For over half a century, Land Rover Defenders have been cruising battlefields and front lines, from jungle to desert, in an assorted spectrum of uses. The British military has been using various series’ as an official vehicle since the 1950s, and many nations, when seeing the capabilities of this formidable truck, followed suit. In recent times, Defender 110s (based on a 1994 model created specifically for the British military, called the Defender XD) have patrolled in combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Their ability to withstand extreme conditions, as well as the way they roll over exotic terrain, lent them a formidable reputation and the nomenclature as the Wolves. As ex-wolves aged out of military service (or were upgraded to a new series), they found their way to the public market.
Early versions of the Wolf tinkered with using the civilian TD5 engine, but issues with battlefield electronics pushed Land Rover in the direction of a 300TDI. The originals, those seen in the 1950s and 1960s, were outfitted primarily with a 3.5-liter V8. That original 3.5-liter V8 series was phased out in 1985 with the Series III; showing upgrades in both performance and modification abilities for shifting battlefields.
In 1994, Land Rover settled into a basic version that is still used today in the form of Defender XDs. These were offered in both soft-top and hard-top variations and outfitted to the specifications of Defender 110s and 90s. In modern times, Defender XD 90s are very rarely used by militaries worldwide in comparison to XD 110s. Much of this has to do with increased power in transportation modes used to move the vehicles around the world (such as helicopter lifts and large cargo jets), and even more of it has to do with how well the XD 110s were made in general; the primary benefit of the 90 series had to do with its smaller size.
The 300TDI engine ceased production in 2006, but Land Rover has maintained a facility specifically to build Wolf-grade engines of the modern day. In armies from Australia to Germany and, of course, Great Britain, the Land Rover Wolf Defender 110 fleet is still in heavy use. Police departments around the world also make use of the military version of the truck. Whether on streets, mud, sand, ice, or mountainside, the Land Rover Defender has been a reliable workhorse for militaries since before the advent of spaceflight. This is only possible through consistently brilliant design and an ongoing passion for the most exceptional quality.