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Armor: Assault Breacher Vehicle In Combat
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December 9, 2009: The U.S. Marine Corps is buying 33 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABV). These are M1 tanks modified to help marines get through minefields and areas containing roadside bombs and booby traps. The first of these ABVs has entered service in Afghanistan.

The 55 ton ABV has the 120mm gun replaced with a 12.7mm machine-gun and a line-charge launching system (that ejects a thick cable full of explosives that, when detonated, would set off any land mines). The ABV has a mine clearing plow, and is equipped to be operated remotely, without the crew on board. The vehicle is built at an army depot, by modifying older M1 tanks.

In the 1990s, the U.S. Army attempted to develop a similar vehicle, but the project was cancelled when it went way over budget. Many army engineer officers want to adopt the marine designed ABV, and are keeping a close on ABV experience in Afghanistan.

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sapper159    you guys   12/10/2009 3:10:11 PM
Man this vehicle is lame,you guys are well behind! Us Brits have had tanks that can do this sort of work since WW2 even the Canadians have this type of stuff. Our latest version ( the TROJAN)  has even got a f*****g great big back hoe arm. It can carry fascines or trackway and can tow a trailer with twice the amount of explosive hose and we've developed that back in WW2 also. Our latest bridgelayer (the TITAN ) is the fastest in the world. There is also a mini tracked digger (the TERRIER ) that's got a big front bucket and a back hoe and it's air-portable
 
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LB    Don't Feel Too Bad   12/11/2009 2:25:27 AM
Don't feel too bad for the cousins as the US Army has been underfunding combat engineer kit for decades now in spite of it's own reports from 1991 and 2003 clearly stating the Army requires more combat engineer assets. 
 
Of course the US Army operated a CEV, similar to the British Army CEV (same 165mm gun), for decades but then simply decided to do away with the CEV instead of funding a new version on the M1 chassis.
 
The USMC ABV is not a CEV.  It's a specialized mine breaching vehicle that carries both line charge systems, various large mine plows, lane marking equipment and can be remote operated.  It's a specialized vehicle for specific missions and in fact is a very good design and will be very useful.
 
In the USMC line charges are carried either on an AAVP7 or in a trailer.  Carrying two systems on the breaching vehicle is a better idea for a variety of reasons.  British combat engineer kit has often been excellent and there were many occasions the past decades when buying that kit would have served the US very well.  This is not one of those times especially given the prime requirement of using the M1 hull given we already operate them.
 
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sapper159       12/11/2009 3:27:29 PM
To be honest I was being a bit facetious, I know you have got/had CEVs but I'm not too sure on how good they are/were. The Royal Engineers have only really just caught up with our tankees in regards to compatibility of vehicles, previously our CEVs were built on the previous model, ie.. churchill/centurion, centurion/chieftain, chieftain/ challenger. Although the newbies aren't built on direct like for like chassis, they have high percentage similarities in all major components. I have been disappointed that we gave up the petard a couple of versions ago, as it proved extremely useful in gulf war 1  for breaching the bunds on the Iraqi borders, for example. On that conflict, it is a strange fact that the first official British tank/vehicle into Iraq was a centurion AVRE, this same vehicle was also the very first British vehicle to go ashore in the Suez crisis in April 1956, strange but true.
The ABV does certainly look fit for purpose and the video was a little impressive, but.....................................................................................
What puzzles me though is why have the ABV and not a multi-purpose CEV, surely it must be much more cost effective for the vehicle to do more than one-two roles, I mean how often will it be sat idle because it has no minefields to breach or roads to doze clear. And even a sixty tonne tank can get stuck  and then a backhoe or fascine bundle might just get it on its way again. It makes no monetary sense to have specialist, specialist vehicles when you are having to fight your Congress for more and more money for even the basic equipments such as more efficient rifles etc........ If the army and marines tip up in a years time and say the need another type of specialist engineer vehicle surely they will be laughed out of the meeting !?$
 This is of course just my humble opinion and in no way reflects the opinion of any other humble being. I of course do not know all the facts although I know a fair few,  just not not necessarily on all subjects, I mean nuclear fission, I don't have a scooby about. And don't even ask me about women other than the FACT that they are bloody strange!!!!!!!!
 
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WarNerd       12/11/2009 6:34:31 PM

What puzzles me though is why have the ABV and not a multi-purpose CEV, surely it must be much more cost effective for the vehicle to do more than one-two roles, I mean how often will it be sat idle because it has no minefields to breach or roads to doze clear.

Note the design requirement for remote operation.
 
The vehicle design is based on the need to perform a limited set of extremely hazardous jobs and carries the minimum equipment to fulfill those roles based on the assumption that will eventually be heavily damaged or destroyed while carrying out that role.
 
Now, if they could just make a decision about what the requirements for a good CEV design would be ...
 
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LB    ABV   12/11/2009 9:20:09 PM
To amplify other remarks the ABV is purpose built to do a set of specific tasks that actually are required often enough to warrant a specialist vehicle.  We have many systems today to take out bunkers and thus the loss of the 165mm direct fire gun on the CEV is not a game breaker (personally I believe a modern CEV on an Abrams chassis with the 165mm would be extremely useful and cost effective long term; however, it's not essential).  We do have various other combat engineering assets for earth moving and other tasks.  In fact the most useful combat engineer vehicle might actually be the D9.
 
As an aside a unit has to have the mine warfare kit along anyway.  It makes sense to have a dedicated vehicle to carry and deploy line charges, carry various mine plows, and mark the route.  The fact that if none of this is needed that it can also utilize a large dozer blade will ensure the ABV has enough work to warrant it's purchase.  Recall that it's only 33 spread out over the entire USMC.  There's not going to be very many in any single deployed unit.
 
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