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M113

Armored personnel carrier

M113 APC

The M113 became the most widely produced and utilized APC of the western world

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 1961
Crew 2 men
Personnel 11 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 14 t
Length 5.3 m
Width 3 m
Height 1.85 m
Armament
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm (2 000 rounds)
Mobility
Engine Chrysler 75M petrol
Engine power 209 hp
Maximum road speed 66 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 5.8 km/h
Range 483 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 1.7 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   When mentioning the M113 series of armored personnel carriers it is difficult to avoid superlatives for the type has become the most widely produced and utilized APC of the Western World. Its development began in 1956 by the FMC corporation and first prototype was produced in 1957. Since production commenced in 1961 well over 32 000 M113s and its derivatives have been received by the US Army alone and the overall production in total in 2001 has reached nearly 85 000 of all types. It is the most massively produced armored vehicle in the world. M113 and its variants are in service with at least 50 countries.

   The main feature of the M113 is a fully enclosed hull of aluminum alloy armor construction. It was the first mass-produced armored vehicle which utilized aluminum armor. Up to 40% of vehicle components are manufactured from light alloys. Aluminum hull had a far greater rigidity than steel. It allowed to reduce the number of reinforcing structures and create a more useable interior. However protection of the M113 was rather limited. All-round protection is against 7.62 mm ball rounds and artillery shell splinters. At close range the M113 would be penetrated by 12.7 mm heavy machine gun rounds.

   The M113 was never designed to provide a complete defensive environment for the passengers. It was designed as an armored troop transport vehicle that could carry an infantry squad up close to the front and discharging them rapidly, then retreating.

   The M113 has an internal arrangement which became standard for most of the modern armored personnel carriers. Engine compartment is at the front of the hull from the right side while driving compartment is from the left. Middle and the rear part of the hull are occupied by personnel.

   Main armament of the M113 is a 12.7 mm machine gun mounted over commander's hatch. It is used to engage both ground and low-flying air targets.

   This armored personnel carrier accommodated 11 troops. Troops enter and leave vehicle via the rear ramp. The ramp is completed with emergency exit doors. Furthermore one large hatch is mounted in the roof over the troop compartment.

   The first batch of M113 was completed with Chrysler 75M petrol engine delivering 209 hp. It was coupled with a General Motors TX-200 manual gearbox. Vehicle has a good cross-country mobility over sand, snow and mud. The M113 is amphibious. On water it is propelled by spinning its tracks.

   Over the years the size and weight of the vehicle has grown and numerous components have been altered to accommodate that growth but the basic outline has remained the same. There were several M113 improvement programs for the US Army.

   The M113A1 entered service in 1964. Its main difference from the base model was a General Motors 6V53T V6 diesel engine developing 275 hp instead of the petrol one. Furthermore this variant was completed with an automatic gearbox.

   The M113A2 replaced the M113A1 in production since 1979. It has improved engine cooling equipment and reinforced suspension. A total of 5 300 M113 and 12 700 M113A1 APCs were upgraded to the A2 standard in the USA.

   The M113A3 was adopted by the US Army in 1986. It was the latest production model with a longer hull, more armor, a more powerful engine and the revised layout of items such as the fuel cells which are moved to the rear of the hull, either side of the main entry ramp. Armor protection has been improved.

   On nearly all models the main armament has been a single 12.7 mm machine gun on a pintle over the commanders cupola. Sometimes the machine gun station is set behind a shield or a small open turret but variations abound, as indeed they do for the entire M113 series. Yet despite the huge number of variants and sub-variants the base M113 armored personnel carrier remains a welded aluminum box-shaped hull set on an uncomplicated tracked chassis.

   Derivatives are legion, ranging from command posts to anti-tank vehicles, numerous air defense missile and gun carriers, self-propelled mortars, combat engineer vehicles, ambulances, recovery and repair vehicles, etc. Only some of them are mentioned below:

   - M58 Wolf smoke generator carrier
   - M106 107 mm self-propelled mortar carrier
   - M113 AMEV armored medical evacuation vehicle
   - M125 81 mm self-propelled mortar carrier
   - M548 cargo carrier
   - M577 command post carrier
   - M730 launcher vehicle for the M48 Chaparral short range surface-to-air missile system
   - M901 improved TOW anti-tank guided missile vehicle
   - M981 FISTV fire support vehicle
   - M1059 Lynx smoke generator carrier
   - M1063 Vulcan 20 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun
   - M1064 120 mm self-propelled mortar carrier
   - M1068 upgraded command post vehicle. It is referred as Standard Integrated Command Post System or SICPS
   - XM1108 modular weapon system carrier.

   Many user nations have added their own variations and modifications, as have license producers such as Belgium and Italy.

 

 

 
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