Vehicle with flame gun, flame throwers gun
In June 1985, a new armored maintenance vehicle was evaluated by the Army at Fort Hood, Texas. Two prototype vehicles were available with one based upon the M113A1E1 stretched vehicle and the other upon the fighting vehicle system (FVS) carrier. A module was installed on each with a telescoping crane capable of lifting over 5 tons. This permitted the vehicle to replace the power packs from heavy vehicles as well as handle other very heavy components. In addition to the crane, the vehicle was equipped with a work bench, an air compressor, an hydraulic pump, and a stowage area for parts and tools.
CHEMICAL WARFARE VEHICLES
In June 1954, the Chemical Research and Development Laboratories (CRDL) began a study of a mechanized flame thrower based upon tanks or other armored vehicles. The development of the E31-E36 flame thrower kit was a result of this study. This nomenclature indicated that the flame thrower consisted of the E31 fuel and pressure unit and the E36 vehicle with flame gun or cupola group. Three of the kits were installed in M59 tracked armored infantry vehicles for evaluation.
The flame gun fuel capacity was 400 gallons in the M59 providing about 70 seconds of firing time. As a result of the test program, some modifications were made and the improved flame thrower was designated as the E31R1-E36R1. This version was designed for installation in either the M59 or the new M113 armored personnel carrier. In April 1959, a contract was awarded for the installation of three E31R1-E36R1 flame throwers gun in M113s and the work on the M59 installation was terminated.
The three pilot vehicles were armed with the E36R1 vehicle with flame gun in a cupola mount with a .50 caliber M85 machine gun. This mount replaced the commander's cupola on the M113. The E31R1 fuel and pressure unit was installed in the personnel compartment. Two of the pilots were tested at Fort Benning and Fort Greely during 1961-61. The cupola mounted M85 .50 caliber machine gun was unsatisfactory in this application and it was replaced by a 7.62mm M73 machine gun.
On 20 March 1962, the Chemical Corps Technical Committee standardized the E31R1-E36R1 as the main armament mechanized flame thrower Ml0-8. As before, the nomenclature indicated the M10 fuel and pressure unit and the M8 cupola group with the flame gun. On 21 March 1963, the AMCTC type classified the self-propelled flame thrower Ml32 as Standard A.
Since the increased cruising range of the M113A1 armored personnel carrier was a desirable feature, the Ml0-8 flame thrower was installed in the diesel powered vehicle. On 16 December 1963, the AMCTC type classified the self-propelled flame thrower Ml32A1 as Standard A and reclassified the Ml32 as Standard B. The Ml0-8 flame thrower was identical in both vehicles.
Combat loaded with the two man crew, the Ml32 weighed 23,330 pounds compared to 23,895 pounds for the M132A1. The vehicle with flame gun fuel capacity was 200 gallons providing a firing time of 32 seconds. The cupola was traversed manually through 360 degrees and the flame gun had an elevation range of +55 to -15 degrees. The range for the flame gun extended from about 11 meters to 200 meters. The cupola was equipped with four vision blocks and an M28D sight for the flame gun operator (U.S. Army).
The Ml0 fuel and pressure unit installed in the personnel compartment consisted of four spherical 50 gallon fuel tanks, each with a spherical compressed air tank on too. The latter were pressurized to 3,000 pounds per square inch. The fuel tanks were pressurized to about 325 pounds per square inch and connected in series with the last tank connected to the rotating joint of the cupola group. The four compressed air tanks, also connected in series, supplied high pressure air to the pneumatic control unit and from it to the fuel tanks. The flame gun fuel was gasoline thickened by either M1 or M4 thickener. Production of the mechanized flame throwers gun by FMC totaled 201 Ml32s and 150M132Als.
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