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Ukraine army uses ex-Australian army M113AS4 ALV Armoured Logistic Vehicles

According to an article by David Axe in Forbes, Australia provided Ukraine with a donation of 28 M113 armored personnel carriers and an undisclosed number of M113-based cargo vehicles called M113AS4 Armoured Logistics Vehicle (ALV) in June 2022.
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An ex-Australian army M113AS4 Armored Logistic Vehicle in Ukrainian service (Picture source: social media)

The M113AS4 APC, an upgraded version of the M113AS1 used during the Vietnam War, has undergone various improvements in its systems. These enhancements include a new engine, with the Australian M113AS4 equipped with an MTU 6V 199 TE 20 engine, enabling the vehicle to reach speeds of up to 66 km/h. Additionally, the steering controls, drivetrain, electrical systems, and fuel systems have been revamped. The M113AS4 has an impressive travel range of up to 550km.

The M113AS4 Armoured Logistics Vehicle is essentially an M113 APC that has been modified by replacing its passenger compartment with a flat cargo bed. Unlike the approach taken by FMC Corp., which created the M548 by stripping down the M113 to its tracks and drivetrain and adding a new crew compartment and cargo bed covered with a canvas, the Australian program in the early 2000s involved cutting out the rear half of the APC and replacing it with a flatbed for cargo transport. This modified vehicle was then designated as the Armored Logistic Vehicle (ALV). All upgraded vehicles have been equipped with new T150F tracks and sprockets. However, it's important to note that these modifications have resulted in the loss of the vehicle's amphibious capability, unlike the M548 which kept it.

The Australian AVLs were not upgraded to this standard. Instead, this variant was built using existing M113A1 hulls, extending them with an additional road wheel, increasing the total number from five to six, and fitting the U.S. ACAV protection kit for the gunner instead of the T150F turret. An Armored Logistics Vehicle should be capable of carrying at least 5 tons of cargo or approximately 20 people.

Armored personnel carriers like the M113, which have limited protection, can be vulnerable to catching fire when hit, posing a significant risk to the crew and passengers. Due to this concern, many experienced infantrymen often choose to ride on top of the APC, even if there is available space inside, a practice that was widespread during the Vietnam War for both tactical and health reasons. APCs primarily serve as battle taxis, transporting infantry to the front lines before disembarking them to continue the fight on foot. In this role, the Armored Logistics Vehicle performs effectively.

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M548 Cargo Carrier (Picture source: Wikipedia/Glunggenbauer )

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