15 AY 54 Armament Support Unit Volvo FL6

15 AY 54
Armament Support Unit
Volvo FL6

The vehicle was part of the Armament Support Unit (ASU) based at RAF Wittering and was used to protect weapons convoys in case of fire and accidents. This role has now passed to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston. The vehicle was only one of three made and they were named after Knights of the Roundtable. This one was named Arthur.

The photos show that as of summer 2019 it is undergoing significant restoration back to the way it was when it was new (final photo). It is owned by the RAF Museum of Firefighting.

Because of the convoy work the vehicle would carry far more equipment than if was operating on a RAF base. Apart from the usual fire fighting kit such as hoses, branches, axes, ropes, crowbars, first aid fire extinguishers, it also carried a camera, binoculars, road maps, incident boards, safety hard hats, large first aid kit, ventilators, breathing apparatus sets with tools and spares, chemical splash suits and a hydraulic rescue kit.

Due to the nature of the convoys, the crew were armed and provision for gun and ammunition storage within the vehicle was made.

The engine is a Volvo TD61F six cylinder 5.48 litres turbo charged intercooled diesel, developing 152kw at 2800rpm (207bhp). The gearbox is a six speed manual.

The combined water and foam tank has a water section with a capacity of 2273 litres (500 gallons) and two foam sections each of 150 litres (33 gallons). The pump is a Godiva GMA 3600/19 with aluminium two stage multi pressure, the output from the low pressure stage is 3600 lpm (750gpm) at 6.9bar (100psi) and from the high pressure stage 250 lpm (55gpm) at 22.6 bar (400psi). It is equipped with two high pressure first aid hose reels.

The previous vehicles dating from the 1960’s that were built for this purpose were built by Morris/Alfred Miles, Bedford/HCB Angus and Bedford/Hawson/Gloster Saro.