The M113 armoured personnel carrier was developed by the FMC (Food Machinery Corp.) based on M59 and M75 armoured personnel carriers from the 1950s. The first prototype of M113 was produced in 1957. The US Army adopted the vehicle in 1960. Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical produced the aluminium required for the development of M113.
FMC transferred the production of M113 vehicles to its new subsidiary, the United Defense in 1994. United Defense was acquired by BAE in 2005.
As of November 2011, more than 80,000 M113 vehicles were produced in different variants. The vehicle is operational in more than 44 countries.
The M113 armoured personnel carrier was designed by FMC. The main design features of the vehicle include fully enclosed armour made with 5083 aircraft-quality aluminium alloy.
Most of the components of the vehicle are made of light alloys. The vehicle is designed to provide safety from small firearms to big artillery shell splinters.
The vehicle is 4,863m long, 2,686m wide and 2.5m height. It weighs 12.3t. It can accommodate two crew members and 11 passengers. The speed of the vehicle is 67.6km/h on land and 5.8km/h in water.
The vehicle has more than 40 variants. The basic variants include the M113A1, M113A2, M113A3 and M113 ACAV. M113A1 was introduced in 1964. It has a 215 hp (160 kW) diesel engine equipped with M106 mortar carrier.
M113A2 was produced in 1979. It features cooling and suspension improvements. M113A3 was introduced in 1987. It features battlefield survival enhancements, a more powerful engine, external fuel tank and better protection than the basic model.
M113 armoured cavalry assault vehicle (ACAV) variant was introduced during the Vietnam War in 1966. It is equipped with additional 7.62mm M60 machine guns apart from the M2 .50 cal. machine gun. It is also fitted with additional armour, such as a mine protective kit under the hull.
In June 2011, the US Army awarded a $14.2m contract to provide 1,026 refurbished M113A2 vehicles to the Iraqi Army.
In October 2010, BAE systems was awarded with a $14m contract to provide T150F track systems for Australia’s M113 Vehicles. In February 2010, the US Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command awarded a $32m contract to reset 417 M113 vehicles.
In December 2009, DEW Engineering and Development was awarded with a $29.4m contract to provide maintenance and repair services for Canada’s M113 vehicles. BAE Systems appointed DEW as an exclusive representative to sell M113 products and services for Canada.
In June 2009, the US Army awarded contracts worth $124.8m for the upgrade and maintenance of M113 vehicles.
In February 2008, the US Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command awarded $91.4m contract to reset 1,074 M113 vehicles.
In January 2007, BAE Systems was awarded with a $29.7m contract for delivering 72 power pack kits and other upgrade kits for Norwegian M113 vehicles.
The M113 is commonly fitted with a single .50 cal. M2 Browning machine gun as the main armament. It can also be fitted with a 40mm Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher, anti-tank weapons, 7.62mm M60 machine guns and cannon 20mm to 105mm high explosives. It can also be mounted with M47 Dragon missile system.
The vehicle is capable of providing amphibious operation, on land and in water. The light weight of the vehicle makes it easy to transport the vehicle by a fixed rotary wing aircraft. The vehicle is propelled in water by its tracks.
The M113 is equipped with a 6V53 Detroit 2-stroke six cylinder diesel engine with Allison tx100-1 3 speed automatic transmission.
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