M901 ITV

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M901 ITV
M-901 ITV Improved TOW Vehicle - (Tube-launched, Optically controlled, Wire-guided) - an M-113 armored personnel carrier with missile launchers (7485560328).jpg
TypeTank destroyer using ATGMs
Place of originUnited States
Service history
WarsGulf War
Iraq War
Weight12 tonnes
Length4.86 m (15 ft 11½ in)
Width2.69 m (8 ft 9¾ in)
Height2.94 m (9 ft 8 in) targeting head stowed, 3.41 m (11 ft 2 in) head extended
Crew4 (squad leader, gunner, loader, driver)

The M901 ITV (Improved TOW Vehicle) is a United States Army armored vehicle introduced into service in 1979, and designed to carry a dual M220 TOW launcher. It is based on the ubiquitous M113 Armored Personnel Carrier chassis. The M901 ITV is no longer in service with the US Army.


M901 ITV in the Yad La-Shiryon.

The M901 ITV provides the crew and weapon system protection from small-arms fire and artillery fragments. The squad leader has a 270-degree range of view through the squad leader's periscope (SLP). The turret launcher has the capability for day and night acquisition and tracking of targets, and it provides firing coverages of 360 degrees in azimuth and +35 to −30 degrees in elevation. The ITV has stowage provisions for tripod-mounted TOW components configured so the ground system can be dismounted and set up in three to five minutes. In addition, the ITV is completely amphibious and is air transportable. It has the following characteristics:

  • A hydraulically and electrically powered "hammerhead" turret, attached to a modified M27 cupola, that can be operated manually.
  • A complete M220-series TOW weapon system stowed and strapped in fixed mounting brackets. The daysight tracker and nightsight (AN/TAS-4 or AN/TAS-4a) are mounted in an operational ready state at the head of the turret. The missile guidance system is also connected at the base of the turret.
  • A dual M220 TOW launcher.
  • M243 smoke grenade launchers.
  • A 3x acquisition sight with a 25-degree field of view.
  • Remote actuators that allow daysight tracker and nightsight adjustments.
  • A machine gun mounted on a traversing rail.

The system is capable of firing two missiles without reloading and carries ten TOW rounds in the missile rack. Reloading is performed under armor protection and is accomplished by tilting the launching apparatus back so that the crew can reach the turret through the carrier's rear roof hatch. The missile launcher targeting head is at the end of a pivoting arm which raises the launcher assembly for firing. When stowed, the turret is aimed down and to the rear of the vehicle. A major limitation of the M901 is that it is practically unable to move while the turret is in firing position, and unable to fire while it is in the stowed position. A common work-around is to move the vehicle while the turret is in the loading position, thereby reducing the amount of time to get the turret in a fire position as opposed to the stow position. Moving from the firing to the stowed position is a procedure that takes several seconds and some skill on the part of the operator.


  • M901, employs the M220A1 TOW
  • M901A1, employs the M220A2 TOW 2
  • M901A3, employs the M220A2 TOW 2 and incorporates the RISE powerpack and improved driver controls of the M113A3.


Map with former and current M901 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

Similar vehicles[edit]

The M981 FISTV (Fire Support Team Vehicle) armored vehicle is based on the M901 ITV and closely resembles it, in a deliberate effort to make it less conspicuous on the battlefield.[citation needed]

The NM142 is a similar vehicle used by the Norwegian Army.

The YPR-765 PRAT uses the same turret as the M901 but on the hull of the AIFV, an improved M113.

The M1134, based off the Stryker, is the current armored tank destroyer of the U.S.


  1. ^ Defense Security Cooperation Agency. "Excess Defense Articles". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  2. ^ a b Debay, Yves (2003). Operation Iraqi Freedom: Victory in Baghdad. Special Obs 27. Concord Publication. p. 50. ISBN 962-361-067-X.