The M113A1, informally known as the Gavin, is a lightly armoured full tracked air transportable personnel carrier designed to carry personnel and certain types of cargo. The M113-family was developed from M59 and M75 by Ford and Kaiser Aluminium and Chemical Co. in the late 1950īs. The vehicle is capable of: amphibious operations in streams and lakes; extended cross country travel over rough terrain; and high speed operation on improved roads and highways.
The M113 Family includes approximately 12 variants of light armored tracked vehicles used in a variety of combat and combat support roles. Total density exceeds 28,000. Today's M113 Family of Vehicles is composed of a mix of derivative systems consisting of the A1, A2, and A3 configurations. The current fleet includes: M113A2; M113A3; M106A2; M1064; M1064A3; M548A1; M548A3; M577A2; M577A3; M730A2; M901A1; M981; M1068; M1068A3; M1059; and M1059A3. Over the next 10-15 years, the majority of these systems will be converted to the A3 configuration.
* M58 Wolf Smoke Generator Carrier
* M106 Self-propelled 107mm Mortar
* M113 Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle AMEV
* M125 Self-propelled 81mm Mortar
* M548 Cargo Carrier
* M577 Command Post Carrier
* M730 Guided Missile Equipment Carrier (Chaparral)
* M901 Improved TOW Vehicle
* M981 Fire Support Team Vehicle (FISTV)
* M1059 Lynx Smoke Generator Carrier
* M1064 Self-propelled 120mm Mortar
* M1068 Standard Integrated Command Post System (SICPS) Carrier
* M1108 Universal Carrier
Since their initial introduction in 1960, M113-based systems have entered service in more than 50 countries. The systems have been modified into more than 40 identified specific variants, with many times that number of minor field modifications. Many of these modifications have been developed by foreign governments to meet their specific national requirements. While some older M113 derivatives are being retired and removed from selected inventories, other FOV members are being upgraded, reconfigured, and introduced as entirely new systems.
More than 80,000 M113 Family of Vehicle (FOV) systems have been produced. New M113 FOV systems are being built while existing chassis are being upgraded to modern configurations.
The M113 APC was the first modern "battle taxi"; developed to transport infantry forces on the mechanized battlefield. It is fitted with a 2 stroke six cylinder Detroit diesel providing power through a 3 speed automatic gearbox and steering differential. The main armament is a single .50 Cal heavy barrel machine gun, and the secondary armament is a single .30 Cal machine gun. The M113 is built of aircraft quality aluminum which allows it to possess some of the same strengths as steel at a much lighter weight. This distinct weight advantage allows the M113 to utilize a relatively small engine to power the vehicle, as well as carry a large payload cross-country. The vehicle is capable of "swimming" bodies of water.
The vehicle is not mission capable if any one track shoe is damaged. If the M113 loses a track, breaks a track shoe or the vehicle throws a track, extreme caution must be exercised in maintaining control. The driver must immediately release the accelerator and let the vehicle coast to a stop. Applying braking action, i.e. brake pedal, laterals, pivot or any type of steering controls causes the vehicle to pull to the active or good track and could result in a roll-over. If it is absolutely necessary, the driver may apply braking action only, and only if the vehicle is approaching a ravine, a cliff, or if other catastrophic outcome, probably resulting in fatalities. When roll-over is imminent; it is safer to stay in the vehicle than to try to get out while the vehicle is still moving. Crew members may receive slight injuries from being thrown against metal parts, but if they try to leave the vehicle, it may roll over and crush them. Once the vehicle stops moving, the crew should get out as fast as possible because spilled fuel and oil may catch on fire. The first thing the driver should do in such an emergency is shut off the engine and turn off the master switch to minimize the fire hazard.