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The armored personnel carrier XM734 vehicle

IMPROVISED FIGHTING VEHICLES

The armored personnel carrier XM734

In December 1965, FMC received work directives to modify six as infantry fighting vehicles. The modifications included the installation of four sets of vision blocks and firing ports in each side and two sets in the rear ramp. The side mounted vision blocks and firing ports were recessed so that they did not increase the vehicle width. The original sponson mounted fuel tank was replaced by a 100 gallon fuel tank installed in the center of the vehicle.

The crew seats were relocated along the center facing outward toward the gun ports and the personnel capacity was reduced from 13 to 12 men. A personnel compartment ventilation blower was installed. The original M113 type cupola was removed and replaced by a Model 74c cupola armed with two manually operated .30 caliber machine guns. Two of the six vehicles were fitted with bar armor for protection against shaped charge (HEAT) projectiles. The conversion of the six vehicles was completed in March 1966 and they were submitted for troop evaluation.

A NEW ARMORED INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLE

The armored personnel carrier XM734

In 1967, FMC received a contract to modify two as prototypes to evaluate the "fight-from-the-vehicle" concept. Designated as the XM765, these vehicles retained the power train, suspension, and tracks of the standard M113A1. The upper rear side armor was sloped and four sets of firing ports and vision blocks were installed on each side.

Two more sets were in the rear ramp bringing the total to ten. An M27 powered weapon station armed with the 20mm gun Ml39 was provided for the commander. Protection was increased by the installation of spaced laminate steel armor on the front and sides. A 100 gallon fuel tank was located in the center of the vehicle under the troop seats. After completion, each of these vehicles was tested for 4,000 miles, one at Aberdeen Proving Ground and the other at Fort Benning.

The armored personnel carrier XM734 fitted with the Model 74 cupola armed with two 7.62mm machine guns

Although the tests were generally successful, the automotive performance was reduced because of the additional weight. Two other problems also were noted. The first was the inadequate removal of fumes when weapons were fired from inside the crew compartment and the second was the danger presented by the internally mounted fuel tank. As a result, the armored personnel carriers at Aberdeen was returned to FMC for further modification.

To reduce the weight, the bolt-on, spaced laminate, armor was removed leaving the vehicle with the same level of protection as the M113A1. The 20mm gun was replaced by a .50 caliber M2 machine gun in the same mount. The 100 gallon fuel tank was removed from the crew compartment and two armored external tanks were installed at the rear, one on each side of the ramp. The troop seats were replaced by ten individual seats that were rotatable and adjustable in height. Two additional ventilation fans were installed in the crew compartment bringing the total to four. The modified XM765 was then returned to the for further evaluation.

The armored personnel carrier XM734 The armored personnel carrier XM734
The armored personnel carrier XM734 The armored personnel carrier XM734
The armored personnel carrier XM734 with a 20mm gun in the cupola mount The armored personnel carrier XM734
The armored personnel carrier XM734