Armored personnel carrier M548
A UNIVERSAL CHASSIS BASED UPON THE M113 SERIES
The initial application of the M548 was as an accompanying vehicle for the self-propelled artillery. Specifically, it was intended to carry ammunition and the extra crew members for the 175mm self-propelled gun M107, the 105mm self-propelled howitzer M108, the 155mm self-propelled howitzer M109, and the 8 inch self-propelled howitzer M110. For the M107 and the M110,it carried 36 complete rounds of 175mm or 8 inch ammunition as well as eight men including the driver. Operating with the M108, the M548 carried 200 105mm rounds and the driver. For the M109, the load was 80 rounds of 155mm ammunition and four men including the driver.
The role of the ammunition carrier was only the beginning for the M548. It was proposed for a wide range of applications and many of them were adopted. The M548 chassis was modified for a variety of special tasks, many of which are described in later sections. Numerous kits also were developed to extend the capability of the vehicle.
With the introduction of the improved engine cooling system and suspension on the M113A2 armored personnel carrier, these modifications also were applied to the M548 and it was designated as the M548A1. These features were introduced into new production and the depot rebuilt vehicles in 1982. A 1,500 pound capacity chain hoist was mounted on an I-beam attached to the second and rear cargo cover bows. This hoist could lift loads within three feet of the tailgate and position them anywhere within the cargo area.
Installation of the RISE power pack was initiated on the depot rebuild line in 1994 converting the M548A1 to the M548A3. This power pack, consisting of the 275 horsepower 6Y53T engine and the Allison X200-4 transmission, increased the vehicle performance and simplified driver training. These changes provided the M548A3 mobility comparable to the M1 tank and the M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicle. The early and late engine compartment covers are installed at the left and right respectively. The winch and its drive are shown below.
Like the armored personnel carrier M548 was lengthened with the addition of a sixth road wheel on each side. In 1978, a stretched version was designed with either an open cargo compartment or a closed, armor protected, body. The bed of the unarmored version was increased in length to 150 7/8 inches. The width dimensions remained the same as on the standard M548.
The General Motors 6Y53T diesel engine was installed developing 275 gross horsepower. It drove the vehicle through an Allison X200-3 transmission. The payload for the unarmored stretched vehicle was increased to 8 tons and the speed and cruising range remained the same as on the standard M548. The combat weight of the lengthened vehicle was 33,300 pounds (U.S. Army).
The armored version of the stretched M548 also had a combat weight of33,300 pounds, but the payload remained at the 6 tons of the standard vehicle. The overall bed length for the armored, stretched, M548 was 132 7/8 inches with a bed width of 100 inches. It had the same power train as the unarmored vehicle and its performance was the same. One of the armored stretched vehicles, sometimes referred to as the M548-S, was completed and shipped to Fort Sill for evaluation.
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