M60 AVLB

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M60 AVLB (Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge)
M60A1 Armored Vehicle Landing Bridge.jpg
An M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB), deploying its scissors-type bridge.
Type Armored vehicle-launched bridge
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1967–present
Used by See operators
Wars Gulf War
Iraq War
Production history
Manufacturer 1967–1996: Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, Chrysler Defence (now General Dynamics Land Systems)
1996 onwards: Anniston Army Depot
Unit cost US$749,000
Produced M60: 1967
M60A1: 1987
Variants See variants
Specifications
Weight Loaded: 56.6 short tons (51.3 t)
Length Overall: 9.44 metres (31 ft 0 in)
Width 3.66 m (12 ft 0 in)
Height 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)
Crew 2 (Commander and driver)

Main
armament
None
Secondary
armament
None
Engine Continental (now General Dynamics) AVDS-1790-2DR V12, air-cooled Twin-turbo diesel engine
750 horsepower (560 kW)
Power/weight 13.2 hp/t
Payload capacity 1× scissors-type folding bridge
Transmission CD-850-6A 2 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Suspension Torsion bar suspension
Ground clearance 457 mm (1 ft 6.0 in)
Fuel capacity 1,419 litres (312 imp gal; 375 US gal)
Operational
range
290 miles (470 km)
Speed 30 miles per hour (48 km/h)

The M60 AVLB is an armored vehicle based on the M60 Patton main battle tank chassis used for the launching and retrieval of a 60 feet (18 m) scissors-type bridge. The AVLB consists of three major sections: the launcher, the vehicle hull, and the bridge.[1]

Design[edit]

The M60 AVLB is based on a M60 Patton tank chassis, but instead of the tank's gun turret, it is equipped with a bridge launcher integrated into the chassis and mounted on top. When emplaced, the bridge is capable of supporting tracked and wheeled vehicles with a military load bearing capacity up to Class 70. The bridge can be retrieved from either end. The roadway width of the AVLB is 12 feet 6 inches (3.81 m). During deployments, bridge emplacement can be accomplished in 2 minutes, and retrieval can be accomplished in 10 minutes under armor protection.[1]

Deployment[edit]

As of 1996, the U.S. Marines had an inventory of 55 bridges and 37 launchers.[citation needed]

Replacement[edit]

The U.S. Army and Marine Corps are planning to replace the AVLB with the DRS Technologies Joint Assault Bridge (JAB), which is an M1 Abrams tank chassis combined with an 18.3 metres (60 ft)-long scissor bridge. The M60-based AVLB was found to be slower and unable to keep pace with Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley armored vehicles, and its age was making it difficult to maintain and sustain with parts becoming obsolete. The JAB also has a faster deployment time, with a set-up of three minutes compared to AVLB’s six-minute set-up. First deliveries are planned in mid-2017, with low-rate initial production expected to be reached in 2019.[2]

Specification[edit]

Manufacturer: Anniston Army Depot (ANAD)
Contractor: General Dynamics Land Systems Division
Power plant: AVDS-1790-2DA 12-cylinder diesel engine
Power train: CD-850-6A 2 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Introduction date: February 1987
Unit Replacement Cost: $749,000

M60A1 tank chassis[edit]

Weight, combat loaded: 56.6 tons (51.33 metric tons)
Ground clearance: 18 inches (0.457 meters)
Length: 31 feet (9.44 meters)
Width: 12 feet (3.66 meters)
Maximum speed (governed): 30 miles/hour (48.3 km/h)
Cross country speed: 8–12 miles/hour (12–19 km/h)
Trench crossing: 8.5 feet (2.59 meters)
Range: 290 miles (464 kilometers)
Fuel capacity: 375 gallons (14.19 hectoliters)
Crew: 2 enlisted

Bridge[edit]

Length, extended: 63 feet (19.19 meters)
Length, folded: 32 feet (9.75 meters)
Bridge span: 60 feet (18.28 meters)
Width, overall: 13.1 feet (3.99 meters)
Width, roadway: 12.5 feet (3.81 meters)
Width, treadway: 5.75 feet (1.75 meters)
Height, unfolded: 3.1 feet (0.94 meters)
Weight: 14.65 tons (13.28 metric tons)

Variants[edit]

  • M60 AVLB – based on the baseline M60 MBTs chassis
  • M60A1 AVLB – upgraded version based on the M60A1 MBTs chassis

Operators[edit]

Exercise Reforger 1985, an M60 AVLB deploying its bridge on the banks of Lahn River in Central Germany.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]