machine called armored reconnaissance / airborne assault. In the period between 1966 and 1970 in the U.S. Army units were delivered in 1700. By purpose machine was defined as the main means of reconnaissance tank, infantry and airborne operational and combat groups, which include those not main tanks. In 1968-1969 he M551 machine participated in combat operations in Vietnam. Despite the large number of new technical solutions implemented in their design achieved combat result was significantly lower than expected. Later, in 1978, the troops began to replace the M551 machine basic M60A1 tanks. Currently M551 in service only in the U.S. Army (in the 82nd Airborne Division, at the National Training Center Fort Irwin, etc.). Small number of tanks M551 used by the U.S. Army during the invasion of Panama in 1989, they were also among the first cars delivered in the summer of 1990 to Saudi Arabia after the start of Iraq's aggression against Kuwait. As part of the 3rd Battalion 3 obrkp M551 tanks used during Operation Desert Storm. It is expected that the tanks will M551 decommissioned at the end of the decade and replaced by light tanks HM8 Corporation FMC, selected by the U.S. Army on the results of international comparative tests.
machine is made according to the traditional assembly scheme with the placement of the main weapons in a three-tower, and power pack installed in the rear of the hull. The driver's compartment is located in the middle, occupying the entire nose of the body. A manhole cover in the open position of the driver moves back when driving on marching he lifts the seat and driving a car, leaning out of the hatch. In the hatch installed three M47 periscopes wiping devices. Central periscope can be replaced a passive night vision devices. Right from the gun are the jobs of the tank commander and gunner (the last sitting in front of and below the commander), and the left - loader. Circular 10 provides an overview of the commander of the glass block, located in the commander's cupola. M37 periscope mounted in front of the loader's hatch, can be rotated 360 degrees. A characteristic feature of the tank, determine the layout of the crew compartment, is the use of combined arms - guns of large caliber low ballistics, through the barrel which can be launched anti-tank missile. Boeukladki can accommodate as guided missiles and conventional ammunition with partially burned sleeves. Aft tower has a large metal basket for transportation equipment. On the sides of the rear of the tower mounted boxes of ammunition for the machine gun - 9 boxes left and right 6 boxes. Along the perimeter of the housing taken folding screen type of device for wading. On his cast into the working position (lifting and fixing to increase a displacement volume) takes about 5 minutes. Standard equipment of the tank are: crew compartment heater, exhaust fan in the roof of the tower, diesel stove.
main armament is a 152mm gun-launcher M81, developed to combine the advantages of guided missiles (high accuracy at long range) and conventional ordnance (universality, less time spent on hitting targets at low and mid-range, relative cheapness). This combination, unlike those used in the main tank cannon with the launch of high ballistics through their trunk ATGM can be made in small sizes and weight, so you can use it to light a floating car. Used for firing rockets Shillelagh (Shillelagh) MGM51A conventional artillery ammunition. The total ammunition guns PU-30 shots. The ratio between conventional and ATGM artvystrelami not strictly rationed. Usually, the tank is placed 8-10 missiles.
Protection of the tank is at a level characteristic of light tanks late 1960s. Housing welded aluminum alloy welded tower of steel armor. They provide round protection from bullets of 7.62 mm and shell fragments. Front projection is protected by 20-mm shells automatic guns. In the tank there is a filtered ventilation system, serving purified from chemical warfare agents and radioactive dust in the air masks of all crew members.
To perform claims filed by the mobility of the tank used well-established and proven practice componentry. This V-shaped 6-cylinder diesel engine of Detroit Diesel 6V-53T liquid-cooled turbo develops when the engine speed is 2800 r / min power of 220 kW (300 hp.).. XGT-250 mission, which has 4 forward gears and 2 reverse gears and consisting of an integrated hydrodynamic transmission with locking clutch, planetary gearbox rotation mechanisms (RAP) and final drives. Planetary rotation mechanism in conjunction with a reverse gear provides three modes of operation when turning. In front of the MTO posted aluminum radiator cooling system. Usage PPO has no warning system, it can be switched on by the driver or outside the tank. Individual torsion suspension tank, on the 1st and 5 x pylons used hydraulic shock absorbers. On each side of the tank is installed on pitched 5 rubberized rollers of large diameter. No support rollers. Idlers with conventional (worm pair) track adjusters located at the front, drive wheels at the rear. Caterpillars melkozvenchatye with cast steel Truckee The rubber cushions and removable hinges open sequential type. New caterpillar contains 102 Traka.
| Combat weight, t || 15,8 |
| Crew < td> 4 |
| Size mm || Height - 2270 mm turret roof; 2950 mm total |
| main armament || 152-mm gun-launcher M81 |
| Ammunition || 10 Shillelagh missiles and 20 artvystrelov (CFS , DS) |
| Rangefinder || Laser (1971) |
| stabilizer arms || biplane electrically driven guidance |
| ballistic computer || Digital electronic |
| The loading guns-PU || Manual |
| Guns || One 12.7 mm 7.62 mm one |
| Maximum speed || 70 km / h, 5.8 km / h (afloat) |
| Range, km || 600 |
| armor protection || bulletproof |
| Engine || Diesel 6V-53T Detroit Diesel |
| Power kW || 220 |
| Transmission || XGT-250 hydromechanical with planetary gear rotation and reverse gear |
| Suspension || Individual torsion |
| Caterpillar || With exposed metal hinges sequential type |
| Fording depth || Tank floating |