The amphibious cargo carrier T107


The amphibian cargo carrier T107

The Equipment Development Guide in 1950 listed the requirement for three new amphibious cargo carriers. They were to have payload capacities of 1/2,1 1/2, and 21/2tons, but the ground pressure was not to exceed 2 pounds per square inch. Although its ground pressure was slightly above the specified 2 pounds, the T46E1 then under development generally met the requirement for the 11/2ton payload vehicle.

To develop a successor to the Weasel, Studebaker Corporation was awarded a contract to build a new l/2 ton amphibious cargo carrier. Designated as the amphibious cargo carrier T107, two pilots were built and tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Arctic Test Branch of CONARC. These engineering tests lasted from June 1954 to August 1956.

The amphibian cargo carrier T107

Although the T107 had a more powerful engine and a larger fuel capacity than the M29C, it was heavier and its speed and cruising range were not much better. The ground pressure also was 2.4 pounds per square inch. The tests concluded that the T107 was less durable and reliable than either the M29C or the M76.

Even before the test program was complete a meeting was held in Washington between representatives of the Chief of Staff, the Chief of Ordnance, and CONARC to review the status of the Weasel replacement program. Three solutions to the problem were under consideration. The first was to redesign the amphibious cargo carrier T107 to improve its performance and the second was to continue the development of the T60 for this application.

The amphibian cargo carrier T60

The T60 was a light vehicle evaluating the spaced link track concept. The third option was to adapt the Canadian Beaver, 3/4 ton, for American manufacture. However, none of these alternatives were accepted. As a result, the T107 project was terminated and on 15 November 1956, a new development program was initiated for the amphibious cargo carrier T116. On 22 May 1957, a contract was awarded to the Pacific Car and Foundry Company for the design and construction of four pilot vehicles.

The first pilot T116 was shipped to Aberdeen Proving Ground on 27 November 1958 and the second went to the CONARC Arctic Test Board on 22 December 1958. These vehicles were powered by the Continental 8AO-198, air-cooled engine with the Ну dramatic 198-M transmission. Because of production costs and problems during the service tests, it was directed that the power pack be replaced by a Chevrolet V8, liquid-cooled, engine with a military standard Hydramatic transmission. The modi-tied pilots were designated as the amphibious cargo carrier T116E1.

The amphibian cargo carrier M116

After further tests, the Т116E1 was type classified as the amphibious cargo carrier M116, Standard A, on 15 December 1960. The rated payload capacity of the vehicle also was increased from 1/2 to 1 1/2 tons. The was named Husky and a contract was awarded to the Pacific Car and Foundry Company to build three preproduction pilots. However, Blaw-Knox Company received the initial production contract on 15 December 1961 for a run of 197 vehicles.

Empty, the M116 weighed 6,700 pounds. With a driver and fuel, this weight increased to about 7,600 pounds resulting in a ground pressure of approximately 1.9 pounds per square inch. Adding a 3,000 pound payload increased the weight to 10,600 pounds and the ground pressure to 2.6 pounds per square inch. The liquid-cooled Chevrolet engine developed 160 gross horsepower at 4,600 rpm and it drove the vehicle through a Hydramatic 305-MC transmission.

The amphibian cargo carrier M116

The Husky had a maximum speed of 37 miles per hour on roads and 4 miles per hour in water. Propulsion in water was by the action of the shrouded tracks. The cruising range was about 300 miles on land and approximately 22 miles in water. Space was available for 10 men in winter gear or 13 men in summer gear in addition to the driver. The was easily transported by air or dropped by parachute.