Manufacturer: General Dynamics Land Systems - GDLS  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Engineer vehicle  

In January 1997, the US Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) awarded United Defense LP, Ground Systems Division, a US$129 million contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the Grizzly (Breacher) armoured vehicle.

This has been designed to clear minefields, neutralise obstacles, demolish berms and fill in antitank ditches for highly mobile forces. When eventually fielded the Grizzly will be issued to division and selected corps engineer battalions.

Under the terms of this 52 month contract, the two prototypes of the Grizzly will be modified in a number of key areas including the existing architecture and automatic depth control. Main emphasis will be on cost reduction, performance and production readiness.

It is expected that the two modified Grizzly vehicles will be delivered back to the US Army for further evaluation and testing in 1999.

The Grizzly is based on a General Dynamics Land Systems M1 MBT chassis with the same power pack and suspension (latest M1A2 standard) but has a new armoured superstructure for the crew of two that provides the same level of protection as the M1 MBT.

To carry out its battlefield role it is fitted with specialised equipment. Mounted at the front of the vehicle on the right side is the Power-Driven Arm (PDA). This is telescopic and has a maximum reach of 9.14 m and can lift 1,814 kg when fully extended. This is normally fitted with a bucket which can dig to a maximum depth of 5.27 m. When travelling, this lays back along the right side of the hull.

Mounted at the front of the hull is the Mine Clearing Blade (MCB) which clears surface and buried anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. For increased accuracy when ploughing it has an automatic depth control.

Armament consists of banks of electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers at the front of the hull and an AAl-developed Weapon Mount System (WMS) on the hull top which is armed with a 40 mm MK 19 grenade launcher and an M240 7.62 mm machine gun.

The Grizzly is fitted with an advanced open systems vehicle architecture with 1553 databus and provision for digital battlefield command and control. An overpressure NBC system is fitted as standard.

The commander's station allows him to control the Mine Clearing Blade, Power-Driven Arm and Weapon Mount System using a joystick with day and night vision cameras being provided.

The two prototype Grizzly vehicles were built under the US$72.7 million Demonstration/Validation contract awarded to United Defense in 1992 and were delivered in 1995.

Under the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase 30 Grizzly vehicles are expected to be built with the full production expected to commence in 2002 with first units equipped in 2003. The total US Army requirement is for about 600 Grizzly vehicles with additional vehicles for the US Marine Corps.

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