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The OTO Melara VTC M113A1 TOW is a rank V Italy tank destroyer with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".
Survivability and armour
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 M1113A1 is meant to be a stand-off vehicle, which is due to its role on the battlefield, it is not built to be on the front line. The aluminium alloy armour will not stand up to much and as is will barely stop 12 mm machine gun fire when angled or far away. Anything of higher calibre is almost guaranteed to penetrate.
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 infront of gunner's face, then the shrapnel flies back and shreds the virtually nonexistant 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.
Vehicle also seems to not have hull break, as example, when an ATGM hits the side of the vehicle in arcade mode, it will only set it on fire. The mentioned shield on front can stop HESH from doing any damage at all, but it's not very reliable.
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.
While game stats state the top speed of this vehicle 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.
The M113A1 is a specialized vehicle which has a TOW missile launcher mounted onto the top of the vehicle. The firing tubes plus storage only contain 10 rockets to use 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 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, 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.
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, the rest of aircrafts should be left to the designated anti-air vehicles. As a last resort, the ATGM can be used.
Usage in battles
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Pros and cons
- The M113A1 is a mobile artillery platform with the power to stop tanks at very long range
- Fast enough to get to covered locations and set up for ambushes
- Extremely ineffective light armour - not suited for frontline duty
- Rather slow at turning
- Gunner is exposed, can easily be knocked out
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Other vehicles based off the M113 platform:
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