Entering service with the US Army in 1978, the M901 had a high first-round hit probability with a rapid engagement rate while providing the crew (squad leader, driver, gunner, loader) and weapon system protection from hostile small-arms fire and artillery fragments.
The squad leader had a 270° range of view through a periscope, which enhanced the ITV's capability to operate from concealed and full-hull positions. The turret launcher had the capability for day and night acquisition and tracking of targets, and provided firing coverage's of 360° in azimuth and +35° to -30° in elevation. There also were stowage provisions for tripod-mounted TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided missile system) components configured so its ground system could be dismounted and set up in three to five minutes.
The hydraulically and electrically powered turret could be operated manually. An elevating mechanism positioned the launcher platform into reload and elevated positions. The loader had side and overhead protection during loading, which required only 40 seconds.
Wire Command-link Guided
Improved Target Acquisition System included a laser rangefinder, increased acquisition range, improved night capabilities (second- generation thermal channel), an automatic bore sight and greater hit probability. Smoke grenade launchers mounted on the front lobbed grenades about 100 feet forward to provide concealment, and its machine gun, with 2000 rounds, discouraged enemy troops from getting too close.
The Army finally approved replacement of the M901 in mechanized infantry battalions with the bradley Fighting Vehicle, which offered better mobility and firepower.
Manufactured by United Defense LP, California, USA