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MT-LBu (IV12 series) ACRV M1974
Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle

The artillery command and reconnaissance vehicle (ACRV) Ml974 was first observed in 1974 and were introduced along with the 122-mm and 152-mm SP howitzers. Their high degree of mobility allows SP howitzers to operate closer to the FLOT and to the supported maneuver units, thus increasing their responsiveness. The automation of gunnery computations helps reduce mission times and gives greater flexibility in the deployment of firing batteries The centralization of fire mission computation and fire control at battalion level is consistent with the recent establishment of the battalion rather than the battery as the basic firing unit in Soviet artillery computer available to each battalion. Battery fire direction personnel probably will receive from the battalion FDC fully computed firing data that is ready to be passed to the SP howitzers.

The suspension consists of seven road wheels with no support rollers. The high, box-like hull has a steep glacis at the front and a flat, round turret on the rear half. The straight vertical rear of the hull contains a single exit door. A total of three or four antennas may be mounted on top of the hull. The ACRV M1974 (1) normally has a 12.7-mm DShK antiaircraft machine gun on a swivel mount atop the turret. The ACRV M1974 (2) turret mounts a laser rangefinder, optical observation devices, and associated fire-control equipment. The ACRV M1974 (3) may mount a 12.7-mm machine gun and probably contains a digital fire-direction computer. The ACRV M1974 (1) and (2) also vary from the ACRV M1974 (3) by having a rectangular box projecting from the right side of the hull, just below the turret.

The artillery command and reconnaissance vehicle (ACRV) Ml974 is known to be deployed in three versions. All three have the same basic chassis as the 122-mm self-propelled howitzer 2S1. The three versions of the ACRV are deployed in self-propelled howitzer battalions:

  • ACRV M1974 (1) IV13 (Battery Fire Direction Center) remains in the battery firing position as the battery fire direction center (FDC). The battery FDC is manned by the battery senior officer (platoon leader of the first firing platoon), assisted by (manual) fire direction computation and communications personnel. It has direct radio communications with the battery command observation post (COP), the battalion COP, and the battalion FDC. The battery senior officer relays firing data to the SP howitzers.

  • ACRV Ml974(2) IV14/IV15 (Battery and Battalion Command Vehicle) is used by both battery and battalion commanders as a COP. It does not remain in the firing posit ion, and in most cases it is collocated with the COP of the supported maneuver unit commander. The artillery commander decides how to attack targets of opportunity and targets relayed to him by the supported maneuver unit. He is assisted by target acquisition, (manual) fire direction computation and communications personnel in the COP. The battery COP has radio links to battery firing positions and to the battalion COP. The battalion COP also has direct radio communications with battery firing positions.

  • ACRV M1974 (3) IV16 (Battalion Fire Direction Center) functions as the battalion FDC and is manned by the battalion chief of staff, fire direction computation, and communications personnel. It most likely carries the one electronic field artillery computer available to each battalion Battery fire direction personnel probably will receive from the battalion FDC fully computed firing data that is ready to be passed to the SP howitzers.

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