The recovery vehicles have the purpose to recover or repair damaged or inoperable vehicles, directly in the battle field. This type of vehicle is also called ARRV – Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle.
The original term describing the mission of these vehicles was Salvage tanks, in the World War I, while the term stated above was given in the World War II. These vehicles were usually equipped with repair tools, or with winches of heavy duty to release the stuck vehicles, but the latter generations received a type of crane attached to the A frame, which could perform the task of lifting heavy parts from disabled vehicles, such as the engine.
The post war period saw great improvements made in these vehicles. Some of them have the capability to carry an extra engine, to replace on the field, fuel pumps, which allows the transfer of fuel, or anchors, to use as stabilizers in heavy lifting situations.
Recovery vehicles are usually derived from battle tanks of other armored fighting vehicles, moreover, they are built from the same type of vehicle they are targeted at to recover on the war field.
When the work of a recovery vehicle is not possible anymore, tank transporters enter the business. They have the mission to both transport the tanks on the war field, for longer distances, either to reduce road damage or to save fuel, or to recover them from the war field. The second group is equipped with special protection, in case they have to make their way up to the first line.
The majority of tank transporters are equipped with trailers, as the overall weight of the tank sometimes exceeded the weight its own chassis could transport. The semi-trailer models have an articulated arm to the main vehicle unit, which support the carriage of much easier payloads. They also have a limited cornering, which diminishes much their recovery value.