Vehicle with the 106mm recoilless rifle
COMMAND POST, CONTROL, AND COMMUNICATION VEHICLES
In June 1961, an XM106 mortar carrier was used to carry an AN/TPS-25 radar set. Designated as the AN/MPS-30 mobile surveillance radar, it was intended to provide armor protected, mobile, electronic ground surveillance for the field forces. The roof door on the XM106 allowed the radome and antenna to be easily raised and retracted.
The elevated target acquisition system (ETAS) with a 50 foot quick erecting mast was evaluated on the M113A1 armoredpersonnel carrier.
The M1015 electronic warfare shelter carrier was developed under a Signal Warfare Laboratory contract. It utilized the chassis of the M548 cargo carrier modified with 16 components. The major two of these were a ground rod driver and a 60 kW, 400Hz, generator driven off of the vehicle transfer case. Originally intended as a carrier for the TACJAM electronic warfare system, the program was expanded to include the TEAMPACK and TRAILBLAZER systems.
When the cooling and suspension improvements from the M113A2 armored personnel carrier were applied, the vehicle was designated as the M1015A1.
Approximately 250 vehicles were converted under the Ml015 program. After the TACJAM and TEAM-PACK systems were declared obsolete and the TRAIL-BLAZER system shifted to a wheeled carrier, the M1015 and M1015 A1 were no longer in use.
As mentioned previously, when the lightweight carriers were originally proposed, both the T114 (tracked) and the T115 (wheeled) vehicle were to be adapted as carriers for the 106mm M40A1 recoilless rifles to meet the requirement for the infantry battalion antitank (BAT) weapon system, in June 1957, mock-ups of the T114 and T115 were demonstrated.
However, they were considered to be unsatisfactory because the external mount for the recoilless rifle exposed the gunner during loading and firing. At this point, the wheeled T115 vehicle was dropped, but further development continued on the T114. Six pilots of the T114 were ordered with the first four to be completed as command and reconnaissance vehicles and the last two to be armed with the 106mm recoilless rifle equipped with a semiautomatic loader.
Both types had the same chassis and the large cupola with the .50 caliber machine gun on the command post and reconnaissance vehicle was replaced by a one man turret mounting the 106mm recoilless rifle for the BAT weapon system. Pilot number 5 was shipped to Aberdeen Proving Ground for firing tests with the 106mm rifle and the semiautomatic loader. These tests began on 2 December 1960 and continued until 13 January 1961.
Two types of ammunition were provided for the 106mm rifle. These were the high explosive plastic with tracer (HEP-T) M346 and the high explosive antitank (HEAT) M344. The first of these was a squash head projectile with the plastic explosive enclosed inside a thin metal case.
It was fitted with a pre-engraved rotating band to engage the rifling in the cannon. Two indexing buttons on the shell were used to align the rotating band with the rifling grooves. The HEAT M344 round was a fin stabilized, shaped charge, projectile that did not have a rotating band. It was fitted with rear bourreletto support the projectile in the tube (U.S. Army).
On the two man BAT vehicle, the modified M40A1 vehicle with the 106mm recoilless rifle was mounted in an armored pod on the right side of the one man turret along with a .50 caliber M8 spotting rifle. The semiautomatic loader with a three round magazine was installed in the pod outboard of the rifle and there was access to the weapon and the loader from inside the turret.
The ammunition in the loader's three round magazine could be replenished from inside the turret and the rifle could be loaded manually. In fact, it was necessary to load the HEP round manually in order to engage the rifling grooves with the pre-engraved rotating band. A .50 caliber T175E1 machine gun was specified for installation on an external mount at the commander's station. Two M14 rifles were stowed internally. Ammunition stowage included 26 rounds 106mm, 150 rounds .50 caliber spotting rifle, and 480 rounds .50 caliber machine gun.
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