Guided Missile Equipment Carrier M730A21-4

M730A2: General
Date of first acceptance 1986 Total acceptances ~500
Manufacturer FMC Corp. Crew 5 men
M730A2: Dimensions
Combat weight 29,300lbs
Height over canopy bows 113.88"
Length 239.88"
Width over track shrouds 105.75"
Tread 85.0"
Ground clearance 17.1"
Ground pressure, zero penetration 8.8psi
M730A2: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse
MIM-72 missiles M54A2 Chaparral guided missile pallet 12 missiles
(4 ready)
Night vision
FLIR sight
M730A2: Armor
M730A2: Automotive
Engine General Motors 6V53T; 6 cylinder, 2 cycle, vee, turbosupercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 275@2800rpm Torque Gross: 627 ft-lb@1600rpm Fuel capacity 111gal
Transmission Allison X-200-4, 4 ranges forward, 2 reverse
Steering Hydrostatic, steering yoke
Brakes Multiple plate, oil cooled
M730A2: 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
M730A2: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 15"
Pitch 6"
Shoes/track 65 Ground contact length 111"
M730A2: Performance
Max level road speed 37mph
Max trench 66"
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 24"
Min turning diameter 28'
Max fording depth 40"
Cruising range ~255mi, roads
~410km, roads

The M730 carrier vehicle was part of the M48 Chaparral anti-aircraft missile system, and was based on the M548 cargo carrier variant of the M113A1 APC. The missile system was placed in the cargo compartment, and a cover which was held up by six bows could be erected over it for travel. When not in use, the bows were stowed on the bow of the vehicle. A blast shield protected the engine, and blast shields were also able to be folded over the folding crew cab for launching. The vehicle was introduced in 1969. First fielded in 1982, the M730A1 included the improved engine cooling and suspension modifications of the M548A1, which were similar to those implemented in M113A2. Starting in 1986, the M730A2 included the M548A3's and M113A3's RISE improvements, and also added an NBC protection system. The M730A2 was the first of the M113 family of vehicles to be given the RISE upgrade. The 20,000lb (9000kg) winch that had been on the bow of previous M730s was deleted with M730A2.

The MIM-72 Chaparral missile was based on the infrared homing Sidewinder 1C aerial missile. The gunner was provided with an optical sight, and the missile homed to the target autonomously once launched. The range of the MIM-72 was around 11 miles (18km).

Later improvements to the Chaparral system included the introduction of the M121 smokeless rocket motor, and the replacement of the missile's expanding-rod warhead with the M250 blast-fragmentation warhead. A FLIR sight pod was also introduced on the left side of the missile mount to enhance night operations. These improvements were dubbed I-Chap, for Improved Chaparral.

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  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. "M730A2 Guided Missile Equipment Carrier (Chaparral)." DOD 101. 5 Jan 1999. 9 Nov 2001 <>. DOD 101
  4. TM 55-2350-224-14 Transport Guidance M113 Family of Vehicles (M113A2, M113A3, M106A2, M125A2, M548A1, M577A2, M667, M730A2, M741A1, M901A1, M981, M1015A1, M1059, M1064, AND M1068). Washington, DC: Dept. of the Army, 1 Feb 1993.

Last updated 9 Dec 2016.
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