Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV)

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Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV)

The Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) travels with the armored force to eliminate obstacles to progress whether main-made or natural. Combined with the M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge, the ABV makes a significant improvement in time from beach to objective.

Today in WW II: 17 Jan 1945 Soviet troops capture Warsaw from German Army Group A who had occupied the city.   

Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) History

The Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) was inspired by the Grizzly, an Army prototype from the 1990s that was not produced. Like the Grizzly, the ABV uses the chassis of an M1 Abrams tank to carry a front-mounted mine plow, a .50-caliber machine gun, and lane clearing explosives. Picking up where the Army left off, the Marine Corps Systems Command continued R&D to complete design of the ABV.

The Assault Breacher Vehicle is manufactured at the Anniston Army Depot, AL. Anniston acts as the ABV prime systems integrator for both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. Starting with a hull from the chassis of a refurbished M1 tank, Anniston adds new components mated to the hull to complete the ABV. As of May 2009, 30 ABVs were fielded to Marine units for training purposes with later delivery to the Army.

U.S. Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Bn, 4th Marine Regiment provide security as an Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) clears a path of IEDs during Operation Cobra's Anger in Now Zad, Afghanistan, 4 Dec 2009
U.S. Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Bn, 4th Marine Regiment provide security as an Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) clears a path of IEDs during Operation Cobra's Anger in Now Zad, Afghanistan, 4 Dec 2009.

On 3 December 2009, the 42-foot-long ABV was used in combat for the first time, as Marines pushed into a Taliban stronghold at Now Zad, Afghanistan in Helmand province. The ABV met or exceeded expectations and is likely to see expanded use.

Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) Description

The Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) - a cross between a tank and a bulldozer - is designed to take out minefields and complex obstacles to provide a deliberate and in-stride breaching capability for the Marine Air Grounds Task Force and the Army Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Operating from from the beach exit to the objective, Assault Breacher Vehicle is intended to conquer the terrain, manmade barriers, mines and roadside bombs.

ABV clears a lane of sufficient width and depth for mechanized assault forces, allowing following units to move rapidly through obstacles before threat forces have the full opportunity to react to the attack and mass fires or establish defenses. On its M1A1 Abrams tank platform, the ABV integrates a full-width mine plow, line demolition charges, a lane marking system, and (as a Pre-Planned Product Improvement P3I) a standard robotic system.

Key descriptive elements of the Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) include:

  • Chassis: M1A1 Abrams tank hull
  • Weight: Approximately 60 tons
  • Line charges: Two Mk 155 Linear Demolition Charge systems
  • Interchangeable Full Width Mine Plow & Combat Dozer Blade
  • Two lane marking systems
  • Armament: .50-caliber machine gun
  • Cost: Approximately $3.75 million each

Each linear charge contains 1,750 pounds of C4 explosives attached to a rocket.

Testing the Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) in sand, Fall 2009
Testing the Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) in sand, Fall 2009.

Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV)
Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV).

Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) in Afghanistan, December 2009
Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) in Afghanistan, December 2009.

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