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M9 ACE Armored Combat Earthmover (ACE) (1990)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/22/2012

While not being a direct-combat vehicle, the M9 ACE earthmover has seen its fair share of conflicts.

The M9 ACE is an armored Earthmover used to dig firing positions for various weapons systems. It is also used in the following battlefield functions: Minefield Breaching, Obstacle Removal, Trench Breaching, Bulldozing, Grading, Excavating, Minefield Clearing, Route/Area Proofing and Pushing/Towing of vehicles and/or obstacles.

The M9 Armored Combat Earthmover is an amphibious, fully-tracked vehicle used to prepare firing positions for artillery, tanks and other weapon systems. It is equipped with an aluminum structure, which protects against small arms fire and artillery fragments. It has two smoke grenade launchers for its own protection and also provides chemical-biological protection for the operator.

The M9 ACE features a 8.7 cubic yard scraper bowl and bulldozer blade. The hydro-pneumatic suspension allows the front of the vehicle to be raised, lowered or tilted to permit dozing, excavating, rough grading and ditching. It has a two-speed winch with a 25,000 pound pull.

The ACE was used during the Persian Gulf War before and in the early stages of the ground war to breach Iraqi fortification. The system is easily transportable in a C-130 Hercules, C-141 Starlifter or C5 Galaxy transport aircraft.

At the end of the current (and final) contract year in 1992, the US Army will have purchased 448 total M9 ACEs. Because the system is unarmed, it is often fielded with Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles for protection.

There are plans to make the system completely unmanned through the Standardized Robotic System (SRS) through Omnitech Robotics International.

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Specifications for the
Armored Combat Earthmover (ACE)

Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: BMY Combat Systems / United Defense LP - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1990
Production: 500

Focus Model: M9 ACE
Crew: 1

Overall Length: 20.34ft (6.20m)
Width: 10.50ft (3.20m)
Height: 9.84ft (3.00m)
Weight: 26.9 US Short Tons (24,400kg; 53,793lbs)

Powerplant: 1 x Cummins V903C 8-cylinder diesel engine generating 295 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 30mph (48.28 km/h)
Maximum Range: 199 miles (320 km)

NBC Protection: None
Nightvision: None




M9 ACE System Improvement Plan (SIP) - Multi-phased improvement program.

M9 ACE Standardized Robotic System (SRS) - Unmanned remote-controlled variant (in development).

United States