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M163 Vulcan

20-mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

M163 Vulcan SPAAG

Currently surviving M163 Vulcan SPAAGs are mainly used as ground support weapons

 
 
Entered service 1968
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 12.3 t
Length 4.86 m
Width 2.68 m
Height 2.74 m
Armament
Main gun 20-mm
Machine guns -
Projectile weight 0.1 kg
Maximum slant range 1.5 - 2 km
Maximum firing range 5 km
Rate of fire 3 000 rpm
Elevation range - 5 to + 80 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 1 800 rounds
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine General Motors 6V53 diesel
Engine power 215 hp
Maximum road speed 68 km/h
Range 480 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 1.7 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The M163 Vulcan self-propelled anti-aircraft gun was designed as a complement to the M48 Chaparral surface-to-air missile system. It entered service with the US Army in 1968. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s the Vulcan was mainly used as a ground support weapon, as it was no longer effective against modern fast moving fixed wing aircraft. The Vulcan was slated to be replaced in early 1980s by the M247 Sergeant York SPAAG, however this project was cancelled. Eventually it was replaced by the M1097 Avenger and the M6 Linebacker. Current operators of the M163 Vulcan are Albania, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Morocco, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia.

   The M163 Vulcan is fitted with the General Dynamics M168 20-mm six-barrel rotary cannon. This cannon has extremely high rate of fire, up to 3 000 rounds per minute. It fires fragmentation-incendiary-tracer rounds against air targets. This SPAAG fire in short bursts of 10, 30, 60 or 100 rounds. It also fires continuously at 1 000 rpm.

   The M163 Vulcan has radio range finder and fire control system. Vehicle lacks radar, however it can use target data from AN/MPQ-49 forward observation radar, which was used in mixed formations with Vulcan and Chaparral units.

   Aluminum armor of the M163 provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The M163 is based on the chassis of the M113 armored personnel carrier. It is powered by the General Motors 6V53 diesel engine, developing 212 horsepower. Vehicle is fully amphibious. On water it is powered by spinning it's tracks.

 

Variants

 

   M163A1, has a number of changes to bring it in line with the M113A1;

   M163A2, upgraded powertrain to bring it with line with the M113A2;

   M163 PIVADS, accuracy improvements, developed in 1984;

   M167, towed variant of the Vulcan turret;

   Machbet, Israeli upgrade with four FIM-92 Stinger missiles. It also has upgraded tracking system.

 

Video of the M163 Vulcan self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

 
M163 Vulcan SPAAG

M163 Vulcan SPAAG

M163 Vulcan SPAAG

M163 Vulcan SPAAG

M163 Vulcan SPAAG

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