Centurion AVREs

Gentlemen Sappers,

For once I'm not having a pop at your EOD lot. This is a genuine question, prompted by the story about AVREs brewing up on Op Granby.

I believe Op Granby was the last time Cent AVRE 165 and 105 were deployed (might be wrong, though). Does anyone know if they ever fired their main guns, and at what? What was the target effect?

And does anyone know why Chieftan AVRE never had a gun? I can see lots of uses for that big old 165 HESH round. Concrete hasn't got any softer these days, has it?
The AVRE's that blew up were destroyed as result of an accident. All to do with "a petrol leak" and a spark I believe, nothing to do with cooking (Honest Guv) Good photo's in 32's Cpl's Mess.
No 105 AVRE's were deployed to the Gulf. The 165's did fire main armament but never in anger and 165 rounds do indeed make a resounding bang when they hit.They were trialed at bund busting and were effective of a sort if you could concentrate fire on one spot. We had to use Spam ammo though, there wasn't enough of ours.
That piece of diesel crap wasn't given a gun because of the believed improvement of artillery accuracy and the emergence of smart weapons, so in the event of a bridge demolition failing or a pillbox needing destroyed it would prove easier to lase the target and drop a smart munition on it. Plus when the 165 was fielded originally the main tank gun was 20 pounder then 105mm. when 120mm came out its HESH round was found to be far more effective against concrete than the previous guns.
It was also deemed more important to carry 3 fascines as opposed to the one of the Cent.
I'm pretty sure most of the petrol generation would like to see a gun brought back into service, but with the introduction of Trojan it seems there's no chance.
Quite right axeman...check out the comical military gallery...i posted one of those infamous pics in there...enjoy.. :wink:

I do believe there was some form of valuation done into a compressed "air" gun of sorts once upon a time..to take the place of the cent ones..maybe somebody in the know could shed a light on this one?
"For once I'm not having a pop at your EOD lot" Why are you even leaving messages on any RE thread other than you are truly a wannabe Sapper, are you sure Duke Firkin QC whatever you are called that you weren't "trashed" (terminology started several years ago in the wooden sided corridors of the 'death Star' commonly known as MPA, Falkland Islands, "trashed" was when some unfortunate non RE soul would happen to wander into the Sapper lines and would generally be left literally "trashed" in one of the dusty bins complete with lid on ; ) by some burly Sappers in your dark dindgy past?

Go stack some blankets you Really Large Corps, RE wannabe you...

Enough said...



I think that the reason why the CH AVRE (and indeed the new Trojan CR based vehicle) didnt have a gun was that it was felt that the advantage of having a top hamper that could carry 3 'bundles' of fascine or trackway was more advantageous in terms of mobility support to a BG than having a turret. Furthermore the 165 gun was not thought to be that effective, and was a relic of WW2 style tactics.
if i remember correctly.....modern bridges(with lots of reinforcing) became a tough nut to crack for the flying dustbins....old bridges no problemo....target would have to be a 2 stage attack which wouldn't be too cool at the sharp end of a reserve dem.However...from what i got told about Iraq...it would have done the trick for obstacle/house clearance :lol:
Quite interesting post, and good to see Sir RB not having a pop for once. At last peace in our time.

Hey, Zus, chill. I'd have thought you'd have been flattered for an non-RE pers to be asking serious questions no matter what their background was.

You really are an angry man mate. There is a time and a place for having a pop at our RLC 'friends'. This thread is not the place.

All I heard reference the incident was that they were refueling 2 x cent 165's at the time. A spark (most probably from a cooker) set one on fire and then the second caught. I am close friends with the Tp SSgt who drove the pod out from between the 2 burning vehicles and the RSM who was involved in the rescue (i think). Having seen the pictures of the explosion is is a miracle that no-one was killed.


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To an uninitiated person, this seems like a tasty bit of kit. Photo at MOD Oracle. Any comments from those in the know.

New Army Muscle Machine Unveiled
Friday, May 27, 2005

Source: MoD News

A prototype of Terrier - the £300 million combat engineer vehicle under development for the Army by BAE Systems - was officially unveiled by Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Drayson, on 27 May 2005 at BAE Systems, Leicester.

Designed to withstand mine explosions, small arms fire and artillery while digging trenches or clearing obstacles for the infantry, Terrier will become a vital tool for the Royal Engineers when it enters service towards the end of the decade. It will be equipped with a machine gun for self defence, but can be entirely operated by remote control, should the area it needs to work in be initially too dangerous for troops to enter.

As well as being able to operate under fire, Terrier will also be equally important for peacetime operations, and by replacing its mine plough with a fork lift will be able to move supplies for troops or humanitarian aid.

Speaking at the unveiling, Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Drayson said:

"Although still at the prototype stage, when it enters service Terrier will be a hugely powerful and versatile piece of equipment. It will be an extremely tough machine, like a cross between an armoured vehicle and a bulldozer, and I am pleased to see all the good work that is being done to get it into production.

"Designed in Leicester and manufactured and integrated by BAE Systems in Newcastle and Barrow, this prototype clearly demonstrates the great level of skills and workmanship here in the UK."

Terrier will fill the gap between heavy engineer tanks working on the front line and unarmoured commercial equipment working in rear areas. Terrier will provide the capability to clear routes, obstacles and dig defensive positions.

Terrier will be airportable within C17 or A400M transport aircraft.

Approximately 90 per cent of Terrier will be sourced in the UK. Terrier is being procured by for the MoD by the Mobility IPT at the Defence Procurement Agency, Bristol.
It will be really good but we are getting about 6 to replace the 100+ CETs that currently reside on the tank parks (broken down). Typical politician though, terrier does not have a mine plow. It may be fitted with a scatterable mine clearance device but it cannot do what the AVRE plough does.


Don't knock it. It almost got taken out of the programme completely! And I reckon that anything that moves is better than CET.
From what i've been told it's not meant to work in the direct fire zone...hence it won't be fitted with the mineplough...it will however be fitted for the Surface Mine Clearer (currently fitted to a few Warriors when the need arises in Iraq).It has an excavator arm and has a ruddy great big bucket on the front.It's fast....and will be a damn sight better than the Frogs!I think it will have various attachments that can be fitted to the arm...crew of 2 p.o.m's...indirect vision system...and probably a few more gucci items to go with it....oh i think it has a CAT engine too 8)
I had the hilarious misfortune of having the Commander ,of the 'wagon' that created the excellent selection of piccys,......come to Germany as me Troop Staffy!! The story i got told wos that the Cent that blew (his) wos having the engine decks cleaned with Petrol whilst a lad wos in the hatch cooking....this caught fire....fire got WAY outta control...and being fully bombed up,everyone scarpered.......the other wagon wos broken down next to it.........also fully bombed...hence the 'big bang' (if u look closely at the piccys u can see tiny ant like people bomb bursting in all directions...)
Didnt do his career any harm.....unfortunately 8O
I heard one of the crew was cleaning the radiators with said petrol....and yer man was cooking in the turret without an item called a kidney plate in it's position...this was removed so you could access the fuel filter and parts of the engine....needless to say....it gave a perfect route for the petrol fumes to follow...hehehehe...are we talking about a north eastern person here Benny?
An armoured fork lift with a cupola mounted Jimpy - I can just see the TA Sappers trying to get one for the day job in B&Q - imagine one on a hectic bank holiday racing up and down the aisles, mowing down the slow moving anoraks as young Davey tries to deliver Mrs Jones new BBQ! :D
chimera said:
I think that the reason why the CH AVRE (and indeed the new Trojan CR based vehicle) didnt have a gun was that it was felt that the advantage of having a top hamper that could carry 3 'bundles' of fascine or trackway was more advantageous in terms of mobility support to a BG than having a turret. Furthermore the 165 gun was not thought to be that effective, and was a relic of WW2 style tactics.
as someone who was involved with and was part of the development team of the CH AVRE, i can safely say youve just hit the nail on the head there.


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