It is now a year since the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) purchased a Mitsubishi L200 to operate as an emergency Fire Tender at its Rothera Research Station in the Antarctic, and the organisation is delighted to report that the pick-up has run faultlessly throughout its 12 months of service.
Supplied by Carnforth Mitsubishi dealers, Norjac, the L200 was bought by the BAS to replace its existing, purpose-built, emergency vehicle at its logistics centre airstrip on Adelaide Island. Vehicle Engineer for BAS, Martin Bell, explains why the L200 was selected:
"We chose the Mitsubishi because it is four-wheel-drive and has the capacity to carry up to 1.16 Tonnes, whilst retain the ability of being a fast response vehicle. Reliability and straightforward maintenance also had to be taken in account. On top of that, the whole package from Norjac represented excellent value for money."
As soon as it was purchased, the L200 was modified at the BAS headquarters in Cambridge to carry the equipment required to perform its role as a crash response vehicle. A foam tank, ladders and a range of specialist components were installed, with modifications also made to the vehicle’s fuel and cooling systems in order that it would operate in temperatures of -20 to -30 degrees centigrade.
"We have been delighted with the way the vehicle has performed so far", said Mr. Bell. "It starts without a murmur every time and has run perfectly - a real testimony in such a harsh and remote environment. As the vehicle will only cover a few hundred miles a year we intend to keep it for a few years yet, which we are more than happy to do."
Established in 1975 the BAS Research Station at Rothera houses a series of biological laboratories and has facilities for a wide range of research. The airstrip is constructed of crushed rock and and sees regular flights to and from the Falkland Islands and the ice runways inland, most activity taking place during the Antarctic summer, between October and March.
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