Austarmycrest.gif (8966 bytes)Australian Military Vehicles Research


The Army Headquarters (AHQ) Belly Uparmouring Project by Shane Lovell

Commencing 15 August 1970, all Australian M113A1s in South Vietnam were progressively fitted with four modifications under the AHQ Belly Uparmouring Project. Fitting of the modifications was primarily undertaken by 106th Field Workshop, Royal Australia Electrical and Mechanical Engineer at Nui Dat.

The project involved the fitting of hull length belly armour, a collapsible drivers footrest, right hand sponson armour (left hand sponson armour had been fitted to all M113A1 from mid 1969) and repositioning of the drivers hatch.

The project was undertaken as a high priority to decrease vehicle and personnel casualties suffered from Viet Cong anti vehicle mines.

The M113A1 variants in service in South Vietnam when the project occurred were M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carriers APC, M125A1 81mm mortar vehicles APC(M), M113A1 Fitters vehicles APC(F) AND M577A1 Armoured Command Vehicles ACV.

The project was completed in early November 1970. Subsequently, the modifications were also fitted to all replacement vehicles, including Fire Support Vehicles (FSV) prior to their issue to combat units.

The following tables identify the majority of M113A1s modified between August and November 1970

Headquarters, 1st Australian Task Force (Note 1)

Army RegistrationNumber

Vehicle Type

Callsign

Radio Configuration

Weapon

Completed Week Ending

134469

ACV

85

RT 524 X 4 /125 GPMG

?

134470

ACV

85A

49/125/125 GPMG

9/10/70

134465

ACV

85B

RT 524 X 3 /125 GPMG

?

134457

ACV

85C

125/106/47
Teleprinters
GPMG

?

134472

ACV

85D

46/125 GPMG

18/09/70

A Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment

Army RegistrationNumber

Vehicle Type

Callsign

Radio Configuration

Weapon

Completed Week Ending

Squadron Headquarters

134174

APC

0A

   

16/10/70

134344

APC

0B

   

16/10/70

134459

ACV

0C

  GPMG

9/10/70

Light Aid Detachment

134372

APC (F)

8A

  .50

23/10/70

134371

APC (F)

8C

46 .50

16/10/70

134375

APC (F)

8E

  .50

9/10/70

106 Field Workshop, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Army RegistrationNumber

Vehicle Type

Callsign

Radio Configuration

Weapon

Completed Week Ending

134370

APC (F)

    .50

16/10/70

Unknown Unit (Possibly the theatre reserve held by 2nd Advance Ordnance Depot)

Army RegistrationNumber

Vehicle Type

Callsign

Radio Configuration

Weapon

Completed Week Ending

134238

APC

?

?

?

21/08/70

134364

APC

?

?

?

30/10/70

 1st Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers (Note 2)

Army RegistrationNumber

Vehicle Type

Callsign

Radio Configuration

Weapon

Completed Week Ending

134377

APC (F)

    .50

9/10/70

B Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment

Army RegistrationNumber

Vehicle Type

Callsign

Radio Configuration

Weapon

Completed Week Ending

Squadron Headquarters

134361

APC

9

49/125/125 50/30

?

134341

APC

9A

46/125 30/30

?

134269

APC

9E

49/125/125 50/30

?

134456

ACV

0A

49/125/125/
125/106
GPMG

?

1 Troop

134318

APC

10A

49/125 50/30

9/10/70

134160

APC

10B

49/125 50/30

?

134338

APC

19J

46/125 50/30

28/08/70

134268

APC

19M

46/125 30/30

28/08/70

134345

APC

11

46/125 50/30

?

134357

APC

11A

46/125 30/30

14/08/70

135353

APC

11B

46/125 30/30

14/08/70

134300

APC

12

46/125 50/30

?

134285

APC

12A

46/125 30/30

21/08/70

134240

APC

12B

46/125 30/30

21/08/70

134314

APC

13

46/125 50/30

?

134339

APC

13A

46/125 30/30

28/08/70

134354

APC

13B

46/125 30/30

?

2 Troop

134350

APC

20A

49/125 50/30

?

134290

APC

20B

49/125 50/30

?

134281

APC

29J

46/125 30/30

?

134177

APC

29M

46/125 30/30

18/09/70

134306

APC

21

46/125 50/30

28/08/70

134248

APC

21A

46/125 30/30

?

134352

APC

21B

46/125 50/30

28/08/70

134356

APC

22

46/125 30/30

?

134246

APC

22A

46/125 30/30

11/09/70

134293

APC

22B

46/125 30/30

11/09/70

134260

APC

23

46/125 50/30

21/08/70

134258

APC

23A

46/125 30/30

?

134358

APC

23B

46/125 30/30

?

3 Troop

134253

APC

30A

49/125 50/30

11/09/70

134150

APC

30B

49/125 50/30

18/09/70

134348

APC

39J

46/125 30/30

18/09/70

?

 

39M

   

?

?

 

31

   

?

134243

APC

31A

46/125 30/30

04/09/70

134284

APC

31A

46/125 50/30

4/09/70

134355

APC

31B

46/125 30/30

?

134349

APC

32

46/125 30/30

11/09/70

134342

APC

32A

46/125 30/30

?

134245

APC

32B

46/125 30/30

11/09/70

134359

APC

33

46/125 30/30

?

134272

APC

33A

46/125 30/30

21/08/70

134252

APC

33B

46/125 30/30

21/08/70

 
134288

APC

84

49/125 50/30

?

134274

APC

84A

46/125 30/30

4/09/70

134299

APC

84B

46/125 30/30

4/09/70

134428

APC(M)

81

46/125 .50

?

134419

APC(M)

81A

46/125 .50

28/08/70

134423

APC(M)

82

46/125 .50

18/09/70

?

APC(M)

82A

46/125 .50

?

134422

APC(M)

83A

46/125 .50

?

134427

APC(M)

83

46/125 .50

11/09/70

Support Arms Troop

134343

APC

86

49/125 50/30

4/09/70

134363

APC

86A

46/125 30/30

4/09/70

134287

APC

86B

46/125 30/30

?

Light Aid Detachment

134369

APC (F)

98A

46/125 .50

?

134381

APC (F)

98

46/125 .50

?

134387

APC (F)

98B

46/125 .50

?

Note 1:
The Armoured Command Vehicles allowed HQ 1 ATF to deploy into the field from Nui Dat as required. Each vehicle had a specific function:

ARN Function
134469 Operations Command Post
134465 Artillery Fire Support Coordination Centre
134470 Air Support Command Post
134457 Signals Command Post

 Note 2:
The table for 1 Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers does not include ARNs 134267 and 134226 as these vehicles were not officially issued to the unit. These were diverted to 1 Fd Sqn instead of returning to Australia after being declared ‘beyond local repair’. They were modified for use as improvised mine clearing vehicles.


Abbreviations

Communications Equipment
46  -  AN/VRC 46 (1 X RT 524)

49  -  AN/VRC 49 (2 X RT 524)

106  -  AN/GRC 106

125  -  AN/GRC 125

Vehicle Armament

GPMG General Purpose Machine Gun M60 7.62 mm
.50 M2 HB .50 calibre machine gun on a pintle mount with a gun shield
50/30 M2 HB .50 calibre machine gun and L3A3 .30 machine gun within a T50 turret
30/30 Two L3A3 .30 calibre machine gun within a T50 turret

It was common for the L3A3 .30 calibre machine gun to be mounted on the T50 roof on an improvised mounting.


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