Armoured recovery vehicle

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Conqueror Armoured Recovery Vehicle 2

An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is a type of vehicle recovery armoured fighting vehicle used to repair battle- or mine-damaged as well as broken-down armoured vehicles during combat, or to tow them out of the danger zone for more extensive repairs. To this end, the term "Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle" (ARRV) is also used.

Development history[edit]

Early models[edit]

During World War I, some British Mark IV heavy tanks were fitted with jibs to produce "Salvage Tanks", but the majority of their work was at the tank parks in aid of maintaining and repairing damaged tanks.[1]

Second World War[edit]

The first true ARVs were introduced in World War II, often by converting obsolete or damaged tanks, usually by removing the turret and installing a heavy-duty winch to free stuck vehicles, plus a variety of vehicle repair tools. Some were also purpose-built in factories, using an existing tank chassis with a hull superstructure to accommodate repair and recovery equipment. Many of the latter type of ARV had an A-frame or crane to allow the vehicle's crew to perform heavy lifting tasks, such as removing the engine from a disabled tank.

Postwar[edit]

After World War II, most countries' MBT models also had corresponding ARV variants. Many ARVs are also equipped with a bulldozer blade that can be used as an anchor when winching or as a stabiliser when lifting, a pump to transfer fuel to another vehicle, and more. Some can even carry a spare engine for field replacement, such as the German Leopard 1 ARV.

Characteristics[edit]

ARVs are normally built on the chassis of a main battle tank (MBT), but some are also constructed on the basis of other armoured fighting vehicles, mostly armoured personnel carriers (APCs). ARVs are usually built on the basis of a vehicle in the same class as they are supposed to recover; a tank-based ARV is used to recover tanks, while an APC-based one recovers APCs (it does not have the power to tow a much heavier tank).

Some combat engineering vehicles (CEVs) are based on ARVs.

List of ARVs[edit]

The following is a list of ARVs by country, either designer/manufacturer or user.

Canada[edit]

M32 TRV, Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Israel

Czechoslovakia[edit]

  • VT-34 ARV (T-34 Chassis)
  • VT-55A ARV (T-55 Chassis)
  • VT-72B ARV (T-72 Chassis) - (1987 to 1989)
  • VPV (BVP-1 Chassis) - (1985 to 1989)

France[edit]

  • M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, based on the Sherman tank (from 1944)
  • M74 Tank Recovery Vehicle (1954–1975)
  • AMX 30 D (from 1973), based on the AMX 30
  • Leclerc MARS, based on the AMX-56 Leclerc

Indonesia[edit]

  • Büffel ARV (Bergepanzer)
  • Leguan AVLB (Brückenlegepanzer)
  • Kodiak AEV (Pionierpanzer)

Japan[edit]

  • Se-Ri Tank Recovery Vehicle - Type 97 Chi-Ha Tank chassis
  • Type 70 Tank Recovery Vehicle - Type 61 Roku-ichi Tank chassis
  • Type 78 Tank Recovery Vehicle - Type 74 Nana-yon Tank chassis
  • Type 90 Tank Recovery Vehicle - Type 90 Kyū-maru Tank chassis
  • Type 11 Tank Recovery Vehicle - Type 10 Hito-maru Tank chassis

Germany[edit]

A German Army BPz3 Büffel (2006)
World War 2
Modern
  • Bergepanzer M74 (Sherman Chassis) - first TRV/ARV of the West German Bundeswehr, 300 used 1956-1960 (see M74 entry under United States).
  • Bergepanzer 1 - M88 Chassis, the first of 125 entered service in 1962 and a 1985 modernization program replaced the gasoline engine with a diesel and improved the hoist.
  • Bergepanzer 2 - Leopard 1 tank chassis. Used by the Canadian Forces since the 1990s as Taurus ARV.
  • Bergepanzer 3 "Büffel" - Leopard 2 chassis
  • Bergepanzer Wisent - Bergepanzer 2 chassis. Modified and upgraded by Flensburger Fahrzeugbau to support the demands of the future battlefield. Optimised to support the Leopard 1 and 2 main battle tanks.
  • Bergepanzer Wisent 2 - Leopard 2 chassis. Successor of the Wisent. Build by Flensburger Fahrzeugbau.

Israel[edit]

A Trail Blazer, Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Israel
  • Trail Blazer (Gordon) (Sherman chassis) - An IDF recovery/engineering vehicle based on HVSS equipped M4A1s Sherman tanks, it featured a large single boom crane (as opposed to the A-Frame of the M32) and large spades at the front and rear of the vehicle to assist in lifting. It could also tow up to 72 tons.
  • "Technical" and "Fitter" - ARVs based on the M-113 with crane attached
  • Nemera - modern recovery vehicle based on Merkava tank chassis. Several prototypes have been built, but it never fielded in large number in the IDF.
  • The current ARV in IDF use is the American-made M88 Recovery Vehicle, which is accompanied and assisted by an IDF Caterpillar D9 armoured bulldozer.

Malaysia[edit]

  • WZT-4 build by Polish Bumar-Łabędy

Mexico[edit]

  • M32 Chenca (Sherman chassis) - In 1998, Napco International of the USA upgraded M32B1 TRV M4 Sherman-chassis armoured recovery vehicles with Detroit Diesel 8V-92-T diesel engines (see M32 entry under United States).

Poland[edit]

  • CW-34 (T-34 Chassis)
  • WPT-34 (T-34, SU-85 and SU-100 Chassis)
  • WZT-1 (T-54 and T-55 Chassis)
  • WZT-2 (T-55 Chassis)
  • WZT-3 (T-72M Chassis)
  • WZT-4 (PT-91M Chassis) produced for Malaysia
  • WPT-TOPAS (TOPAS Chassis)
  • WPT-MORS (MTLB Chassis)
  • KWZT "MAMMOTH" Heavy Wheeled Evacuation and Technical Rescue Vehicle (TATRA T 815 – 7Z0R9T 44 440 8x8.1R Chassis)

Serbia/Yugoslavia[edit]

A Serbian VIU-55 Munja (2007)
A Grant ARV recovers a Daimler Dingo armoured car. Italy, February 1945
Centurion MkII ARV,Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Israel

Soviet Union[edit]

The Russian acronym BREM (cyr. БРЭМ) stands for "бронированная ремонтно-эвакуационная машина", literally "armoured repair and recovery vehicle".

  • BTS-2 (T-54 Chassis)
  • BTS-4A (T-54 Chassis)
  • BREM-1 (T-72 Chassis)
  • BREM-2 (BMP-1 Chassis)
  • BREM-L (BMP-3 Chassis)
  • BREM-K (BTR-80 Chassis)
  • BREM-80U (T-80U Chassis)

United Kingdom[edit]

The British tested their first ARV designs in early 1942. The decision at the time was to focus on the Churchill infantry tank as the basis, but cruiser tank based ARVs were also produced. When the UK received supplies of US medium tanks - first the M3, then M4 Sherman, conversions were made of these to operate alongside and so simplify support.

World War 2
  • Cavalier ARV
  • Churchill ARV
  • Crusader ARV
  • Centaur Arv
  • Cromwell ARV
  • Grant ARV - two Marks, the first was a British conversion, the second was a US M31 TRV in British service
  • Sherman III ARV I - Amoured Recovery Vehicle conversion of Sherman III (M4A2), similarly "Sherman V ARV Mark I" and "ARV Mark II"
  • Sherman ARV II - conversion of Sherman V with dummy gun in fixed "turret", 7.5 ton jib at front, spade earth anchor at rear.[2]
  • Sherman II ARV Mk III was a M32B1 TRV (see US ARV).
Modern
BARV (World War 2 to Modern)
  • The BARV is a British military support vehicle, the name coming from "Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle", for working in shallow water. Various models were based on the M4A2 Sherman, Centurion and Leopard 1A5 ("Hippo")tank chassis. Australia converted a M3A5 Grant to a BARV configuration.

United States[edit]

  • M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle - based on M3 Lee chassis. (sometimes called a T2 tank retriever)
  • M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, or M32 TRV, based on the Sherman tank chassis with turret replaced by fixed superstructure, 60,000 lb (27,000 kg) winch and an 18 feet (5.5 m) long pivoting A-frame jib installed. An 81 mm mortar was also added into the hull, primarily for screening purposes.
    • M32B1 - M32s converted from M4A1s (some converted to M34 artillery prime movers).
      • M32A1B1 - M32B1s with HVSS, later removing the 81 mm mortar and incorporating crane improvements.
    • M32B2 - M32s converted from M4A2s.
    • M32B3 - M32s converted from M4A3s.
      • M32A1B3 - M32B3s brought up to M32A1B1 standard.
    • M32B4 - M32s converted from M4A4s.
  • M74 Tank Recovery Vehicle - Upgrade of the M32 to provide the same capability with regards to heavier post-war tanks, converted from M4A3 HVSS tanks. In appearance, the M74 is very similar to the M32, fitted with an A-Frame crane, a main towing winch, an auxiliary winch, and a manual utility winch. The M74 also has a front mounted spade that can be used as a support or as a dozer blade.
    • M74B1 - Same as the M74, but converted from M32B3s.
  • M578 - based on the M110 chassis.
  • M51 Heavy Recovery Vehicle - based on the M103 heavy tank chassis.
  • M88 Recovery Vehicle - based on the chassis and parts of the automotive component of the M48 Patton & M60 Patton.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ AFV Profile No. 3 Tanks Mark I - V Profile Publishing.
  2. ^ Chamberlain and Norman p179

Bibliography[edit]

  • Peter Chamberlain and Major-General N.W. Duncan. AFV Weapons Profiles No.35 British Armoured Recovery Vehicles + Wheels, Tracks and Transporters (1971) Profile Publishing

External links[edit]