M113A3 RCWS-30. Modernizing a cursed box!

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caid’s suggestion #41

I will suggest here a rather ugly tank that the paint job is as ugly as his firepower is good, the M113 RCWS 30


version presented in EuroSatory 2010

this tank is easily mistaken by its name with the M113A2 RCWS-30 but it is a completely different (and better) tank. the M113A2 RCWS-30 was a more basic upgrade that only included the turret while the M113A3 RCWS-30 included a better engine, ERA armour and APS. you can support the M113A2 RCWS-30 in this link

If your eyes didn’t melt yet, you will realize this cursed tank is modern!

the M113 RCWS 30 was an upgrade package proposed by Rafael to modernize the M113. this demonstrator was presented in 2008 and 2010 during the EuroSatory. it features a new engine first of all… just kidding, the engine is the less obvious upgrade. the modernization includes mainly 3 things. the Samson Mk.1 RCWS 30 turret built by Rafael, the Trophy active protection system and Armor Shield R. This makes the tank an ugly but modern fallow. the tank has improved mobility, improved survivability and improved firepower.

the difference between the version presented in 2008 and the one presented in 2010 is mainly the placement of the Trophy system. The version of 2008 has the radar placed on the top of the chassis at the rear corner, while in 2010, the radar is placed on the side of the chassis on each side. the version of 2008 offers a bit of obstruction while in 2010 it almost makes no obstruction at all. while the IDF had tested the RCWS 30 turret on the M113, it never tested the version with upgraded armour and trophy. this version was proposed for export but saw no success. it was a private venture by Rafael which is an Israeli corporation.


the “a bit less ugly” version presented in EuroSatory 2010


the main armament is dual. the primary armament is the 30mm Mk.44 Bushmaster II which is a powerful auto-cannon capable of saving you from difficult situations. The 2nd main armament is the Spike Missiles which can deal with armoured targets. those missiles are a type of “fire-and-forget” but require to first lock on the targets. once the target is locked, you fire the missiles and it hits the targets or at least will if everything goes well. after you fire the missiles, you can drive away without waiting or engaging other targets. the missiles will fly on their own. but depending on the models of missiles, it will take some time to lock on the targets, you cannot just arrive on the battlefield and fire your missiles right away. a bit like the jets, you will need to first aim at the targets for a few seconds. which will cause the targets to have a good chance to spot you (even more if it has a LWS) and destroy you even before you fire. 2 missiles are ready to fire, and probably a few more are stored inside the tank (4 would be good). the turret is remotely controlled and stabilized on Line-of-sight. on top of being (assumedly) pretty fast, it would be capable of engaging medium armour with efficiency. the elevation has been -20°/+60° allowing the players to fight in all environments and even engage aircraft once in a while. the gun has 200 rounds ready to use stored on the right side of the turret in the ammo box. The gun is dual feed making it capable of switching from an anti-tank round to a high explosive one intentionally. the turret has redundancy control making the Commander and Gunner have full control of the turret. a coaxial 7.62mm is naturally placed on the turret. with 460 rounds ready to use

For those that didn’t like to read the full text, here is a resume of the good feature

  • Dual control (Commander & gunner)
  • Dual feed (two belts are feeding the gun for a total of 200 rounds)
  • Stabilized
  • Night vision
  • High elevation
  • fast rotation
  • fire-and-forget ATGM launcher (need to first lock on targets)


The mobility of this tank is based on the weight and power of the engine. the armour kit weighing 3.25 tonnes, the turret with his ammo weighs 1.6 tonnes, the chassis weighs 12.3 tonnes. this allows us to estimate the total weight to 16.9 tonnes, which for a M113 is pretty heavy. but the engine is very likely the Detroit Diesel 6V53T, a 6-cylinder diesel engine which provides 275 hp. That should make up for the loss of mobility of the chassis. it would give a power/weight of 16.08 hp per ton. which is not very great for a light tank of this rank, but it would give a power/weight similar to the M24 chaffee which is not so bad. it will not break the mobility record but it would be playable. the top speed would reach 64 km/h and 15 km/h backwards, which is not bad at the end. the M113 is normally amphibious but with this extra weight, I think it would be overloaded and drown.


The M113 chassis is not normally considered as well-protected. but the armour package will increase a lot his protection. the armour reaching STANAG level 6 on the side and front allows the tank to have protection against IED and 155mm HE rounds as well as 30mm AP rounds. this is a clear improvement over the aluminium armour who have difficulty stopping 12.7’s bullets. the tank also features the Trophy APS which allows it to destroy incoming ATGM threats before it hit the hull. the ERA is also designed to not detonate from nearby explosions, only a direct hit would make them explode which both reduces the loss of the ERA tile to 1 at a time and also makes the trophy work without losing the ERA tile. the crew of 3 men is a bit small but would be protected in the centre of the hull where the tank offers the best protection. the turret offers minimal protection but it’s not important as it is remotely controlled making the crew not be injured if the turret is hit.

For those that didn’t like to read the full text, here is a resume of the good feature

  • Remote turret
  • ERA armour
  • Crew of 3
  • Trophy APS



armour package


Spike ATGM


So bloody cursed, yet so bloody awesome! +1

Very much needed along with a light tank line, major +1