M113A3+/M113A4 Mobile Tactical Vehicle Light (MTVL)
The M113A4 [also known as the M113A3+] mobile tactical vehicle light (MTVL) uses an M113 hull that is lengthened 34 inches and equipped with an additional road wheel (six on each side). The vehicle was developed as a "production-tooled demonstrator" with private-industry funding from United Defense. A total of 183 Canadian M113s are to be converted to MTVL standard. The 'extra' roadwheels will quickly identify MTVL variants but, as APCs, they will also carry the compact Cadillac-Gage turret. Fitting a turret to the M113A3 limited that vehicle's seating space but MTVL's extended hull provides space, once again, for a full complement of infantry.
While the M113A3 is simply an update of the original APC design, the MTVL (Mobile Tactical Vehicle, Light) attempts to realize more fully the potential of the upgrade's components. The most noticeable change is the extended hull requiring an additional roadwheel - 8 per side compared with 6 per side for the 'unextended' M113 vehicles.
Although essentially a recycled product, MTVL's performance will little resemble that of its former M113 self. The increased power and improved suspension can be taken advantage of more fully. The lengthened track improves footing while ensuring reasonable ground pressure despite a 4,000kg weight gain over M113s. Weight will increase even more if optional bolt-on steel armour is employed. However, an APC is of dubious value if the soldiers it transports can't be protected. An irony of APC design is that while these vehicles protect troops from shell splinters and bullets, the APC also presents a tempting target for large-calibre tank fire - which no light armoured vehicle can withstand.
Equipped with a Cadillac Gage one-man power assisted 12.7 mm (.50 cal) turret, the MTVL provides under-armour firing capability to its vehicle commander for both the M2 12.7 mm (.50 cal) heavy machine-gun (HMG) and the C6 7.62 mm light machine-gun (LMG). Two banks of four electrically fired 76 mm multi-purpose grenade launchers can fire a variety of munitions including smoke, white phosphorus and fragmentation.
Those MTVL variants not fitted with the Cadillac-Gage turret will carry the Protected Weapon System [PWS], a remotely- controlled machinegun station. A 7.62mm C6 is fired from the safety of the hull using video sights and a joystick controller. In an emergency, the C6 gun can still be aimed and fired manually from the hull roof. Both the PWS and the Cadillac-Gage turret are major advances over those early M113s' pintle-mounted .50 cal M2HB machineguns.
The MTVL carries a basic crew of two, driver and vehicle commander. It can accommodate a section of eight soldiers with winter gear and rucksack. A night observation device for the driver and light intensification sight for the vehicle commander enhance the vehicle's night and all weather capabilities.
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