Armoured recovery vehicle

Armoured recovery vehicle

An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to repair battle- or mine-damaged as well as broken-down armoured vehicles during combat, or to tow them out of the danger zone for more extensive repairs.

ARVs are normally built on the chassis of a main battle tank (MBT), but some are also constructed on the basis of other armoured fighting vehicles, mostly armoured personnel carriers (APCs). ARVs are usually built on the basis of a vehicle in the same class as they are supposed to recover—thus, a tank-based ARV is used to recover tanks, while an APC-based one recovers APCs, but does not have the power to tow a much heavier tank.

Development History

The first true ARVs were introduced in World War II, often by converting obsolete or damaged tanks, usually by removing the turret and installing a heavy-duty winch to free stuck vehicles, plus a variety of vehicle repair tools. Some were also purpose-built in factories, using an existing tank chassis with a hull superstructure to accommodate repair and recovery equipment. Many of the latter type of ARV had an A-frame or crane to allow the vehicle's crew to perform heavy lifting tasks such as removing the engine from a disabled tank.

After World War II, most countries' MBT models also had corresponding ARV variants. Many ARVs are also equipped with a bulldozer blade that can be used as an anchor when winching or as a stabiliser when lifting, a pump to transfer fuel to another vehicle, and more. Some can even carry a spare engine for field replacement, such the German Leopard 1 ARV.

Some combat engineering vehicles (CEVs) are based on ARVs.



*Cavalier ARV
*Churchill ARV
*Grant ARV
*Sherman III ARV I - Amoured Recovery Vehicle conversion of Sherman III (M4A2), similarly Sherman V ARV I and ARV II, but the Sherman II ARV III was a M32B1 TRV (see US ARV).


*Centurion ARV
*FV 220 Conqueror ARV
*Chieftain ARV
*Challenger ARV
*FV106 Samson

BARV (Multiple Chassis)

*The BARV is a British military support vehicle, the name coming from 'Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle,' built on the M4A2 Sherman, M3A5 Grant, Centurion, and Leopard 1A5 tanks.


*Ram ARV


*VT-34 ARV (T-34 Chassis)
*VT-55A ARV (T-55 Chassis)
*VT-72B ARV (T-72 Chassis) - (1987 to 1989)
*VPV (BVP-1 Chassis) - (1985 to 1989)


* M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, based on the Sherman tank (from 1944)
* M74 Tank Recovery Vehicle (1954-1975)
* AMX 30 D (from 1973), based on the AMX 30
* Leclerc MARS, based on the AMX-56 Leclerc



*Bergepanzer III (PzKpfw III Chassis)
*Bergepanther (SdKfz 179 - Panther Chassis) - 347 produced (1943 to 1945).
*Bergetiger (Tiger I Chassis)
*Bergepanzer 38(t) (Panzerkampfwagen 38 Chassis) - 170 produced (1944 to 1945).


*Bergepanzer M74 (Sherman Chassis) - first TRV/ARV of the West German Bundeswehr, 300 used 1956-1960 (see M74 entry under United States).
*Bergepanzer 1 (M88 Chassis) - the first of 125 entered service in 1962 and a 1985 modernization program replaced the gasoline engine with a diesel and improved the hoist.
*Bergepanzer 2 (Leopard 1 Chassis)
*Bergepanzer 3 "Büffel" (Leopard 2 Chassis)


*Trail Blazer ("Gordon") (Sherman chassis) - An IDF recovery/engineering vehicle based on HVSS equipped M4A1s Sherman tanks, it featured a large single boom crane (as opposed to the A-Frame of the M32) and large spades at the front and rear of the vehicle to assist in lifting. It could also tow up to 72 tons.


*M32 Chenca (Sherman chassis) - In 1998, Napco International of the USA upgraded M32B1 TRV M4 Sherman-chassis armoured recovery vehicles with Detroit Diesel 8V-92-T diesel engines (see M32 entry under United States).


*CW-34 (T-34 Chassis)
*WPT-34 (T-34, SU-85 and SU-100 Chasis)
*WZT-1 (T-55 and T-55A Chassis)
*WZT-2 (T-55 Chassis)
*WZT-3 (T-72M/PT-91 Chassis)
*WZT-4 (PT-91M Chassis)
*WPT-MORS (MTLB Chassis)


*M-84ABI - The ARV based on Yugoslav/Serbian M-84 MBT.
*VIU-55 Munja

oviet Union

*BTS-2 (T-54 Chassis)
*BTS-4A (T-54 Chassis)
*BREM-1 (T-72 Chassis)
*BREM-2 (BMP-1 Chassis)
*BREM-L (BMP-3 Chassis)
*BREM-K (BTR-80 Chassis)
*BREM-80U (T-80U Chassis)

United States

*M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle - based on M3 Lee chassis.

*M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, or M32 TRV, based on the Sherman tank chassis with turret replaced by fixed superstructure, convert|60000|lb|abbr=on winch and an convert|18|ft|m long pivoting A-frame jib installed. An 81 mm Mortar was also added into the hull, primarily for screening purposes.
**M32B1 - M32s converted from M4A1s (some converted to M34 artillery prime movers).
***M32A1B1 - M32B1's with HVSS, later removing the 81 mm Mortar and incorporating crane improvements.
**M32B2 - M32's converted from M4A2's.
**M32B3 - M32's converted from M4A3's.
***M32A1B3 - M32B3's brought to the same standard as the M32A1B1.
**M32B4 - M32's converted from M4A4's.

*M74 Tank Recovery Vehicle - Upgrade of the M32 to provide the same capability with regards to heavier post-war tanks, converted from M4A3 HVSS tanks. In appearance the M74 is very similar to the M32, fitted with an A-Frame crane, a main towing winch, an auxiliary winch, and a manual utility winch. The M74 also has a front mounted spade that can be used as a support or as a dozer blade.
**M74B1 - Same as the M74, but converted from M32B3s.

*M578 - based on the M113 chassis.

*M88 Recovery Vehicle - based on the chassis and parts of the automotive component of the M48 Patton & M60 Patton.

See also

* Armoured warfare
* List of AFVs
* M4 Sherman tank
* M88 Armoured Recovery Vehicle
* Allied Technological Cooperation During WW2

External links

* [ Bergepanzer III]
* [ Bergepanzer III (DE)]
* [ Bergepanther (PL)]
* [ Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger]
* [ Bergepanzer Ferdinand (DE)]
* [ Bergepanzer 38(t) Hetzer]
* [ Bergepanzer 38(t) Hetzer (PL)]
* [ Bergepanzer Leopard 1]
* [ Leopard 1 ARV NL]
* [ Bergepanzer 1 (DE)]
* [ Bergepanzer 2 (DE)]
* [ Bergepanzer 3 Büffel (DE)]
* [ lb.htm Czechoslovak VT-34 ARV]
* [ Czechoslovak VT-55A ARV]
* [ Czechoslovak VT-72B ARV (CS)]
* [ Czechoslovak VPV (CS)]
* [ WZT-3 ARV (DE)]
* [ BREM-1 ARRV]
* [ BREM-80U ARRV]

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