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M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) helped to revolutionize mobile military operations since it was developed from the M59 and M75 APCs by Ford and Kaiser Aluminium in the late 1950s. Its first use was in Vietnam were the M113 was extensively deployed with great success.

The M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) is possibly the largest family of armored tracked vehicles, with over 72,000 vehicles worldwide and more than 40 different variants. Originally developed in the late 1950s, the M113 family of vehicles (FOV) is still in service in the U.S. Army and in the military of many other countries.

M-113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)
M-113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

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M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) Family of Vehicles

The M113 vehicles carried eleven soldiers plus a driver and track commander under armor protection across hostile battlefield environments. The M113 is air transportable, air-droppable, and swimmable, allowing planners to incorporate APCs in a much wider range of combat situations, including many 'rapid deployment' scenarios.

The M113s were so successful that they were quickly identified as the foundation for a family of vehicles. Over the years, the M113 FOV has undergone numerous upgrades and development of derivitive configurations, including the M577 command track and the M106 mortar carrier. In 1964, the M113A1 package replaced the original gasoline engine with a 212 horsepower diesel package, significantly improving survivability. In 1979, the A2 package of suspension and cooling enhancements was introduced.

The M113A3 RISE (Reliability Improvements for Selected Equipment) package includes an upgraded propulsion system (turbocharged engine and new transmission), greatly improved driver controls (new power breaks and conventional steering controls), external fuel tanks, and 200 AMP alternator with 4 batteries. Additional A3 improvements include incorporation of spall liners and provisions for mounting external armor. The rear-mounted external fuel tanks make the M113A3 visually distinct from earlier variants. The M113A3 was introduced in 1987.

The M113A3 fleet will include vehicles with high speed digital networks and data transfer systems. The M113A3 digitization program includes applying appliqué hardware, software, and installation kits and hosting them in the M113 FOV.

M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) Derivitive Vehicles

Among the many derivitive vehicles produced were these examples:

As of 2005, these variants are in U.S. military inventory:

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M113 APC at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M-113 armored personnel carrier belonging to the 3d Engineer Battalion (24th Infantry Division), Gulf War, 17 December 1990.
Two M-113 armored personnel carriers with an AH-1 Corbra helicopter hovering in the background during joint Air Force and US Readiness Command training exercise Brave Shield XIX, Ft. Hood, TX, 15 March 1979..
US Army M113 armored medical evacuation vehicle from 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division departs with simulated wounded Soldiers after a mock firefight during a mission readiness exercise at Fort Stewart, GA, 5 November 2006.
M113 in action at Ben Cui Rubber Plantation, August 1968. Hollow steel planking on sides of vehicle offer protection against shaped charges.
A squad of M-113A1 armored personnel carriers patrol the tree line during Exercise Brim Frost 87, Ft. Greely, AK, 1987.
A convoy of US Army M998 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) and M113A3 Armored Personnel Carriers from the 1st of the 64th Mechanized, Fort Stewart, GA, traveling from Victory Base, Mogadishu, Somalia, to the old airfield north of Mogadishu, 2-4 December 1993.

M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) Photo Gallery

M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) with TOW anti-armor missile mounted
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) with TOW anti-armor missile mounted.

M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment during scout training at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland in 1965
M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment during scout training at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland in 1965.

M113 tracks of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam
M113 tracks of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam.

M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) training, Fort Jackson, SC, 20 June 1966
M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) training, Fort Jackson, SC, 20 June 1966.

The M1059 smoke generator consists of an M113A2 APC with two M54 smoke generators.  This track belongs to the 31st Chemical Company (Army), Fort Irwin, CA, 19 Mar 1997
The M1059/A2 or A3 smoke generator consists of an M113A2 or A3 APC with two M54 smoke generators. This track belongs to the 31st Chemical Company (Army), Fort Irwin, CA, 19 Mar 1997.

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