The Registry Of Ex-Military Land-Rovers Au, NZ, etc  


The Australian military Land-Rover Series 3 Fitted For Radio variant closely resembled the previous Series 2A variant. Certainly the scooped out tailgate is identical to the Series 2 and 2A variants. This scooped tailgate was to allow radio operators to easily enter and exit the rear of the vehicle without the need to open the tailgate, but still keep items in teh vehicle while in motion. Pairs of batteries were mounted on sliding racks in vented lockers on each side of the Land-Rover, directly behind and below the bulkhead behind the front seats. One side was the spare set and there was a power distribution box fitted to enable switching between the battery pairs and terminals. In regard to the more obvious radio fittings, the aerial mounted differently and the style of mount carried through to the Perentie 110 FFR variant. Inside the rear of the FFR there was a battery power distribution box behind the left hand or passenger front seat and up to four radio tables behind the front seat bulkhead.

Take your pick of the following sets: AN/GRC-106, AN/PRC-47, AN/VRC-46, AN/VRC-49, AN/GRC-160, AN/GRC-125, GRC-F2/F4. Different sets were fitted for different jobs, different ranges and different frequencies. Artillery instilations varied from armoured corps ones for example. When in storage FFR vehicles have no radios mounted. The radios were drawn from stores seperately and installed in the vehicle.

  • AN/GRC-106: This unit is a large HF unit, mostly used by armoured units and HQ elements. It almost touches the roof of the vehicle and mounts to two base, shock mount, 83016 which in turn bolt to an MT-3140 which then bolts to the radio table.
  • AN/PRC-47: It is not known how this radio unit was mounted in the vehicle as it was predominantly used as a manpack radio
  • AN/VRC-46 and 49: These radios are based around the RT-524 radio mounted onto a MT-1029 radio mount which in turn bolts to the radio tables. In the VRC-49 there are 2 RT-524's which are linked to form a repeater with one recieving, and the other transmitting.
  • AN/GRC-125: This is a vehicle mount for the AN/PRC-25 manpack radio. The GRC-125 also had the elements on board to use it as a manpack again. This is connected to an AM-2060 power supply, which is in turn attached to an MT-1029 and bolted to a table.
  • AN/GRC-160: the GRC-160 is the same as the AN/GRC-125, however mounts the later AN/PRC-77 radio, which was an updated PRC-25 with channels at 1.2 the frequency increments, giving double the number of channels.
  • GRC-F2/F4: The F2 was an australian built radio instaleld into these vehicles.

Most of these radios can be bought from Europe and the United States, and no licence is required to own them, however to operate them many require Amatuer Radio Licences. And beware, they are quite expensive, with RT-524's and PRC-77's fetching as much as $600 USD. The PRC-25 and PRC-47 are not assought after by collectors, and as such do not attract the same values. The sheer size of the GRC-106 sees prices reach $1000 USD plus.

Click to expand

A AN/GRC-160 (on left) and GRC-F2/F4 (on right) in Phill's FFR.
Click to expand

Antenna base AB625-GRC in place


There were essentially two seperate electrical systems in the Series 3 FFR. A regular 12V system for the vehicle systems such as vehicle battery, lights, indicator, windscreen wipers and so on. This system was charged by a normal altenator. Then there was a 24v system for the radio system. this had a seperate loom, seperate generator, and seperate batteries. the 24v batteries were the ones that were mounted in the side vented lockers unique to the FFR. This system was charged from a nato standard 28V, 100A generator.

The generator is very heavy and requires two hands and a strong back to lift. It is commonly fitted to large trucks, APC's and other nato standard armoured fighting vehicles. It was mounted on the driver side of the motor on a special bracket which mounted this and relocated the altenator. The generator mounts to the bracket via 2 large bands bolted around the generator. The Generator has a 3 pin plug at the rear to connect it to the power distribution box, as well as the rest of the 24v system.

There was also different battery installations for each radio type. For more details see EMEI G235-1, but below is thecaqpacity of the batteries fitted depending on radio type installed. These batteries are 12V units connected in series to produce the required 24v DC.

  1. GRC-F2, AN/GRC-160 and AN/GRC-125 used a 60 AH Dynapack.
  2. AN/PRC-47, AN/VRC60 and AN/VRC-49 used a 100 AH battery when used alone, or in combination with any group 1 radios.
  3. AN/GRC-106 used a 200 AH battery when used alone or with any group 1 or 2 radios.

The Batteries live in the vented lockers on the side of the vehicles. In these lockers there is a variable clamp to hold the battery down. This is an M8 1.25 thread (for those that need to replace the wingnuts).

The Series 3 FFR has 4 antenna mounts bolted to the rear tub of the vehicle. normally the AS-1729 antenna consisting of an MX-6707 base and AS-1720/VRC and AT-1095/VRC antenna sections is what is fitted to the vehicles. These are quite common on US softskin vehicles as well as US armoured vehicles and can readily be bought from the US and Europe.

However antenna mast base AB652-GRC could also be fitted using an antenna adaptor.

To maintain battery charge when the FFR was 'in-field' operating as a base station or a relay station for signals the engine was continuously run at a fast idle for hours at a time. Therefore the cooling systems for both the engine water and engine oil had to be very reliable. Care had to be taken to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning to personnel whilst the engine was idling. But what to do with the toxic not to mention hot exhaust gases? A FFR parked for an extended period in spinifex grass, dry scrub or even deep leaf litter with a hot exhaust system presented a fire hazard... so caution had to be exercised when setting up a sig post and concealing it everytime, everywhere, whether the crew was just fresh out on exercise and eager... or whether the crew was severely fatigued from a week's round-the-clock operations.

The exhaust noise muffler was large and fitted east-west under the front bumper. This mod required a strange looking reversed exhaust. An EMEI was later released to retrofit the FFRs with a mini brush bar bolted on the low section of the normal brushguard to provide some protection to the front mounted muffler.

In the back is where the FFR really differed. 4 radio tables and 2 single radio operator seats as well as a storage box against the bulkhead with a seat on top of it differentiated the FFR from it's GS cousin which just had four 2 person bench seats. These were essentially shortened 2 person seats. The number and configuration of tables and seats varied in actual service, with some mounting 2 person seats and less tables and so on.

To assist station concealment at night an interior canvas curtain was unrolled as well as a set of canvas window covers. In night operations the station interior was lit in red light with the option of white light. This was provided by an overhead switchable dual colour interior lamp attached to the centre hoop for the canvas roof. The 'operators/cargo lamp' appears to be a standard Hella or similar brand square two colour lamp. Its red one side and clear on the other side. The red side of the lamp is orientated toward the front of the interior. The lamp is mounted to a flat sheet of aluminium with a toggle switch mounted above and adjacent to the centre hood bow. The switch allows the light to be turned to ON -white/ OFF /ON -red. (from P. Hastings) . Although not an official modifications, REMLR was told by an ex Sigs operator that it was common for a second fume curtain to be fixed in place to stop any light escaping the tub area of the vehicle. Another unofficial modification was a length of PVC pipe zip tied to the canopy hoops on one side to carry the antenna sections whilst in transit to avoid any damage to them.

The series 3 FFR is mostly civilian parts, however there are some items that were specifically Military. Some of these bits are hard to get, like the radio 28v generator, and other parts easy, like the battery locker latches. The list below has some parts that we know how to get a hold of!!

  • Battery Locker Latch: These are known as "Budget latches". The same part is used on the Perentie 110, and possibly the 2a Ambulance side lockers. These, and the keys for them, can be purchased from UES (Universal Enginering Supplies)
  • Hinge for the battery lockers: Again, these are a fairly standard item, in this case referred to as a piano hinge. Again, these can be purchased from UES.
  • Radiator Cap: These can still be purchased from Land Rover as part number STC4735. A number of older part numbers also refer to the same part, RTC3610, GRC118, 564713 and 509767. Naturally this applies to all series 3 models fitted with the 6 cylinder motor.


Click to expand

Series 3 FFRs in service
LHS Land Rover belongs to 4MP Coy (SA)
RHS Land Rover belongs to 8 TPT SQN (SA)

Pre-front exhaust protection EMEI.
Note canvas "ribbing".

Photo: Scott Cameron, Flinders ranges, 1989

Click to expand

Series 3 FFR in service at Woomera
This vehicle belongs to 144 Sigs Sqn after rolling a trailer and emptying it's contents onto the road.

Photo: Scott Cameron, 1991

REMLR Australian Military Series 3 Land-Rover pages
Australian Army Series 3 Army Registration Number lists


Go to   CLOSE down this page