The M3 Halftrack was essentially similar to the M2, with several additional features. The M3 added more rear armor, a rear door, smaller removable headlights, mine containers, and a winch. The M3 design also moved the gas tank from the rear to the near the front of the vehicle.
The M3 Halftrack weighs over nine tons, can travel up to 72 KPH, and can hold up to ten people.
The Israeli Army faced Arab-originated defense systems since the early 1960s, first with the Soviet linear trench system, and later - since the 1973 war - with the pita-type fortified stronghold belts. Continous practice, training, and weapons development yielded some unique offensive tactical concepts, practiced successfully in the 1967 and 1973 wars.
The Viper rocket-launched line charge system is installed on an M3 halftrack and uses short burn rockets to deploy the line charge across the minefield. Once on the ground, the Viper is detonated, clearing a narrow lane through the obstacle. To ensure the flow of forces thiough the obstacle, the initial breaches created by track-width mine plows or Vipers must be widened. This is the task for the combat engineer units, which use either explosive charges or manual mine clearing: still a time-consuming process.
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