Design work for the Mk 7 was completed in 1953, with production beginning soon afterwards. One disadvantage of earlier versions was the limited range, initially just 65 miles (105 km) on hard roads, hence external auxiliary tanks and then a “monowheel” trailer were used. But the Mk7 had a third fuel tank inside the hull, giving a range of 101 miles (163 km). And it was found possible to put the Centurion on some European rail routes with their larger loading gauges.
The Centurion was used as the basis for a range of specialist equipment, including combat engineering variants with a 165 mm demolition gun Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE). It is one of the longest-serving designs of all time, serving as a battle tank for the British and Australian armies from the Korean War (1950–1953) to the Vietnam War (1961–1972), and as an AVRE during the Gulf War in January–February 1991.
Between 1962 and 1965 this tank was converted to a bridge layer, using the same bridge and mechanism as the American M48 and M60 AVLBs, currently this equipment is removed and not available. Also the Centurion is not running due to left bank faulty magnetos, currently in storage.
Model: Centurion Bridge layer Mk. 7
Vehicle No. C5MS85
Contract No. 4/KL/G/C189
Place of origin United Kingdom
Engine Rolls-Royce Meteor; 5-speed Merrit-Brown Z51R Mk. F gearbox
650 hp (480 kW)
Power/weight 13 hp/t (9.2 kW/t)
Suspension Modified Horstmann
Ground clearance 1 ft 8 in (50.8 cm)
Operational range 50 miles (80 km) Mk 2/Mk 3
Maximum speed 22 mph (35 km/h)
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