Hatch turret cargo vehicle
The turret, armed with an M49 (T96E1) 105mm howitzer and a coaxial .30 caliber machine gun in the T172 mount, was located just forward of the vehicle center. The turret was traversed and the howitzer was elevated both manually and by electric power. The howitzer was stabilized in elevation. A .50 caliber machine gun on a pintle mount was installed on top of the turret.
The seven man crew consisted of the driver, the crew chief, the vehicle commander, the gunner, the loader, and two ammunition passers. Seats for the commander, gunner, and loader were provided in the turret basket. The gunner was at the right front just forward of the commander. The gunner had a T149E2 panoramic telescope and a T150E2 direct fire telescope. The commander's cupola was fitted with five periscopes. The loader was on the left side of the with his own hatch turret cargo vehicle.
Two vision blocks and a pistol port were installed in the left side of the turret and one vision block was on the right. An escape hatch turret cargo vehicle was located in each side of the hull and an access hatch was in the hull roofjust behind the turret. Stowage racks were provided for 151 rounds of 105mm ammunition. A 12 round ready rack was at the loader's station in the turret and two 24 round ready racks were mounted on the transverse bulkhead, one on each side of the engine access hatch. Five additional racks stowed 91 rounds of ammunition in canisters. For water operation, the number of 105mm rounds in canisters was reduced to 40 (U.S. Army).
The Continental LV-1790-1, V12, engine and the Allison CD-850-4B transmission powered the vehicle through the final drives at the aft end of the engine compartment. The 810 gross horsepower, liquid-cooled, engine was connected to two radiator assemblies mounted in watertight compartments on each side at the forward end of the engine compartment. When operating on land, the radiators were cooled by engine driven fans. When the vehicle was swimming, approximately two-thirds of the recessed radiator compartments were immersed and the fans were shut off by the driver. The radiators were then cooled by the water.
The final drives and the sprockets at the rear of the vehicle drove the 20 3/4 inch wide steel tracks. Each track consisted of 134 blocks held together by inner and outer track pins. Each track block had an inverted grouser that served as a center guide and propelled the vehicle in the water. A compensating idler was at the front of each track. In addition to the transverse bulkhead hatch turret cargo vehicle, access to the engine compartment was through two hatches on top of the rear hull with one on each side.
Combat loaded for land operations, the LVTH6 weighed 86,600 pounds. For water operations, the weight was reduced to 84,200 pounds by limiting the 05mm ammunition supply to 100 rounds. The maximum speed of the LVTH6 was 30 miles per hour on land and 6.8 miles per hour in water. The cruising range was about 190 miles on land or 57 miles in water.
The LVTP5 was the basic vehicle of the family. The hull was similar in construction to the LVTH6 and the power train, suspension, and tracks were identical. It had the same inverted V configuration on the front ramp and the hull bottom. The driver remained in the left front above the port track channel. The vehicle commander was now located in the right front above the starboard track channel. Both had cupolas with five periscopes consisting of four short M17 periscopes on the outboard side and one longer M17C periscope on the inboard side. The latter permitted a view over the raised center of the hull roof.
A cupola mount for a .30 caliber machine gun could be installed in the center between the driver and the commander. The cupola mount was manually operated and was equipped with five vision blocks and a periscopic sight. Two periscopes were installed in the front of the blister supporting the cupola mount. As on the LVTH6, an escape hatch was located in each side of the hull in the personnel and cargo compartment. Four access hatches and a large hatch turret cargo vehicle were in the hull roof. Two of the access hatches were over the personnel and cargo compartment just to the rear of the cargo hatch.
The remaining two were in the roof over the rear of the engine compartment. The large cargo hatch had two folding covers with boarding ladders stowed on the outside. Two sets of folding troop seats were installed in the personnel and cargo compartment along the outside walls. Two additional sets of seats were mounted in the center and an adjustable stand could be installed in the front for the cupola gunner. The seats and the stand could be removed when the vehicle was used as a cargo carrier.
The crew of the LVTP5 consisted of the driver, the assistant driver, and the commander. Although space was provided for 34 troops with combat equipment, the number was reduced to 25 during operations on water.