If you’ve ever been to The Tank Museum during the school holidays or attended an event, you’ll have seen this vehicle giving rides in the arena – the M548.
The M548 is an unarmoured, general purpose cargo carrier that uses the running gear of the M113 APC. As the M548 combines good mobility with an 5.4 tonne capacity, it has been adapted for a wide variety of roles. It is also amphibious and performs well over rugged terrain due to low ground pressure.
Originally designed to carry artillery ammunition and gunners, it has seen service in the Vietnam, Gulf, Iran-Iraq, and Yom Kippur Wars. Argentina, Chile, Iraq, Israel and Italy still operate this vehicle.
The United States have four variants of the M548, and the Swiss Army have developed three. The British Army used it as the basis for the Tracked Rapier.
The Tank Museum’s M548s
The Tank Museum has five running M548s which have been modified for giving rides to visitors. They now contain 16 seats and have the highest annual track mileage of any of the Museum’s vehicles. During the maintenance period for the Workshop Team (every Autumn and Winter), they are overhauled completely. In recent years, civilian mechanics from the Royal Netherlands Army have trained Museum staff on repairing and maintaining the M548 to ensure they can run reliably for the public for years to come.