Monday, January 20, 2014

Philippines to add Scorpion turrets to M113s

The Philippine Army is to fit 14 of its BAE Systems M113 tracked armoured personnel carriers (APC) with the turrets of decommissioned Alvis Scorpion armoured reconnaissance vehicles.

The two-person Scorpion turret is armed with a 76 mm L23A1 gun and a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG) with day/image intensification sights.

Prior to being integrated on the M113 hull the Scorpion turrets will be upgraded with a new fire control system and thermal imaging system. This will enable targets to be detected and engaged at longer ranges and with increased accuracy under almost all-weather conditions.

The 76 mm L23A1 gun will be very useful in counter-insurgency operations as it can fire a wide range of ammunition types including high explosive, smoke, illuminating, and high-explosive squash head. The modified M113 will retain its full amphibious capability with the installation of additional buoyancy aids on the hull's sides and front.

The Philippines Army currently operates around 100 M113A1 variants. The 76 mm version is expected to use surplus vehicles as the M113 production line was closed in the United States some years ago.

The Philippines took delivery of 41 members of the Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance - Tracked (CVR-T) family of light tracked armoured vehicles, including the Scorpion, Sultan command post vehicle and the Samaritan ambulance.

The installation of the Scorpion turret on an alternative platform is not a new idea. It was first achieved by Australia, which fielded 45 vehicles under the M113A1 Fire Support Vehicle (Scorpion) designation - later the medium reconnaissance vehicle - after trials with three prototype vehicles. These have now been phased out of service.

Canada also fitted the 76 mm Scorpion turret to its Grizzly wheeled fire support vehicle but these have also been retired.

Article Source: IHS Janes 360

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