Thread: Franken-AFVs
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
The M113/LS90 looks less top-heavy, since it uses a smaller LP90 turret from the Cadillac Gage V-300/LAV-300 with a Cockerill Mk. III gun. It's quite a bit smaller than the GIAT TS90 turret with CS90 gun. Ammunition stowage was 42 rounds, and the fully equipped and crewed turret weighed about 4900 pounds.

Australia had a number of turreted M113s that loosely fit into the Frankenvehicle concept - they were standard production, but cannibalized parts from vehicles being retired. I expect the Australian board members will know more than I do, but my understanding is it started with an interim fire support vehicle that had the Saladin armored car's turret added, giving the M113 a 76mm and .30 coax. It was replaced by the medium fire support vehicle with the FV101 Scorpion's turret, also 76mm and .30. There was also a light fire support vehicle with the T50 turret from the Cadillac Gage V100/V150, which had a .50 and a .30. Troops were generally equipped with 3 light and 2 medium support vehicles.
In regard to how Australia equipped units with the M113, it depends on the time period.
Initially, Cavalry units were equipped with the the Saladin turret M113 which was know as the Fire Support Vehicle (M113 FSV), other vehicles retained the standard commander's hatch and pintle mounted MG until it was decided to fit the T50 turret to protect the commander (from memory, as a response to casualties in Vietnam). They still retained their APC designation as the Cavalry units were essentially still "battlefield taxi" units despite having the fire support of the Saladin turret M113.

When some units were re-roled as Armoured Reconnaissance units, they were taken away from the "taxi" role and were equipped with the Scorpion turret M113 but as befits the role, they were known as Medium Reconnaissance Vehicles (M113 MRV) while the standard APC M113 was known, only within the Armoured Recce units, as the Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (M113 LRV).
Even though, by this time, all troop carrying M113s had been fitted with the T50 turret, those vehicles in cavalry units were know as APCs while M113s with the exact same configuration (i.e. T50 turret) in the Armoured Recce units were know as LRVs.

All the 76mm armed M113s in Australian service had been retired before the 2000s and the common talk at the time was that the smoke from the 76mm ammunition was carcinogenic so it was done for health reasons. Neither the Saladin or Scorpion turrets had any sort of bore or barrel evacuator so a lot of that smoke ended up in the turret.
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