Ferret

Overview

Ferret

Shortly after the Second World War, the War Office issued a requirement for a new 4x4 scout car. The contract went to Daimler and although a new design, the lineage from their wartime designs is evident.

Eventually running into a number of sub-variants, both turreted (Mk 2/2 onward) and non-turreted (Mk 1/2) usual armament was one machine gun, although the type varied, together with smoke dischargers for defensive purposes. Two marks were armed with anti-tank guided missiles fitted, although one of these was for an export order.

The vehicle, like its forbears, was superbly mobile for a wheeled vehicle and for a small vehicle the interior was surprisingly roomy. Total production was over 4,400 units and the type was widely exported. Again, like its forbears five reverse gears were provided together with hatches in the rear of the vehicle to facilitate reversing out of trouble, a useful ability for a reconnaissance vehicle.

The usual disadvantage of a wheeled over a tracked reconnaissance vehicle is often a higher silhouette but Ferret, even with the turret, was a small compact and popular vehicle, strong enough to negotiate rugged terrain, but handy enough to be used in an urban environment.

The Ferret was used in small numbers in innumerable small colonial wars but at the end of its career it did come back into the spotlight. The last major campaign for the Ferret was the First Gulf War in 1991 where some were in demand as a photo-opportunity for American forces who thought they were a Second World War relic.

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