Infobox Weapon

caption=M901 ITV.
type=Fire Support Team Vehicle
origin=United States
name = M981 FISTV
length = 4.863 m
width = 2.686 m
height = 2.940 m (targeting head stowed), 3.410 m (head extended)
weight = 12 metric tons
crew = 4 (driver, commander, radio operator, turret operator)
road speed = 64 km/h
range = 480 km

The M981 FISTV (Fire Support Team Vehicle) is a United States Army armored vehicle designed to house an Artillery observer team in mechanized units. It is based on the ubiquitous M113 Armored Personnel Carrier chassis.

It was based on the M901 Improved TOW Vehicle (ITV), and outwardly closely resembles it, so as to make it less conspicuous on the battlefield.


The principal equipment on the FISTV is the Ground/Vehicular Laser Locator Designator (G/VLLD), pronounced "glid". This device obtains precise range information to a lased target. When combined with directional control from an inertial navigation system and vehicle coordinates from the Global Positioning System, the system is able to obtain precise coordinates of a designated targets.

Although the M981 was supposed to be armed with a mounted M60 Machine gun, in fact safety considerations associated with soldiers operating outside while the laser was operating resulted in crews being equipped with a detached M249 Squad Automatic Weapon instead.

The FISTV also has four SINCGARS radios to track the numerous voice and data radio nets pertinent to fire support operations.


The FISTV identifies targets and sends their description and location to the Fire Direction Center.

Each Armor or Mechanized Infantry company in the US Army had one M981. Its crew consists of a Lieutenant, noncommisioned officer, and two soldiers. This crew doubles as the advisors to the company commander on fire support issues.

FISTVs are also used by Combat Observation and Lasing Teams (COLTs), a Brigade asset positioned to support the Brigade fires plan.


External links

* [http://www.thetankmaster.com/ENGLISH/AFV/M981.asp M981A1 aka FIST - Artillery OP – Walk around photos]

See also

* Field artillery team
* M113 Armored Personnel Carrier variants

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