Command and reconnaissance vehicle
COMMAND AND RECONNAISSANCE VEHICLES
Although it never served in the U.S. Army, the FMC command and reconnaissance vehicle was purchased by the Netherlands and in a modified form by Canada. The Netherlands ordered over 260 of the little vehicles and the first was completed in September 1966. During their service, they were fitted with a variety of armament including an Oerlikon turret armed with a 25mm gun.
The last of the 174 Canadian vehicles was delivered at the end of October 1968. Named the armored, full tracked, command and reconnaissance carrier Lynx, these vehicles differed in several respects from the original FMC vehicle. The most obvious change was the relocation of the three man crew. The driver remained in his original position in the left front hull, but the observer, now called the radioman-observer, was relocated to the left side of the hull behind the driver. The driver had five Ml7 periscopes in the hull roof around his hatch and his hatch cover was fitted for the installation of the Ml9 infrared periscope. The radioman-observer had three M17 and two M17C periscopes in the hull roof around his hatch.
A 7.62mm machine gun was on an external mount behind his hatch. The commander-gunner in his M26 cupola with the .50 caliber machine gun and eight vision blocks, was offset to the right center of the hull. The side access door on the earlier vehicle was eliminated and a floor escape hatch was installed in the crew compartment. Two smoke grenade launchers were mounted, one behind each headlight group. The Lynx had a combat loaded weight of 19,340 pounds and an air-drop weight of 17,030 pounds. Its performance was essentially the same as the earlier command and reconnaissance vehicle.
In 1970, a prototype for a new version of the command and reconnaissance vehicle was built by FMC. Utilizing the experience obtained during the development of the PI M113A1, it was powered by the turbocharged 6V53T diesel engine developing 260 horsepower. A torsion tube-over-bar suspension was installed improving the cross-country performance. Referred to as the Recon or the PI MllSAlV-j, it was evaluated along with other candidates for a new command and reconnaissance vehicle.
The disappointing performance of the M114 resulted in concept studies for a new command and reconnaissance vehicle. Beginning in 1966, these studies evolved into a requirement for a three man, lightly armored, vehicle weighing about 7 tons. It would be armed with the 20mm gun Ml39 and be suitable for mounting the vehicle rapid fire weapon system (VRFWS) when its development was complete. The proposed vehicle was assigned the designation XM800 armored reconnaissance scout vehicle (ARSV) and it could be either tracked or wheeled.
The Army issued a request for proposals in the latter part of 1971 and received six concepts for evaluation. The six competitors were Chrysler, CONDEC, FMC, Ford, Lockheed, and Teledyne-Continental Motors. Chrysler, FMC, and Teledyne-Continental proposed a tracked vehicle while CONDEC, Ford, and Lockheed offered a wheeled design. On 23 May 1972, contracts were awarded for the development of one wheeled and one tracked design. The wheeled vehicle, now referred to as the XM800W, was that proposed by the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company.
The tracked design, the XM800T, was to be developed by FMC. Each contract called for the detailed design, development, and construction of four pilot vehicles in addition to providing a hull for ballistic tests. One of the prototype vehicles would remain with the manufacturer and the other three would be submitted to the Army for evaluation. The final requirements in the request for proposal specified a vehicle weight of 17,000 pounds, a maximum speed not less than 50 miles per hour, a cruising range of 300 miles, inherent flotation with a minimum 10 inch freeboard, armament consisting of the 20mm M139 gun with the capability of mounting the 20-3 0mm Bush-master when available, and a stabilized weapon system with a laser range finder.
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