Lot 0354: Centurion Mk7 bridgelayer (UK)
The Centurion Mk 7 Bridgelayer, even without bridge, is in this condition nearly impossible to find these days.
This specific example is released from the Swiss Army in the seventies.
It is remarkable complete and comes with a large quantity pioneet tools and equipment as indicated on the pictures.
Engine is currently not running but turns freely.
Bridges for thois model (No.6 or No.9) are so now and than offered on the market.
This Centurion Mk 7 Bridgelayer as a platform is still in remarkable good condition so it will be an excellent basis for any level of restoration either a donor for a Centurion Main Battle Tank (MBT) project.
In addition BAIV can supply a good set of rubber ‘hushpuppy’ tracks for this tank against additional pricing.
Among the most useful conversions of the Centurion tank was that of the bridge-layer.
As well as transporting and deploying various bridges it could also be used as a crane for other purposes as well. This conversion could be used with my No.6 or No.9 bridges.
The Centurion Bridgelayer was manufactured by the Royal Ordnance Factory. The vehicle carried a crew of 3 with the driver located in the same position as the Main Battle Tank. The other members of the crew were located towards the left and center of the vehicle within the superstructure which replaced the original turret.
A Rolls-Royce B series petrol engine powered the hydraulic system for the aluminum alloy No. 6 Tank Bridge launch and recovery equipment. The Number 6 was a single piece bridge mounted on the Centurion which used an ‘up and over’ method of launch deployment.
Not only was the Centurion fast but the No. 6 bridge was 52 ft long and its ramps were 4 feet 8 inches wide. The bridge could span a gap of 45 feet and carry a weight class of 80 tons.
To enable the deployed bridge to be used by smaller vehicles a central roadway was installed by hand between the main bridge ramps.
The Centurion Bridgelayer was used to span gaps up to 45ft wide.
Production began in the early 1960s when Mark 5 Gun Tanks were converted.
The turret was removed, and the hull was plated over. An access hatch was let into this plate for the radio operator. The fresh drinking water tank and an ammunition bin were removed from the left side of the driver and a commander’s position was inserted with a vision cupola for him to observe, but the actual laying of the bridge was carried out by the driver.
The Rolls Royce B40 engine was installed in the space left by the removal of the turret basket to power the hydraulic system which operated the bridge launch mechanism. A support structure was built at the rear of the hull top.The bridge was carried inverted on top of the tank hull. This meant that during the launch sequence the front of the launcher was lowered to the ground and the bridge raised vertically and then forward to its operating position. The tactical disadvantage of this was that at one point during the launch sequence the bridge end was nearly 55 ft in the air.
Once the bridge was in position decking sections were placed between the two trackways to allow the passage of Centurions towing a mono-wheeled fuel trailer and also small, wheeled vehicles and troops on foot. Launch time was 100 seconds and recover in 120 seconds. The bridge could be recovered from either end.
The Bridgelayer, without its Bridge, could be used as a crane to assemble the four individual sections of the Bridge when they had been delivered to the bridging site by four cargo trucks. It remained in service until 1977 when it was replaced by the Chieftain Armoured Vehicle Launch Bridge (AVLB).
Model FV4002 Centurion Mk 7 Bridgelayer
Manufacturer Royal Ordnance Factory
Combat weight 96,000 lbs. (48.500 kg) including bridge
Engine Rolls-Royce Meteor petrol engine; 650 hp (480 kW).
Rolls Royce B40 A petrol engine to power the hydraulic system
Transmission 5-speed Merrit-Brown Z51R Mk. F gearbox
Suspension Modified Horstmann
Max. speed 22 mph (35 km/h) on road
Dimensions Length: 25 ft (7.60 m)
Width: 11 ft 1 in (3.38 m)
Height: 9 ft 10.5 in (3.01 m)
Electrical installation 24 Volt
Date of Delivery 1963
Serial Nr. C5MS85
Contract No.: 4/KL/G/C189
Location: Nederweert The Netherlands
Condition: Nice running condition.
Permits: Export permit might be required depending on country of destination.
Between € 35.000 and € 45.000