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The Shorland Site - By Clive Elliott

Shorland Mark 3

Armoured Patrol Car

Shorland History Armoured Patrol Car Armoured Personnel Vehicle
Modelling the Shorland   Other References

Shorland Mark 3 APC "Civilian" Parts Book


Shorland Mark 3 APC User's Handbook    


The bulk of Mark 3 Shorlands were on Series III Land Rovers using a 2625 cc 6 cylinder petrol engine developing 91 bhp at 4100 rpm. The earlier marks of Shorland having been based on Series IIA Land Rovers had to have the headlights moved from the radiator area to the wings to comply with export lighting requirements. Besides the export market, the armour protection was compromised by accommodating the headlights into the radiator area and no doubt also reduced the efficiency of radiator cooling. This migration of headlights to the wings always gave a rather homemade appearance. However the early Mark 3 was still based on a Series IIA Land Rover, but as these were late Series IIA Land Rovers, they already had the headlights in the wings. The bulk of Mark 3 Shorlands were on Series III Land Rovers using a 2,625 cc 6-cylinder petrol engine developing 91 bhp at 4,100 rpm. But the Mark 2 was still in production, customers who wanted Shorlands for particularly arduous terrain were offered the Mark 3. Over 500 Mark 3 Shorlands have been sold.


Shorland Mark 3 as it appears on a late sales brochure. 


Illustrations of the Mark 3


  Another Shorland used in a number of advertisements.
A nicely restored ex-UDR Shorland still residing in Northern Ireland.

Three Land Rovers in Northern Ireland meet at a rural VCP (Vehicle Check Point). The driver of the civilian Land Rover is being questioned by a member of the UDR (Ulster Defence Regiment) whilst a colleague looks on beside an Army Series 3 Land Rover. This also provides cover for a third colleague who is less obvious. The other side of the road is dominated by the Shorland, which was often used to provide an authoritative basis for such spot checks. Note the angle iron wire cutter welded to the turret, to deflect or cut wires strung across the road aimed at decapitating the gunner if he was to put his head out of the turret.

To see a collection of photos of a Portuguese GNR Intervention Unit Shorland Mark 3 APC click the photo above.
 More Shorland Mk 3 Photos Below


Some Shorlands had their turrets transplanted to Humber Pigs, I have seen about six Pigs with such an embellishment. Not only did this help the crew of a Pig have an improved observation point, but it downgraded the Shorland into a less aggressive looking vehicle.





Shorlands Mk 3 in a dealerís yard in 1987




Mk 3 awaiting restoration at The Tank Museum - Bovington, UK




When out of Army service several Shorlands were destined for use in Bosnia by TV news companies. The lack of turret was clearly an advantage in indicating a non-combatant role. This refurbished example never quite made it to Bosnia.


A pair of Shorlands Bosnia bound.


Probably a Mark 3 having a paddle during a promotional film, but the Shorland was no more waterproof than an ordinary Land Rover. The belief that it might be, is not helped by people suggesting that they think the rear looks like a boat! 


Anti-Hijack Shorland



The Anti-Hijack Shorland was designed for use at airports and other high-risk areas. Armoured windscreens replaced the normal visors and the door flaps were replaced with armoured glass. The turret was fitted with a vision block and a mounting for an HK33 sniperís rifle. Dutch Airport Police were known to have four such Shorlands (registration numbers: 19-56-ZB, 13-52-NB, 54-11-MB, 19-57-ZB). The anti-hijack version first appeared in books with the launch of the Mark 4 Shorland. The example in the photo is clearly a Mark 3 but is always captioned as Shorland SB 403 Anti-Hijack Vehicle. Presumably the SB 403 would only be made to special order, and the photo of an older model was used. This was not unusual as some of the earlier Shorland sales brochures show previous models.



Inside view of the snipers turret, beneath the vision block can be seen the mounting for the HK33 sniperís rifle. To the right is the control for the spotlight, and in the roof is a rather flimsy interior light that was commonly used in caravans.







Photos of a Dutch Police Anti-Hijack Shorland SB303 (By A.G. Adema via Daniel Polak)



Blowpipe Shorland


Having produced a Shorland capable of firing Vigilant anti-tank missiles, it was entirely logical to consider an anti-aircraft version. As it happened Shorts themselves were manufacturing Blowpipe; a short-range surface-to-air missile. Blowpipe was intended as a shoulder fired system and owed much to the success of the Seacat and Tigercat manufactured by Shorts.


An artistís impression of a Mark 3 Shorland fitted with a pair of Blowpipes. The box-like turret supports a hydraulically controlled frame supporting the missile pods. A large dome would afford good all round vision to spot incoming aircraft. This drawing is dated 1972 and it seems that development never went beyond this stage.  However, some years later Blowpipe was available in the Series 5 Shorlands as the S 53 Air Defence Vehicle.