As we informed you about this, with our article on July 21 (see here), on July 19, a presentation was made to the staff of the General Staff of the Army (GES) by representatives of the Hellenic Defense Systems (HDS), focusing on the upgrade of the M-113 armored vehicles, in collaboration with the German company FFG. The German FFG, states on its website, has been active in the modernization of armored vehicles for 65 years and that it developed the first M-113 upgrade collection in 1987. So far the company has upgraded more than 1,600 M-113s. A basic principle of FFG’s proposal is the flexibility to choose the final upgrade collection so that it is perfectly adapted to the needs of each vehicle user.
The main axes on which FFG’s upgrade proposal moves are the improvement of vehicle performance, the increase of interior transport space and the improvement of interior ergonomics, the increase of the level of protection and the increase of operational life by 30 years. The performance improvement is achieved by adopting a new engine and suspensions, using synthetic rubber treads on the tracks, installing an improved dual-circuit braking system, increasing the power output, replacing the vehicle’s electrical architecture with a new, modern design, and of CAN (Controller Area Network) artery integration, which allows the various vehicle systems to communicate with each other, via computer, with the minimum possible number of connections.
Increasing the interior transport space of the vehicle is achieved by adding a raised section to the roof and/or length of the vehicle (not mandatory as an option, but optional). The interior ergonomics of the vehicle are improved with the installation of new seats for the staff and a new air conditioning cooling and heating system. The level of protection of the vehicle is a function of the user’s requirements and includes options to add additional conventional armour, RPG protection mesh, anti-mine floor protection, active self-protection system, fire suppression system, blast suppression system and radiological, biological and chemical protection system .
The options given by FFG for upgrading the M-113 are three (3): The M-113G2+ configuration, the M-113G3 and the M-113G4. The simplest upgrade option is the G2+, while the most extensive is the G4. In all cases the vehicle undergoes a general inspection and repair. Of course, the financial burden is also similar. In the M-113G2+ configuration the engine horsepower is in the order of 296 hp. It changes the drive system, which becomes fully automatic, improves the environmental footprint of the vehicle, increases the maximum speed to 65 kilometers per hour (on the road) and the maximum transported payload to 2.4 tons (the maximum combat weight is formed to 13 tons).
In the M-113G3 configuration the vehicle’s engine produces 349 horsepower. A fully automatic transmission system and a new braking system are adopted. The vehicle gains full turn capability while stationary and reaches a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour (on the road). Internally, the ergonomics of the vehicle are improved, both for the driver of the vehicle and for the transported Team. Finally, the maximum payload carried increases to 4.4 tons with the maximum combat weight being 15 tons.
In the M-113G4 configuration there is the option to raise the roof and add length to the vehicle (the M-113G4 incorporates all the improvements of the M-113G3). In this case, the internally transported space increases by 22-51%, from 8.3 cubic meters to 10.1-12.5 (depending on whether only the raising of the roof or the addition of length is selected). Adding length to the vehicle allows for an increase in personnel carried by two (2) people and requires the addition of two (2) more wheels (one on each side). The maximum combat weight is set at 18-20 tons, while the maximum payload carried at 6.2-8 tons. Top speed remains at 70km/h, despite the option to increase engine power to 402bhp (the 349bhp engine can also be retained).