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Armored bridgelayer


The M60 AVLB is due to be replaced by more modern and capable armored bridgelayer

Entered service 1987
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (with bridge) 51.3 t
Length 11.28 m
Hull length ~ 7 m
Width 4 m
Height 3.9 m
Load class MLC-60
Bridge length 19 m
Bridge payload 60 t
Construction time 3 minutes
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-2A diesel
Engine power 750 hp
Maximum road speed 48 km/h
Range 460 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 1 m
Trench 2.6 m
Fording 1.2 m


   The M60 AVLB or Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge was introduced in 1987. This combat engineering vehicle was developed by General Dynamics to replace the previous M48 AVLB. It is designed to launch bridge for tanks and wheeled combat vehicles across trenches and water obstacles in combat conditions. A total of 400 armored bridgelayers were built. It is in service with the US Army and Marines. Export operators are Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Singapore and Spain.

 The M60 bridgelayer is due to be replaced by more modern and capable armored design, such as the M104 Wolverine. Initially the Wolverine was seen as a one-for-one replacement for the M60 AVLB, however due to budget cuts only 44 were delivered to a few select engineer units. Currently there are no plans to purchase more M104 Wolverine bridgelayers and the M60 AVLB still remains in service.

   The chassis of the M60 AVLB is almost identical to that of the M60A1 main battle tank, though the turret has been removed and replaced with a bridge-launching system. Driver's position is located further back. Some bridgelayers were converted from the M60A2 Starship MBTs, that were withdrawn from service.

  The scissors-type bridge weights over 13 000 kg and is made of aluminum. It has a length of 19 m and can span a gap up to 18 m. On the vehicle it is carried folded and launched over the front hydraulically. An emplaced bride is capable of supporting wheeled and tracked vehicles with a total weight of up to 60 tonnes.

   When the vehicle has reached the space to be bridged, the bridge is raised into the vertical, unfolded and then lowered into the place. The launcher is then detached. The launching procedure takes about three minutes. The bridge can be retrieved from either end. Recovery time is between 10 and 60 minutes, depending on terrain conditions.

   The previous M48 AVLB had two 12.7-mm machine guns, but the M60 has no armament.

   This combat engineering vehicle has a crew of two, including commander and operator.

   The M60 AVLB is powered by a Continental AVDS-1790-2A turbocharged diesel engine, developing 750 hp. Engine can be replaced in field conditions in 4 hours. This bridgelayer tank has a torsion bar-type suspension, which is made up of six road wheels with the idler at the rear, with three track return rollers.

   It is worth mentioning, that the M60 AVLB only supports Abrams tank units using a caution crossing at a reduced gap length (15 m) and at a reduced crossing speed. Also this armored bridgelayer is not capable of keeping pace during combat operations with Abrams MBTs.

Video of the M60 AVLB armored bridgelayer