Rhino Heavy Armoured Car

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Rhino Heavy Armoured Car
Rhino (AWM 127718).jpg
The prototype Rhino with early heavier hull
Place of originAustralia
Mass8.5 tonnes (8.4 long tons)
Length4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
Width2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
Height2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
Crew4 (commander, driver, gunner, and loader/radio operator)

Armour30 mm
QF 2 pdr (40 mm) Mk II
One 0.303 (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun
EngineGMC 6-cylinder inline
Suspension4x4 leaf spring

Car, Armoured, Heavy (Aust), also known as Rhino, was an armoured car designed in Australia during the Second World War. Due to enemy action and design problems the project never got beyond a prototype stage.


At the outbreak of the Second World War, the United Kingdom was unable to meet the needs of the Commonwealth for armoured fighting vehicles. This led many Commonwealth countries to develop their own AFVs.

In mid-to-late 1941 a specification for a heavy armoured car was issued to the Australian Directorate of Armoured Fighting Vehicles Production. Two prototype hulls and turrets were built and tested on the same chassis in 1942. The vehicle suffered from excessive weight and in 1943 the project was cancelled.

Rear view of the prototype Rhino

The vehicle utilised a CMP chassis and engine produced by General Motors Canada, the rear-engined model 8446, the same chassis as used for the Canadian "Fox" armoured car. To this a welded armoured body fabricated from Australian Bullet-proof Plate (ABP-3) of 30 mm thickness to the front and 11 mm to the sides and rear was fitted. The vehicle was completed by a welded turret with 30 mm all-round protection similar in design to that of the Crusader tank. The armament consisted of a QF 2 pounder Mk IX gun and a coaxial .303-inch Vickers machine gun.

A pilot model of an armoured personnel carrier with an open-topped hull and without a turret was also built.


  • Cecil, Michael K. (1993). Australian Military Equipment Profiles vol. 3, Australian Scout and Armoured Cars 1933 to 1945. Australian Military Equipment Profiles. ISBN 0-646-14611-4.

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