The MGM-52 Lance was first deployed in 1972, replacing the bulkier and less mobile Honest John and Sergeant missile systems. A battery contained two M572 launchers and two M688 loader-transport vehicles, sufficient to fire three missiles per hour. Dragon previously released an exciting 1/35 scale plastic kit of the M752 Lance missile launcher (Item No. 3576). Now another Lance team member is available, the aforementioned M688 Lance Loader-Transporter. Its primary aim was to self-load, transport, load and supply launchers with missiles. Additional functions were to load or unload mated missiles, mate and de-mate complete rounds and perform hoisting arrangements. For this purpose the M688 had an M39 handling unit whose crane boom could lift 4,200lbs and traverse 360º.
New M688 borrows all appropriate elements from M752. The interior, of course, is correctly reconfigured to represent the Loader-Transporter. That means the handling unit, hydraulic system, missile round support assemblies and various bracketry to support Lance accessory equipment are all present. The vehicle includes a set of two missiles so that a full load can be carried. Furthermore, the boom crane can be depicted in action, allowing modelers to create a dramatic diorama of an M688 resupplying an M572 launcher. Never before have the M688 and M572 been available in plastic, so this newest kit is a wonderful addition to Dragon’s range of modern military vehicles.