Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia send M113 to Ukraine
WASHINGTON — At the end of this week, mostly on Thursday [May 28] and Friday [May 29], at least five US states have confirmed that their military supplies will send “Vietnam war combat taxis” M113 APCs to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. These are Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.
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BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that US President Joe Biden promised $ 800 million in aid [on April 13] and the M113 is part of this military package for Ukraine. Defense News says at least 200 armored personnel carriers of this kind will travel to the European country. BulgarianMilitary.com suggests that the military planes loaded with M113 will land in Stuttgart, Germany, where the distribution depot of military aid to Ukraine from around the world is located.
Several state governors have announced that the National Guard’s M113 stocks and supplies will be inspected, repaired if necessary and brought into full combat readiness, and then sent for delivery to Ukraine. “The governors are the commanders in chief of their respective national guards, and they’re proud to do so,” National Guard Association of the United States spokesman John Goheen said Friday.
Why not Abrams tanks?
The Pentagon suggests that the M113 will be much more useful than the main Abrams battle tank for two reasons: The M113 is much lighter than the tanks, so it will be more mobile in the spring rainy, and muddy periods and will be predictable quickly. The second reason is that in 2016 the United States officially stopped buying M113 and is currently working on a program to replace them, which means: surplus quantities. So instead of spending money on recycling or rebuilding them years later, the United States sends them directly to the battlefield: what they’re meant for.
What do the officials say?
The governor of each US state is the commander-in-chief of the US National Guard. Indiana, for example, has done a thorough and complete review of the available M113s. Some have been repaired. “We received a short notice, the team made a full technical inspection and we can prepare all these things in advance, in less than five days. So a monumental, Herculean effort to support us, doing a great job and preparing this equipment,” says Brig. General Justin Mann, is the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Indiana National Guard.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also announced that her state would carry out the presidential order. She did so on Thursday [May 28th], saying in a statement that heartbreaking war crimes footage from Russian troops required serious action. “North Carolina stands with the people of Ukraine and is ready to support their struggle for democracy and freedom,” Cooper added.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWain told a news conference that Ohio would not only provide the M113 to the Ukrainian military but would send ballistic helmets, bulletproof vests, and other necessities to Ukrainian troops.
Many military experts say sending the M113 is a useful move for the US administration. Their condition is good, although they are stored somewhere. Lt. Col. Matt Handley says it is enough to simply start and put them into operation, as a very large number of the M113 fleet has been upgraded in recent years.
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier [APC] designed in the 1960s. Despite its outdated design, this infantry vehicle has serious combat experience and is popular among dozens of countries around the world that have adopted it. It is a long service and the outdated, already non-functional design for the new conditions on the battlefields is the reason why several countries are taking action on their retirement. As it became clear in recent weeks – hundreds of M113 will not be retired but will be spent on the defense of Ukraine.
The M113 has a crew of two soldiers and can carry between 12 and 15 additional soldiers. It has an integrated bumper type 5083 Aluminum Alloy 28–44 millimeters [1.1–1.7 in]. It is powered by a Detroit Diesel 6V53T, a 6-cylinder diesel engine that provides 275 hp [205 kW]. The maximum speed it develops is 67 km, with one tank it can reach a range of 480 km, and the main armament consists of an M2 Browning machine gun.
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