M113A1 (TOW) (China)
17 km/h back65 km/h forward
15 km/h backSpeed
The ␗M113A1 TOW is a rank V Chinese tank destroyer with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision". It is a M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier with a TOW missile launcher equipped on the back of the vehicle.
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 due to its role on the battlefield, and 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.
Try to hide as best as you can, or not only the gunner will suffer consequences, but the entirety of the crew as well.
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.
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While the stats state the top speed of the M113A1 (TOW) is 64 km/h, in reality it is generally only able to accelerate up to around 30-40 km/h on flat terrain, 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 if 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 like the KPz-70.
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 gun depression, at 20 degrees, excels almost every other tank and allows the player to use many surprising positions to attack. Note that the depression is far less when the launch tube is above the MG.
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
The best way one should use this vehicle would be to stay away from the active combat areas, hide, and use the exposed gunner and TOW launcher to your advantage. The exposed launcher allows the vehicle to hide behind solid cover while still being able to fire from over it, giving the enemy a much harder time in spotting and shooting you. Staying away from the combat zones maximises your survivability, in addition to taking advantage of the TOW missiles' extremely long range, allowing you to pick off targets from beyond the range of conventional rounds.
It is also worth noting the -20 degrees launcher depression as, even though it may not be as impressive as the -30 degrees launcher depression of the M901, it is still very capable in adapting to uneven terrain and firing from behind hills. However, note that the depression angles are severely limited when the launcher is facing the pintle-mounted machine gun, to roughly only -3 degrees. Therefore, you should try to always have the front of the hull facing the direction of the battlefield, to avoid the launcher suddenly jerking up when the machine gun gets into the way, which will also guide the missile upwards (if launched), and therefore miss the target. Horizontal guidance is also limited, and the launcher will stop rotating at ±45 degrees. The best way to counter this drawback will be to play it like other turret-less tank destroyers, like the ISU-122 and the ISU-152, which must rotate the hull to assist with aiming at extreme angles.
Even though the M113 is mounted with a heavy machine gun, attempting to combat helicopters and planes is not recommended unless the situation is desperate, as doing so will only grab unwanted attention from both the air and ground. Aircraft at this rank are often equipped with HE rockets, only one of which is necessary to destroy your vehicle thanks to the hull-break mechanic, and if not, the vast majority of aircraft-mounted guns will be able to penetrate from any angle.
If you find yourself in a close quarters situation, the best method of survival will be to use the machine gun to cause some levels of distraction, while attempting to retreat to the nearest cover. Do note that your machine gun does have a relatively impressive penetration of 31 mm at close range, which can allow you to take out lightly armoured targets like the M3 Bradley (in the turret with some luck), AUBL/74, Falcon etc., yet should still be avoided if possible due to these vehicles possessing much better close quarters capabilities and will have no problem in shredding the M113.
When moving to a shooting position, the last thing you should ever do is stop, which will make you an extremely easy target, keep driving no matter what, let your vehicle gain speed, which will make it harder for the enemy to hit you. When we look at the TOW missile itself, it is definitely not the fastest, nor the slowest, which means that you will need to make sure there is enough open space that the target is driving across, which gives more time for the missile to reach its target, and remember to lead slightly ahead. Due to the extremely good penetration, aiming basically anywhere on a target of the BR and hitting will guarantee some levels of damage, so it is generally best to aim at the centre mass of the vehicle, to deal as much damage as possible. If the first missile hits but does not destroy the target, do not hesitate in firing a second which will usually finish the job.
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.
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Pros and cons
- Amazing 20 degrees depression adapts all rough terrains 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, M48A1, 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 and low-flying planes/helicopters
- A extended gunner and launcher allows the vehicle to fire with its whole hull in cover
- Fully exposed gunner is very vulnerable to everything
- 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 outrun by lots of opponents like the Leopard Is, Centauros, etc
- Is a big and soft target for ground pounders, even for WW2 planes
- Cannot fire ATGM on the move, which can be fatal in a close quarter sudden encounter
- Not so fast in a turn
- Gun depression is very limited above the MG
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|China tank destroyers|
|American||␗M8 HMC · ␗LVT(A)(4) (ZiS-2) · ␗M10 · ␗M18 · ␗M36 · ␗M113A1 (TOW) · CM25|
|Soviet||␗SU-76M · ␗ISU-152 · ␗ISU-122 · ␗SU-100|