Chobham Armour

Chobham Armour

Cold War British Armoured Vehicle Development

General Military
  • Author: William Suttie
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 27 Oct 2022
  • Number of Pages: 320
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A comprehensive overview of the work of the Military Vehicles Research and Development Establishment on Chobham Common, which provided armoured vehicles for the British Army from 1945 to its close in 2004.

Through much of World War II British tanks and armoured vehicles were outmatched by the German tanks they encountered and this led to the British Army placing much emphasis on ensuring that the same situation would not arise again if the Cold War turned hot. The task of developing the Main Battle Tanks and supporting armoured vehicles to out-range and quickly destroy the Soviet threat fell to the scientists and engineers at the Fighting Vehicle Research and Development Establishment on Chobham Common near to Chertsey. It was the design authority for all British Military vehicles for most of the period.

Military vehicle and equipment expert William Suttie draws extensively on official MOD reports to tell the story of the development of the British Cold War armour, such as the Centurion, Chieftain, Challenger, and many other wheeled and tracked armour vehicles that served the British Army of The Rhine. The vehicles developed at the Chertsey site were never used for their intended purpose on the plains of North-west Germany, but have proved their worth in British operations in places like Korea, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the hands of other users around the world.

Fully illustrated with photographs, schemes and drawings, including some that have never been published before, this is a unique detailed overview of the development of all post-war British armoured vehicles.

Biographical Note

William Suttie has worked for the UK MOD for over 25 years in the field of military vehicle and equipment research and development, currently as part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. During this period areas of work and expertise have included NBC detection and protection, signature management, engineer vehicle concepts, minefield detection, combat identification, platform survivability and vehicle subsystem technology. He completed a 4 year tour as the scientific advisor to Director Land Equipment in the Defence Equipment and Support Agency and was recently seconded for 10 months to support Capability Director Combat within Army HQ. He has an Honours degree in Automotive Engineering and a Masters Degree in Military Vehicle Technology.


(Subject to confirmation)
Part 1. Main Battle Tank Development
FV215 Conqueror
Countering the Soviet Tank Threat
FV4201 Chieftain
Chieftain Variants
Novel Concept Studies
German Future Main Battle Tank
MBT80 and the 4030 Programme
Challenger 1
Challenger 1 Variants
Challenger 2
Future Concept Studies

Part 2. Medium and Light Tracked AFV Development
Light Tanks and Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked 93
Carriers and Armoured Personal Carriers
AFV of the 80s Stage 1
Other Light and Medium Tracks Concept Studies

Part 3. Wheeled AFV Concepts and Development
Saladin and Saracen
Ferret and Fox

Part 4. Other Vehicles Associated with Chertsey
1 Ton Armoured 4x4 Humber
FV180 Combat Engineer Tractor
SP70: 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer

Annex A: List of FV Numbers
Annex B: Centurion Data
Annex C. Chieftain Data
Annex D: Challenger 1 Data
Annex E: CVR(T) Data
Annex F: FV430 Series Data
Annex G: Warrior Data
Annex H: Saladin Data
Annex J: Saracen Data
Annex J: Ferret Data
Annex K: FV721 Fox Data

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