The Centurion AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) was developed to assist Combat Engineers in breaching fortifications and clearing man-made anti-tank traps in the British Army. It entered service in 1963, replacing the Churchill AVRE The vehicle was later renamed AVRE 165 relating to its primary armament.
It had a fairly short stubby L9 165mm main gun. This would fire a large HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) round at concrete bunkers. The front dozer blade was able to push obstructions out-of-the-way. A front mounted cradle could also be fitted to carry a bundle of fascines (round pipes) that would be dropped into ditches so vehicles could drive across.
This vehicle was still used for many years after the Centurion Gun Tanks had been retired. It was used in the 1991 Gulf War and was fitted with Explosive Reactive Armor across its turret front.
FV4003 Centurion Mk 5 AVRE. Armed with a short barrelled L9A1 165 mm demolition gun, it entered service in 1963, replacing the Churchill AVRE The vehicle was later renamed AVRE 165 relating to its primary armament. The armament was capable of firing a 60 lb (29 kg) High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) round.
Centurion AVRE Specifications
Weight: 52 tons
Width: 11ft 1in.
Height: 9ft 10in.
Length: 25ft 6in.
Max Speed: 21 mph
Suspension Horstmann suspension
Range: 280 miles
Crew of five: Driver, Engineer, Commander, Gunner, Loader/radio operator