The M60 Armored Vehicle Land Bridge (AVLB) is an engineering marvel, it is designed to assist militaries in rapidly deploying tanks and other armored fighting vehicles across craters, anti-tank ditches, blown bridges, railroad cuts, canals, rivers and ravines in combat conditions. The M60 AVLB was developed by General Dynamics to replace its predecessor, the M48 AVLB.
M60 is used when a river or trench is too deep for vehicles to cross and in situations where there is a lack of a sturdy bridge capable of withstanding the weight of a 60-metric-ton battle tank. It is a tracked vehicle, just like a tank, which is used to carry a folding metal bridge. To allow vehicles to cross a space, AVLB’s bridge layer unfolds to provide a ready-made bridge in less than two minutes.
Here are some of the salient features of the M60 AVLB:
- The scissors-type bridge weights over 13,000 kilograms and is constructed almost entirely out of aluminum.
- It can lay a 19-meter (60-foot) bridge and can span a gap up to 18 meters.
- The bridge is carried on the vehicle folded and is launched over the front hydraulically.
- The M60 is capable of supporting wheeled and tracked vehicles up to a load of 60 metric tons.
- After laying the bridge, the tank disconnects from it. After disconnecting from the bridge, the tank drives across it and picks it up on the other side.
- If the engine fails, it can be replaced in under four hours.
- Recovery time is between 10 and 60 minutes, depending on terrain conditions.
- It has a crew of two, including a commander and an operator.
- It is powered by a 750-hp Continental AVDS-1790-2A turbocharged diesel engine, is capable of reaching speeds up to 48 kilometers per hour, and has a range of 460 kilometers.