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Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge

United States | 1967

"The M60 AVLB was developed as a portable bridge-laying unit from the classic M60 Patton Main Battle Tank."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/21/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The M60 AVLB (Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge) was developed from the existing M60 Patton Main Battle Tank (MBT) as a dedicated bridge-launching vehicle. The design retained the form-and-function of the M60 combat tank but lacked its powered turret system (and therefore standard armament). In place of this component was a "scissors-type" bridge assembly set atop a specialized mounting used to launch and retrieve the bridge unit. The bridge has a running length of 60 feet and measured 13 feet wide - allowing most any vehicle to use traverse it. The bridge component was made up of two sections, seated one over the other when at rest. When extended, the unit unfolded from its shared hinge.

The bridge component was then disconnected from the host vehicle, allowing other army elements to traverse ditches and bodies of water that, in the past, would have proved problematic to an advancing ground force. One the bridge was used, the host vehicle could then cross its own bridge and retrieved the bridge component for reuse elsewhere on the battlefield. The bridge-laying operation could be completed in just five minutes by the crew of two (made up of a driver and vehicle commander).

The original M60 AVLB debuted in 1967 while its upgraded form appeared in 1987 after the arrival of the M60A1 production model. Power was served through a Continental AVDS-1790-2C diesel-fueled engine of 750 horsepower used to drive a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement, allowing the vehicle a range out (operationally) to 290 miles while achieving road speeds near 30 miles-per-hour. The hull was suspended atop a torsion bar suspension system allowing for the necessary cross-country capability required of the modern American Army and Marine forces.

The M60 AVLB went on to prove its usefulness in both "Persian Gulf" wars (1991, 2003) and continues to serve in limited numbers today (2019), most with foreign parties. Beyond its service with the United States Army and Marine Corps, the M60 AVLB has found a home in the ground forces of Israel, Pakistan, Singapore, and Spain.

For the American Army, the M60 AVLB has been replaced by the M104 "Wolverine" (detailed elsewhere on this site) based on the chassis and running gear of the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (in its M1A2 SEP production guise).

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the M60 AVLB Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge.
1 x Continental AVDS-1790-2C diesel-fueled engine developing 750 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
30 mph
48 kph
Road Speed
280 miles
450 km
The physical qualities of the M60 AVLB Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge.
30.9 ft
9.43 meters
O/A Length
11.9 ft
3.63 meters
O/A Width
10.7 ft
3.27 meters
O/A Height
116,001 lb
52,617 kg | 58.0 tons
Notable series variants as part of the M60 AVLB family line.
M60 AVLB - Bridgelayer form of the original M60 MBT; model of 1967.
M60A1 AVLB - Bridgelayer form of the follow-up M60A1 MBT; model of 1987.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the M60 AVLB. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 125 Units

Contractor(s): General Dynamics Land Systems - USA
National flag of Egypt National flag of Greece National flag of Israel National flag of Pakistan National flag of Portugal National flag of Singapore National flag of Spain National flag of the United States

[ Egypt; Greece; Israel; Pakistan; Portugal; Singapore; Spain; United States ]
1 / 1
Image of the M60 AVLB

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The M60 AVLB Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge appears in the following collections:
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