M113 SERIES, ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER (APC)

M113
                                  Armored Personnel Carrier

M113 Series

Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier deployed in April 1962, by the U.S. Army in Vietnam. This was the first armored vehicle to use aluminum alloy. Over 80,000 units have been produced and are used by over 50 countries, with original production done in the United States . There are now over 40 different variants of this model.

Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

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M113 Key Characteristics

Crew

  • Gunner
  • Driver

Mobility

  • Engine Power: 212 hp
  • Land Speed: up to 38mph (61km/h)
  • Water Speed: up to 3.5mph (5.6km/h)
  • Maximum Range: 298 miles (480 km)

Dimensions

  • Length: 8.27 ft (2.52 m)
  • Width: 8.83 ft (2.69 m)
  • Height: 6.07 ft (1.85 m)
  • Weight: 12.5 US Short Tons (11,343 kg; 25,007 lb)

Armament

  • Gun: 12.7mm M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun
  • Other: 8 Smoke Grenades

Biography of the M113

In 1956, the U.S. Army wanted a lighter APC, two models were developed. The T113 which was made of aluminum and T117 which was made of steel. The T113 was chosen and the M113 was produced. It was developed by FMC (Food Machinery Corporation) and was transferred to United Defense in 1994, who was bought out by BAE in 2005. In 1960, the M113s were introduced to the U.S. Army, with the first batch fielded in 1962, during the Vietnam War. They were used by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

The M113 was the first U.S. Army vehicle made with aluminum armor making it much lighter than earlier vehicles. This meant it was able to be air transported by C-130 and C-141 transport planes. It was the most used armored vehicle in the Vietnam war, with the nickname “Green Dragon” due to its ability to break through the thickest parts of the jungle no matter the condition of the terrain. A main highlight was its amphibious characteristics.

The aluminum made vehicle was only thick enough to protect the crew and passengers against small arms fire and shell fragments. Its intended purpose was a "battle taxi" designed to drive the soldiers to and from the battlefield, not to withstand frontline combat, with the ability to transport up to 11 soldiers. The original vehicle only required 2 crew members, a driver and a commander, who also manned the machine gun. In January 1963, during the Battle of Ap Bac, there were at least fourteen commanders who were shot and killed. This resulted in the first modifications for this vehicle. The ARVN originally used the hull of sunken ships for their shields, then decided to use stronger metal from scrapped armored vehicles. Later on, a new standardized shield was implemented on all ARVN mechanized units.

The ARVN ended up converting the original M113 (APC) to an Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle (ACAV), and was used mainly as a light amphibious tank. The U.S. Army adopted the ACAV into their fleet in 1965. They then began their own conversions to the model; which resulted in the M113 having over 40 different variants. In the U.S. Army, the M113 series have long been replaced as front-line combat vehicles by the M2 and M3 Bradley, but large numbers are still used in support roles such as armored ambulance, mortar carrier, engineer vehicle and a command vehicle. Army heavy brigade combat teams are still equipped with about 6,000 various types of M113s.

M113 Variants

M113 Series

  • M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
  • M113A1 Armored Personnel Carrier
  • M113A2 Armored Personnel Carrier
  • M113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier
  • M113A4 Mobile Tactical Vehicle Light
  • M113A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
  • M113A4 Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle
  • M113A4 Engineering Squad Vehicle
  • M113A4 HAZMAT
  • M113 ACAV (Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle)

Experimental Variants

  • XM734 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Experimental)

Additional M113 Variants

Other M113 Variant Models

  • M58 Wolf Smoke Generator Carrier
  • M106 Self-Propelled 107mm Mortar
  • M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier
  • M125 Self-Propelled 81mm Mortar
  • M132 Flamethrower
  • M163 Vulcan / PIVADS
  • M548 Cargo Carrier
  • M577 Command Post Carrier
  • M579 Fitter Repair Vehicle
  • M667 Carrier, Guided Missile Equipment
  • M677 Carrier Guided Missile Equipment (Lance)
  • M688 Carrier Guided Missile (Lance)
  • M727 Guided Missile Carrier (Hawk)
  • M730 Guided Missile (Chaparral)
  • M752 Missile Launcher (Lance)
  • M901 Improved TOW Vehicle
  • M981 Fire Support Team Vehicle (FISTV)
  • M1015 EW Shelter Carrier
  • M1059 Lynx Smoke Generator Carrier
  • M1064 Self-Propelled 120mm Mortar
  • M1068 Command Post System (SICPS)
  • M1108 Universal Carrier

M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Variants

M113

M113

Armored Personnel Carrier

NSN 2350-00-629-1294


The original production model was introduced in 1960. It is powered by a 209hp Chrysler 75M V8 gasoline engine with the ability to travel up to 200 miles (322km), at a max land speed up to 38mph (61km/h) and water speed up to 3.5mph (5.6km/h). The acceleration rate is approximately 0-20mph (31km/h) in 12secs.

M113A1

M113A1

Armored Personnel Carrier

NSN 2350-00-968-6321


The A1 series was introduced in 1964. This model replaced the gasoline version M113. Powered by a 215hp (160 kW) 6V-53 Detroit Diesel engine and the ability to travel 300 miles (483 km), at a speed of 40mph on land (64km/h) and 3.5mph (5.6km/h) in water. The acceleration rate is approximately 0-20mph (31km/h) in 10.5secs.

M113A1TOW

M113A1 TOW Guided Missile Equipment Carrier

Armored Personnel Carrier

NSN 1450-00-176-2697


Also known as the “M220 TOW Vehicle.” This variant consists of an M113A1 APC with an M233 TOW mounting kit installed. The kit provides storage of a TOW launcher, 10 missiles and the four-man TOW crew inside the vehicle. To allow a dismounted operation of the TOW launcher, a ground tripod is also carried.

M113A2

M113A2

Armored Personnel Carrier

NSN 2350-01-068-4077


The A2 series was introduced in 1979. This upgrade changes the location of the fan and radiator, resulting in improved engine cooling. Other improvements to the A2 series are adding; higher-strength torsion bars, which improved ground clearance, shock absorbers, which reduces the effects of ground strikes, and external armored fuel tanks on both sides of the rear ramp. The acceleration rate is approximately 0-20mph (31km/h) in 11secs. It has the ability to travel 300 miles (483 km) and a max speed of 40mph on land (64km/h) and water speed 3.5mph (5.6km/h).

M113A3

M113A3

Armored Personnel Carrier

NSN 2350-01-219-7577


The A3 series was introduced in 1987. The engine was upgraded to a 275hp turbocharged Detroit Diesel 6V53T. In addition, the upgrade also includes a new transmission, new driving controls (power brakes and standard steering controls) and an installation of an external armor kit. The acceleration rate is approximately 0-20mph (31km/h) in 7.8secs with a max land speed of 41mph (64kph) and 3.6mph (5.8kph) in water.

M113A3OSV

M113A3/BMP-2

Opposing Forces, Surrogate Vehicle (OPFOR)

NSN 2350-01-420-4716


This M113A3 variant started in 1995 and is used to mimic the Russian infantry fighting vehicle, BMP-2 or T-80 battle tanks. These are still used today and replaced the older M551-based Opposing Forces training vehicle at the U.S. Army National Training Center. The U.S. Army will be saving approximately 50 percent more in costs by using the M113A3 OPFOR than using the M551.