The M113AS4 is an Australian upgrade of the American M113A1 armored personnel carrier, which was introduced in the mid-1960s. The M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers have provided the Australian Defence Force with a protected mobility and armoured fighting capability since the Vietnam War. Currently Australian Army operates about 700 ageing M113A1s. A total of 431 M113A1s will be upgraded to M113AS3 or M113AS4 standard under the LAND 106 program, allowing active service until at least 2020. First initial production vehicles were delivered in 2007.
Generally speaking, Australian models are modified from the original models, in the case of the M113A1 series this included the AN/VIC-1 communications harness, large dust filters for the passenger compartment ventilation blower, heavy steel track manufactured by ADI, provision for 600 kg of belly armor, the Cadillac-Gage T-50 turret mounting twin .30 Brownings (early service) or a .30/.50 Brownings machine guns for APC/LRV versions, a traverse bar to prevent the crew commander traversing the turret to the rear over the troop compartment roof hatch with the guns depressed low.
The M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) is an all-terrain vehicle designed to protect and transport its crew and up to ten Infantry personnel. The M113 incorporates armour resistant to small arms fire, ballistic plating for mine blast protection and spall curtains to maximise passenger survivability. Logistically, the vehicle is capable of rapid deployment by road, rail, sea or air. Protection of the upgraded APC was enhanced by add-on ceramic armor tiles. Hull was reinforced for additional protection against landmines and IED blasts. The M113 is designed for highway, off-road and cross-country travel while combat laden. Interior was fitted with spall liner. Vehicle’s hull provides protection against up to 14.5-mm rounds.
The M113 family of vehicles includes seven variants – the APC, Armoured Fitters, Armoured Recovery Vehicle Light, Armoured Ambulance, Armoured Mortar, Armoured Command Vehicle and Armoured Logistic Vehicle. The diverse family of M113 vehicles provides an essential capability for maintaining and supporting armoured assets in the field with minimal logistic support. General characteristics:
Weight: 18,000 kilograms
Length: 6.00 metres
Width: 2.69 metres
Height: 2.61 metres
Crew: Two – with up to ten passengers
Engine: MTU 6 V 199 TE 20
Speed: 66 kilometres per hour
Operational range: 550 kilometres
Armament: 12.7 millimetre M2HB QCB Machine Gun