The M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier in World War III
The M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier was the standard APC in both U.S. Army and Canadian service at the outbreak of the Third World War, and though in the U.S. Army was beginning to be replaced by the M-2 Bradley IFV, the M-113 and its variants saw service throughout the war, and though replaced by the M-2 Bradley in heavy divisions and the M1126 Stryker in light divisions, the vehicle still remains in U.S. Army service in a variety of roles, and is still used in the APC role by a number of U.S. Allies. This work will cover those M-113 versions that saw service in the war, and are still in service today.
M-113A2: Main version in U.S. Army and National Guard service in 1985. Both new-build and upgraded from M-113A1. 215 Hp Detroit Diesel engine, improved engine cooling, shock absorbers, armored fuel tanks installed, along with four-tube smoke grenade launchers. Main armament either 1 M-2 .50 caliber machine gun or one Mark-19 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. Some fitted with TOW Missile launchers behind the Track Commander's position.
M-113A3: Upgraded version from M-113A2 based on wartime experience. More powerful engine (6V-53 Detroit Diesel), internal spall liners, and external fuel tanks. Some fitted with Israeli-designed Toga armor suite. Basic armament retained.
M-113ACAV:Armored Cavalry version, first used by ARVN in Vietnam. Gun shield mounted for TC's weapon position, and additional gun shields for machine gun mounts above troop compartment, usually for the M-60 machine gun. Many vehicles not in Armored Cavalry units fitted with ACAV, and any M-113 can have the kit installed.
M-58 Wolf: Smoke screen generator vehicle
M-106: Mortar carrier with M-30 4.2 inch mortar. M-30 replaced with M-121 120-mm mortar during and after the war.
M-125: Mortar carrier with 81-mm mortar.
M-132: Flamethrower version. In storage in 1985, used for urban combat, mainly in Dallas-Fort Worth and at Second Houston.
M-163: Antiaircraft version with an M-61 Vulcan 20-mm Gatling Gun. Often used in anti-vehicle role if no air threat presented.
M-48 Chaparral: Variant with four MIM-72 Chaparral SAMs.
M-548: Unarmored cargo carrier version.
M-577: Command post version with air conditioning, additional radios, and a generator. Used at Battalion level and above.
M-806; Repair and recovery vehicle.
M-901 ITV (Improved TOW Vehicle): Aka “Hammerhead.” Version with launcher for two TOW missiles.
M-981 FIST-V. Artillery forward observer vehicle. Fitted with sights and other equipment in a turret designed to be similar to that of the ITV.
Other versions used as carrier vehicles for Lance and Pershing missiles, and for the HAWK SAM system. Chassis used for the British Tracked Rapier SAM system originally built for Imperial Iranian Army.
Canada used the M-113 for the ADATS missile system, a Norwegian TOW version similar to the ITV, in addition to the APC role. The Lynx reconnaissance vehicle was an FMC-designed vehicle that was rejected by the U.S. Army, but adopted by Canada and the Netherlands.
Numerous other modifications added by local users, including Australia, Belgium (used in the 1989 campaign), Netherlands (also used in 1989), Israel, Egypt, Norway, South Korea, Italy, Taiwan, and West Germany (also used in 1989).