m113 and M113A1 armored personnel carrier
Vehicles of the M113 family were adapted to perform many engineer tasks. The bulldozer conversion kits XM10 and XM11 were developed for use with the M113 and M113A1 armored personnel carrier respectively. The major differences between the two kits were in the mounting of the hydraulic pumps and the routing of the hydraulic lines. Each kit consisted of a 104 inch wide aluminum alloy blade with a bolt-on, replaceable, steel cutting edge.
The hollow blade was filled with closed cell polyurethane foam and it added buoyancy to the vehicle, in the fully raised position, the blade acted as a trim vane when swimming the carrier. The blade could be raised 35 inches above or lowered 6 inches below ground level.
It also could float following the ground contour for grading operations. The blade was operated by a single control in the driver's compartment and the 30 gallon capacity tank for the hydraulic system was located in the right front sponson in the personnel compartment. With the bulldozer installed and the full 13 man crew, the combat weights of the M113 and the M113A1 were 25,010 pounds and 25,720 pounds respectively.
Another bulldozer conversion kit for the M113 and M113A1 provided a 116 inch wide aluminum alloy blade which could be angled 30 degrees to the right side for clearing snow. As with the XM10 and the XM11, the buoyant blade was filled with polyurethane foam and fitted with a replaceable steel cutting edge. The wide blade kit used the same hydraulic system and controls as the XM10 and the XM11.
General Motors of Canada developed a kit to convert the M113 series of personnel carrier to an engineer vehicle. The vehicle was equipped with the wide blade bulldozer previously described and featured an improved layout for personnel, supplies, tools, and equipment. The external fuel tanks were installed leaving additional space inside the vehicle. An hydraulic powered earth auger was mounted on the left side of the roof and the hydraulic system used to power the bulldozer and the earth auger also could be used to operate hydraulic tools such as a jack hammer, a chain saw, or an impact wrench.
Recognizing the fact that the crew frequently used the open ramp as a work area, a restraining system was installed capable of supporting a 1,100 poundload to prevent any damage. Boxtype seats used for stowage space replaced the folding seats in the original vehicle and the communication equipment was relocated to provide easy access for the driver and the commander. The converted engineer vehicle had space for a crew of eight including the driver and the commander.
The Volcano mine dispensing kit was installed on an M548 cargo carrier fitted with the RISE power package. The Volcano was a special purpose kit installed and removed by the operators in U.S. Army engineer units.
Operations in Vietnam revealed the need for a lightweight assault bridge that could be carried on the M113 armored personnel carrier. Such a bridge was developed by the U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Center at Fort Belvoir. This aluminum alloy folding bridge weighed 2,700 pounds and it was designed to support 15 ton loads over spans up to 33 feet. Carried on top of the M113 armored personnel carrier, it was operated hydraulically and could be placed in position in less than two minutes without exposing the personnel. With the folded bridge on board, the armored personnel carrier retained its normal performance and its amphibious capability.
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