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M1161 ITV Growler

Fast attack vehicle

M1161 ITV Growler

The Growler was specially designed to be transported internally by Osprey tiltrotor transport

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 2009
Configuration 4x4
Cab seating 1 + 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (curb) 2 058 kg
Payload capacity 900 kg
Length 4.14 m
Width 1.52 m
Height 1.84 m
Height (for transportation) 1.19 m
Mobility
Engine Navistar 2.8-liter diesel
Engine power 132 hp
Maximum road speed over 100 km/h
Range up to 580 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.35 m
Trench ~ 0.4 m
Fording 0.76 m

 

   The M1161 Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) is a multirole fast attack vehicle. Developed by American Growler company this vehicle was also nicknamed the Growler. The American Growler company was sponsored by General Dynamics Land Systems. Development commenced in 1999. Initial design was based on the drivetrain of the M151 MUTT jeep. The Growler was specially designed to be transported internally by the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport and CH-53E Super Stallion heavylift transport helicopter. Several small companies across the US submitted competing prototypes to meet the ITV requirement. Eventually the two finalists were the Growler and Badger, offered by Rae-Beck Automotive company and sponsored by United Defense. Even though the Badger was superior in many ways and was offered for a significantly lower price, the Growler was eventually selected by the US Marine Corps (USMC). It entered service with the USMC in 2009. By 2011 a total of 209 M1161 and 102 M1163 vehicles were produced with more vehicles on order. The Growler took some roles of the M151 jeep variants and completely replaced the Interim Fast Attack Vehicle, based on Mercedes-Benz G-class. The later has been used by USMC since 1999. At some point production of the Growler was transferred to General Dynamics facilities.

   Adoption of the Growler allowed US forces to take advantage of the Osprey tiltrotor transport and its 500 km/h cruising speed. Main role of this aerial-deployable vehicle is to operate in forward areas. It can drive of the plane straight into battle. So the Growler acts as a force multiplier.

   A whole family Internally Transportable Vehicles was developed. The baseline M1161 fulfils multiple roles. It can be used as utility, scout or fast attack vehicle. It transports a crew of four. The M1161 has a payload capacity of 900 kg. It is designed to carry sufficient supply of fuel, food, water and ammunition for a 3-day mission. Vehicle has a canvas weather enclosure. Seats are padded with Kevlar and provide some level of protection against fragments. Vehicle has a rear gunner ring and can be armed with M240 7.62 mm machine gun, or M2 12.7 mm machine gun, or Mk.19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. There is also an utility version without the gunner's ring but with a pickup style bead. This version can carry more supplies.

   There is also an M1163 prime mover. This vehicle is shorter and carries a crew of two. It was originally intended to carry a 120 mm M327 Dragon Fire mortar. However this program was terminated in 2007 and the M1163 was repurposed to carry a TDA MO-120-RT 120 mm mortar (now the M121 in US service). The M1163 vehicle tows the 120 mm mortar or special trailer with ammunition. The trailer is loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition in enclosed containers. Brief redeployment time of this mortar allows to avoid counter-battery fire. Two M1163 vehicles are used at once. One of them tows mortar, while another tows trailer with ammunition. The whole combination is referred as Expeditionary Fire Support System.

   Initially it was planned that variants of Internally Transportable Vehicle might include medical evacuation vehicle, ground UAV station trailer and meteorological station trailer. However it turned out that the Growler was a rather poor design as there were numerous problems with this vehicle.

   The Growler is powered by a Navistar 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel engine, developing 132 hp. Engine is mated to General Motors 4-speed automatic transmission. This military vehicle uses a some parts and elements of the M151 MUTT jeep. Some parts are in fact decades-old used parts, taken from M151 MUTT jeeps. However the M1161 is much more technologically advanced than the M151. Vehicle has a four-wheel steering. A central tyre inflation system is fitted as standard. Vehicle has run flat rims and tyres and can still travel about 30 km once the tyre is flat. Without preparation and special kit the Growler fords water obstacles up to 0.76 m deep. There is also a self-recovery winch.

   Vehicle has a roll-over protection system, which is removed and stowed in order to reduce height during airlift. A split-folding windscreen is also folded over the bonnet. The Growler has adjustable ride height suspension system. Suspension is lowered in order to reduce height before transportation by air. Once the Osprey has landed the Growler is ready to go within one minute.

   There were some mobility issues with these vehicles, as the Growler failed to climb a 38 cm (15 inch) vertical obstacle, originally required by the USMC. Also it was prone to rolling over on side slopes and by simply swerving. There was an incident at Camp Lejeune when a Growler rolled-over while swerving at a speed of only 24 km/h. However despite all shortcomings the US Marines sdefended their selection of the Growler.

   This military vehicle is normally airlifted by the V-22, CV-22 or MV-22 tiltrotor transports. The Growler also fits inside the CH-47 Chinook and CH-53 Supper Stallion transport helicopters. However it has insufficient attractive force and uses its winch in order to enter these rotorcraft.

 The Growler can be carried underslung by helicopters. This vehicle can be also airlifted by C-130 tactical cargo aircraft. It even fits inside an AAV7 amphibious armored personnel carrier.

 

 

 

 
M1161 ITV Growler

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M1161 ITV Growler

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M1161 ITV Growler

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M1161 ITV Growler

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M1163 ITV Growler

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M1163 ITV Growler

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