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Shorland Internal Security Vehicle
Shorland armoured car mk1.jpg
A Mk1 Shorland Shorland Internal Security Vehicle
Type Armoured car
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service Royal Ulster Constabulary
Ulster Defence Regiment
Production history
Manufacturer Short Brothers and Harland
Weight 3.36 m
Length 4.60 m
Width 1.78 m
Height 2.29 m
Crew 3

7.62 machine gun
Engine Rover petrol
91 hp (68 kW)
Suspension 4 X 4
260/510 km
Speed 88

The Shorland is an armoured car that was designed specifically for the Royal Ulster Constabulary by a police support officer Ernie Lusty during the sixties for patrolling the border to prevent organised smuggling. The use of the machine gun armed Shorland armoured patrol car on the streets of Northern Ireland, away from the border area was seen as being provocative in those days and they were reallocated to the Ulster Defence Regiment in 1970. The Royal Ulster Constabulary however soon replaced the Shorland with an armoured Land Rover with more conventional profiles and no machine gun turret.

This being the original Shorland Armoured Car, which quickly became know in Land Rover Circles as the boat tail Shorland.

The vehicles were built by Short Brothers and Harland of Belfast using a chassis from a Series two Land Rover, from which the name was derived.

Contrary to popular belief, very few of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Armoured Land Rover Fleet which at its peak was in the region of 450 Land Rovers were actually built by Shorts and Harland in Belfast. In the early days the Hotspur, built in Wales formed the basis of the fleet.

By the nineties the Land Rover Tangi, designed and built by the Royal Ulster Constabulary's own vehicle engineering team, was by far the most common model.

Shorts and Harland continued to develop the original Boat tail Shorland from an armoured patrol car with a crew of 3 to armoured personnel vehicle, capable of carrying two up front and six in the rear and a small number of these were used on the streets in Northern Ireland as late as 1998.

In 1996 the Short Brothers sold the complete Shorland design to British Aerospace Australia.



The Shorland is a long wheelbase Land Rover with the turret of a Mk 2 Ferret armoured car. The vehicle has upgraded suspension to deal with the extra weight of the armour.


Mk 1

  • 67 bhp (50 kW) engine

Mk 2

  • Based on the Series 2
  • 77 bhp (57 kW) engine

Mk 3

  • Introduced in 1972
  • 91 bhp (68 kW) engine
  • Thicker armour than Mk 1, Mk 2

Mk 4

  • Production started 1980
  • 3.5 litre Rover V8 petrol engine
  • Improved armour over Mk 3

Series 5

  • Based on the Defender 110 chassis
  • 3.5 litre Rover V8 petrol engine or 2.5 litre Rover Tdi Turbo diesel engine
  • Welded armour fully enclosed body, no turret
  • Versions
    • S52 - Armoured Patrol Car
    • S53 - Air Defence Vehicle
    • S54 - Anti-hijack Vehicle
    • S55 - Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)

Current and former Operators


  1. ^ Peter Gerard Locke & Peter David Farquharson Cooke, Fighting Vehicles and Weapons of Rhodesia 1965-80, P&P Publishing, Wellington 1995 ISSN 0-473-02413-6, p. 94.

External links


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