Welcome to the suggestion for the LAV-ATM! This is an American tank destroyer used by the US Marine Corps, similar to the older LAV-AT, but with a newer turret with enhanced capabilities that would undoubtedly be well liked by commanders of the vehicle in War Thunder. Most notable would be an improved thermal imaging sight, as well as the turret not needing to fold down while on the move. Naturally, the vehicle can fire all types of TOW missiles, most notably the TOW-2A and TOW-2B, giving the United States a fast and capable tank hunter, both in real life, and in War Thunder possibly! Let’s find out a bit more.
History & Design
A Marine Corps LAV-25 light armored anti-tank vehicle rolls along a road during the National Victory Celebration parade June 1991.
By the 2010s, the United States Marine Corps’ LAV-AT was beginning to age. Its turret was over 30 years old, and lacked modern features that would allow it to still be of use in a combat situation. As such, in 2012, the LAV-ATM program was established in order to modernize the LAV-AT. According to the leader of the team behind the program, Jim Forkin, the goal was to get a new turret system on the LAV-AT platform that was easy to maintain, reliable and effective. The turret that eventually came out of the program, the ATWS (Anti-Tank Weapon System), or MTAS (Modified Target Acquisition System), fit all of the requirements set by the team and the Marine Corps.
An LAV-ATM sits under an awning at Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command, aboard the Yermo Annex of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California, June 15th, 2017.
In comparison to the Emerson M901 turret, the MTAS possesses several notable advantages. Firstly, it is unmanned and capable of firing all available types of TOW missiles. Moreover, it boasts a reduced number of mechanical components, incorporates an upgraded second-generation thermal sight, and is constantly raised, meaning it doesn’t need to be folded like the Emerson turret.
One benefit of the unmanned turret is that it allows the gunner to position themselves deeper within the hull. This strategic placement provides enhanced protection against small arms fire and shrapnel. Additionally, the MTAS is equipped with a Far Target Location system, new displays for the commander and gunner’s video sights, and an electric elevation and azimuth drive system, facilitating precise rotation of the weapon system towards the target. Furthermore, the turret includes a training mode software, enabling the crew to simulate the firing of the weapon system, thus improving their skills and operational readiness.
A close up of the turret firing a TOW-2B.
Testing of the new turret began in 2015, and by 2017, testing was completed, with the first fielded units being delivered shortly after. The MTAS reached full operational capability in 2019, and is currently one of the US Marine Corps’ premier mobile tank destroyers.
- Crew: 4
- Weight: 14 t
- Length: 6.4 m
- Width: 2.5 m
- Height: 3.7 m
- Number of missiles carried: Likely similar to LAV-AT, 14 stowed, 2 ready
- Engine: Detroit Diesel 6V53T diesel (275 hp)
- Maximum speed: 100 km/h
- Amphibious speed on water: ~ 10 km/h
- Operational range: 660 km