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The TOW Story - Armored Vehicle Systems

 
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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 330
Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: The TOW Story - Armored Vehicle Systems Reply with quote

Folks,

It did not take long for the US Army to realize after the TOW was introduced that the small unarmored Jeep was not the most suitable (ie the Jeep besides being unarmored was top-heavy when mounting a TOW ground launcher). The TOW (ie with US Army units in Germany and South Korea especially) was soon fitted to the famous M1113 APC. The US Army realized that this was just an interim solution as the gunner was left exposed to counter fire. The US Army put out a request for purposals for a system to be mounted on the M113 where the complete crew -- ie gunner and sight included -- were totally underarmor. The results was the Improved Tow Vehicle designated the M-901. While the M-901 met the US Army specification almost all the units it was assigned to took an immediate dislike to. The turret took way to long to retract and had serious problems with the hydrallic controls. Today only the US Marines and some foreign nations use the ITV turret, preferring the Norway's THULE underarmor TOW turret. (ie Maybe someone has some photos of the THULE TOW turret).

Finally, the Background and Early TOW history can be found at this link.

Jack E. Hammond


Early fitting of the TOW ground launcher to the M113 APC


The first M113 fitted with the Emerson TUA (Tow Under Armor) turret, when adopted by the US Army was designated M-901


Test firing of the first M-901 Improved Tow Vehicle in Western USA.


Photo showing some of the first M-901s sent to Germany in different stages of erection. To load the launch head which holds two missiles and the sight tilts back to where the crew can unload the spent containers and load fresh ones. US Army soldiers I have talked to stated the time to tilt back and load and reset takes way to long.

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remainder of photos are thumbnail. Please click thumbnails below to see full size




The Dutch Army adopted the Emerson TUA turret but decided to mount it instead on the FMC improved M13 vehicle.



Above photos shows the gunners sight scope inside the vehicle and TOW missile container storage.



Above photos shows the Marines LAV 8X8 vehicle fitted with the TUA turret and the Cadillac Gage V300 6X6 with the TUA for possible use by Saudi Arabia.






Above photo shows the unarmored vehicle launcher fitted to a Cadillac Gage V-150 4X4 that was tested for South Veitnam before it fell in 1975. Note the long barrel of the TOW launcher. The US Army discovered that on windy days it could cause the barrel to move to which the sight was mounted throwing the missile in flight off course. All TOW launchers then had their barrel length reduced. The "blip" ejection motor had to be changed with the impulse being more powerful but of a short burn period.

The US Army designed its M113 APC replacement the M2 Bradley from the start to employ the TOW as its main antiarmor weapon. On the left side was a two round TOW launcher that could retract to the side of the turret when not in use and could be reloaded by the crew from inside the vehicle. duing the 1991 Gulf War the Bradley was extremely successful in the antiarmor role.




Last edited by jackehammond on Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:12 am; edited 5 times in total
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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 330
Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:42 am    Post subject: STRYKER ATGM (TOW) VERSION Reply with quote

Folks,

Here are some photos and a link to the new TOW version of the STRYKER ATGM vehicle with its new unmanned under armor turret. Unlike the US Marines with their LAV-ATGM vehicle, the US Army decided to dump the older Emerson "Hammer Head" TOW turret which has major problems with its hydraulic controls, micro switches, etc. I talked to some members of the US Army who served in Germany with M113/TOW turret antitank units and they stated in a time of conflict their ideal concept would be to drive under a bridge and shear the turret off as the time it took to extend it and retract the turret made them extremely vulnerable. This new turret is reported to extend and retract very quickly.

Jack E. Hammond
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Click Thumbnail below for full size of new STYKER ATGM firing TOW




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SEE LINK BELOW FOR MORE PHOTOS OF STRYKER ATGW


WALK AROUND STRYKER ATGM - PHOTOS



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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 330
Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Canadian TOW Under Armor M113 firing video Reply with quote

Folks,

The Canadians have the Norway THULE TUA turret fitted to both the M113 and the LAVIII. Below is a video of the M113 TUA firing of the TOW missile. Please be advised. Turn the volume down before playing video.

Jack E. Hammond


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDuAnl1MM9Y&mode=related&search=


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jackehammond



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Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: German Army WIESEL 1 TOW vehicle - Afghanistan Reply with quote

WIESEL 1 TOW








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jackehammond



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Israeli Army M113/TOW firing Reply with quote

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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:52 am    Post subject: 1970s Alvis Spartan TOW option Reply with quote



larger size of illustration above


When the TOW missile started coming into service on large scale in the mid 1970s, everyone who made a light armored vehicle, whether it was tracked or wheeled, was offering the TOW option for their vehicle. Including Alvis on there small APC/combat engineer version of the Scorpion light tank, the Spartan. Alvis was probably hoping to interest the US Army which was showing "some" interest in the Scorpion family for their 101st Airmobile division. Because no matter how good a 4X4 wheeled vehicle is (armored or unarmored) a tracked vehicle in the same weight and size will be better. The following is a paper study that Alvis offered the US Army and was handing out at arms conventions. It never went beyond the paper study and no nations army ever really showed a serious interest in a TOW version of the Spartan. And this document is so old that I would be surprised if a copy of it is even in the UK today.

You will not the storage and combat ready positions of the sight unit. You are probably wondering about the barrel part. The storage mode is only for transport on aircraft and not for storage when the vehicle is on the move and brought up shortly before engaging tanks. After deplaning, the sight unit is brought up and the barrel is attached. And remains attached for the time the vehicle is in the combat zone.

In addition, the barrel shown in the illustration is far longer than is seen on most photos of the TOW. The draftsman at Alvis and the illustrator who worked off that blue print worked off the first TOW infantry firing units, which did have a barrel almost three times as long as today's are. But it was soon discovered that any moderate to heavy cross winds, would cause the barrel to move, there by the sight-firing unit which is fixed to the barrel. And this would throw the line-of-sight off resulting in the TOW missing its target. Especially at longer engagement ranges.

Click Thumbnails below for full size

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