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AEC Armored Car

4x4 Vehicle

United Kingdom | 1942

"Some 629 examples of the AEC Armored Car were completed during World War 2."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/01/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Associated Equipment Company (AEC) of London began operations in the automotive field as early as 1912. With its tremendous stable of experience in the manufacture of heavy-industry trucks and similar vehicles, the firm proved a perfect candidate for a private venture, multi-mission armored car offering by the time of World War 2 (1939-1945). Taking its 7.75-ton Matador medium-class artillery tractor vehicle taken as a basis, the AEC Armored Car was born as a light-armored vehicle with considerable firepower for the period - in fact matching many tanks then in circulation. It was debuted to British military officials in 1941 and adopted for service a short time later with production beginning in 1942.

Externally, the AEC car appeared as a highly utilitarian offering with little noticeable frills. It featured four large rubber-tired road wheels set at the extreme corners of the chassis for good balance and stability. The hull superstructure was multi-faceted in its design approach to provide basic ballistics protection from small arms fire and artillery spray - armor protection spanned from 16mm to 65mm at the various facings. A typical operating crew was three with the driver at front-center ahead of the turret )later designs were to introduce an operating crew of four). The turret, taken from the Valentine infantry tank, was used to house the armament. Standard armament began as the QF 2-pounder gun supported through 1 x Besa machine gun. The chassis was suspended atop a 4x4 arrangement with the powerpack at the rear. Speeds reached up to 40 miles per hour on roads with operational ranges out to 250 miles. The original vehicle weighed 12 tons (short) and further Marks increased weight to approximately 14 tons (short).

Few variants of the AEC car existed beginning with the original Mk I fitting the Valentine QF 2-pdr tank turret. These were powered by an AEC 195 series diesel and some 129 examples were completed to this specification. The Mk II featured an all-new, more robust turret mounting the QF 6-pdr main gun as well as a modified hull front end while being powered by an AEC 197 series diesel. The Mk III followed and fitted a more potent 75mm main gun - the variant intended for the close-support role. Indeed it was this mark that ended the AEC car line. A proposed Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft (SPAA) vehicle emerged, this fitting 2 x Oerlikon automatic cannons, but the design was given up for good when Allied air superiority was uncontested.

With its availability by late 1942, the AEC Armored Car was immediately pressed into action during the pivotal North African Campaign where its rugged design and simplistic operation proved itself a sound addition to the British Army inventory. Additional service then saw the car operating in the European Theater where, by this time, the future marks of greater battlefield potency had appeared. This AEC design was one of the many Allied armored vehicles to see extended military/security service into the post-war years where it continued in its intended role a while longer - as far-reaching as 1976 (Lebanese Army).

In all, 629 AEC Armored Cars were completed form the period of 1942 to 1943, joining the ranks of other excellent armored car designs of World War 2.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the AEC Armored Car Mk I 4x4 Vehicle.
Mk 1: 1 x AEC 195 diesel engine; Mk II/Mk III: 1 x AEC 197 diesel engine of 158 horsepower.
Installed Power
40 mph
65 kph
Road Speed
249 miles
400 km
The physical qualities of the AEC Armored Car Mk I 4x4 Vehicle.
17.0 ft
5.18 meters
O/A Length
9.0 ft
2.75 meters
O/A Width
8.4 ft
2.55 meters
O/A Height
24,030 lb
10,900 kg | 12.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the AEC Armored Car 4x4 Vehicle.
Mk I:
1 x 40mm QF 2-pdr main gun
1 x 7.92mm Besa coaxial machine gun

Mk II:
1 x 57mm QF 6-pdr main gun
1 x 7.92mm Besa coaxial machine gun
1 x 0.303 Bren machine gun

1 x 75mm main gun
1 x 7.92mm Besa coaxial machine gun
1 x 0.303 Bren machine gun
Variable depending on production Mark.
Nightvision - NONE
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE
Notable series variants as part of the AEC Armored Car family line.
Mk I - Original production model; fitted with Valentine tank turret and its 2-pdr main gun; 129 examples completed.
Mk II - Revised hull front end with revised turret fitting 6-pdr main gun; improved engine output.
Mk III - Close Support version fitting 75mm main gun armament.
Mk AA - Proposed Anti-Aircraft model with 2 x 20mm Oerlikon autocannons in Crusader tank turret.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the AEC Armored Car. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 629 Units

Contractor(s): Associated Equipment Company (AEC) - UK
National flag of India National flag of Lebanon National flag of the United Kingdom

[ India; Lebanon; United Kingdom ]
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Image of the AEC Armored Car
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Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The AEC Armored Car 4x4 Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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