Improved TOW Vehicle M901A11-4

M901A1: General
Total acceptances ~1800 M901 and M901A1
Manufacturer Emerson Electric Co. Crew 4 men
M901A1: Dimensions
Combat weight ~26,000lbs
~12,000kg
Height, head erected 134.25"
341.00cm
Length 191.5"
486.4cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width over track shrouds 105.75"
268.61cm
Tread 85.0"
216cm
Ground clearance 17.1"
43.4cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 8.3psi
.58kg/cm²
M901A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
Twin TOW missile launcher Targeting head on modified M27 cupola 10 BGM-71D TOW 2, BGM-71E TOW 2A, or BGM-71F TOW 2B missiles 360° +34° to -30°
7.62mm M60 MG Flexible on cupola mount 800 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
Night vision
Infrared periscope M19 for driver, TOW sight assembly
M901A1: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled 5083/5086 H32 aluminum armor
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 1.5"
3.8cm
45°
Lower front 1.5"
3.8cm
30°
Upper sides 1.75"
4.45cm
Lower sides 1.25"
3.18cm
Rear 1.5"
3.8cm
Ramp 1.5"
3.8cm
Top 1.5"
3.8cm
90°
Floor 1.125"
2.858cm
90°
M901A1: Automotive
Engine General Motors 6V53; 6 cylinder, 2 cycle, vee diesel
Horsepower Gross: 212@2800rpm Torque Gross: 492 ft-lb@1300rpm Fuel capacity 95gal
360L
Transmission Allison TX-100, 3 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering DS200 controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Differential band
M901A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 5 individually sprung dual/track Flat track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
10-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first, second, and last road wheels/track
M901A1: Track
T130E1
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 15"
38cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 63
Right side: 64
Ground contact length 105"
267cm
T150
Center guide, double pin, steel with chevron rubber pad
Width 14.81"
37.62cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 63
Right side: 64
Ground contact length 105"
267cm
M901A1: Performance
Max level road speed 40mph
64kph
Max water speed 3.6mph
5.8kph
Max trench 66"
170cm
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 24"
61cm
Min turning diameter 26'
7.9m
Max fording depth Floats Cruising range ~300mi, roads
~480km, roads

The specifications above are for a vehicle based on the M113A2 APC; M901s were also based on the M113A1. The M901 conversion involved fitting a "hammerhead" turret on the commander's M27 cupola which contained two TOW missile launchers and the associated targeting and guidance equipment. The missile launcher targeting head was at the end of a pivoting arm which raised the assembly for firing. When stowed, the turret was aimed down and to the rear of the vehicle; this reduced the ITV's height to 115.75" (294.00cm) for M113A2-based vehicles. Reloading was accomplished by tilting the launching apparatus back so that the crew could reach the turret through the carrier's rear roof hatch. When the ITV was modified to fire the TOW 2 series of missiles, its designation was changed to M901A1. M901s in the armored cavalry were crewed by 5 men; mechanized infantry ITVs had a crew of 4. M901A3 was equipped with the RISE improvements of the M113A3.

The various versions of the TOW missile are as follows: BGM-71A was the basic version with a 5" (13cm) diameter warhead. BGM-71C ITOW (Improved TOW) used an improved 5" (13cm) warhead and a standoff probe which allowed the shaped charge penetrator to assume a more efficient shape before it struck the target. ITOW also had an extended range of 3750m (2.33mi) compared to TOW's 3000m (1.86mi) range. BGM-71D TOW 2 has a 6" (15cm) diameter warhead, and retained a standoff probe. BGM-71E TOW 2A introduced a precursor charge in the standoff probe to defeat explosive reactive armor. BGM-71F TOW 2B is a top-attack weapon that defeats its targets with two explosively-formed projectiles that penetrate the roof of armored vehicles. TOW 2B lacks a standoff probe.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Bradley: A History of American Fighting and Support Vehicles. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1999. Reprinted with permission from Bradley, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1999, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  2. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  3. Federation of American Scientists. "M901A3 Improved TOW Vehicle." DOD 101. 22 Feb 2000. 28 May 2001 <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m901.htm>. DOD 101
  4. Federation of American Scientists. "M-220 Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missile (TOW)." DOD 101. 22 Feb 2000. 28 May 2001 <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/tow.htm>. DOD 101

Last updated 11 Mar 2008.
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