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M104 Wolverine AVLB

United States (2003)

Detailing the development and operational history of the M104 Wolverine AVLB Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge.

 Entry last updated on 8/1/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com



Basic Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 2003
Type: Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge
Manufacturer(s): General Dynamics Land Systems - USA / MAN Mobile Bridges GmbH - Germany
Production: 44


The M104 Wolverine AVLB bridgelayer replaced the aged M60 AVLB series in service with the United States Army.

The M104 "Wolverine" was adopted by the United States Army to succeed its aged line of M60 Main Battle Tank-based "Armored Vehicle launched Bridge" (AVLB) bridgelayer systems. The M104 followed the same design road as it was simply developed from the current-generation M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (MBT). As such, the new vehicle shares many of the automotive and track components as its progenitor while its on-road/off-road performance deviates little from its original offering.

Development of the M104 was headed by General Dynamic Land Systems (GDLS) beginning in 1983 and this produced the turretless M1 Abrams hull which was fitted with specialized mounting hardware and an inherent power system to manage a "scissors-type" folding bridge component fitted over the hull. The bridge is from a design supplied by MAN Mobile Bridges GmbH of Germany. The work inevitably produced pilot (prototype) vehicles whose trials were undertaken from 1996 onwards. After successful completion of this phase, the vehicle was received by U.S. Army engineering groups as the "M104 Wolverine" during 2003. Procurement has netted some forty-four of the type in inventory - though this represents a drastic reduction from the 450+ vehicles originally sought by Army authorities (primarily due to budget reductions).
In the field, the M104 provides traversal of seemingly impassable terrain such as deep water sources or ravines. The bridge component is laid down by the carrier vehicle which is crewed by just two. These personnel reside in the protective armored hull, shielded from basic battlefield dangers and inclement weather. The M1 Arbams origins allow the Wolverine to keep pace with other Army mechanized units such as the Bradley IFV family of vehicles. The bridge component is launched and set within five minutes and is then reclaimed on the other side of a crossing by the same launching vehicle for reuse somewhere down the road. The Wolverine can then rejoin its advancing column. It does, however, lack any standard defensive armament which, more or less, requires that the M104 operate within close proximity of friendly forces in a combat environment.
Supported Mission Types
Tank-vs-Tank
Recon/Scouting
Troop Transport
Infantry Support
High Mobility
Tank Destroyer
Special Forces
Towed Artillery
Self-Propelled Artillery
Rocket Artillery
Anti-Armor
Airspace Denial
Engineering
Logistics
Prototype/Development
Special Purpose
Amphibious
Crew, Dimensions and Operating Weight
Operating Crew: 2
Width: 12.01 ft (3.66 m)
Operating Weight: 70 ft (63,500 kg; 139,994 lb)


Installed Power
1 x Honeywell AGT1500C turbine engine developing 1,500 horsepower.

Base Performance
Maximum Road Speed: 45 mph (72 km/h)
Maximum Road Range: 264 miles (425 km)


Armament and Ammunition
None.

Ammunition:
None.


Optional Systems
Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Protection: Yes,
Nightvision (NV) Equipment: Yes,

Nuclear danger symbol
Biological hazard symbol
Chemical danger symbol
Nightvision green screen symbol


Operators List
Egypt; United States

Model Variants
• M104 Wolverine - Base Series Designation; 44 examples procured.