M113 – US army workhorse going to Ukraine
On the last day of April 2022 Pentagon, where US Army soldiers are preparing to send to Ukraine dozens of M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, well known to all armored personnel carriers, which since the early 1960s are in service with the US Army and dozens of other countries. This is no exaggeration, it is about more than 80 countries and more than 80,000 armored personnel carriers, which makes the M113 the most widespread armored personnel carrier in history. What are these Armored Personnel Carriers, and why does Ukraine need such “old” equipment?
According to the information, on April 2, 2022 200 pcs. M113 from the USA (without modification) are going to Ukraine together with 50 pcs. M113G3DK from Denmark . That is, enough equipment to form 2-3 mechanized brigades or replenish existing brigades. Because even the Soviet armored personnel carriers, which are in the service of most brigades of the Armed Forces, are destroyed by the enemy, damaged, broken and so on, and repairs, not to mention the production of new modern armored personnel carriers such as BTR-3E1, BTR-4, Otaman or Varan takes time. Therefore, getting a large number of American, though not very modern armored personnel carriers, is a good thing.
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, ie an armored military vehicle used to transport troops, or armored personnel carriers in the national classification, was created in 1960 by Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation. Thus, the company, which since 1883 produced equipment for the food and chemical industries, in 1941 won a contract to manufacture amphibious armored personnel carriers LVT-1 (Landing Vehicle Tracked), which went through the Second World War. Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation liked this diversification and the company developed this business, later creating the armored personnel carriers M59 (1954-1980), M75 (1952-1980) and M113, which has many features in common with the two previous models, including the characteristic shape “box” well known to all who love war games and movies.
At the request of the US Army, the Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation created two prototypes: the T113, which was lighter due to aluminum armor, and the more traditional steel T117. The weight of the armored personnel carrier was important to the Pentagon, as it was planned to be transported by air, using C-130 and C-141 aircraft, so the choice fell on the T113, which after some modifications went into series as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.
In 1960, the M113 entered service with the US Army, and in 1962 was already in his first war in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Since then, M113 has taken part in many military conflicts, probably in all the wars of the second half of the XX and the first quarter of the XXI century. And sometimes M113 fought on different sides of the front, because armored personnel carriers were manufactured under license, modified and even copied in many countries. The number of variants of the M113 is simply incredible, more than 200 different cars. Sometimes the “box” even received a full-fledged turret and gun.
There are three basic American modifications. And the first, M113A1, appeared in 1964, when the voracious gasoline engine was replaced by diesel. The M113A2 is a 1979 version with a new cooling and exhaust system, stronger torsion bars and shock absorbers, and four smoke grenade launchers. This version became heavier and couldn’t swim. M113A3 – 1987 upgrade with new driver equipment, more powerful diesel, internal anti-fragmentation armor and additional external armored fuel tanks.
In addition, there were versions of the M113 for smoke (M58 Wolf), with 106.7 mm mortar (M106 mortar carrier), 120 mm mortar (M1064 mortar carrier), 81 mm mortar (M125), flamethrower (M132 Armored Flamethrower), anti-tank missile launcher (M150 and M901 ITV), anti-aircraft self-propelled unit (M163 VADS), SAM (M48 Chaparral), cargo version (M548), command vehicle (M577 Command Post Carrier), repair (M579) and repair with crane (M806), reconnaissance (M113 “C & amp; R”) and many others. This is truly the workhorse of the US Army and many other armies around the world.
It was not until 2013 that the Pentagon decided to replace the old M113 with something more modern and launched the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, in which Bradley Fighting Vehicle won, which received M1283, M1284, M1285, M1286 and M1287 indexes, depending on the purpose. But the M113 is still on watch, with 5,000 M113A2 and M113A3 in the US Army.
And now the legendary BRT will be part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and will help destroy the ruscists. The main advantages of M113 Armored Personnel Carrier – light weight, good passability, large capacity (up to 15 soldiers with weapons), versatility. All this is suitable for the requirements of the Armed Forces. Yes, maybe someone wanted to get the latest Finnish Patria AMV, Swiss Mowag Piranha V, Canadian LAV 6 or our BTR-4, videos of combat use which are so impressive, but so far it is impossible. So thanks to the partners for the M113, it is a good vehicle tested in many wars. It will not fail.
Weight – 12.3 t
Length – 4.8 m
Width – 2.7 m
Height – 2.5 m
Crew – 2
Passengers – 11–15 armed soldiers
Armor – 28–44 mm, aluminium alloy
Main armament – M2 Browning machine gun
Secondary armament – varies
Engine – Detroit Diesel 6V53T
Engine power – 275 hp
Suspension – torsion bar, 5 road wheels
Operational range – 480 km
Maximum speed – 67.6 km/h, water – 5.8 km/h