Armor: M-113s Keep Going, And Going, And Going

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September 29, 2010:  Iraq has ordered 440 M-113A1 armored personnel carriers, out of 1,026 of these vehicles it wants to supply its new mechanized combat force. The U.S. has built over 80,000 of these 12 ton tracked vehicles so far. Carrying a crew of two and eleven passengers, armament usually consists of a 12.7mm machine-gun (and often another 7.62mm machine-gun).

Developed in the 1950s, and entering service in 1960, the M-113 saw lots of action in Vietnam. The U.S. began replacing the M-113 as an infantry carrier in the 1980s, but the U.S. will continue to use the M-113 as a support vehicle (weapons carrier, ambulance, command vehicle and so on) until the end of the decade. Currently, the M-113 is still the most numerous armored vehicle found in American mechanized units.

Over a third of the M-113s produced are still in service, in over fifty nations. The U.S. has retired thousands, and keeps them for resale (after refurbishment). There are dozens of variants, mainly because of so many upgrades to the engine, mechanical components and electronics. M-113s are still being built.

 

 


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