Land Rover Wolf
One vehicle synonymous with the military operations around the world is the Land Rover. The all-terrain 4×4 vehicle was first produced in 1948, based upon a design spawned from the Willys / Bantam Jeeps of WWII fame (designer Maurice Wilks).
The military Land Rover is used as a light utility vehicle and has been adopted in a number of guises and body styles (23 versions) including fire engines, excavators, communication vehicle, ambulance, a lightweight model for air transport, snowplough, six-wheel drive, amphibious and track-propelled versions. The Land Rover has been regarded as a reliable workhorse for the British Military and, although there are now moves to replace it with alternatives, it is still very much in use. The UK forces vehicles are based on the Series and Defender models and commonly use the 2.5l four-cylinder 300TDi engine (111hp, 83kW), which is simple to service and is not electronically controlled.
Land Rover military modifications
Modifications for military use include: heavy-duty suspension, modified upgrade brakes, 24V electrical system, snorkel, black-out lights, convoy lights and weapons mounts for special equipment and small arms such as machine guns, recoil-less rifles and more recently with a Heckler and Koch automatic grenade launcher.
Armed Forces Rally Team WOLF
So what makes the AFRT Land Rovers special? Well nothing really, they are as close to the standard issued Land Rover Wolf as possible. The main changes involve the fitting of an uprated roll cage and other associated equipment to make each vehicle fully compliant with the FIA and Motorsport UK regulations (seats, harnesses, fire extinguishers, intercom etc).
Additionally the Land Rovers have benefitted from uprated suspension modifications including Terrafirma springs and dampers, uprated brake discs and pads and all bushes replaced with Polybush items.
These modifications have been made by the Team to increase the safety of the crews when 'on stage'. The over-riding aim is to maintain the vehicles as close to military standard as possible, the skill of the crews is what makes these vehicles fly!
The Team's Land Rovers are each assigned a callsign such as R1, R2 etc. On the radio this would be spoken as "Romeo 1" etc leading to the Team referring to the vehicles as Romeos.