Do you know what the M60 Armored Vehicle Land Bridge (AVLB) is? It is a modified M60 Patton battle tank that has been equipped with a 19-meter retractable bridge. The Armored Vehicle was modified by US Army and the resulting modification can set up a bridge in under 98 seconds. The AVLB was originally introduced in 1987 as a combat engineering vehicle capable of deploying a bridge on the field in under 2 minutes.
It can lay a 60-ft bridge over trenches, obstacles and water allowing other vehicles to pass. The scissor bridge weighs in at 13,000kg and has been constructed using mostly aluminum. It requires only half a meter on both sides to provide support to tracked and wheeled vehicles of up to a load of 60 tons to pass over it.
It unfolds the bridge vertically and then lowers it into place on the channel’s other side. Once the bridge has been laid in place, the tank disconnects. Once it has driven over it, the tank can pick it back up from the other side.
Unlike its predecessor M48 AVLB that featured dual 12.7mm machine guns, the M60 has no armament. It is powered by a 750hp Continental AVDS-1790-2A turbocharged diesel engine that is capable of achieving speeds of about 48km/h for a range of 460km. In case of engine breaking, the fixing requires only four hours – quite an impressive engineering feat for the vehicle of this kind.
The M60 AVLB is not only a military asset but can also provide help during the time of crisis such as earthquakes and flood. It can provide access to other side and that is what makes it a practical solution during the time of need.