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Centurion AVLB (Rear view, right side)

 
 

Rear view, right side

Picture courtesy of Henrik Clausen, Copenhagen

 

Danish Army Specific: In 1978 Denmark received an offer from the Canadian Armed Forces in Europe regarding the purchase of 4 second-hand units. The units dates back to 1966.
The offer was accepted, and the
AVLB“s were handed over the 1st of January 1979. After some tests and maintenance they were handed over to the units in March 1980. De-activated in 1994. Note other type of track than the Danish Centurions MBT“s. These tracks were later replaced by the "normal" type of tracks.
The AVLB“s are now superseded by the
Biber of the German Leopard 1 family.
1 was returned to a museum in Canada, 1 is placed at Skive Barracks and 1 in Oksboel Base Training Area.
Historical
: Work on the Centurion bridgelayer (FV 4002) , which replaced the Churchill bridgelayer, began in 1952. The chassis used was a Centurion Mk. V. An extra fuel-tank added at the rear, raising the amount of fuel to 1000 liter. The commander was moved to the front of the hull, alongside the driver.
The bridgelayer, which was produced by the Royal Ordnance Factory in Leeds from 1960 to 1963, became operational in Britain in 1964.
The bridge is operated by a 2-piece launching arm, that first raised the bridge to a vertical position, and then unfolded again to let the bridge down, across the gap.
Length: 16.30 m (635 inches).
Width: 4.26 m (166 inches).
Height: 3.89 m (152 inches).
Weight: 49.000 kg (107.800 lb.).
Armour
: N/A.
Engine
: 12-cylinder Rolls-Royce Meteor Mk IV B, 27.027 cm3 (1648 cubic inches).
Horsepower: 643 at 2.550 rpm.
Transmission: 5-speed.
Transfer case: N/A.
Electrical system: 24 volt.
Brakes: N/A.
Fording depth:
without preparation: 1.20 m (37 inches).
with deep water fording kit: N/A.
Fuel type: Petrol.
Fuel capacity: 1000 liter (220 gallons).
Range: 90 km (56 miles).
Crew: 3.
Armament: 12 smoke dischargers.
Additional: The hydraulic system to handle the bridge was powered by a 62 hp 4-cylinder RR B40 engine.
The bridge, which was made of aluminium alloy, had a span of 13.72 m, a capacity of 81 tons and could be placed within 80 to 90 seconds. If used by wheeled vehicles a centre deck between the treadways had to be laid by hand.
Spare-bridges was transported by trucks.
Other known users are Australia and the Netherlands, who converted 16 of their own Centurions with the scissors bridge and launching gear from the American M48 AVLB. A few Italian converted Centurions were delivered to the Israeli Army.


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