Landrovers in the armed forces- today

XD Problems in the UK

LandRover got the contract to replace the ageing fleet of Series III with new Defender XD's. However several problems arose.

The Ministry of Defence MOD hoped to have the new vehicles in operation by December 1994 at a cost of 19.329 £ each. In the end they had to wait until September 97 and paid 25.868£ each. They had to spend an additional £23 million for maintenance on the old vehicles in that time.

The Wolf- a Defender XD 110 24-volt FFR hard top

In 1991 the army invited offers for light, medium and heavy duty trucks. Steyr Daimler Puch won the contract for the heavy duty trucks, replacing the 101's by 394 Pinzgauers. LandRover had what was called reliability problems during testing. Problems were still not solved and testing still went on when the first Pinzgauers entered service in May of 1995. In June 95 LR finally met the goals but still with systematic failures in rear differentials and transfer boxes.

So the MOD agreed to buy 7925 vehicles to be in service in September 96'. They also decided to pay an extra £555 to upgrade the warranty from 2 to 5 years- a clever move in my oppinion.When the first vehicles arrived in July 95' the army discovered a braking problem due to changes LR made in the meantime. So delivery was suspended until April 97', 28 months after the intended in-service date when they got the medium-duty trucks. And only 33 months after this first date they got the light-duty trucks. Support package was also delayed due to the "poor quality of Land-Rover's publications and changes in the details of the spares list and the late delivery of some spares". In the end they had to pay 34% more per vehicle than first intended. Only good news in this sad story: Both trucks exceeded their reliability goals in the end by 340%.

In line with a long Land-Rover tradition they finally met the goals- much delayed and by spending a fortune on new parts.

General Facts about the XD's

The projected minimum in-service life is 12 years. Only the chassis, rails and external body panels are identical to the civilian models. All-new crossmembers were fitted as well as a new subframe under the load bed and the fuel tanks are better protected. New axles were designed including Range Rover differentials and new wheels added that wear G90 tubeless tires. The bulkhead, cab top rails and sills have been reinforced and new watertight Jerrycan lockers incorporated in front of the rear wheels. Additional reinforcements to the body allowed fitting of a large diameter tube canopy that doubles as rollcage and seat belt support. Those rails are designed to be unbolted quickly for stripping the vehicle. The spare wheel can be bonnet- or side-mounted. The radiator is better protected and quicker to remove.

The vehicles are so similar to standard production vehicles that they can be assembled on the same line.

Wolf MRCV on Defender 110 XD chassis with a heavy machine gun

The Perenties of Australia

Without any doubt the Perenties of the Australian Army are among the best and most interesting military Land Rovers ever having served. Look here for more .