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The Shorland Site - By Clive Elliott

Shorland Series 5

Armoured Patrol Car

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

S51 Armoured Patrol Car


The Shorts terminology changed to Series 5 rather than Mark 5. This made the classification of the variants easier to understand. The most obvious change was the use of the 110 inch Land Rover chassis with the wheel guards. The front body now differed much more from the Land Rover with a more stark appearance. The general shape of the earlier Shorlands was retained for the Armoured Patrol Car designated S51. There were a number of other variants including:


  • S52 variant that had a much-extended rear for stowage of extra arms and equipment;

  • S53 air defence variant that could be fitted with a Shorts Blowpipe or Javelin missile launcher;

  • S54 anti-hijack version for use at airports, which was very similar to the original S51;

  • S55 armoured personnel carrier version. 

However the S51 was later dropped from the range, and the S52 was promoted as the Armoured Patrol Car. The Series 5 Shorlands continued to be powered by the Land Rover V8 petrol engine with a power to weight ratio of 31.6 BHP/Tonne. The maximum operational weight was 3,600 kg. Maximum road speed was 120 km/h falling to 48 km/h cross-country. As ever Shorts were able to supply optional extras, which included, air conditioning, run flat tyres, PA system, smoke grenade dischargers, heater/de-mister and fire protection.


The short lived Shorland S51 Armoured Patrol Car


Shorland S51 Interior Photos


Shorland S51 Line Drawing




Initially not heavily promoted, this variant had the same specification as the S51 Armoured Patrol Car except that it had an extended rear cabin area. This extra space was for the stowage of arms and ammunition rather than additional crew. Unlike the small escape hatch on the S51, there was a large rear hatch on the S52. This must have made escaping easier and would allow the loading of equipment to be less awkward. These improvements were clearly appreciated as the S51 was dropped, and the S52 promoted as the Armoured Patrol Car.









The S53 was originally called the Mobile Air Defence System and later the Mobile Air Defence Vehicle. Being vehicle mounted, it was inevitably mobile and the name was reduced to Air Defence Vehicle. The S53 was basically the S52 with no turret but with fittings for anti-aircraft missiles. The missile system was originally described as a variant of Blowpipe/Javelin lightweight multiple launcher Ė LML(V) this later became the Starburst close air defence missile system. As Shorts manufactured both the missiles and launch vehicle it gave a unique opportunity for equipment integration. The S53 could carry six reload missiles in the rear of the vehicle and between the stowage racks there was space to carry the aiming unit.









When the S51 was dropped, the body was modified and introduced as the S54 anti-hijack vehicle. The S54 had some features of the earlier SB 303 anti-hijack vehicle, but with the addition of armoured glass panels to the body to give all round vision. The turret also now had armoured glass panels and utilised the same mount for the snipers rifle in the front of the turret. The vehicle painting is cunning in that it is painted brilliant white, but in contrast the area around the sniperís rifle it is black. This would tend to obscure the sight of the sniperís rifle being lined up on its target.