Military engineering vehicle

The EBG combat engineering vehicle, based on the AMX 30 tank, is used by the engineers of the French Army for a variety of missions.
BAT-M engineering vehicle of Russia and the former Soviet Union

A military engineering vehicle is a vehicle built for the construction work or for the transportation of combat engineers on the battlefield. These vehicles may be modified civilian equipment or purpose-built military vehicles.

Types of military engineering vehicles

Civilian and militarized heavy equipment

IDF Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozers carry out earthworks. Their heavy armor is developed and manufactured in Israel jointly by the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli defense industries.

Military engineering can employ a wide variety of heavy equipment in the same or similar ways to how this equipment is used outside the military. Bulldozers, cranes, graders, excavators, dump trucks, loaders, and backhoes all see extensive use by military engineers.

Military engineers may also use civilian heavy equipment which was modified for military applications. Typically, this involves adding armour for protection from battlefield hazards such as artillery, unexploded ordnance, mines, and small arms fire. Often this protection is provided by armour plates and steel jackets. Some examples of armoured civilian heavy equipment are the IDF Caterpillar D9, American D7 TPK, Canadian D6 armoured bulldozer, cranes, graders, excavators, and M35 2-1/2 ton cargo truck.

Militarized heavy equipment may also take on the form of traditional civilian equipment designed and built to unique military specifications. These vehicles typically sacrifice some depth of capability from civilian models in order to gain greater speed and independence from prime movers. Examples of this type of vehicle include high speed backhoes such as the Australian Army's High Mobility Engineering Vehicle (HMEV) from Thales or the Canadian Army's Multi-Purpose Engineer Vehicle (MPEV) from Arva.

The main article for civilian heavy equipment is: Heavy equipment (construction)

Armoured engineering vehicle

PiPz Dachs AEV of the German Army (2008)
Polish Army MID Bizon-S

Typically based on the platform of a main battle tank, these vehicles go by different names depending upon the country of use or manufacture. In the US the term "combat engineer vehicle (CEV)" is used, in the UK the term "Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE)" is used, while in Canada and other commonwealth nations the term "armoured engineer vehicle (AEV)" is used. There is no set template for what such a vehicle will look like, yet likely features include a large dozer blade or mine ploughs, a large calibre demolition cannon, augers, winches, excavator arms and cranes or lifting booms.

These vehicles are designed to directly conduct obstacle breaching operations and to conduct other earth-moving and engineering work on the battlefield.

Good examples of this type of vehicle include the UK Trojan AVRE, the Russian IMR, and the US M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle.

It should be noted that while the term "armoured engineer vehicle" is used specifically to describe these multi-purpose tank based engineering vehicles, that term is also used more generically in British and Commonwealth militaries to describe all heavy tank based engineering vehicles used in the support of mechanized forces. Thus, "armoured engineer vehicle" used generically would refer to AEV, AVLB, Assault Breachers, and so on.

Armoured earth mover

Lighter and less multi-functional than the CEVs or AEVs described above, these vehicles are designed to conduct earth-moving work on the battlefield. These vehicles have greater high speed mobility than traditional heavy equipment and are protected against the effects of blast and fragmentation. Good examples are the American M9 ACE and the UK FV180 Combat Engineer Tractor.

Breaching vehicle

Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion launch a M58 MICLIC from an Assault Breacher Vehicle.

These vehicles are equipped with mechanical or other means for the breaching of man made obstacles. Common types of breaching vehicles include mechanical flails, mine plough vehicles, and mine roller vehicles. In some cases, these vehicles will also mount Mine-clearing line charges. Breaching vehicles may be either converted armoured fighting vehicles or purpose built vehicles. In larger militaries, converted AFV are likely to be used as assault breachers while the breached obstacle is still covered by enemy observation and fire, and then purpose built breaching vehicles will create additional lanes for following forces.

Good examples of breaching vehicles include the USMC M1 Assault Breacher Vehicle, the UK Aardvark JSFU, and the Singaporean Trailblazer.

Bridging vehicles

U.S Army M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge

Several types of military bridging vehicles have been developed. An armoured vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB) is typically a modified tank hull converted to carry a bridge into battle in order to support crossing ditches, small waterways, or other gap obstacles.

Another type of bridging vehicle is the truck launched bridge. The Soviet TMM bridging truck could carry and launch a 10-meter bridge that could be daisy-chained with other TMM bridges to cross larger obstacles. More recent developments have seen the conversion of AVLB and truck launched bridge with launching systems that can be mounted on either tank or truck for bridges that are capable of supporting heavy main battle tanks.[1]

Earlier examples of bridging vehicles include a type in which a converted tank hull is the bridge. On these vehicles, the hull deck comprises the main portion of the tread way while ramps extend from the front and rear of the vehicle to allow other vehicles to climb over the bridging vehicle and cross obstacles. An example of this type of armoured bridging vehicle was the Churchill Ark used in the Second World War.

Combat engineer section carriers

M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle (ESV) issued to combat engineer squads in the US Army Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

Another type of CEVs are armoured fighting vehicles which are used to transport sappers (combat engineers) and can be fitted with a bulldozer's blade and other mine-breaching devices. They are often used as APCs because of their carrying ability and heavy protection. They are usually armed with machine guns and grenade launchers and usually tracked to provide enough tractive force to push blades and rakes. Some examples are the U.S. M113 APC, IDF Puma, Nagmachon, Husky, and U.S. M1132 ESV (a Stryker variant).

Military ferries and amphibious crossing vehicles

This field-deployable apparatus, known as EFA, used by the engineers of the French Army, may either be used as a bridge (deployed in a series), or as a ferry

One of the major tasks of military engineering is crossing major rivers. Several military engineering vehicles have been developed in various nations to achieve this task. One of the more common types is the amphibious ferry such as the M3 Amphibious Rig. These vehicles are self-propelled on land, they can transform into raft type ferries when in the water, and often multiple vehicles can connect to form larger rafts or floating bridges. Other types of military ferries, such as the Soviet Plavayushij Transportyor - Srednyj, are able to load while still on land and transport other vehicles cross country and over water.

In addition to amphibious crossing vehicles, military engineers may also employ several types of boats. Military assault boats are small boats propelled by oars or an outboard motor and used to ferry dismounted infantry across water.

Tank based combat engineering vehicles

Churchill "Bobbin", a rolled roadsurface (like a chespaling mat) that could be laid for following vehicles to cross loose sand. The raised boxes at the rear of the vehicle are radiator extensions to allow deep wading

Most CEVs are armoured fighting vehicles that may be based on a tank chassis and have special attachments in order to breach obstacles. Such attachments may include dozer blades, mine rollers, cranes etc. An example of an engineering vehicle of this kind is a bridgelaying tank, which replaces the turret with a segmented hydraulic bridge.

The Hobart's Funnies of the Second World War were a wide variety of armoured vehicles for combat engineering tasks. They were allocated to the initial beachhead assaults by the British and Commonwealth forces in the D-Day landings

Churchill tank

The British Churchill tank because of its good cross-country performance and capacious interior with side hatches became the most adapted with modifications, the base unit being the AVRE carrying a large demolition gun.

M4 Sherman

M4 with 105 mm howitzer and a dozer blade.


A remotely controlled Panther armored mine clearing vehicle leads a column down a road in Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 16, 1996.


Grizzly Combat Mobility Vehicle (CMV)

Leopard 1

Leopard 2


MTU-12 bridgelayer
MTU-20 bridgelayer
IMR combat engineering vehicle



See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Military engineering vehicles.


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