle design with its use of the most up to date advances in technology and is the most complex yet easy-to-use combat vehicle currently in service with the British Army."
Capable of being operated automatically by remote control and radio link up to 1,000m, the vehicle is currently undergoing evaluations at the Defence Armoured Vehicle Centre in Bovington, UK.
Royal Engineers warrant officer Steve Cahill, who has tested the vehicle, said Terrier is capable of digging holes, lifting objects and drilling into the ground or shatter concrete, while being remotely controlled and providing armoured protection, top cover and smoke shields to soldiers.
Fitted with five onboard cameras and thermal imaging technology for 360° surveillance capability, the vehicle can also be equipped with 7.62mm general purpose machine gun and smoke grenade launchers for combat missions.
Currently under production at BAE's facility in Newcastle, UK, the last of the contracted vehicles is scheduled to be delivered by January 2014, five months ahead of schedule.
Image: British Army's Terrier vehicle undergoing evaluation at the Defence Armoured Vehicle Centre in Bovington, UK. Photo: Andrew Linnett / Crown Copyright.