SYNOPSIS: A New fighting vehicle has joined the Army, ready to start a year-long series of trials to measure its military potential.
SYNOPSIS: A New fighting vehicle has joined the Army, ready to start a year-long series of trials to measure its military potential. The unusual wheeled fighter has been designated the XM 808.
It was built for the Army Tank-Auto-motive Command by Lockheed Missiles & Space Company.
The XM 808 is a second generation of Lockheed's own Twister vehicle which was developed to prove out a new concept for high speed, off-road operation. Though the three Twisters Lockheed has built for the Army are larger and heavier than the original, test drivers report their performance is even better.......The XM 808 is the only one of the three Army Twisters to mount a weapon. Although it
weighs twenty thousand five hundred pounds, it can accelerate its ten-plus tons from 0 to 30 miles per hour in six and a half seconds.
The Twister vehicle has two bodies joined by a flexible yoke. An engine in each body drives the four wheels on that body, so the complete Twister has eight-
wheel-drive. Two four hundred and forty cubic inch V8 engines power each of the Army Twisters, so the vehicles have a much higher horsepower to weight ratio than the average combat vehicle.
Lockheed engineers say the body flexibility and suspension protect the driver and crew from the shock of high speed operation over rough terrain. At the same time, the vehicle can keep all eight wheels on the ground and driving........ During the next year, the Army will evaluate their Twisters' military potential at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and the Ft. Knox Armor Center in Kentucky...........................................The Lockheed developers of the XM 808 believe the Twister concept offers future armored cavalry brigades increased odds for survival because of the ******speed and mobility it can bring to the battlefield.......................................The developers say that in an age when modern hand-held weapons can knock out even the heaviest tanks, designers can increase a vehicle's ability to survive by giving it the speed and mobility to present a fleeting, elusive target and take advantage of natural terrain folds for concealment.
In three years of testing, Lockheed's own Twister has operated in all types of terrain ranging from deserts to mountains and from snow to swamps. However, brief shakedown trials of the
Army Twisters, shown here on the company test course in the Santa Cruz Mountains, proved that the Army machines are in a high performance class all by themselves.
Two Army Twisters are now on their way to the Army Tan Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan. Lockheed will deliver the third vehicle this June after converting it to a swimmer.