The M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier: A Stalwart of Australian Defence Capability

Since its introduction during the Vietnam War, the M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) has been a cornerstone of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) protected mobility and armoured fighting capabilities. The evolution of this versatile vehicle has culminated in the M113AS4, an upgraded version boasting advanced features and enhanced performance.

Evolution and Upgrades

Originally deployed as the M113AS1 during the Vietnam War, the M113AS4 represents a significant leap forward in terms of technological advancements. The upgrade includes an electrically powered turret, day/night weapon sights, a new engine, steering controls, drive train, electrical and fuel systems, and a redesigned internal layout. These improvements not only enhance the vehicle’s combat capabilities but also contribute to the safety and efficiency of its crew and passengers.

Protective Features

The primary function of the M113 is to transport and protect its crew and up to ten infantry personnel across various terrains. To ensure the safety of its occupants, the APC incorporates armour resistance to small arms fire, ballistic plating for mine blast protection, and spall curtains to maximize passenger survivability. These features make the M113 a reliable and formidable asset in the theatre of operations.

Versatility in Deployment

One of the key strengths of the M113 lies in its logistical flexibility. Capable of rapid deployment by road, rail, sea, or air, the APC can quickly adapt to various deployment scenarios. Designed for highway, off-road, and cross-country travel while combat-laden, the M113 is a versatile vehicle that can swiftly respond to dynamic and unpredictable battlefield conditions.

General Characteristics

  • Weight: 18,000 kg
  • Length: 6 m
  • Width: 2.69 m
  • Height: 2.61 m
  • Crew: 2 crew with up to 10 passengers
  • Variants: APC, Armoured fitters, Armoured recovery vehicle light, Armoured ambulance, Armoured mortar, Armoured command vehicle, Armoured logistic vehicle


The M113AS4 is equipped with an MTU 6 V 199 TE 20 engine, providing a top speed of 66 km per hour and an operational range of 550 km. This robust engine ensures the APC’s agility and endurance in various operational environments.


The armament of the M113AS4 includes a 12.7-millimeter M2HB QCB machine gun, enhancing its firepower and defensive capabilities. This weaponry allows the APC to engage threats effectively while providing cover and support to infantry forces during operations.


The M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier has proven to be an indispensable asset to the Australian Defence Force, evolving over the years to meet the demands of modern warfare. The M113AS4, with its advanced features, protective capabilities, and logistical versatility, stands as a testament to the commitment of the ADF to maintain a cutting-edge and adaptable armoured fighting capability. As conflicts and security challenges continue to evolve, the M113 remains a reliable workhorse, ready to serve the ADF with resilience and effectiveness on the battlefield.



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