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Hippo

Beach recovery vehicle

Hippo BRV

The Hippo beach recovery vehicle is certainly among the most unusual element of the British arsenal

 
 
Country of origin Norway / United Kingdom
Entered service 2003
Crew 4 men (?)
Dimensions and weight
Weight 50 t
Length ~ 7.3 m
Width ~ 3.5 m
Height ~ 4 m
Performance
Towed load 50 t
Armament
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine MTU MB 838 Ca M500 diesel
Engine power 830 hp
Maximum road speed 20 km/h
Range ~ 400 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope ?
Vertical step ~ 1.15 m
Trench ~ 3 m
Fording 2.95 m

 

   The Hippo is a British Beach Recovery Vehicle (BRV). It was developed under the Future Beach Recovery Vehicle (FBRV) programme for the UK's Royal Marines. Prime contractor was Hagglunds Moelv of Norway. It was acquired by BAE Systems in 2004. The Hippo was introduced in 2003 as a replacement for the previous CEBARV, that was based on ageing Centurion main battle tank chassis. Currently the Hippo is the only recovery vehicle in service in the United Kingdom in the amphibious role. Only 4 of these recovery vehicles were obtained and are in service with the Royal Marines. Two of them are carried onboard HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark landing ships, while another two are used by Royal Marine training unit. Beach recovery vehicles are certainly among the most unusual elements in the British arsenal.

   The Hippo is based on a German Leopard 1A5 main battle tank chassis, especially modified for the beach recovery mission. Tank's turret has been replaced by a raised superstructure, that resembles a wheelhouse of a small ship. The Hippo is taller than the previous CEBARV. However its superstructure is not fully armored. Air intakes of the vehicle had been raised

   The Hippo is used for various roles, including unbeaching, unbroaching and anchoring of landing craft as well as the recovery of drowned vehicles. It can pull vehicles with a maximum weight of 50 t. In addition, it provides a lee for recovery and diving operations. The Hippo can be delivered to its operational area by a landing craft or landing ships.

   The Hippo has a special nose block, which is used to push landing craft off the beachhead.

   This unusual military vehicle is operated by a crew of around 4 men, including an experienced diver.

   This recovery vehicle normally carries no defensive armament.

   The Hippo retains original engine of the Leopard 1A5 tank. It is an MTU MB 838 Ca M500 multi-fuel diesel, developing 830 hp. This engine can run on any grade of diesel, petrol, kerosene, and jet fuel. Even though the engine remains unchanged, the gearing of the Leopard 1A5 transmission had been lowered in order to increase traction force. However due to these changes maximum road speed of the Hippo is just 20 km/h. There is also an auxiliary power unit.

   Dutch military uses a similar beach recovery vehicle, called the Bulldog. It is also based on a modified Leopard 1V main battle tank chassis. It has different superstructure, though specifications of the Bulldog are broadly similar to those of the Hippo.

 

 

 
Hippo BRV

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Hippo BRV

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Hippo BRV

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Hippo BRV

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Hippo BRV

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