Armoured recovery vehicle

A British Conqueror Armoured Recovery Vehicle 2

An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is an armoured vehicle used during combat for recovery or repair of battle-damaged and inoperable armoured fighting vehicles. The term "Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle" (ARRV) is also used.

Development history

Early models

During World War I, some British Mark IV heavy tanks were fitted with jibs to produce "Salvage Tanks", but the majority of their work was at the tank parks in aid of maintaining and repairing damaged tanks.[1]

Second World War

The first true ARVs were introduced in World War II, often by converting obsolete or damaged tanks, usually by removing the turret and installing a heavy-duty winch to free stuck vehicles, plus a variety of vehicle repair tools. Some were also purpose-built in factories, using an existing tank chassis with a hull superstructure to accommodate repair and recovery equipment. Many of the latter type of ARV had an A-frame or crane to allow the vehicle's crew to perform heavy lifting tasks, such as removing the engine from a disabled tank.


After World War II, most countries' MBT models also had corresponding ARV variants. Many ARVs are also equipped with a bulldozer blade that can be used as an anchor when winching or as a stabiliser when lifting, a pump to transfer fuel to another vehicle, and more. Some can even carry a spare engine for field replacement, such as the German Leopard 1 ARV.


ARVs are normally built on the chassis of a main battle tank (MBT), but some are also constructed on the basis of other armoured fighting vehicles, mostly armoured personnel carriers (APCs). ARVs are usually built on the basis of a vehicle in the same class as they are supposed to recover; a tank-based ARV is used to recover tanks, while an APC-based one recovers APCs (it does not have the power to tow a much heavier tank).

Some combat engineering vehicles (CEVs) are based on ARVs.

List of ARVs

The following is a list of ARVs by country, either designer/manufacturer or user.


M32 TRV, Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Israel






A German Army BPz3 Büffel (2006)
World War 2


A Trail Blazer, Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Israel





A Serbian VIU-55 Munja (2007)
A Grant-based ARV recovers a Daimler Dingo armoured car. Italy, February 1945
Centurion MkII ARV,Yad La-Shiryon Museum, Israel

Soviet Union

The Russian acronym BREM (cyr. БРЭМ) stands for "бронированная ремонтно-эвакуационная машина", literally "armoured repair and recovery vehicle".

United Kingdom

The British tested their first ARV designs in early 1942. The decision at the time was to focus on the Churchill infantry tank as the basis, but cruiser tank based ARVs were also produced. When the UK received supplies of US medium tanks - first the M3, then M4 Sherman, conversions were made of these to operate alongside and so simplify support.

World War 2
BARV (World War 2 to Modern)

United States

See also



  1. AFV Profile No. 3 Tanks Mark I - V Profile Publishing.
  2. Chamberlain and Norman p179


External links

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