BAE Systems continues to provide technical support for M113AS4 APC of Australian army
According to a press release published by the Australian MoD (Ministry of Defense) on August 17, 2020, Australian MoD Defence has signed a $5.3 million contract extension with BAE Systems Australia to provide technical support to the Army’s Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) M113AS4 fleet for another three years, securing continued employment for 20 Adelaide staff.
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Australian army M113AS4 tracked APC Armored Personnel Carrier. (Picture source Australian MoD)
Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, said the contract extension was a win for South Australia’s defense industry as it allows BAE Systems Australia to continue to provide vital engineering services to the remarkable M113AS4 APC(Armored Personnel Carrier) fleet.
“This engineering services contract ensures the operation of the M113AS4 APC fleet for several more years until its replacement is provided under the LAND 400 Phase 3 – Land Combat Vehicle System project,” Minister Price said.
“The contract extension with BAE Systems Australia represents continued investment and confidence in the highly technical and experienced Australian workforce. “It is also recognition of the company’s highly valued expertise in supporting the APC vehicles over many years.”
BAE Systems Australia will continue to employ 20 staff at their Edinburgh site, in Adelaide’s north, to support the APC M113AS4 capability. The M113AS4 APC family of vehicles are used by Army units across the country, including in Queensland at Townsville and Brisbane, South Australia at Adelaide, and Victoria at Puckapunyal.
The M113AS4 is an Australian-made upgrade of the old M113AS1 and M113AS3 which are based on the American M113A1 tracked armored personnel carrier (APC), one of the most popular light tracked APC in the world. The project of the Australian M113 upgrade was led by BAE Systems. The decade long project to upgrade 433 M113 vehicles began in 2002, with the first completed vehicle delivered to the customer in January 2007.
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier (APC) that was developed and produced by the Food Machinery Corp (FMC). The M113 was sent to USAREUR to replace the mechanized infantry's M59 APCs in the 1961/62 time frame. The M113 was the first aluminum hull combat vehicle to be put into mass production, it introduced new aluminum armor that made the vehicle much lighter than earlier vehicles; it was thick enough to protect the crew and passengers against small arms fire but light enough that the vehicle was air transportable and moderately amphibious.
The M113 design is divided into three parts with the driver sits at the front of the hull on the left side, engine compartment to the right of the driver's position and the troop's compartment at the rear which can accommodate up to 11 infantrymen.