Heavy Recovery Vehicle M511-4

M51: General
Date of first acceptance August 1954 Total acceptances 187
Manufacturer Chrysler Corp. Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in cab center
  • Crane operator in cab right rear
  • Rigger in cab right front
  • Driver in cab left front
M51: Dimensions
Combat weight ~120,000lbs
~54,400kg
Height over AAMG ~129"
~328cm
Length with boom and spade in travel position 399"
1010cm
Width over tracks 143.0"
363.2cm
Tread 115.0"
292.1cm
Ground clearance 18"
46cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 11.5psi
.810kg/cm²
M51: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG AA mount on commander's cupola 1500 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
Night vision
Infrared periscope M19 for driver
M51: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .75"
1.9cm
36°
Lower front 1.5"
3.8cm
Upper sides .75"
1.9cm
Lower sides 1.0"
2.5cm
Upper rear .75"
1.9cm
Lower rear 1.5"
3.8cm
Top .75"
1.9cm
90°
Front floor 1.5"
3.8cm
90°
Rear floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M51: Automotive
Engine Continental AVSI-1790-6; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee supercharged fuel-injected gasoline
Horsepower Net: 765@2800rpm
Gross: 980@2800rpm
Torque Net: 1670 ft-lb@2100rpm
Gross: 1870@2400rpm
Fuel capacity 400gal
1500L
Transmission XT-1400-2A, 3 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, T-bar
Brakes Multiple disc
M51: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 7 independently sprung dual/track 4 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last 2 road wheels/track
M51: Track
T107
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 7.09"
18.0cm
Shoes/track 81 Ground contact length 186.25"
473.08cm
M51: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 110"
280cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 60"
150cm
Cruising range ~150mi
~240km

The M51 heavy recovery vehicle utilized suspension components of the 120mm gun tank M103. A 30-ton (27-metric ton) crane boom occupied the center of the vehicle, and a 45-ton (41-metric ton) winch was located in the front of the vehicle. A 5-ton (4500kg) auxiliary winch was located beside the main winch and was accessible through a hatch in the hull front. During recovery operations, the vehicle was stabilized by spades fitted to the bow and rear. From July 1956 to July 1958, all but ten M51s were reworked at the Lima Ordnance Depot due to engine, transmission, and winch problems. The fifty-two updates performed on each machine cost $26,000 per vehicle, compared to the production cost of about $150,000 for a new M51. The ten vehicles not included in the modification program were scrapped.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1988.
  2. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  3. Standard Military Vehicle Characteristic Data Sheets. Center Line, MI: Army Tank and Automotive Command Research & Engineering Directorate, Jul 1960.
  4. Icks, COL (Ret.) Robert J. M103 Heavy Tank + M41 Light Tank (Walker Bulldog). Ed. Duncan Crow. Windsor, England: Profile Publications, Ltd., Mar 1972.

Last updated 5 Jan 2021.
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