The M727 is a tracked carrier vehicle designed to transport the Hawk guided missile system (known collectively under the designation of "SP-Hawk". The tractor, essentially a modified version of the M548 series tracked vehicle - retaining its suspension and power train system - was developed by the BAe Corporation and deployed in 1969 as the first mobile, medium-range, guided anti-aircraft Hawk missile system developed for the United States Army. The M727 carrier could field up to three Hawk missiles from its rear-mounted swiveling turret. The rear of the M548 cab and engine compartment was covered over in an identifiable blast shield. The Hawk missile system and its M727 tractor would be assigned and used throughout the world but its primary focus would always be its deployment across Europe - where the threat of a Soviet invasion during the Cold War loomed large and its tracked design could prove useful in the region's environment. The SP-Hawk project was terminated in August of 1971.
When traversing on paved road, she made use of rubber track pads on each track system and make 35mph on road, though less off road. The suspension system featured a "lock" function that attempted to stabilize the M727 while loading and firing its payload. The M727 crew cab was built with a "Roll Over Protective Structure" (ROPS), a safety device installed for the driver to help keep him safe when traversing the expected terrain in Germany. Additional safety and stability design features included a torsion bar suspension system and live hydraulics. The vehicle had a 7-ton cargo capacity to carry the missiles and a 60-kilowatt generator that was required for powering the Hawk missile system carriage. The M727 was built with an all-aluminum body mated to a pair of steel tracks. The chassis had a 20,000lb winch for use when she went into a ditch. It is of note that the M727 missile carrier was not an amphibious machine.
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November 2022 - Spain has committed to sending a pair of Hawk air defense systems (stationary) to Ukraine for its ongoing war with neighboring Russia. This is in addition to the four already in Ukraine hands.
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