Mortar tracked carrier, armored personnel carrier
NEW ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS (continuation)
Numerous changes were introduced during the production run, although the vehicle designation remained the same. Serial numbers 7 - 376 (ШС) and 1007 - 1326 (FMC) followed the early design configuration while serial numbers 377 - 1006 (IHC) and 1327 - 1736 (FMC) included the later modifications.(U.S. Army)
Serial numbers 1-6 were assigned to the original four pilots and the two vehicles procured under production order T-24478. Among the external changes appearing on serial numbers 377 and 1327 was the elimination of the front and side sand shields. The shock absorbers were removed from road wheel arms two and four leaving only two per side.
The cushion stops for the intermediate road wheel arms on the early vehicles were replaced by fixed steel stops. The recesses for the taillights and the external fire extinguisher control were eliminated and welded steel guards were installed. A new domed fuel filler cover replaced the earlier design.
When the auxiliary generator was dropped, a new flat top access cover replaced the earlier type with the outlet for the auxiliary generator engine exhaust pipe. The side access door on the early production vehicles had a semicircular recess for the door handle. Later vehicles were fitted with a flat side access door and a new design door handle.
Other modifications included a welded internal hull structure replacing the earlier riveted version. The hull drain valves were eliminated and drain plugs were installed. The two 75 gallon rubber fuel tanks were replaced by a single 150 gallon metal tank in the newer vehicles. New controls were fitted for the rear and roof doors and a redesigned fire extinguisher system was installed. The new instrument panel included a tachometer.
Studies at the Infantry School and the Armor School indicated a requirement for a full-tracked, armored, carrier for the 81mm, 105mm, and 4.2 inch mortars. Since it was desirable to use the M75 chassis as the basis for a family of vehicles, it was selected for this application. The designations 81mm mortar tracked carrier T62, 105mm mortar tracked carrier T63, and 4.2 inch mortar tracked carrier T64 were assigned for these vehicles.
The mount was designed to handle the firing loads of the 4.2 inch mortar and it could be used with the 81mm and 105mm mortars by means of an adapter. The armor on the top and sides of the M75 was cut back at the rear of the vehicle to provide an open area for the mortar. A single pilot T64 was converted from an M75 and evaluated at Aberdeen and Fort Knox.
By the time the tests were complete, no further production of the M75 was planned and interest shifted to developing a mortar carrier based upon the M59 personnel carrier. Although the design work was completed on the T62 and T63, no pilots were converted.
The M75 armored infantry vehicle was deployed to Korea in the Summer of 1953 and was effectively used during the final stages of the fighting. It was particularly valuable in resupplying outposts and in the evacuation of troops and wounded from isolated front line positions.
Troop tests in the United States also confirmed the value of this type of armored personnel carrier. However, it was extremely expensive with unit costs of approximately $72,000. In view of this high cost, a program was initiated to develop a less expensive armored personnel carrier.
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