|Manufacturer:||FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Modernization of the vehicle|
Following extensive trials with six vehicles (one prototype and five preproduction vehicles), the German Army has decided to upgrade a first batch of 270 M113A1G series of full tracked Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to extend their operational lives well into the 21st century.
It is expected that the second order will be for a further batch of 200 vehicles. The M113A1G series to be upgraded will include those used for artillery fire-control purposes as these weigh more than the standard version due to the extensive amount of onboard equipment carried for their specialised role.
Prime contractor for this upgrade is FFG (Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft) with MTU and ZF being the major subcontractors.
Early in 1999, following an international competition, the Danish Army Material Command selected FFG as the prime contractor for the upgrade of 97 M113 series full tracked Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).
The Danish Army currently operates a fleet of about 600 M113 series APCs and many specialised variants. Funding permitting, it is expected that that whole fleet will eventually be upgraded to a common automotive standard with the obvious advantages to the user in reducing operating costs, training and logistics.
There were originally four companies/consortiums bidding for the Danish Army M113 upgrade programme. These were E Falck Schmidt of Denmark teamed with Danish Aerotech and United Defense LP of the US (who are the original builder of the M113), Marvin Land Systems of the US, Daewoo Heavy Industries of the Republic of Korea and FFG of Germany. This was subsequently short listed late last year to Marvin Land Systems and FFG.
The first six Danish Army M113 vehicles will be upgraded by the end of 1999 at the FFG facilities in Flensburg, near the Danish border.
Much of the remaining M113 conversion work, including hull assembly, will be carried out by HMK Industries in Denmark. The contract awarded to FFG demanded a high offset amount which can only be met if the work is carried out in Denmark.
The Danish Army is the first export customer for the FFG M113 upgrade and according to the company a number of other countries have shown interest, including Australia and Norway. The latter country is not expected to make a selection before 2002.
The most significant part of this upgrade is the installation of a new power pack and a new steering and independent dual brake system. This contributes not only to a major increase in vehicle performance but also an increase in vehicle reliability as well as meeting all current EEC traffic regulations.
The new M113 powerpack consists of a MTU 6V 183 TC22 diesel engine developing 300 hp at 2,100 rpm coupled to a ZF LSG 1000 fully automatic transmission.
The engine is based on a commercial Mercedes-Benz OM 441 LA diesel with exhaust turbocharging and charge air cooling which fully meets the EURO II exhaust emission standards. The M113A2 pulled cooling fan has been retained and there are no alterations required to the internal bulkheads of the M113. A thermostatically controlled hydraulic fan drive has been incorporated.
The ZF LSG 1000 is a six-speed fully automatically controlled transmission with integrated hydrostatic steering differential and brake system which greatly enhances mobility and safety.
The brake system consists of a dual-circuit power-assisted system with hydraulic boost which is separate from the power pack and is operative even when the power pack has been removed.
As well as installing the new power pack, FFG also developed and integrated the new steering and brake system, upgraded the drive system and redesigned the driver's compartment. The latter includes the replacement of the original tillers by a small steering wheel so reducing driver fatigue.
The driver now has the steering wheel, a pedal for the service brake, a hand brake lever and an electric gear selector switch. The accelerator and the driver's seat are from the original M113 but the seat has been moved back for ergonomic reasons.
In addition to improving the power-to-weight ratio and overall safety of the vehicle, the new power pack also allows the vehicle to accomplish a pivot turn in 7.3 seconds and it can now also be tow started.
This upgrade is aimed at those M113 series vehicles with a loaded weight of more than 12.5 tonnes. For lighter vehicles, FFG have developed a 'small solution'.
In this model the new braking system and modified driver's position are incorporated, while the existing engine and transmission is retained.
Although the first customer for this FFG M113 series upgrade is the German Army, it is already being marketed to other M113 series users around the world, as the M113 is the most widely used vehicle of its type.
The team of FFG, MTU and ZF have also teamed with other German defence equipment manufacturers such as KUKA (weapon system), Diehl (track) and GLS (suspension) to carry out additional improvements to the M113, mainly for the export market. The prototype of this upgrade was shown for the first time in 1997 and has been demonstrated in Europe and the Middle East. Details are given later in this section.
Production. In service with Germany and on order for Denmark.