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Carrier, Cargo, Full-Tracked, 6 Ton, M-548
The M-548 was used in Vietnam as an ammo carrier in support of armored units or artillery. It is still in use (2005) as a cargo vehicle or troop carrier. It also serves as a platform for the Volcano mine dispensing kit and other weapons platform purposes. The M-548 is based on the unarmored M-113 APC chassis and has been produced in variants M548A1 and M548A3.
Incorporation of the RISE powerpack in the M548 was initiated on the depot rebuilt line in 1994 as M548A1s were converted to M548A3s. The M-548A3 is powered by a turbocharged 6V53T Detroit Diesel engine with 275 hp, coupled to a 4-speed X200-4 Allison hydrostatic steer transmission.
The ring mount rail on the cab roof will accomodate a Mk19 40mm Grenade Launcher, or machine gun, 7.62mm or .50 cal.
More about the M548 Cargo Carrier in Vietnam
Supply vehicles carrying fuel and ammo for American armored and artillery units in Vietnam were generally unsuited for Vietnam's poor secondary road system. It was necessary to replace wheeled trucks with a full-tracked cargo vehicle, the M548, which was essential to the operations of armored units in wide areas along the borders. For example, the Cambodian expedition could not have been undertaken without them. They were not, however, provided in sufficient numbers in Vietnam and their maintenance reliability was suspect.
After the American withdrawal in 1972, South Vietnam's III Armor Brigade and III Corps Assault Force found innovative uses for their M548s. Their 105mm towed artillery battalion was converted to "self-propelled" by mounting the howitzers on M548 tracked cargo carriers. Each M548 was modified by adding two removable ramps for the 105s to mount and dismount. Each 105 crew was trained to mount and dismount its howitzer and fire as quickly as possible. The result was a unit almost as effective as a truly self-propelled battalion.
Carrier, Cargo, Full-Tracked, 6 Ton, M-548 Specifications