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Combat Vehicle, Anti-tank, Improved TOW Vehicle, M901
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
188 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
38 / 44 / 38Hull
10 / 10 / 10Turret
11.8 tWeight
404 hp212 hpEngine power
34 hp/t18 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
69 km/h forward
16 km/h back
64 km/h forward
14 km/h back
BGM-71C I-TOW ATGMMain weapon
10 roundsAmmunition
10.0 / 13.0 sReload
2 roundsBelt capacity
120 shots/minFire rate
-30° / 35°Vertical guidance
up to 1 km/hFire on the move
380 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
490 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 370 / 3 092/2 300 / 3 001/1 440 / 1 879Repair
140 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
490 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2 000 Ge icon.pngAces
214 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
160 % Sl icon.png150 % Sl icon.png110 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage M901.jpg

The Combat Vehicle, Anti-tank, Improved TOW Vehicle, M901 is a squadron rank VI American tank destroyer with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy". Based on the M113 chassis, this vehicle is equipped with the BGM-71C I-TOW ATGM missile launcher.

General info

Survivability and armour

Interior layout of the M901 showing the location of ammo racks, crew and critical components.

The M901 is based off the M113. It may look like a lightly armoured vehicle, but it features 44 mm of alloy 7039 on the sides and 38mm on the front. The front is angled to make frontal armour effective thickness to match the flat sides. Overall, This counts as about 21 mm of RHA. However, there is a hatch on front which is much about 40% thinner and make this effort rather fruitless, which is compensated by engine block being there to block some shots.

Overall, head-on this is only enough to stop 12.7 mm calibre machine gun fire from 600m away and if angled correctly able to stop some low caliber SPAA's from penetrating the hull and any APHE of its rank will detonate upon hitting it. Keep in mind, that SPAA have high fire rate and you must park it at least 600 m away and at an angle, or they will still manage some partial penetrations. The 30-35 mm SPAA and light tanks will penetrate this tank indefinitely at almost any range.

The top is also quite strong with 38 mm of alloy, which is equial about 18 mm RHA, which means hull might be able to sustain some inaccurate fighter strafe, but most of their 30 mm cannons or top-down attacks will still ruin the tank. If small Bombs or rockets miss, they might fail to penetrate, but armour will not save M901 when receiving a direct hit.

The crew, however, has excellent survivability when the vehicle is placed in a hull-down position. Two crew members, the loader and the commander, are located in the back part of the hull and there are no other critical components located there, so there is little reason to target them first. In the middle of the tank is the gunner operating the tower. Since the I-tow missile is launched from a launcher mounted on top of a tower, it is next to impossible to hit the tower base when hulldown and so the gunner is not exposed to direct fire. The driver is located at the front of the vehicle and is next to the engine block, which might block the shot. 

Behind the engine block is the ammunition storage, if hit from the front with SPAA rounds or some types of conventional rounds, the engine block will eat up (absorb and protect the rest of the vehicle) most of the shots, however, if shot from the side or from the front with HEAT, pure AP, APDS and APDSFS rounds, this usually ends in disaster as it will go through the engine and cause an ammunition explosion or destroy a majority of the crew, one-shotting the vehicle.

When played from a hull-down position with only the launcher exposed, this vehicle is practically immune to damage, however, crossing open areas may result in taking a hit, thus losing an engine, a crew member or resulting in an ammo-rack explosion.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 69 16 11.8 301 404 25.51 34.24
Realistic 64 14 188 212 15.93 17.97

The mobility of the M901 is okay. The power-to-weight ratio is 17.45 HP/ton. The top speed for the M901 is 64 km/h, though there are not many circumstances you will reach these speeds. Offroad, the M901 will reach 20 km/h quite fast due to its high power-to-weight ratio and will reach its top speed of 38 km/h. In reverse it will easily reach -14 km/h, allowing you to get out of a bad situation.

This vehicle does not have neutral traverse, but still does turn quite fast.

However, the M901 suffers in traversing hills with high angles such as getting up the west side of point "C" on the El Alamein map. This does limit the ability of this vehicle to get to good positions without being spotted and fired upon.


Main armament

Main article: BGM-71C I-TOW

The main weapon on the M901 is the BGM-71C I-TOW ATGM. It has up to 630 mm of penetration at 0 degrees at any distance since it carries a HEAT warhead. The post penetration of this missile is not amazing and in some circumstances, a follow-up missile may be needed. The missile is a second-generation ATGM so it is mouse controlled. It travels at a speed of 296 m/s. Due to the fuze sensitivity of 0.01 mm, any bush, fence or object in the way will trigger the missile into detonation and the lack of a machine gun means that these obstacles will become quite a nuisance.

The turret can angle down 30 degrees, which means it can fire down from almost any mountain or fire horizontally even when standing on a steep cliff. It also does not have an arming distance, therefoe it an fire at tanks even in an immediate surroundings.

The vehicle is trying to put the launcher on the pad whenever it is moving, however, it is still possible to keep it unfolded by moving short distances at a time and stopping between them. Keep in mind that the vehicle will attempt to stow the launcher even when pushed by the enemy, making it impossible to shoot back, therefore all care should be taken to avoid such situations.

BGM-71C I-TOW ATGM Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 10 (2 preloaded
in launcher)
-30°/+35° ±180° N/A 46.62 46.62 56.61 62.60 66.60 13.00 11.50 10.60 10.00
Realistic 31.50 31.50 38.25 42.30 45.00


BGM-71C I-TOW ATGM is a relatively potent missile, having above average penetration values and an excellent flight velocity. Its close Soviet counterpart, IT-1, has 21% lower penetration and 24% lower velocity, on the other hand RakJPz 2 (HOT) has 27% higher penetration, but 19% lower velocity.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
I-TOW ATGM 630 630 630 630 630 630
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
I-TOW ATGM 296 19.0 N/A 0.01 2,080 80° 82° 90°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M901

Ammo racks function in a somewhat weird way on the tank. The ammo counter when full will appear as 2/4, and so pre-match ammo selection will show as 5/5. It's due to the fact that a single ammunition load represents 2 missiles, with the first 2 loaded into the launcher at the start of the match.

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
5 (+1) (+2) (+3) (+4) No

Usage in battles

Hull down

In a battle, this vehicle is best played hull-down, preferably behind a rock so that rounds won't dip and hit the main chassis, if this is not possible, try to find a ridge to hide behind or a depression in the terrain. Since your launcher is the only thing exposed, expect for your launcher to get hit and receive a 10-second repair. (Note for stock vehicles, you will still be able to fire). Some players will be smarter and will shoot HESH rounds at you, the splash damage will be enough to either hull-break or knock out the rest Since you only have 12 missiles (2 in the launcher, 10 stowed away) you will have to be patient and skilled at using this missile. If in the right hands, it is incredibly strong and can hold an important spot and single handily deny the enemy any chance of taking an area. This will reward you a large number of targets destroyed as well as gaining a large number of points from people shooting at you launcher.

However, there is a couple of issues. The launcher can only be deployed when stationary and has a deployment time before you are able to train the gun sights on the target and open fire. The reload also requires the launcher to traverse to the rear of the vehicle and further lengthening the reload. one way to combat this is to have the rear end of the vehicle to the target, therefore reducing the time taken to traverse the launcher back to the firing position.

SPAA duty

Apart from shooting at tanks, the ATGM can also be used on helicopters as there is no drop on ATGMs. If playing hull down, it might also be quite hard for helicopters to spot you, therefore making it a potent weapon against an enemy helicopter. Planes will be harder to hit as they will be moving at a faster speed.

Urban combat

The M901 does not fare too well in urban combat - due to the speed of the ATGM it is quite hard to readjust the missile direction in case of a miss and having to stop to fire the ATGM will result in an unpleasant experience. However, if you are forced to take this vehicle out in an urban environment, the best strategy will be to follow your teammates, hide behind cover and wait for your teammates to bait the enemy out.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts
II Suspension Brake System FPE
III Filters Crew Replenishment NVD
IV Transmission Engine Smoke grenade

Pros and cons


  • Use pairs of I-TOW, designed for fast long-range attacks
  • Of all horizontal ATGM launchers currently in the game, has best launcher depression
  • If forced to participate in close quarters combat, can fire even point blank, although it may end up destroying itself in process
  • Tower is very tall, making it hard to exploit APHE and HESH to destroy the tank instantly when hull-down
  • Superior to export Italian version in almost every way possible
  • Has night vision and thermal sights


  • Hits to the tower base can annihilate the tank, so it needs taller hull-down spots, than other carriers
  • While carrier is travelling, the launcher is put onto a pad on the back, and it takes about 3 to 5 seconds for it to deploy back, which means, any surprise attack on the tank will likely succeed with minimal resistance
  • Only reloads after second launched ATGM hit something, can't be ordered to reload just one missile or to cut off the leading early
  • Sniper scope is located in the launcher, so during reloading it moves together with the launcher, forcing the operator to keep watch on target with binoculars
  • Sometimes, just a bit short of firepower to penetrate tanks with heavy ERA or NERA plating in one hit (although in RB most of such tanks are your allies)
  • Repairs for the launcher can become quite frustrating and lose some opportunities to hit an enemy target


M901 in Germany during the Reforger "Central Guardian" 1985 exercise

M901 ITV (Improved TOW Vehicle) is a variant of the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier introduced in 1979 as a highly mobile tank destroyer that could engage not only armored targets but also fortifications while offering maximum protection for the crew. The vehicle could be transported by air, parachute-dropped and ford water up to 1 meter deep with no preparation. Last vehicle of the series was produced in 1998, totaling 3,315 units built over the years.

It's called "improved" due to being an upgrade over the M113A1 with TOW launcher mounted instead of the standard M2 Browning for the chassis. Its SEI 901 TUA launcher was capable of rapid deployment, could accurately hit targets with the first missile and fire the second one as soon as the first impacted the target. It was reloaded manually within 40 seconds. That said though, it had to be stowed when moving above 5 mph (8 km/h) to avoid damage to the launcher. As a secondary weapon M901 carried 7.62 mm M60 machine gun operated by the gunner. A total of 10 missiles and 2,000 machine gun rounds were stored.

A number of variants of the M901 existed, notably:

  • M901 - equipped with first-generation TOW missiles, M113A1 chassis (in-game variant)
  • M901A1 - equipped with TOW 2, M113A2 chassis
  • M901A3 - equipped with TOW 2, M113A3 chassis

The in-game launcher uses the BGM-71C I-TOW missiles, which were the most advanced missiles available on the M901, featuring an increased range and an improved shape-charge warhead. The missile could be fired at targets up to 3,750 meters away, with an arming distance of 65 meters. Missile's average speed at the maximum range was 187.5 m/s.

Currently, the largest operators of the M901 ITV are Saudi Arabia (335 units), Greece (320) and Egypt (262), a total of 1313 units remains in operation between 10 countries.

Details of the M901 ITV in the A3 variant


Squadron Vehicles discusses the M901 at 00:38 - War Thunder Official Channel

See also

Other vehicles based off the M113 platform:

External links

USA tank destroyers
Early projects  M3 GMC · M8 HMC · M8A1
Based on M4  M10 GMC · M36 GMC
M18  M18 GMC · M18 "Black Cat" · Super Hellcat
T95  T28 · T95
China  ▃LVT(A)(4) ZIS-2
Post-war  M50 · M56 · T114 · M901 · ADATS

USA squadron ground vehicles