The LAV-AT is an all-terrain, all-weather vehicle with night capabilities. It is air transportable via C-130, C-141, C-5 and CH-53 E. This vehicle provides mobile, armored, accurate and destructive fire from defiled positions against heavy armored target and fixed fortifications. With its mobility, it can keep pace with it's applicable assigned military unit to provide highly mobile, protected anti-armor fire support to light infantry and reconnaissance forces, and to provide a capability to defeat heavy, armored targets at long ranges. The vehicle can be used in both the defensive and offensive roles. Its primary weapon station is the Emerson turret. When combat loaded there are 2 ready and 14 stowed TOW II ATGMs as well as 200 ready rounds and 800 stowed rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. There are 8 ready rounds and 8 stowed rounds of smoke grenades. The missiles can be loaded under armor. The vehicle can be made fully amphibious within 3 minutes.
The TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided) Missile System consists of a tripod, traversing unit, missile guidance set, launch tube, optical sight, battery assembly and any of five missile variations. The TOW missile system also includes a thermal sight that provides a capability for operations at night, in reduced visibility, and in a countermeasure environment. TOW missiles are all-up rounds encased in a disposable container.
The TOW system is mounted on various platforms including the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the improved TOW vehicle, the Humvee and the AH-1F Cobra helicopter. In addition, it can be operated in a dismounted ground mode. The TOW is guided to its target merely by the gunner keeping the cross-hairs on the target. Corrective information is sent to the missile by two thin wires that deploy in flight.
Since initial fielding, five variations of the missile and two variations of the TOW subsystem have been fielded. In FY92 the direct-attack TOW 2A missile was replaced as the standard production missile by the top-attack TOW 2B missile - both are in use.
The ongoing TOW Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) is a material change to the current ground TOW 2 system that will increase target detection, recognition and identification ranges.
The Javelin System is a man-portable, fire-and-forget, medium-range antitank weapon system consisting of the Command Launch Unit (CLU) and the Round. The CLU's Imaging infrared system is used to detect targets during conditions of poor visibility and night operations. The round consists of the fire-and-forget missile and the discardable Launch Tube Assembly (LTA). The fire-and-forget capability increases the gunners ability to survive and continue fighting. The Javelin can kill a target in excess of 2000 meters. In addition, the missile has two gunner-selectable flight modes. The top attack mode allows the missile to impact on top of the target and the direct attack mode allows the missile to fly more directly at the target. The Javelin has a "soft launch" for minimized launch signature and fireing from enclosure capability. An elevated trajectory, combined with tandem, shaped-charge warheads, optimizes the Javelin's lethality against modern tanks.
COMMAND LAUNCH UNIT, JAVELIN M98A1
The M-41 SABER uses a thermal imager based on a Standard Advanced Dewar Assembly (SADA II) focal plane array, eyesafe laser rangefinder, and a gunner-aided target tracker. This improves the target recognition range, performance and the hit probability. The advanced digital fire control computer provides missile tracking, target tracking, embedded training and even growth capability as demonstrated by the 2002 firing of a Javelin missile using this system. The SABER can also be used as a reconnaissance aid. During one National Training Center (NTC) rotation, 82d Airborne Division soldiers could see movement beyond 10 kilometers, distinguish between tracked and wheeled vehicles at 8 kilometers, and identify vehicle types and dismounts at 5 kilometers using their ITAS sights. The 82nd Airborne's brigade combat team (BCT) commander used this capability to determine the disposition and intent of his opposing force. Soldiers have also been able to acquire targets in thick vegetation such as that at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), and again determine the opposing force's intent and set the tone of the battle to come. The acid test came during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where ITAS has been used to similar effect in urban warfare and was the sighting system used to kill the Hussain brothers.
The Saber is designed to provide improved target acquisition and fire control for the TOW 2 Ground Launcher and the TOW 2 mounted on the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The Saber contains an integrated Target Acquisition System (TAS), Fire Control System (FCS), modified Traversing Unit (TU), Far Target Locator (FTL), and a power source (LBB) for dismount operation.
Target Acquisition System (TAS)
The TAS consists of a second generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) night vision sight (NVS) to serve as both a target acquisition device and missile and target tracking sensor; direct view optics (DVO); missile xenon beacon tracker (XBT); eye-safe laser rangefinder (LRF), and display and controls.
Fire Control System (FCS)
The FCS is a rugged, man-portable fire control computer which provides the Saber required functions of automatic target tracking, missile tracking, and TOW missile guidance. Additional functions include: automatic boresight, embedded training, and advanced built-in test capability.
Traversing Unit (TU)
The TU is mounted on a pedestal when installed in the HMMWV and on a tripod with the ground dismounted system. The TU is used to aim and launch a TOW missile to a designated target. The TU is capable of pitching up or down, or being rotated 360º in azimuth. The TAS mounts to the side of the TU; the FCS connects to the TU through the 2W1 coil cable. All TAS and fire control related controls, except for the TAS mode, are located on the TU handgrips. System functions displayed on the TAS menu are accessed through switches on the TU handgrips.
Lithium-Ion Power Source (LPS)
The LPS consists of the Lithium-Ion Battery Box (LBB) and a Vehicle Mounted Charger (VMC). The LBB contains a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack consisting of 16 Lithium-Ion cells connected in a series/parallel configuration and control electronic circuitry. When mounted on a HMMWV, the LBB receives charging power from the VMC and provides battery power to the Saber system. When the Saber is in its ground tripod tactical dismounted configuration, the LBB is removed from the HMMWV and the internal LBB batteries are used to power the Saber. The LBB provides RS-422 interface for
communication between the LPS and the SABER.
The tripod provides a steady ground mount for the Saber.
Precision Attitude Determination Subsystem (PADS)
Provides system and target location readings through GPS capabilities.
Lithium-Ion AC Charger (LIAC)
The LIAC is a facility-portable AC charger used in a support environment for providing charging power to the LBB upon command. The LIAC contains AC-DC converters, DC-DC converters, filtering and control electronics circuitry. The LIAC operates from a commercial 110 or 220, ± 10 VAC, 50/60 Hz, input power source. The LIAC cannot supply power directly to the Saber
The launch tube holds the encased missile and provides mechanical guidance for initial missile launch. This item is the same component as used by the original M220 TOW system.