Home:  Military Comms: MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS LAND ROVER 90 (internal view), 1986


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The vehicle is fitted with four Wireless sets plus one Manpack. The combination is to show a variety of systems that could have been used in the Land Rover range of vehicles, not all at the same time of course. The sets are -

C12 - (middle left on table) Made by PYE (forerunner to the Larkspur Range). Basically similar to the WS19 but does not include the B set, it has the same case, weight and dimensions but a wider frequency range, covering 1.6 MHz to 10 MHz AM, voice or CW (Morse). 5 Watts voice 8 Watts CW.

C45 - (middle right on table) Developed around 1955 working VHF Frequencies, FM from 23 MHz to 38 MHz, identical to the C42 which worked 60 MHz to 36 MHz also FM, only 15 Watts.

R351 - (middle front) Made by Racal and introduced around 1985. The R351 can be mounted in vehicle bracket ( top left ) or used as a man-pack. Some of these units are still in use today (2005). Frequency range 30 to 70 MHz FM only, power 4 watts, or 20 watts using clip on amplifier 352 as shown.

R353 - (far left) Made by Marconi or Racal, Vehicle unit same frequencies and modes of operation as the R351 but power up to 50 watts from the vehicle antennae, the large boxes on the wings are aerial tuning units for Racal FM sets.

R320 - (top left) Made by Plessey. A man-pack unit mounted in a vehicle frame this set was designed to communicate with base stations or each other using AM, CW or upper side-band modes rather than FM. Frequency range 2 to 30 MHz.

Your comments:

  • A somewhat strange comnination of sets in one vehicle!
    The C12 was never part of the Larkspur range. It was a commercial post-war development by Pye to improve on the WS19 and use up left-over stocks of cabinet hardware and fittings. The British army bought about 700 of them in 1955 after prevaricating for 10 years about how to improve the use of Amplitude Modulation in the HF bands before deciding to adopt narrow-band phase modulation for the planned replacement for the WS19 - the C13. The C12 was therefore a stop-gap purchase until the C13 became available in 1960.

    The C42 and C45 were the post-war operational replacements for the WS19, enabling the move of battlefield communications to VHF using FM. The WS45 was peculiar to the Artillery.

    The UK/VRC353, to give it its proper title, was built by Marconi Space & Defence Systems.
    .......... Andy Jackson, Sanderstead, Surrey, 7th of August 2012

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