Land Rover 110 "Perentie"and Defender
the Australian Army and Air Force both have been large users of
the Military Spec Perentie 110 vehicles, they have by no means
been the only Land Rovers in military service. The Royal
Australian Navy also used 110 V8 Utes, and 130 Defender Dual Cabs
for various Duties. Even the Salvation Army used the 130
Defender Ute to support the troops.
Army Project Perentie Information
Perentie Collection - Photos of a number of Perentie 110
and 6x6 vehicles taken by Ian Withnall
|The original JRA press
release circa October 1988 told of the progress of
the JRA contract to supply "2500 4WD units and 400 6WD
units" valued at roughly $130,000,000 (with local Australian
manufacturing content set at 50% for the 4WD and 60% for the
6WD). It also mentions the Army had satisfactorily finished
"several months of rigorous testing" the Initial Production
Vehicles ("IPVs") "supplied earlier this year to various
Army units around Australia" and that JRA had "attended to
the many points raised by the Army" and incorporated these
improvements. No mention of R.A.A.F. units.
.A small news piece in the May 1994 issue of Overlander magazine tells us "The Australian Army has ordered another 270 Land Rovers to supplement its present fleet of 3700 6WD and 4WD Project Perentie models. The additional Landys, which were ordered under the terms of "follow-on buy" options in the original contract, will be used as basic infantry carriers, mainly in Australia's far north. [Norforce?] The original Perentie Project was named after the desert-dwelling perentie lizard and was aimed at finding vehicles with the perentie's legendary agility in trackless terrain, its endurance, and its adaptability. Project Perentie director Lt. Col. Lee Osborne said, "It made sense to us to continue with Land Rovers because of their advantageous life-cycle costs. Over the life of the vehicle in Army service -up to 20 years or more- the Land Rovers prove to be very economical." The photos accompanying the piece are of two GS units, ARN 48-014 & ARN 48-016. No mention of R.A.A.F. units.
A potted history of Land-Rover in Australia, printed in the January-February 1998 issue of Restored Cars magazine, quotes information that the decision to buy Land-Rovers was made in "mid 1986" and that JRA would, at the completion of the contract, supply a "final tally of 2892 4WD and 588 6WD".
In March 2004 we heard that LRPV 6x6 units in Western Australia have been getting general muscle transplants... (via the grapevine). However later on it appears that this was simply equipment upgrades.
In May 2004, when the majority of the Land-Rover 110 and Perentie fleet are exceeding 15 years 'in-service', and some people were thinking that some110 variants would be disposed of, the Army newspaper printed an interesting report and photo:
... [caption] A Land Rover 110 being rebuilt at North Bandiana:
In January 2006, when the Iraq and Afghanistan deployments were in the news, one semi-load (3 vehicles) of an unknown supply contract for refurbished/reconfigured Perentie 4x4 110s were spotted being transported from the Adelaide contractor to delivery at the ADF's DNSDC Moorebank Stores. These vehicles are rather obviously for Special Forces, appearing for all the world to be a 4x4 version of the 6x6 LRPV. They were not new chassis. They were wearing late series ARNs. The engines fitted? That's not established, other being diesel of course. They were certainly more extensively equipped than the "Truck, Surveillance, Lightweight, Winch, MC2 [ Norforce, Pilbara, 51FNQ ]". Later down the track these were discovered to be Surveillance Reconnaissance Vehicles (SRV's).
"Land Rover Australia has agreed to supply 33 custom built Land Rover 110 vehicles for use by the Australian Army. The vehicles will be built in Solihull, England, and are based on a Land Rover Defender 110 which uses the new 2.5-litre, 5 cylinder turbo-diesel (TD5) power unit...
...the decision recognises the increased levels of reliability and durability of a Solihull-production Defender 110, with the new TD5 power unit."2008 Update: 33 of these vehicles were bought by the Army in 2000, and a further 17 in 2004. They are slated as having a 10 year service life, which is significantly shorter than the Perentie that it serves alongside.