|This page is about the Italian tank destroyer M113A1 (TOW). For other versions, see M113 (Family).|
The OTO Melara VTC M113A1 TOW is a rank V Italian tank destroyer with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".
Survivability and armour
The M113 chassis is a reliable chassis for what it was designed for, armoured to withstand the firepower seen on the battlefield while deploying troops. It is able to withstand all machine gun fire (5.56 mm to 14.5 mm) and is able to withstand autocannon fire at moderate ranges from the front (more than 500 m with AP belts). It is far from being able to withstand calibres higher than 30 mm cannons and all chemical rounds (HEAT, ATGM, HESH, etc) will hull-break it instantly regardless of where it is hit.
- Aluminium alloy 5083 (hull, cupola)
- Structural steel (missile launcher, side skirts)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 38 mm (45°) Upper glacis
29 mm (40°) Engine access panel
38 mm (25°) Lower glacis
| 44 mm Top
32 mm Bottom
|38 mm (10°)|| 38 mm |
5 mm Engine vents
|Driver cupola||25 mm (cylindrical)||38 mm|
|Commander cupola||38 mm (cylindrical)||38 mm|
- Suspension wheels and torsion bars are 10 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
- The missile launcher is a 30-50 mm thick pylon (structural steel).
- The belly armour is 29 mm thick.
- Side skirts are 4 mm thick.
The vehicle profile is a basic rectangle with a slightly sloped front which increases protection from machine gun fire. Front has a hatch, which works as HESH screen. The main areas of the vehicle to target when attacking is the missile launcher, machine gun to disable its attack capability or a main vehicle shot.
The gunner is exposed outside of the vehicle when directing the launcher and can be hit. Be aware, as the launcher's base and sometimes even the rangefinder, located next to the launcher, can trigger APHE fuse and cause it to explode in front of the gunner's face, then the shrapnel flies back and shreds the virtually non-existent roof armour, taking out everyone in the middle of the vehicle. Also, since the gunner stands within the opened roof hatch, if a chemical warhead hits rangefinder, then payload can enter vehicle through it and take out loader as well.
Since the vehicle's armour is very thin, it sometimes does not detonate shells so armour-ripping shells causes less than fatal damage. However, only very high calibre shells with fuses of about 20-22 mm won't detonate, which are very rare at BR 8.3 battles, as almost everyone use 15 mm fuses at this point. The main key here is to avoid being hit at all, as if your tank will be angled during attack, the fuses would detonate anyway.
All in all, it's best to just get out of the way of other tanks and sneak around; this is a vehicle of strategy, not brute force.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
While game stats state the top speed of the M113A1 (TOW) is about 64-71 km/h, in reality it seems to manage around 30-40 km/h, which compared to other vehicles in its rank is rather slow. The turn rate of the vehicle also isn't that amazing, which can be a problem in an ambush or an immediate change of direction is needed.
Modifications and economy
|BGM-71B TOW or BGM-71C I-TOW missile||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The M113A1 (TOW) is a specialized vehicle which has a TOW missile launcher mounted onto the top of the vehicle. Ten missiles are onboard and can be fired before it needs to reload or resupply.
Anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) loaded in TOW launcher have two purposes: be extremely fast and attack at range across the battlefield, much like artillery cannons. As such, of all ATGMs at its battle rating, the M113A1 (TOW) is probably one of the fastest with both launch and a top speed of 300 m/s. Be aware, this vehicle can easily be beaten by hybrid tank ATGMs, however, they're typically found at battle rating 9.0, aside from US light tank M551 and Soviet medium tank T-55AM-1, which is also a premium vehicle.
When initially using the M113A1 (TOW), the standard ATGM is available for use, which is a TOW which when fired can travel for approximately 3 km and has a 430 mm of penetration at 0 degrees or 214 mm of penetration at 60 degrees.
The first-tier ammunition upgrade unleashes the "I-TOW" which provides 630 mm of penetration at 0 degrees and 314 mm of penetration at 60 degrees with a range of approximately 3.75 km. The drawback to using this missile is that it does slightly less damage in realistic battle mode.
The placement of weapon is high enough to fire over cover, however, advantages also at times spawn disadvantages and in this case, with the vehicle gunner standing tall outside of the vehicle, he has no protection and can easily be hit, despite the rest of vehicle being concealed.
The launcher has a rather limited arc of fire - 45 degrees in either direction, which isn't compensated by missile's characteristics like in case of Swingfire or armour like in case of IT-1. If you want to fire over cover best bet is to stand far away from the enemy and cover, or right in front of the cover, however, this still probably won't protect the gunner.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
- The player is unable to select the amount of ammo the M113A1 (TOW) can spawn with, as such the vehicle always spawns with full ammo and all its ammo racks filled.
- The vehicle has no ready rack: both reload speed and ammo placement remain unchanged throughout the use of the missiles.
- On the picture is shown in which order the missiles deplete.
The single 12.7 mm machine gun can be effective when fighting against open-topped vehicles or to cause some confusion/distraction to the enemy vehicles as the M113A1 reloads.
At this battle rating, this vehicle is limited to keeping helicopters from getting too comfy, since they too have thin to no armour, other aircraft should be left to the designated anti-air vehicles. As a last resort, the ATGM can be also be used against air targets.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The M113A1 TOW is best used as a surprise sniper and support vehicle, for this it is heavily recommended that you play in Ground Realistic battles, as in Arcade battles you'll be at a major disadvantage, due to enemies being able to spot you easier (as your name will be visible) and you'll mostly be seen on the mini-map which means that any form of surprise attack or ambush is nearly impossible. In Realistic battles however, the M113A1 TOW shines, the best way to play this vehicle is to hide in places where you're able to shoot from far away, whilst having a great view of the battlefield. Maps such as fields of Poland are really good if you position yourself somewhere were you have cover, a great view which you can easily take advantage of and turn the tide of battle into your teams favour.
The M113A1 TOW is not very fast, so keep that in mind when disengaging from enemies or moving to a new spot, as once you've gotten a kill or two from the spot you're shooting from, it is likely the enemy team knows of your presence. Due to this not only is it good to move as enemies will either not expose themselves to you anymore, or you'll be targeted by air targets who will easily take you out due to you not being armoured, and open top. The M113A1 TOW also has a very sluggish reload rate, the best way to prevail is to pick your targets tactically, as once you have shot your missile you are basically defenceless, your machine-gun can only really deal with lightly armoured vehicles and helicopters. You cannot fire on the move with the M113A1 TOW so there is no sense in moving with your team, it is always better if you stay away from the action, keep your distance and take out flanking enemies. One good upside about the M113A1 TOW is that it can traverse bodies of water, it is very slow and you're pretty much a sitting duck, but it is good to keep in mind if you get overrun and need somewhere to hide where most enemies might not check from. It is also good on certain maps where you can reach spots quicker by going on water, which is recommended as you need to suprise your enemy to be effective in this vehicle. The M113A1 does have access to night vision, so this will help greatly on night maps, it does not get access to thermals. Last but not least, one of its low tier modifications is the I-TOW missile, make sure to research this as it will give you a higher chance in one shotting enemies, or at least rendering them defenceless for enough time for you or a teammate to take them out.
Enemies worth noting:
- Helicopters eg. AH-1, UH-1, etc: helicopters are always a great threat to you. Although at the start of the match they cannot equip ATGMs, they are still able to carry lots of deadly rockets, posing a great threat to the M113's weak hull. When an enemy helicopter is roaming nearby and showering the ground with rockets, the safest option is to stay in cover or be stationary, to make it harder for the helicopter to see you. Your only effective defensive weapon against them is the 12.7 mm MG (unless you are very skilled and can manually guide the ATGM to hit them). Only open fire when the helicopter is extremely near, for example within 400 m. Your MG can only damage light helicopters like the UH-1 but not armoured ones. Continuously spray bullets at it until it starts to turn towards you, and quickly retreat back into cover as any helicopter can easily destroy you with a few rockets.
- M60A1 RISE (P), M60A3 TTS: these tanks are covered with ERA which are pretty much designed to counter chemical warheads like your TOW missiles. When the M113's TOW missile hits them, their ERA always detonate, leaving the tanks themselves unharmed, so it is not recommended to shoot them when their ERA are still present. If they are quite far away, you can choose to break their gun barrels or tracks to make them defenceless or immobile. If they are close enough, you can use your 12.7 mm MG to destroy their ERA first. Do not spray, fire in quick bursts and focus on a few ERA, as the bullets seem to spread out a lot in a continuous fire which will decrease the damage to the ERA you want to destroy. The MG is rather effective at destroying these modules. Once those ERA are gone use the TOW to hit the uncovered areas. The most straightforward method is to just fire a missile at them, destroying a bunch of ERA and fire another one at the uncovered area. However this method will give them more than 10 seconds of reaction time so make sure that you are well concealed and will not get spotted before the next missile.
- M901: this is a similar vehicle based on the M113 hull, with an interesting and unique TOW launcher. The launcher has 360 degrees horizontal rotation and 30 degrees gun depression meaning it adapts terrains better than the M113A1 (TOW). Furthermore, its gunner is not exposed which increases its fighting capacity, so you must deal with the M901 carefully. In a battle, your M113A1 (TOW) and the M901 might be at similar spots which is kind of a sniper vs sniper scenario. Do not get hit by it, as your gunner/launcher will detonate its missile and the shrapnel will splash down, knocking out all the crew or causing a hull break. Try to fire first or hide until his attention shifts.
Pros and cons
- Amazing 20 degrees depression of the missile allows the M113 to adapt to any rough terrain with ease
- Adequate mobility (64 km/h top speed) allows it to get to positions in time, not much slower than common MBTs like the T-54, M48, etc
- Stock ATGM penetrates up to 430 mm and can score kills at a very long range, up to 3 km
- Researchable I-TOW ATGM improves penetration to 630 mm, and range to 3.75 km
- Heavy MG can take out lightly armoured vehicles (eg. WZ305) and low-flying planes/helicopters
- Fully exposed gunner is very vulnerable to everything, like MG fire, artillery strikes, and strafing planes
- Weak armour protection reduces survivability, especially against rapid-firing SPAAs like the Gepard, M163, Chieftain Marksman, etc
- While not so slow, it can still get out-ran by lots of opponents like the Leopard 1s, Centauros, etc.
- Is a big and soft target for strike aircraft, even for WW2 planes
- Cannot fire ATGM on the move, which can prove fatal in a sudden close quarters encounter
- Not so fast in a turn
- Gun depression is very limited above the MG
At the end of the 1970's, Italy was able to acquire straight from their American allies the BGM TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile launchers. This allowed Italy to equip itself with a potent long range weapon that would oppose the heavy armoured formations of the Warsaw Pact. The TOW had proven to be a wide success in the export market, and had several different versions that could be fired depending on the need. The TOW is still being used today in several countries and has been upgraded heavily which overall makes it a powerful weapon to be afraid of. After they had bought them, they would gradually be assigned to different parts of the armed forces. The Italian mechanized battalions were one of the main users and ended up installing the TOW system on several different vehicles, such as Land Rovers or in this case, the M113A1. These versions of the M113 differed from normal variants, due to the roof being able to be opened (to allow the TOW system to actually be installed) and a new GM 6V Diesel engine that produced up to 215 hp. This however turned out to be very dangerous for the crew, this variant had neither protection against ballistic threats, nor against the NBC ones. One of the many upsides was the ease at which the M113 was able to traverse through its environment and through bodies of water if needed. In terms of service, It was used all the way through the Cold War, and partook in several peacekeeping missions, such as in the Balkans and in Afghanistan. Overall, it was used in the majority of regiments of the Italian army, such as the Bersaglieri, who to this day apparently still have a few amount in service.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
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Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
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|Italy tank destroyers|
|M41||75/18 M41 · 75/32 M41 · 90/53 M41M|
|M43||105/25 M43 · M43 "G.C.Leoncello" · 75/34 M43 · 75/46 M43|
|Other||L3/33 CC · 47/32 L40|
|USA||M36B1 · M113A1 (TOW)|
|Germany||▄StuG III G|