February 26, 2012:
Iraq is receiving another 440 refurbished M-113 tracked armored vehicles this year to equip its new mechanized combat force. Iraq already has over 200 M-113s. The U.S. has built over 80,000 of these 12 ton tracked vehicles in over half a century. Carrying a crew of two and eleven passengers armament usually consists of a 12.7mm machine-gun (and often another 7.62mm machine-gun).
Developed in the 1950s, and entering service in 1960, the M-113 saw lots of action in Vietnam. The U.S. began replacing the M-113 as an infantry carrier in the 1980s, but will continue to use it as a support vehicle (weapons carrier, ambulance, command vehicle, and so on) until the end of the decade. Currently, the M-113 is still the most numerous armored vehicle found in American mechanized units.
Over a third of the M-113s produced are still in service in over fifty nations. The U.S. has retired thousands and keeps them for resale (after refurbishment). There are dozens of variants, mainly because of so many upgrades to the engine, mechanical components, and electronics. M-113s are still being built but the refurbished ones Iraq is receiving cost about $300,000 each.