The first DROPS deployed by the army

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Speedy, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. Found this in my box of photos and (even though it is a little spotterish) is a noteworthy pic. I've uploaded it to the albums too with this comment:


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  2. Note driver wearing lightweights. Any form of tropical combats or desert kit was either non-existant (we wouldn't see desert combats for another 5 weeks) or in short supply.
  3. I cant see the drivers trousers!
  4. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Wasn't there a court case about that time
    The firm who developed this system for lifting skips accused Leyland and teh MoD of nicking there idea IIRC
  5. Nah, the principle behind DROPS has been around since the early 70's and known as Ampliroll, it was mounted on the back of 8 wheeled Fodens for trials back then.
  6. A handful of us were lucky (or unlucky!) enough to work with the Yank Marines for a few weeks helping them at one of their front line locations, good guys and gave us all 2 sets of their own desert combats as they felt 'sorry' for us Brits :D gave them a few of our 24 hour rat packs and we didn't need to return them when we eventually returned to our Unit... although of course we had to resort back to Tropicals when we returned!!! :soldier:
  7. There was some sort of political scandal over DROPS - I remember a Panorama or World in Action type programme about it at the time.
  8. The “scandal” was all about Bougntons (don’t know how to spell that) they did all the initial trials, they then got the nod they would get the contract, and they did not get a look in.
  9. I recall seeing all of the different DROPS variants on trial in Aldershot in '88. The Foden version IIRC was supposed to be the high mobility variant to replace the Stalwart, only it never worked as advertised and was hampered by technical problems which is why it was not entered into service until several years after the Leyland version, and even then at a reduced mobility level. During Granby there was a UOR for a HMLC (High Mobility Load Carrier) to replace the Stalwart which had been removed from service the year before, and we purchased a lot of M548's from the Americans to fill the gap.
    I also remember seeing that huge all wheel drive TM arctic around the 'shot at the time as well.

    Edited to add: There used to be some pictures of that doing some impressive knife edge x-country on Aldershort trg area on the net but I can't find them now :(
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  10. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    I think the system was introduced in 1969 by the Marell Corporation, now Ampiroll as speedy says. They also invented the skip loading systems as well
  11. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    I thought that they came in as part of the MLRS fleet?
  12. On the trail in Aldershot there were two versions of the Daf (Scamel at the time) and two of the Foden. The IMMLC and the MMLC. I believe after the trails they carried on having problems with both the Foden and the Daf, for instance the Daf kept rolling over around bends, even after they were introduced.
  13. The MLRS were resupplied off the backs of 14ton Beford TMs. The 548's were used for 'traditional' arty resupply. They are not big enough to carry MLRS rockt pods IIRC (I stand to be corrected here). On teh whole though, most resupply was done from traditional wheeled vehicles rather than the 548's, due to the limited carrying capacity of these. this picture gives you a good idea of the size of them (I can't find one of the back loading area):


    One other notable effect of the introduction of DROPS (and to logistics in general) was the realisation that many of our drivers and transport units were woefully lacking in drivers with more than HGV2 (cat c) as there was now a great requirment for HGV 1 (cat c+e) trained drivers because of the introduction of DROPS and thier trailers. Previously getting HGV 1 out of the army was almost impossible unless posted\attached to a unit such as tank transporting or your trade required it such as vehicle specialist and recovery mechnaic. So much so that 25 Sqn RCT from Bicester who drove 'white fleet' HGV1 Volvos in the UK delivering defense stores were deployed as a DROPS equipped unit because of their driver quals.
  14. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Havent some of these been converted to recovery versions now?
  15. The recovery varient, the M578 is a different vehicle, albeit using the same chassis.