MINISTRY: Evaluates proposals to upgrade M-113s in order to extend their time in service

Responding to a question in the Parliament on “upgrading and modernizing the M113A1/A2 TMP vehicles” the Ministry of National Defense stated that it “monitors and evaluates proposals to upgrade the vehicles in question from various companies, with the aim of extending the time the vehicles in question remain in active service service”. He also stated that with a view to increasing operational capabilities and increasing the survivability of assets, he is “implementing targeted conversions and rebuilds of vehicles at military factories, in accordance with the Major Materiel & Weapon Systems Rebuild Program.”

The issue of whether or not to upgrade the M-113s of the Hellenic Army (HS) has been raised from time to time in the sphere of public dialogue, and not without reason, as the Hellenic Army maintains in service hundreds of vehicles of this type, which it is impossible to replace with new ones, due to cost. The need for a new Armored Combat Vehicle (AMV) is a given for the ES and its acquisition is underway. However, de facto the M-113s will remain in service for several years yet, and upgrading part of the fleet or replacing them with newer used M-113A3s from the US has often been debated (note that the US is replacing the M -113A3 from the new AMPV).

The choice to upgrade the M-113 is not only a Greek phenomenon. For example, August 2020 saw the completion of the program to upgrade 386 Brazilian M-113s to the M-113A2 Mk.1 (M-113BR) level, a program that began in 2010 ($41.9 million contract for 150 vehicles, in 2015 a new $55 million contract was signed for another 236 vehicles). The Brazilian upgrade program involves the installation of a new engine with a maximum power of 265 hp and a new transmission system, new communications systems, auxiliary armor and new electronic systems. The program will keep the M-113 operational and reliable for the next 20 years.

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The Greek EODH has also presented a proposal to upgrade the M-113s of the ES (not only for the M-113s, but also for the “Leonidas”). The M-113 upgrade proposal includes incorporating a 330hp Caterpillar C7.2 engine and a new transmission, while strengthening the final drives as well as the suspension. The armor is reinforced (Level-4, resistance to hits from 14.5 mm cartridges from 200 meters) all around and on the roof, except for the rear, while there is also the option of additional reinforcement with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor), on the front bow, or NERA armor (Non-Explosive Reactive Armor).

In terms of armament options, the first and most economical option is to utilize the existing 12.7mm machine guns and 40mm automatic grenade launchers in remote controlled turrets. The second option is to install a heavier turret with a 30 mm gun. Additional options include the installation of systems such as a day and night camera, an automatic fire extinguishing system, external fuel tanks, a radiological, biological and chemical protection system, air conditioning, a new intercom system and a tactical situational awareness system.

A proposal to upgrade the M-113 was presented recently (on July 19), to the Army General Staff (GES), by the Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) in collaboration with the German company FFG. Briefly, the options given by FFG for upgrading the M-113 are the M-113G2+, M-113G3 and M-113G4 configurations. 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, while the financial cost is proportional to the choice of upgrade.

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