NEWS | Nov. 26, 2019

M153 CROWS II: How Tall Is CROWS When Towed?

Dear Editor,

Drivers may be aware of how much height is added to their vehicle with the M153 CROWS II installed. But they should also give thought to its height when towed.

Here are a few facts to keep in mind: Without a weapon attached, the CROWS is 3 feet tall. With an M2A1 machine gun mounted at maximum elevation, the system goes to 5 feet, 3 inches. That’s pretty tall for a weapon system.
Photo by Spc. Ryan Lucas

If the CROWS is equipped on a 9 foot, 4 inch LTAS FMTV, the CROWS’ overall height rises to 14 feet, 7 inches. And that’s not all. If the LTAS has to be towed by a HEMTT wrecker, the CROWS is lifted an additional foot. The towed system is now 15 feet, 7 inches tall!

The recommended height for public bridges is 14 feet. But many are still less than 13 and a half feet. There’s no way to safely tow something 15 feet, 7 inches under one of these bridges.

Always make sure your route doesn’t have any low clearance bridges. Jumping into your truck and taking the shortest route home could be a recipe for disaster. At the very least, you may damage a very expensive weapon system.

Towing heights can be found in the HEMTT’s TM 9-2320-326-13&P (IETM EM 0288, Dec 15).

CW3 Paul A Lyman
Devens, MA
Editor’s Note: A great heads-up tip, Chief Lyman!