LAND 106 M113 Upgrade

Overview

LAND 106 was endorsed by Government in the 2000 Defence White Paper to provide a major upgrade of 350 of the Army's in-service M113A1 vehicles. The upgrade replaces most of the vehicle, retaining only the hull, hatches, rear door and communications systems.

In addition to the 350 vehicles for the initial requirement, 81 vehicles are being purchased to support the Army’s ELF. In August 2009, a contract change was approved to stretch the only un-stretched variant, the armoured mortar. The final contracted delivery date for all 431 vehicles is April 2012. Approval to upgrade these 81 vehicles was received in 2008 under Army's Enhanced Land Force initiative.

The upgrades will provide significant enhancements in protection, lethality and mobility whilst also providing improved supportability:

  • Protection. Protection will be significantly enhanced with the addition of add-on applique armour and spall curtains as well as enhanced mine protection.
  • Lethality. Lethality will be increased with a totally new electrically powered turret fitted with a quick-change barrel machine gun and a new day/night gun sight.
  • Mobility. The upgrade includes a new engine, transmission, drive train and driver's controls. To maximise the benefits of this new driveline the suspension, track and road wheels are also being replaced.
  • Supportability. Improvements include new electrical and fuel systems, improved habitability and a range of stowage layouts to meet the diverse requirements of the numerous user units.

At the completion of the upgrade, the new variants will be designated AS4 vehicles. These variants will have been stretched by 666mm, have six road wheel stations per side and will have a recommended gross vehicle mass of 18000kg.

There are seven variants of the M113AS. These are Armoured Personnel Carrier (M113AS4 APC); Armoured Fitters (M113AS4 AF); Armoured Recovery Vehicle Light (M806AS4 ARVL); Armoured Ambulance (M113AS4 AA); Armoured Mortar (M125AS4 AM); Armoured Command Vehicle (M113AS4 ACV); and Armoured Logistic Vehicle (M113AS4 ALV).

The contract is structured in three stages to mitigate development risk for the Commonwealth:

  • Stage 1 was the development and preliminary testing of two Demonstration vehicles.
  • Stage 2 is the design, construction and testing of 14 Initial Production Vehicles (IPV).
  • Stage 3 is the delivery of 417 production standard vehicles and the associated logistic support requirements.

Current Status

Stage 1 of the Project was successfully completed with the production, testing and evaluation of two demonstration vehicles.

Stage 2 of the contract is under way with 13 of the planned 14 Initial Production Vehicles, including four Armoured Personnel Carriers, two Armoured Fitters, two Armoured Recovery Vehicle Lights, two Armoured Logistic Vehicles, two Armoured Command Vehicles and an Armoured Ambulance having been completed. The logistics variant required further testing in late 2010 to confirm the proposed minor design changes to increase the ground clearance in production vehicles. The Armoured Mortar Initial Production Vehicle’s final design review was scheduled for early 2011, and it will be produced early in 2012. A key technical risk was in the restoration of the mortar firing platform area in the seed hulls used for stretching the mortar variant. Defence worked with the contractor to develop approved repair methods ahead of commencement of the hull conversions scheduled for mid 2011. Stage 2 included an extensive Test and Evaluation Phase to overcome technical issues and to allow the commencement of Stage 3. All Initial Production Vehicles are to be developed, built and tested prior to closure of Stage 2 of the contract.

Stage 3 began with successful completion of the Production Readiness Review for the Armoured Personnel Carrier in November 2007 and full rate production commencing at the Joint Logistic Unit (Victoria) facility in Bandiana. Delivery of the initial capability of sixteen upgraded vehicles (14 Armoured Personnel Carriers, one Armoured Fitter and one Armoured Recovery Vehicle Light) to the 1st Brigade in Darwin was completed in December 2007. The School of Armour at Puckapunyal and the technical school at Bandiana have received sufficient vehicles to conduct their training courses. More company groups of vehicles are being delivered to the 1st Brigade through 2012.

Source:  Defence Materiel Organisation - Upgrade of M113 Armoured Vehicles LAND 106