Combat vehicle LVTP5
The LVTP5 chassis provided the basis for several specialized amphibious vehicles in addition to the LVTH6. One of these was the LVTAAX1. As its designation indicated, it was an antiaircraft vehicle and it was armed with the gun mount from the twin 40mm self-propelled gun M42. The mount itself was surrounded by a rotating ready ammunition rack to facilitate the transfer of ammunition from the stowage racks in the cargo compartment.
The circular ready rack had eight compartments each holding seven, four round, clips for a total of 224 rounds. The hull racks held 776 rounds bringing the total ammunition stowage to 1,000 rounds. During water operations, the total ammunition stowage was reduced to 800 rounds to improve the buoyancy. The LVTAAX1 was manned by a crew of eight including the gunners. Combat loaded, the vehicle weighed 85,760 pounds. Its performance was essentially the same as the combat vehicle LVTP5. A single pilot LVTAAX1 was built by Ingersoll Kalamazoo Division in 1954.
A command radio version of the LYTP5 was designed by the Ingersoll Kalamazoo Division in 1955. Designated as the LVTCRX1, the personnel and cargo compartment was modified for the installation of nine radios in two racks. One rack was located just in front of the transverse bulkhead and the other was above the port side track channel just behind the driver. Troop seats and two stools were provided for six radio operators.
Three operators sat on the outboard troop seats and the other three on the two stools and the center troop seat. The vehicle was manned by a crew of ten including the radio operators. The combat loaded weight of the LVTCRX1 was 72,460 pounds and its performance was the same as the combat vehicle LVTP5. Later, the command radio vehicles modified from the LVTP5 were designated as the LVTP5(CMD).
In 1954, FMC designed a modified version of the LVTP5 to serve as a maintenance and recovery vehicle. Designated as the LVTRX1, it was fitted with a 60,000 pound line pull capacity winch powered by the standard engine from the M38A1 1/4 ton truck. A boom was mounted on the front of the vehicle for use in removing or installing power packs and handling other heavy loads. A General Electric welder was installed which, in addition to welding, served as a battery charger and provided extra power to the starter for cold weather operations. An air compressor with an output of 5 cubic feet per minute also was provided.
The production LVTR1 utilized the standard combat vehicle LVTP5 power train, suspension, and tracks. The driver remained in his usual position above the port side track channel. The crane operator (crew chief) was located in the right front over the starboard track channel. A rigger completed the three man crew. The combat weight of the LVTR1 was 82,200 pounds and its performance paralleled that of the LYTP5.
A single LVTEX1 was built in 1955 as an engineer version of the combat vehicle LVTP5. It was intended to excavate mines, fire line charges, remove obstacles, and transport combat engineers and their equipment. A large V shaped excavator blade was mounted on the front of the vehicle for clearing or detonating mines in a path 16 inches deep and about 12 feet wide. The excavator was constructed of steel and aluminum alloy and it weighed about 10,000 pounds. Flotation tanks filled with plastic foam were attached behind the blade to maintain the vehicle trim in the water (U.S. Army).
Two pallets, each containing a line charge and a rocket motor, were stowed in the personnel and cargo compartment. A lifting mechanism raised one pallet at a time through the top deck to the firing position. After firing, the empty pallet was ejected over the right side. The LYTEX1 had a combat weight of 94,470 pounds and it was manned by a crew of five. The maximum speed was 27 miles per hour on land and 5.4 miles per hour in water. The cruising range was 250 miles on land and 55 miles in water.
The later production LYTE1 was powered by the air-cooled AVI-1790-8 engine with the CD-850-5 transmission. The most obvious identification differences were the lack of recessed radiator cargo compartments on each side and the armor cover plates for the engine cooling air intake and exhaust valves on the rear deck. A .30 caliber machine gun in the cupola mount was installed on the top between the driver and the vehicle commander. The crew now consisted of the driver, the commander, and the gunner plus four or five combat engineers. The combat loaded weight of the LYTE1 was 96,200 pounds. The maximum speed was about 25 miles per hour on land and 6.2 miles per hour in water. A 560 gallon fuel tank provided a cruising range of approximately 210 miles on land. The endurance in water was 101/2 hours.f
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