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Land Rover 1/2 ton Lightweight
Land Rover
aka '88 Lightweight'
Production 1968 - 1985
Class 1/2 ton utility 4WD
Body Style Soft-top
Length 144" (365cm)
Width 60" (152cm)
Height 77" (195cm)
Wheelbase 88" (224cm)
Weight 1456kg
Transmission 4-speed manual
2-speed transfer box with selectable 4 wheel drive
Engine 2.25L I4 Petrol
2.25L I4 Diesel
Power Petrol - 81bhp @ 4250rpm, 124lb/ft (168Nm) @ 2500rpm
Diesel - 67bhp @ 4000rpm, 105 lb/ft (142Nm) @ 1800rpm
Similar UAZ-469
Designer {{{Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)}}}

The Lightweight 1/2 ton was a British military vehicle supplied by Land Rover.


The British Army requested a vehicle that could be carried by air to the front line. They had taken delivery of the Westland Wessex helicopter in the 1960s, which could carry an 1140kg (2,500lb) load slung beneath.

The smallest Land Rover available at the time was a Series 2A 88 inch wheelbase, which was too heavy. It was stripped down by removing as many non-essential items and reducing others to give the Series IIA Lightweight. This process included dispensing with the front bumper and the spare tyre. Parts of the body, the doors, and windscreen were replaced with simpler, easy to remove items. The most major change was a reduction in width, which meant it would fit on a standard pallet but requiring shorter axles. The reduction in width was implemented to allow two 'lightweights' to be loaded side by side in the Argosy and Blackburn transport aircraft.

Complete, the Lightweight IIA weighed 2,650 lb, over the specified weight. With the removable body panels taken off it was below the limit. Since improvements to the helicopters meant more lift was available, the MoD accepted it for use.


Series IIA production began in 1968. The Series IIA Lightweight was replaced by the Series III Lightweight in 1972 matching the replacement of the civilian IIA with the III. The most notable change being the move of the headlights from the grill to the wings in line with new automotive lighting regs.

Production started in 1968. Lightweight production ended in 1984 when the parent Land Rover Series III was replaced by the models 90 and 110.


  • Over 20 countries besides the British Army.
  • LHD models were used by the British Armed Forces in support of their NATO commitments.
  • Many LHD models were used by the Dutch military and were predominantly fitted with diesel engines.


  • Some diesel engine models.
  • 24-volt electrical systems as FFR (Fitted For Radio)
  • Hard top
  • 106mm recoilless rifle anti-tank gun.
  • Dutch Variants - Easily identified by having turn signal lights positioned on the tops of the wings instead of on the front by headlights. These also had modified tail and brake lights.

See Also

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Tata Group

Tata Motors | Jaguar | Land Rover | Hispano Carrocera SA | Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle | Daewoo Bus

Current Models: LR2/Freelander 2 · LR4/Discovery 4 · Range Rover · Range Rover Sport · Defender · Range_e · Range Rover Evoque

Historic Models: Series I, II, and III · 109 Series IIa and III · Range Rover Classic

Concept Cars: Land e · Range Stormer · LRX Concept · Llama


Military Vehicles: 1/2 ton Lightweight · 101 Forward Control · Wolf · SNATCH Land Rover ·

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Maurice Wilks and Spencer Wilks Corporate website A brand of the Tata Group