Flame Thrower Service Unit Vehicle XM45E11-4

XM45E1: General
Total Acceptances 28
XM45E1: Dimensions
Tread 85.0"
XM45E1: Armament
Type Mount Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG M49A1 or M66 ring mount above cab 360°
XM45E1: Armor
Thickness .25"
XM45E1: Automotive
Engine General Motors 6V53; 6 cylinder, 2 cycle, vee diesel
Horsepower Gross: 212@2,800rpm Torque Gross: 492 ft-lb@1,300rpm
Transmission Allison TX-100, 3 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering DS200 controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Differential band
XM45E1: 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 and last road wheels/track
XM45E1: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 15"
Pitch 6"
Ground contact length 111"
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 15"
Pitch 6"
Ground contact length 111"

The XM45E1 was based on the cargo carrier M548, and was intended to refuel both mechanized and man-portable flamethrowers. Armor was bolted to the cab and hull, and 2.25"- (5.72cm-) thick glass was installed to protect the windshield, door windows, and headlights. The components of the service unit were mounted on a common pallet frame and installed in the cargo compartment of the vehicle. The unit could mix fuel with thickener and then pump both the mixture and compressed air into the tanks of waiting flame throwers. Two ~110gal (~420L) rectangular fuel storage tanks flanked a central circular mixing tank, and the air compressor was located to the mixing tank's front. A power takeoff operated the air compressor, and the vehicle engine cooling system would preheat and cool the compressor and heat the mixing tank when required. The air systems were designed for a pressure of 3,000±200psig and a maximum rate of 50cfm, and 2,000±100psig. A mechanical ager was present that reduced the fuel aging time to just 30 minutes. At moderate temperatures, the aging process normally required 6-8 hours with M4 thickener or 8-12 hours with M1 thickener. The XM45E1 was sent to Vietnam in 1968 with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and notably worked alongside the self-propelled flame thrower carrier M132 series.




  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. TM 3-366 Flame Fuels. Washington, DC: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 14 June 1971.
  4. MIL-S-51261A(MU) Military Specification Service Unit, Flame Thrower, Track Vehicle Mounted, XM45E1. 28 January 1970.
Last updated 20 Aug 2023.
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