Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge M48A51-4

AVLB M48A5: General
Manufacturer Unit Rig and Equipment Co. Crew
2 men:
  • Commander in hull center right
  • Operator in hull center left
AVLB M48A5: Dimensions
Weight with bridge 126,700lbs
57,470kg
Height with bridge 152.4"
387.1cm
Length with bridge 444"
1130cm
Width with bridge 158.4"
402.3cm
Tread 115.0"
292.1cm
Ground clearance 15"
38cm
Ground pressure, with bridge 14.4psi
1.01kg/cm²
AVLB M48A5: Armament
None
Night vision
AN/VVS-2 Night Vision Viewer or Infrared periscope M24
AVLB M48A5: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.33"
11.0cm
60°
Lower front 4.0" to 2.4"
10cm to 6.1cm
53°
Front sides 3.0" equivalent
7.6cm equivalent
Rear sides 2.0" equivalent
5.1cm equivalent
Exhaust grille 1.0" equivalent
2.5cm equivalent
Lower rear 1.6" to 1.2"
4.1cm to 3.0cm
30° to 60°
Top 2.25"
5.72cm
90°
Front floor 1.5"
3.8cm
90°
Rear floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
AVLB M48A5: Automotive
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2D or -2DA; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee, supercharged diesel
Horsepower Net: 643@2400rpm
Gross: 750@2400rpm
Torque Net: 1575 ft-lb@1750rpm
Gross: 1710 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 385gal
1460L
Transmission General Motors CD-850-6A, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, T-bar
Brakes Multiple disc
AVLB M48A5: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 5 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
AVLB M480A5: Track
T97E2
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 80 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
T142
Center guide, double pin, replaceable rubber pad
Width 28"
71cm
Pitch 6.94"
17.6cm
Shoes/track 80 Ground contact length 166.72"
423.47cm
AVLB M48A5: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 84"
210cm
Max grade 30% Max sideslope 15%
Max vertical obstacle 18"
46cm
Min turning diameter Pivot
Max fording depth 48"
120cm

The hulls of the M48 tank were converted into bridgelayers, with the M48A2C being the standardized model (though some M48A1s were also converted). The conversion involved removing the turret and housing the crew within the turret ring under cupolas with rear-hinged hatches. The bridge launching and resting equipment was installed on the hull roof, and the scissors-type bridge was stowed on the of the hull. Class 60 bridges spanning either a 40' (12m) or 60' (18m) span with a roadway width of 150" (380cm) were carried. Hydraulic cylinders raised the bridge from the chassis, lowered it to the ground, and finally unfolded it. AVLBs were upgraded with the diesel engine from the M48A5 beginning in the late 1970s, so the diesel vehicles could have either 3 or 5 return rollers. Improved cupolas with pivoting hatches were mounted with the diesel conversions. The bridge could be emplaced in 2-5 minutes, and slope limits when launching the bridge were 15% uphill and downhill and 8% to the side. Without the bridge, the vehicle was 339.6" (862.6cm) long, 118.8" (301.8cm) tall, and 142.8" (362.7cm) wide, and it weighed 97,200lb (44,100kg) with a 9.0psi (.63kg/cm²) ground pressure.

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References

  1. TM 5-5420-226-10 Operator's Manual Launcher and M48A5 Tank Chassis, Transporting: For Bridge, Armored-Vehicle-Launched Scissoring Type, Class 60 5420-01-076-6096. Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, 1 Dec 2006.
  2. TM 5-5420-226-20-1 Organizational Maintenance Manual M48A5 Tank Chassis, Transporting: For Bridge, Armored-Vehicle-Launched; Scissoring Type, Class 60 (5420-01-076-6096). Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, 2 Feb 2007.
  3. Hunnicutt, R.P. Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984.
  4. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.

Last updated 9 Jul 2017.
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