M113 series vehicle, TOW missiles vehicle, TOW vehicle
The TOW vehicle launcher also was installed on other vehicle. These included the armored infantry fighting vehicle and the mechanized infantry combat vehicle, both developed by FMC. FMC in collaboration with Hughes and the Cadillac Gage Company designed a two tube turret launcher for installation on the M113 series as well as other chassis. In Norway, Kvaerner Eureka produced a twin tube armored launching turret for installation on the M113 series vehicle in the Norwegian Army. Neither of these turrets had the elevating feature and were exposed during firing.
Early TOW missiles vehicle, then designated as the XM26, were deployed to Vietnam during the Spring of 1972. Launched from a Bell UH-1B helicopter, they went into action for the first time on 9 May destroying three PT76 light tanks. During its long service, the TOW went through numerous modifications. The most important production missiles were the BGM-71A basic TOW with its 5 inch diameter warhead, the BGM-71C improved TOW with an improved 5 inch diameter warhead and an extensible stand-off probe, the BGM-7ID TOW 2 with a new 6 inch diameter warhead and an extensible stand-off probe, and the BGM-71E TOW 2A with a small precursor warhead in the stand-off probe to defeat explosive reactive armor.
Beginning with the TOW 2 in 1983, improvements in the guidance system permitted operations by day or night and through dust or smoke. A high intensity thermal beacon was added to the aft end of the TOW 2 to provide an infrared tracking source. A more powerful flight motor compensated for the increased weight of the TOW 2.
The TOW 2B differed from the earlier versions of the missile as it was designed to overfly the target and fire two downward aimed 6 inch diameter warheads. It was easily identified by the lack of a stand-off probe.
The air to ground Hellfire missile was effectively employed during the war in the Persian Gulf This AGM-114A laser guided missile with its 7 inch diameter shaped charge warhead also was adapted for ground launching from mounts on trucks, trailers, and the M113 armored personnel carrier. The Electronics and Space Corporation (ESCO) installed a turret carrying eight Hellfire missiles in two armored pods on the hull of an M113 series vehicle.
The same turret also was proposed for installation on the Bradley fighting vehicle and the wheeled light armored vehicle. This two man turret carried the gunner on the left side and the commander on the right. It was armed with a machine gun for local protection. The U.S. Army ground locator designator (GLLD) and the U.S. Marine Corps modular universal laser equipment (MULE) were used to designate targets.
The early AGM-114A Hellfire missile was 64 inches long with a diameter of 7 inches. It weighed 95 pounds. A later version, the AGM-114F, was fitted with a small precursor warhead to defeat explosive reactive armor. This increased the length a little over 7 inches and the weight went up to about 107 pounds.
The air defense antitank system (ADATS) produced by Oerlikon-Buehrle also was installed on the M113 series chassis. This was a self-contained system armed with eight missiles, four on each side of the turret. The 6 inch diameter missile was 82 inches long and weighed about 113 pounds at launch. Detonated by an impact fuze for armored targets, the dual purpose warhead combined the penetration performance of the shaped charge with fragmentation effects. Additional details of this vehicle are in the following section.
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- Soviet helicopter Mi-8 (USSR)