Italian Army making better use of its M113A3 Gavins than U.S. Army is!

NATO exercises

An Army Warrant Officer writes in:

"Just a note to thank you for publishing this good info.

I'm a Signal CWO3, 250 Network Switching systems/instructor, but in my past life I was a Scout, Ranger and 18E SF commo puke. So when Commo training gets boring, and it does. I have the troops perform a hasty defense or plan a ambush. Just wanted to know if you have any pictures of the Italian IFV which is a M113A2/3 dirvitive with more floor and rear ramp armor, a Italian tweaked motor with 170 more HP than the A3, and a Cadillac-Gage 20mm turrent.

I do not dislike the LAV within certain operational constraints, but a up armored, high horsepower, and well armed M113 is what our mech infantry really needs. And it could be had a a fraction of the cost of new vehicles.

If you have photos of this vehicle and others (Marder, Hagglands, and Warrior) I'd appreciate if you would post them up".


Amazing what you can do when you TRY, huh? The U.S. Army claims it has to buy a brand-new $2,900,000 19-24 ton wheeled LAV-III armored car to have a C-130 air-transportable contingency force, that is actually 3-8 tons to heavy to fly by C-130s and is extremely vulnerable to enemy small-arms, RPG and ATGM fires, while the Italians build the M113 under license and make it better with more armor mobility and power?

A military expert from Spain writes in:

"Participating in an Spaniard forum I knew your webpage. The same discussion wheels vs tracks is being held in many armies outside the USA, following the lastest changes in military doctrine, obviously leaded by Americans.

I followed the link about Italian's M113. The pictures show a VCC-1 from the "Bataglione San Marco", not a VCC-80 "Dardo", as the information below says. (The "San Marco" was the only Italian marine unit, now expanded to Brigade size)

To compare the VCC-1 and VCC-89 take a look at:

I have enclosed three pictures of the Italian intervention in Somalia Operation "Ibis".

Otobreda Infantry Armored Fighting Vehicle VCC-1

An Italian VCC-1 in Mogadishu streets

Another applique' armor reinforced Italian M113

Italian VCC-1 variant M113A3 meets the other workhorse of the desert!

Anyway you were completely right: outside the USA some countries (sometimes due to lack of funds) are giving a new life to the M113, far beyond what their main user (U.S. Army) ever could imagine!"

Yours sincerely



Country Of Origin: Italy
Designation: Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer: Consortium IVECO / OTOBREDA, Italy

Crew: 3 + 7
1 x 25mm cannon
1 x 7.62mm MMG (coaxial)
1 x 7.62mm MMG (anti-aircraft)
2 x 3 smoke grenade dischargers

Length: 6.705 m
Width: 3.00 m
Height (Overall): 2.70 m
Power To Weight Ratio: 24 hp/ton
Ground Clearance: 0.4 m
Weight (Combat): 21.700 kg
Weight (Empty): 20,200 kg
Engine: IVECO 8260 V-6 turbocharged, inter-cooled diesel developing 520 bhp at 2,300 rpm
Maximum Road Speed: 70 km / hr
Maximum Road Range: 500 km
Fuel Capacity: Not available
Fording: 1.5 m
Vertical Obstacle 0.85 m
Trench: 2.5 m
Gradient 60 %
Side Slope: 40 %
Armour: Classified
Armour Type: Aluminium / Steel
NBC System: Yes
Night Vision: Yes (passive for commander, gunner & driver)