Request for info on Chieftain ARV

#1
A friend of mine runs a model firm and he's working on a drastic conversion of the Tamiya Chieftain kit into an ARV. He has loads of info on the bulk standard one and has permission to go to the REME museum and photograph/measure the one they have there. There are a couple of things though that he'd like to know.

Was it designed to carry a L60 pack (or am I confusing it with the CHARV?). If it was were the penthouses constructed for exercise possibly adaptable for war service? What were the circumstances when the ARV would carry a pack given that the 434 could carry one as well?

Any info greatly recieved but if anyone has any pics of them on exercise, including vice on the blade, extra bins, cam stowage and especially the penthouses he'd love to see them. Also any 434 pics might be useful.

Many thanks.

Stumpy
 
#2
Sorry mate
But Chieftain ARV was precisely that - only a recovery vehicle, it wouldn't have been able to carry an L60 as it broke down as much as an MBT so the spare pack would have been very inconvenient, I do believe in later life it's role did change but after I left in 1990. 434s were the L60 mainstay from Sqn LAD to Fd wksps. The penthouses were very much LAD manufacture but, looked highly professional to be fair. Tarps could be made in a local workshop with 'B vehicle' canvas making kit in much the same way as MBT back deck 'tents'.
 
#3
Ive spent time in the back of a Chieftain ARV, as most Chieftain crewmen did, and I don't remember any fitiings or strappings which would have secured an L60 pack. There was just a T Piece as normal. Like Arthur says though, the vehicle was designed for recovery - not pack lifts. I don't see why the penthouses couldn't have been continued with in wartime. They wouldn't have affected the vehicle's ability to do the job.

The blade was never used because the hydraulics were sh1te. In the 1980's ARV's were fitted with elasticated towropes which when deployed with the vehicle running in reverse made the blade kind of redundant, except for making scrapes.

I might have some pictures somewhere.
 
#4
To quote the REME Museum

After a long development period the Chieftain tank began to replace the Centurion in the late 1960s. It was powered by a diesel engine designed to run on a variety of fuels and carried a 120 mm gun, as powerful as that of the Conqueror but in a tank weighing much the same as the smaller Centurion. A purpose designed ARV variant, it bore some similarity to the Conqueror ARV Mark 2, with a sloping glacis plate carried up to roof height. The novelty was a winch, designed to pull from the front of the tank so that the spade was mounted at the front and could double as a bulldozer blade. Another advantage was that the crew could, if necessary, control the winch from behind the vehicle's armour but with a full view of the casualty through the ARV's periscopes.

To speed up repairs it was usually necessary to remove a tank's engine completely. This involved first removing other components to gain access. A newer concept fitted engine and accessories together in a power pack, which could be lifted out more quickly in its entirety. The cranes on REME's forward repair vehicles were not robust enough for the heavy power packs, and it was decided to fit larger cranes on to the ARVs to give them the dual capacity to lift or recover equipment. The concept had been tried on foreign vehicles, and earlier ARVs had carried lifting booms but these had to be assembled before being used. Chieftain ARVs were reworked to carry hydraulic cranes and were redesignated Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicles (ARRV). At one stage it was planned that the ARRV should carry a spare power pack on its rear deck but this made the vehicle conspicuous when it was in a forward area carrying out recovery work. Instead, special trailers were built to carry the power packs across rough ground.

The Chieftain is fitted with a dual capstan winch, in which the stresses are taken by a drum with only one winding of cable, to prevent it being crushed. A secondary drum stores the cable. A second low capacity winch is also fitted and can be used to haul out the main winch cable to speed up recovery work.

Chieftain ARRVs remained in use well into the 1990s.

Length


8.57 m (28 ft 1 in)

Width


3.53 m (11 ft 7 in)

Height


3.43 m (11 ft 3 in)

Weight


54.7 tons

Main winch


30 tons capacity - direct pull

Crane lift


6.5 tons - max

Engine


Leyland L60 vertically opposed 6 cylinder diesel
 
#7
make sure he includes the wing mirror poles which we used to hang off to drop a log on exercise
 
#8
VerminWA said:
The Cheiftain ARRV complete with buckets underneath to catch all the fluids that continually leaked from them!

The buckets are in the wrong place. The oil would have dripped through the hull main access panel but those are positioned under the driver's compartment which means the drain there has been opened deliberately to drain the hull.
 
#9
GDav said:
VerminWA said:
The Cheiftain ARRV complete with buckets underneath to catch all the fluids that continually leaked from them!

The buckets are in the wrong place. The oil would have dripped through the hull main access panel but those are positioned under the driver's compartment which means the drain there has been opened deliberately to drain the hull.
The buckets are for the drivers comfort breaks!!!
 
#10
scarred4life said:
GDav said:
VerminWA said:
The Cheiftain ARRV complete with buckets underneath to catch all the fluids that continually leaked from them!

The buckets are in the wrong place. The oil would have dripped through the hull main access panel but those are positioned under the driver's compartment which means the drain there has been opened deliberately to drain the hull.
The buckets are for the drivers comfort breaks!!!
P1sshing in the vehicle is a last resort for combat troops - not Bluebell.
 
#11
GDav said:
scarred4life said:
GDav said:
VerminWA said:
The Cheiftain ARRV complete with buckets underneath to catch all the fluids that continually leaked from them!

The buckets are in the wrong place. The oil would have dripped through the hull main access panel but those are positioned under the driver's compartment which means the drain there has been opened deliberately to drain the hull.
The buckets are for the drivers comfort breaks!!!
P1sshing in the vehicle is a last resort for combat troops - not Bluebell.
P*ssed on my squadron leaders head once when standing on the search light (me not him or I would be infeasably tall!) - he even looked up in mid-stream!
 
#12
The Mk5 Cheiftain ARV didn't need to carry a replacement pack as, at the time each fitter section had a 434. So there was never a cradle to carry a replacement K60 or L60. When upgraded to Mk 7 Cheiftain ARRV, then the vehicles at 2nd line (Armoured Workshops) were fitted with a cradle to carry a CV12. With in a Armoured regt all the cradles were removed and dumped outside QM tech.
 
#13
scarred4life said:
GDav said:
VerminWA said:
The Cheiftain ARRV complete with buckets underneath to catch all the fluids that continually leaked from them!

The buckets are in the wrong place. The oil would have dripped through the hull main access panel but those are positioned under the driver's compartment which means the drain there has been opened deliberately to drain the hull.
The buckets are for the drivers comfort breaks!!!
LMFAO, wot comfort breaks,the only break i/we had is when the b*st*rd brokedown,well most of the time i surpose.Then the other 3 would swanoff and you where left with the hard work 1 crate of tenants,cherry brandy,HAPPY DAYS (saved a few for the FRG) 8) :lol: :cry: :lol:
 
#14
blackpep said:
scarred4life said:
GDav said:
VerminWA said:
The Cheiftain ARRV complete with buckets underneath to catch all the fluids that continually leaked from them!

The buckets are in the wrong place. The oil would have dripped through the hull main access panel but those are positioned under the driver's compartment which means the drain there has been opened deliberately to drain the hull.
The buckets are for the drivers comfort breaks!!!
LMFAO, wot comfort breaks,the only break i/we had is when the b*st*rd brokedown,well most of the time i surpose.Then the other 3 would swanoff and you where left with the hard work 1 crate of tenants,cherry brandy,HAPPY DAYS (saved a few for the FRG) :cry: :lol: :cry: 8)
 
#15
I remember a General coming over to watch our Arrv dig my panzer into a scrape out in the sticks somewhere. Just as happened during a demo on the tank park, the blade jerked up and down like a troopers fist in a sangar and then fell off! Fcuking great he said and walked off! :x
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#16
GDav said:
Ive spent time in the back of a Chieftain ARV, as most Chieftain crewmen did, and I don't remember any fitiings or strappings which would have secured an L60 pack. There was just a T Piece as normal. Like Arthur says though, the vehicle was designed for recovery - not pack lifts. I don't see why the penthouses couldn't have been continued with in wartime. They wouldn't have affected the vehicle's ability to do the job.

The blade was never used because the hydraulics were sh1te. In the 1980's ARV's were fitted with elasticated towropes which when deployed with the vehicle running in reverse made the blade kind of redundant, except for making scrapes.

I might have some pictures somewhere.
Happy days in the 'penthouse' keeping warm as your wagon was being towed back to the crossroads as Schneverdingen (try Google earth...it's as it was decades ago). I think I spent more time between the back of an ARV and operating the jib on the 434 (DIY pack lifts), than I did in my cab.

I remember my Tp Cpl bogging his wagon in and the Tps Sgt Getting his wagon bogged in at the back of him whilst atempting to pull the full screw's chariot out. Then to top it all, the Tp Leader suggested that we roll up the back of the Tp Sgts vehicle and attempt a recovery, with the two bogged down wagons giving it revs in reverse. Never worked. I'll have to dig the photos out. All three c/s bogged in behind one another.

It took two ARVs to get us all out one at a time.

Also remember being on FTX somewhere around Hameln. The Sqn in front of ours, were doing a closed down bridge crossing and either a No 11 or No 12 bridge went skew wiff with a Chieftain on top. Tank ended up in the water on its roof, gun was front and 'depressed' as it hit the bank, so the driver was trapped in. none of the turret termites could get out as the tank was on it's turret roof. Took the a while to get it righted..in the dark!, but the lads who were in it all survived. The driver had acid burns from the batteries. The Loader took a number of photos with his Instamatic camera as the water was rising higher inside. All three in the turret were convinced that they were going to drown, the gunner had to keep putting his head 'up' between his knees so that he could breath. REME Reccy Mechs played a blinder that night. Saved the crew.

After that, we stopped doing closed down crossings.
 
#17
Biscuits_AB said:
Also remember being on FTX somewhere around Hameln. The Sqn in front of ours, were doing a closed down bridge crossing and either a No 11 or No 12 bridge went skew wiff with a Chieftain on top. Tank ended up in the water on its roof, gun was front and 'depressed' as it hit the bank, so the driver was trapped in. none of the turret termites could get out as the tank was on it's turret roof. Took the a while to get it righted..in the dark!, but the lads who were in it all survived. The driver had acid burns from the batteries. The Loader took a number of photos with his Instamatic camera as the water was rising higher inside. All three in the turret were convinced that they were going to drown, the gunner had to keep putting his head down between his knees so that he could breath. REME Reccy Mechs played a blinder that night. Saved the crew.

After that, we stopped doing closed down crossings.
Fcuk that.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#18
We were held up for a while waiting to get onto the crossing as no f*cker near us knew what had happened, we just thouhgt that it was another 'hurry up and wait' saga. The Sappers got in with another bridge and we eventually cracked on totally oblivious to what was happening.

I've no idea how the Recce Mechs worked out how to get the vehicle upright without 'damaging' the crew inside, in the dark and p*ssing rain. The REME must have had to go into that river as well. Hats off to them.

When we found out the following day, didn't half send a shiver down the spine. Never really liked doing night time river crossings before then, f*cking hated them after that.
 
#20
I broke down trying to get on one in the dark. They had to move the bridge and by the time my panzer had a new gearbox, endex! :D
 

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