7 Gas Guzzling Military Combat Vehicles

Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV-7A1)

The AAV-7A1 is the amphibious troop transport of the U.S. Marines. "It is used by USMC Assault Amphibian Battalions to land the surface assault elements of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent mechanized operations ashore." You can see one going in the water in the photo below.

Fuel Economy of the Amphibious Assault Vehicle: About 1.75 mpg on the ground and about 7 hours at 2600 RPM in water.

M2A3 and M3A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles

The M2 Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and M3 Bradley CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle) are American infantry fighting vehicles. The A3 variant, introduced in 2000, upgrades the electronics to all-digital gear and armor is improved. It was designed to be as fast as the M1 tank, so that it could keep up with it.

Fuel Economy of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle: About 1.7 mile per gallon.

M109A6 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer

The M109A6 Paladin is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer (a sub-category of artillery). It was first introduced in the 1960s but has been upgraded many times. "The M109 family is the most prevalent Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions." You can see one firing in the photo below.

Fuel Economy of M109A6 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer: About 1.3 miles per gallon (186 miles on a 133-gallon tank of diesel fuel).

M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank

The M1 Abrams is the main battle tank of the U.S. It entered service in 1980, replacing the M60 Patton and M48A5. "Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection and electronics. These improvements, as well as periodic upgrades to older tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service."

Fuel Economy of the M1 Abrams Battle Tank: It is powered by a 1,500 hp turbine and gets about 0.6 miles per gallon. It will burn 12 gallons per hour when idle.

The Future

So there you have it. But what about the future? The U.S. military is making efforts to become more fuel efficient, partly to reduce its environmental footprint, but also because that can give it a tactical and strategic advantage. Fuel supply lines are crucial in combat, and the less often you have to refuel, the better (for them).

There is a book on this very subject: "The Greening of the U.S. Military: Environmental Policy, National Security, and Organizational Change." It's in my 'to read' pile, and will certainly post about it. Stay tuned.

Sources: Discovery Military Channel, Discovery: Military Vehicles, GlobalSecurity.org, Defense-Update.com and Wikipedia.

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