When it comes to military gear, it’s the vehicles that often steal the show. Think tanks that can build bridges, choppers armed to the teeth, and machines that can survive anything thrown at them.

These aren’t just pieces of equipment; they’re the backbone of any successful operation, making the impossible possible. So, let’s get to know some of the coolest military rides that have helped shape battles and wars around the globe.

M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge

Image Credit: Kevin Quihuis Jr., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Ever wonder if tanks can do more than just shoot? Meet the M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB). Picture a tank that carries a 60-foot bridge instead of firing shells.

Since 1967, it’s been making sure troops can cross whatever’s in their way, be it rivers or trenches. The M60A1 version, upgraded in the ’80s, flips out its bridge in just minutes.

Amphibious Assault Vehicle

Image Credit: Mate 1st Class Brien Aho, U.S. Navy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

When the Marines need to hit the beach fast, they call in the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV). This beast doesn’t hesitate—it plows through water and lands ready for action. It’s been the heart of beach attacks for nearly half a century.

Even with talks of retirement, nothing has matched its ability to deliver troops right where they’re needed, proving why it’s been around for so long. It’s the embodiment of the Marine Corps’ “first to fight” mantra, and it does so from the sea straight to the shore.

BvS 10 ‘Viking’

Image Credit: Petey21, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The BvS 10 Viking isn’t your average vehicle. Designed in Sweden, it’s a two-part powerhouse that laughs at rough terrain. Whether it’s snow, mud, or water, the Viking sails through without missing a beat, making it perfect for missions that need a go-anywhere attitude.

Its fully amphibious nature means it’s as at home in water as it is on land. For troops facing uncertain paths, the Viking is the reassurance that they have the right tool for the job.

Boeing AH-64 Apache

Image Credit: “Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army” – by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The AH-64 Apache is the helicopter you don’t want to see if you’re on the wrong side. It’s armed to the teeth with a chain gun, missiles, and rockets, making it a flying tank. Its advanced tech lets it fight day or night, and with plans to keep it flying until the 2060s, it’s here to stay. The Apache is all about air power that can move fast, hit hard, and scare the daylights out of anyone below.

M88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle

Image Credit: Michael J. O’Brien, U.S. Marine Corps, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The M88 Hercules does the heavy lifting no one talks about. Need a tank towed or a heavy piece of equipment moved under fire? The Hercules is your guy.

It’s built tough, using the same base as the M60 tank, and can pull off feats like pulling down statues—because why not? In the chaos of battle, the M88 is the steady hand that keeps things rolling, proving the might of muscle in metal form.

Assault Breacher Vehicle

Image Credit: Cpl. Jeff Drew, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine a tank that’s also a bulldozer—that’s the Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV). It’s designed to clear paths through minefields and rubble, making it the ultimate pathfinder. With a plow and explosive line charges, it says “no problem” to obstacles that would stop others dead.

The ABV can even be controlled remotely, making it a smart brute that ensures troops can advance safely. It’s the hero that makes sure the way forward is clear.

M9 Armored Combat Earthmover

Image Credit: Cpl. Michael Dye, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The M9 Armored Combat Earthmover is the army’s multi-tool. Need a road built, an obstacle removed, or a defensive position dug? The M9 is on it.

It’s small enough to be flown into remote locations but tough enough to tackle big jobs. Its versatility makes it a key player in both attack and defense, proving that sometimes the most powerful weapon on the battlefield is the one that shapes it.

A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

Image Credit: A1C Isaac G.L. Freeman, USAF, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, or Warthog, is the tank’s worst nightmare. Its GAU-8 Avenger gun can shred through armor like it’s paper. Flying low and slow, it delivers precise support to ground troops, making it a favorite for its durability and firepower.

The Warthog is the go-to when you need something big taken down from the sky, proving its worth in every ground support mission it’s called on.

LVT-4 Water Buffalo

Image Credit: Ank KumarCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In WWII, the LVT-4 Water Buffalo was a game-changer. Designed to deliver troops directly onto the beach and into battle, it brought a new dimension to amphibious assaults.

Upgraded with a better ramp and armor, it could carry a full platoon into the heart of enemy territory. Its role in pivotal battles showed just how critical mobility is in warfare, making the Water Buffalo a legend in military history.

M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

Image Credit: Spc. Mary Rose, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The M2 Bradley brings firepower and speed to the infantry. Named after a military legend, it’s a fast-moving fortress, armed with a chain gun and missiles. It keeps up with the tanks and brings the fight to the enemy’s doorstep.

Its amphibious capability means no river is too big of an obstacle. The Bradley is about moving fast and hitting hard, keeping the infantry in the fight with protection and power.

MRAP Vehicle

Image Credit: Image Credit: Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The MRAP is designed with one goal: keep its crew safe from blasts. It’s the response to the deadly threats of mines and ambushes, with a design focused on survival.

The Cougar variant stands out for its balance of speed and protection, making it a lifeline for troops in hostile territory. Its track record for saving lives is unmatched, proving that sometimes, the best offense is a good defense.

M3 Half-Track

Image Credit: Image Credit: D. MillerCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The M3 Half-Track is a classic, blending wheels and tracks in a design that saw action across WWII battlefields. It’s capable of shielding its crew from smaller shots, and can blow the enemy away with its .30 to .50-caliber machine gun.

Its ability to tackle rough terrain made it invaluable, showing that sometimes, the old ways are the best ways when it comes to getting the job done.

M109A7 Paladin

Image Credit: Sebastian Saarloos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The M109A7 Paladin isn’t your average artillery piece; it’s a self-propelled howitzer that packs a serious punch. With a 155-mm cannon, it can lob shells up to 15 miles away, stretching to even greater distances with precision-guided munitions.

But what really sets the Paladin apart is its rate of fire. Thanks to an advanced automated loader, this machine can sustain a firing rate of 4 rounds per minute, keeping the pressure on without breaking a sweat.

For defense, the Paladin is kitted out with a remotely operated 12.7-mm machine gun, with the option to swap in a 40-mm grenade launcher if the situation calls for it.

M1 Abrams Tank

Image Credit: Sgt. Joaquin Vasquez-Duran, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The M1 Abrams is the tank everyone talks about. Fast, heavily armored, and packing a big punch, it’s been leading charges and taking names since it hit the scene. Its speed and firepower make it a formidable opponent in any fight. It can push up to 70 tons at 45 mph. Seriously, it’s insane.

The Abrams is the definition of modern armor, proving that a good tank can not only break through enemy lines but also hold them when it matters most.

Cougar 6×6

Image Credit: Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, USACC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cougar 6×6 stands as a bulwark against the threat of IEDs. Its design is all about saving lives, with a V-hull that turns deadly blasts away from the crew, and can go up to 65 mph. In the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s proven its worth time and again.

The image of a Cougar surviving a blast and its crew walking away is a powerful testament to its design and purpose, making it a critical asset in modern conflict zones.

For a longer list of insane military vehicles, check out:

25 of the Coolest Military Vehicles Ever Made

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Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs

Bio:

Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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