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  • M981 FIST-V Laser Designator Battlefield Support Vehicle

    The M981 FIST-V was used during the 1991 Gulf War but was eventually given up in favor of the Bradley and Stryker series.

     Updated: 10/10/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The M981 FIST-V vehicle was developed as a derivative (and upgrade) of the M901 ITV Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) carrier. The FIST-V was used strictly for designating targets (via laser) for attack and did not take on targets directly as the original M901 ITV vehicle was designed to do. The FIST-V series was intended to be used as an artillery observation platform, its chassis based on the original ubiquitous M113 APC (detailed elsewhere on this site).

    The complete M981 system was fielded with a Targeting Station Control Device (TSCD), a Ground Vehicle Laser Locator Designator (G/VLLD), a periscope and a single 7.62mm M60 machine gun (the latter for close-in self-defense or suppression of nearby enemy forces). Four SINCGARS radios were also showcased in the design as were 8 x smoke grenade dischargers (for self-screening). Much like the M901 ITV before it, the M981 FIST-V could extend and collapse the turret component for laser designation or travel respectively.

    FIST-V vehicles were used during the 1991 Gulf War but their role was eventually overtaken by the M2 Bradley and Stryker family of vehicles.

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    M981 FIST-V Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1987
    Type: Laser Designator Battlefield Support Vehicle
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): United Defense LP - USA
    Production: 550

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 15.94 feet (4.86 meters)
    Width: 8.79 feet (2.68 meters)
    Height: 11.19 feet (3.41 meters)

    Operating Weight: 13 tons (12,000 kg; 26,455 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
    Nightvision Equipment: Yes

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Chrysler A-710-B V-8 engine delivering 215 horsepower at 4,000rpm.

    Maximum Road Speed: 40 mph (64.3 km/h)
    Maximum Road Range: 199 miles (321 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 7.62mm M60 Medium Machine Gun (MMG)
    2 x 4 Smoke grenade dischargers

    8 x Smoke Grenades

    Global Operators / Customers

    United States

    Model Variants

    M981 - Base Series Designaion

    M981A3 - Improved variant