The A3 generation of the M113 family of vehicles is a major, comprehensive upgrade for the entire range of M113 variants. The intent of this upgrade was to increase the overall performance of the US Army’s M113 fleet, which was the workhorse of it’s armored forces. In 1987, further improvements for “enhanced (battlefield) survival” were introduced. This included a yoke for steering instead of laterals, a more powerful engine (a 6V-53T Detroit Diesel), external fuel tanks and internal spall liners for improved protection. The suffix A3 is used on all variants to denote upgrade to A3 standard.
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that was developed by Food Machinery Corp (FMC). The vehicle was first fielded by the United States Army’s mechanized infantry units in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War, earning the nickname ‘Green Dragon’ by the Viet Cong as it was used to break through heavy thickets in the midst of the jungle to attack and overrun enemy positions. It was largely known as an “APC” or an “ACAV” (armored cavalry assault vehicle) by the allied forces.