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Scammell Commander

Tank transporter

Scammell Commander

The Scammell Commander tank transporter is used to tow Challenger 2 main battle tanks

Entered service 1983
Configuration 6x4
Cab seating 1 + 3 / 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (empty) 19.9 t
Maximum load ?
Length 9 m
Width 3.25 m
Height 3.5 m
Engine Perkins (Rolls-Royce) CV-12 turbocharged diesel
Engine power 625 hp
Maximum road speed 62 km/h
Range ?
Gradient ?
Side slope ?
Vertical step ?
Trench ?
Fording 0.76 m


   The Scammell Commander heavy tank transporter had its origins in a British Army requirement that envisaged main battle tanks weighing well over 60 tones. It was originally developed to replace the old Thornycroft Antars tank transporters. Development of the Commander transporter began in 1976 but due to defense spending delays the production of a batch of 125 units for the British Army did not began until 1983. The British Army used it to tow Challenger 1 and Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

   Designed to tow loads up to 65 tones, the Commander tows a special semi-trailer onto which tanks can be tail-loaded using a hydraulic 20 tone capacity winch. A prominent bonnet houses the vehicle's Perkins (Rolls-Royce) CV 12 TCE V12 turbocharged diesel (similar to that used on the Challenger 1 main battle tank) which is coupled to an Allison automatic transmission incorporating a torque converter. Although the Commander is powered by a Perkins engine, other types may were proposed - one of the prototypes used a Cummins KTA 600 diesel.

   The cab has provision for up to three or four passengers and there is space for two bunks behind the front seats. Due to the front axle lock angle, the Commander is highly maneuverable and can negotiate a 'T' intersection with only 9.15 meters between the walls.

   In 1988 the Scammell company went bankrupt, and the rights to the Commander were bought by Unipower Ltd, who opened a new plant in West Watford.

   In 1990 during the operation Desert Storm 70 Scammell Commander heavy tank transporters were used to transport 40 types of various military cargo. Each of the vehicles was on the road 17 hours a day during 4 months period. On average each vehicle traveled 270 km a day on the desert roads.

   Most of the 125 British Army Commanders were based in Belgium and Germany with only a few located in the United Kingdom. The Scammell Commander is now obsolete and was replaced by the American Oshkosh 1070F heavy equipment transporter.


Scammell Commander

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