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|British Army Ferret Mk2
Copyright © Tanks 2 Go
|UN Ferret Mk2
Copyright © 5 Star
|Irish UN Ferret Mk2
Copyright © An Cosantoir
|"On Oct. 24th 1962, the 2nd Armoured Car Squadron, with a compliment of 8 Officers, 27 NCOs and 51 Troopers arrived in Leopoldville. The Sqn. was organised in three Reconnaissance Troops, one Administration Troop and a Sqn. HQ and unusually, for such a small unit, as was pointed out by Lieut. General Sean McKeown before it's departure, it was to operate as an independent force. On Nov. 8th, the Sqn. was allotted tweleve Ferret Armoured Scout Cars, newly delivered from England. The Ferret's with their 4x4 drive and modern radio equipment (C12, AN/GRC9 and AN/GRC10 sets), were a vast improvement on the WWII era Fords, but were also a challenge to the Cavalry Corps, especially on the technical side. The Sqn. set to work and adapted so quickly that by Jan. 15th, 1963, the unit was declared operational and were ordered to prepare to move South, however, with the defeat of Tshombe's forces the order was cancelled. The Ferrets were handed over to the 3rd Armoured Car Sqn. upon their arrival and they like their predecessors continued patrolling in Leopoldville. At the end of their tour, the 3rd returned the Ferrets to the UN HQ, who acknowledged that all were in first class condition after a year of intensive training and patrolling." (From, then, Comdt. A. J. Magennis, writing in An Cosantoir January 1976)
The Ferret, on loan from the British Army, to the U.N., was introduced to the Irish in the Congo to supplement the, by now, rather worn out Ford Armoured Cars. As can be seen from the above they arrived at the end of the fighting and did not actually see combat while with the Irish. During the period the Ferrets were in service, the Irish units were also using, in addition to the Fords, Scania and M113 APCs.
There is no doubt that the Ferrets demonstrated to the Cavalry Corps, the improvements in wheeled armour since WWII.
The first prototype Ferret was built by Daimler in 1949, with the designation FV701, and remained in production until 1971. 4,409 Ferrets were built and it was used by over 30 countries.
The Ferret was also the basis of the FV721 Fox, part of the CVR (like the Scorpion) series of vehicles.