February 11, 2014:
The Philippines has hired an Israeli firm (Elbit) to refurbish 24 of their M113 armored vehicles for $19.7 million. In addition to rebuilding the structural, mechanical and electrical elements of the M113s, Elbit will install new fire control systems as well as night vision sensors along with GPS, intercom and radios. The Philippines will also supply the turrets from 14 of its decommissioned Scorpion reconnaissance vehicles. These two man turrets are equipped with a 76mm gun that can provide excellent infantry support. Four of the M113s will be equipped to tow damaged vehicles or carry casualties.
Over 80,000 M113s have been manufactured, and about a quarter of those are still in use with the armed forces of some fifty countries. American production ceased in the early 1990s. There have been 40 variants of the 13-15 ton M113, for everything from air defense, command, carrying cargo, and so on. Upgrading older M113s to the much improved M113A3 standard, and conversions to variants, is a big business.
Until 2007 the U.S. Army still used over 10,000 M113 armored personnel carriers. These 1960s era vehicles were used for command posts and mortar carriers. Since 2007 over a thousand American M113s were upgraded with better armor protection, nigh vision gear and engines. These included 334 Command Post (with a higher profile, so a commander and his staff can stand up) versions and 66 Mortar Carriers. The command post versions, which are jammed full of computers and communications gear, enable commanders to keep planning operations even as they move with their M-1 tanks and M-2 infantry fighting vehicles. The mortar carrier uses a 120mm weapon that provides mechanized units with instant artillery firepower.
Israel is still a major user of M113s and several Israeli firms specialize in refurbishing and upgrading M113s.