CONQUEROR ARV Mk.1 & 2 gallery

(ARV Mk.2 prototype image). Due to the huge weight of the Conqueror tank, it soon became clear that a recovery vehicle with sufficient power capable of handling such a vehicle did not exist in the Royal Army. Three prototypes designated as FV.219 Conqueror ARV Mk.1 were introduced in 1955, and after successful trials, 20 vehicles were ordered. However, when only 8 vehicles had been manufactured, it was decided to modify the design and use a hull similar to the Conqueror Mk.2 tank, which gave rise to the FV.222 Conqueror ARV Mk.2.
The FV.219 ARV Mk.1 (on the image) entered service in 1959 and had a chassis similar to that of the Conqueror Mk.1 tank, in which an armoured superstructure had been built on the site for the gun turret. Inside this space, 2 crew members were located next to the main winch. The driver and another crewman were positioned directly ahead, in the front of the hull. The main recovery equipment consisted of a 45 ton capacity winch and a 4 ton capacity secondary winch driven by the main engine. Both systems were installed side by side inside the superstructure, exiting the main winch’s cable to the outside through a slot located at the rear of the superstructure. Several pulleys were installed in different external points of the structure to allow towing from any side of the vehicle.
(ARV Mk.2 image). Usually, the recovery task was developed from the rear of the vehicle, so it was here where the strongest pulley and a large spade were installed, which was driven into the ground to prevent the vehicle from slipping when pulling heavy weights. In addition to the winches, two tow bars, towing cables and a rig that allowed triple pulley operations were carried, tripling the capacity of the main winch and carrying out straight towing of weights of up to 135 tons. There were also three stowage boxes mounted next to the superstructure and a small jib mounted at the rear of the hull that could be fitted to the spade supported by stays for use as a rear crane.
The FV.222 ARV Mk.2 (on the image) entered service in 1960 and the main difference with the FV.219 was the front of the vehicle. The FV.219 has a flatter front with the 3 driver’s periscopes clearly visible, while the FV.222 has a one-piece, fully sloped front end. This is due to the fact that in the ARV Mk.1 the driver was located in the front of the vehicle, just like the Conqueror tank, while in the ARV Mk.2 the driver was located in the center of the vehicle, inside the superstructure together with the rest of the crew. It can also be noted that the ARV Mk.2 does not have pulleys or guide wheels installed in the corners of the superstructure and that the roof of the superstructure is completely different, but regarding the recovery equipment they are the same, with the same capabilities.
(ARV Mk.1 image). Both vehicles could install a 7.62mm L3A1 machine gun and smoke grenade dischargers for self-protection. Logically, these ARVs were distributed in units that had the Conqueror tank among their ranks, although the useful life of ARVs was much longer than that of tanks. Eight Conqueror ARV Mk.1 and twenty Conqueror ARV Mk.2 were built, of which some were in service until the beginning of the 90s, since unlike the Conqueror tanks, these were quite appreciated by their units due to the enormous power they had, According to some experts, it is likely that the Conqueror ARVs have been the best recovery vehicles ever made by Great Britain.

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