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Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust)

4x4 Wheeled Armored Car

Australia | 1942

"The Rover Light Armoured Car was an Australian armored car creation of World War 2 utilizing a Ford Canada truck chassis and assembled at Rover, Australia."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/20/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Faced with the prospect of invasion from the Japanese during World War 2 (1939-1945), Australia was forced to look to its own industry to shore up limitations of its stock of fighting equipment. This was the case with aircraft, small arms and armored vehicles which produced several notable ventures from local participants. In the latter, the "Rover" Light Armored Car (LAC) was developed with some haste and pulled from available stocks of Ford Canada 3-ton military trucks. Ruskin Motor Bodies was commissioned to apply a basic armored superstructure to the chassis and the LAC was born.

Design work began in 1941 and the Ford trucks on hand were the F60L and F60S 3-ton models. The armored superstructure was as basic as could be, featuring angled surfaces for ballistics protection against small arms fire (but little else). The 4x4 leaf-sprung wheeled arrangement was retained and the operating crew numbered five - driver, vehicle commander, two dedicated machine gunners and a radioman - in cramped fighting conditions. The superstructure held forward viewports for both driver and commander with hatches seen along the lower sides of the hull for entry-exit. Additional hatches were seated over the driver and commander positions. Buried headlamps in the bow provided lighting in low-light environments.

Armor protection reached 16mm thickness and armament was one 0.303" Vickers machine gun usually coupled with a 0.303 BREN Light Machine Gun (LMG). Power was served from the original Ford V-8 gasoline engine developing 95 horsepower.

In the end 238 of the design were produced in all and service entry was had in 1942. However, manufacture ended in 1943 owing to the fact that the Aussies now benefitted from a surplus of army equipment originating from U.S. factories. As such the LAC was never to see combat service in the Grand War and was relegated to training on Australian soil.

The effort produced two distinct variants - the "Mk 1" at 5.2 tonnes (40 built) and the "Mk 2" at 5 tonnes (198 built). These were built atop the Ford F60L and F60S chassis respectively so the Mk 1 was slightly longer at 20 feet against the Mk 2's 18.3 foot length. Width and height were equal in both designs, 7.6 feet and 7 feet respectively.

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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 Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust) 4x4 Wheeled Armored Car.
1 x Ford V8 engine developing 95 horsepower.
Installed Power
50 mph
80 kph
Road Speed
The physical qualities of the Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust) 4x4 Wheeled Armored Car.
20.0 ft
6.1 meters
O/A Length
7.5 ft
2.3 meters
O/A Width
6.9 ft
2.1 meters
O/A Height
11,464 lb
5,200 kg | 5.7 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust) 4x4 Wheeled Armored Car.
1 x 7.7mm (0.303") BREN Light Machine Gun (LMG)
2,500 x 7.7mm ammunition (if equipped with MG).
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust) family line.
Rover LAC - Base Series Name
Rover Mk.I - Using F60L Ford truck chassis; 5.2 tonne weight; 40 examples completed.
Rover Mk.II - Using F60S Ford truck chassis; shorter overall length; 5 tonne weight; 198 examples completed.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 238 Units

Contractor(s): Ford Canada - Canada / Ruskin Motor Bodies - Australia
National flag of Australia

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Image of the Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust)
Image from the Public Domain.

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 Rover LAC (Light Armoured Car - Aust) 4x4 Wheeled Armored Car appears in the following collections:
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