M728 CEV with A-frame in forward position and M9 doze blade at the front.
Source: US DoD - © Public domain
The M728 CEV is a Cold War era combat engineer vehicle of US origin. It was developed in the early 1960’s to support armored formations. Its role is to remove obstacles, breach minefields and support pioneer operations. The first production run was based on newly built chassis. The M728A1 is the second production run, which consisted of converting several M60A2 Starship that were removed from service.
The M728 is based on the chassis of the M60 Patton main battle tank. The turret is modified to fit a license produced of the British 165mm L9A1 demolition gun. A dozer blade or mine plough is fitted at the front. An A-frame crane is fitted to the turret. This is used for lifting obstacles.
The main armament of the M728 is the 165mm M135 demolition gun. A total of 30 shells are carried. The demolition gun is for use against obstacles. Effective range is about 900 meters. In a secondary role it can be used against enemy fortifications or vehicles. A 7.62mm M240 machine gun is mounted as a coaxial weapon. The large commander’s cupole mounts a 12.7mm M85 heavy machine gun.
The chassis of the M60 Patton main battle tanks provides good all terrain mobility. It allows the M728 to keep up with the formations it is to support. The Continental V12 diesel engine provides up to 750 hp. This allows for a maximum road speed of 48 km/h.
Armor protection is of a similar level as the M60 Patton main battle tank. This means it is resistant to autocannon fire and some older tank guns and rocket launchers. An NBC system is present, but smoke grenade launchers are not.
The main user of the M728 was the US Army. Over 300 vehicles have been produced. The M728 was used in several conflicts. Most notably the Vietnam war and the 1991 Operation Desert Storm. It was removed from active US service in the late 1990’s without replacement by a newer system. The vehicles kept in reserve are to be replaced by the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle. Various nations with ties to the US acquired small quantities of M728.
Source: US DoD
Copyright: Public domain
Source: Steven H. Robinson
Copyright: Copyright lies with original owner
Copyright: GNU Attribution Share Alike license
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