M578 Light Recovery Vehicle
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

TM 9-2350-238-34-1: M578
Alternative DesignationsVehicle Track Retriever (VTR)
Country of OriginUSA
RoleBattlefield recovery of combat vehicles
Date Of Introduction?
Crew3: crane operator, rigger/gunner, driver
Combat Weight27 tons (24.5 mt)
Ground Pressure10.1 psi (0.71 kg/cm²)
Length, Overall 21.08 ft (6.43 m)
Width, Overall 10.3 ft (3.1 m)
Height, Overall 11.25 ft (3.43 m)
Height, No AA MG 10.25 ft (3.12 m)
Ground Clearance17 in (432 mm)
EngineDetroit Diesel 8V71T 405 hp (302 kw), turbocharged 8-cylinder, V-type 2-cycle diesel
TransmissionAllison XTG-411-2A crossdrive.  4 speed forward, 2 speed reverse
Range325 miles (523 km)
Fuel Capacity260 gal (984 l)
Road Speed34 mph (54.7 km/h)
Cross Country Speed?
Swim SpeedN/A
Fording Depth3.5 ft (1.1 m)
Side Slope30%
Trench Crossing7.75 ft (2.4 m)
Vertical Wall Climb3.3 ft (1 m)
ArmorArmor steel hull and cab
Applique ArmorN/A
Explosive Reactive ArmorN/A
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemM8A2 or M8A3 gas-particulate filter unit
Smoke EquipmentN/A
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
.50 Cal M2HB machine gun Rigger/gunner cupola; pintle-mounted; belt feed ?
Additional armament: 2 M16 rifles.
Fire Control SystemN/A
Main Gun StabilizationN/A
Infrared SearchlightN/A
Boom Winch Capacity15 tons; 220 ft cable (13.6 mt; 67.1 m cable)
Tow Winch Capacity30 tons; 230 ft cable (27.2 mt; 70.1 m cable)


TM 9-2350-238-20-2: M578
The M578 recovery vehicle is used to pick up or tow disabled mechanized equipment, as a crane at a repair base, and as a carrying platform for spare parts and maintenance personnel.

The M578 recovery vehicle is a light, full-tracked, self-propelled, diesel-powered vehicle with a 30,000 pound (13,620 kg) boom winch and a 60,000 lb (27,240 kg) tow winch mounted in an armored cab. It is highly mobile and maneuverable and may be air transported.

The vehicle is capable of long range, high-speed operation on improved roads. It can also traverse rough terrain, muddy or marshy ground, snow or ice, and can ford streams of a depth of 42 inches (106.7 cm).

A suspension lockout system and a spade assembly provide a stable platform and increase lifting and winching capabilities of the vehicle. Suspension lockout system, boom, winches, cab, and spade are hydraulically powered.

A gas-particulate filter system is used with face masks to protect crew members from toxic gases and dusty conditions. One filter is mounted in the cab on the boom cylinder and a second filter is mounted on the floor board in the driver's compartment.

A machine gun mount support is installed on the rigger/gunner cupola to accommodate a Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun.


M578 (NSN 2350-00-439-6242)
"Recovery Vehicle, Full-Tracked, Light, Armored, M578". Original production model. See data above.
TM 9-2350-238-10: M578

More M578 Art - Click on image sample to see full size image.

TM 9-2350-238-10: M578
700x575, 38K, GIF
TM 9-2350-238-10: M578
M578, side
815x430, 37K, GIF
TM 9-2350-238-10: M578
M578, cab cutaway
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M578 Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

Defenselink website: M578
Exercise Team Spirit 84
DoD photo by SPC Long
1024x700, 197K, JPEG
Defenselink website: M578
Dundalk Marine Terminal
DoD photo by SFC Nathaniel H. McBride
1024x575, 183K, JPEG
Defenselink website: M578
DoD photo by MASTER SGT. Sebastian Sciotti
1024x700, 254K, JPEG
Defenselink website: M578
M578 tows a M548 tracked cargo carrier
Operation Desert Shield
DoD photo by SPEC. Samuel Henry
1024x768, 199K, JPEG