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Gun, Air Defence Artillery, Self-Propelled: 20-mm, M163
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
117 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
38 / 44 / 38Hull
17 / 17 / 17Turret
11.2 tWeight
404 hp212 hpEngine power
36 hp/t19 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
69 km/h forward
16 km/h back
64 km/h forward
14 km/h back
20 mm M168 cannonMain weapon
2 200 roundsAmmunition
20.0 / 26.0 sReload
1 100 roundsBelt capacity
3 000 shots/minFire rate
-5° / 80°Vertical guidance
120 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
300 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 900 / 4 002/2 400 / 3 312/11 360 / 15 676Repair
85 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
300 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
1 200 Ge icon.pngAces
196 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
180 % Sl icon.png120 % Sl icon.png130 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage M163.jpg

The Gun, Air Defence Artillery, Self-Propelled: 20-mm, M163 is a rank V American self-propelled anti-aircraft gun with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.63 "Desert Hunters".

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour is not on the operator's side in the M163, as it is thin enough to be destroyed by 12.7 mm machine guns from the sides and rear, and any cannon-sized armament from the front. The turret is partially open, leaving the crew vulnerable to enemy light arms fire. If attacked, the best bet for taking a hit and surviving is to point the engine towards the enemy and hope it absorbs the shot.

Armor Composition

  • Aluminum Alloy 5083 - Main, Additional
  • Structural Steel - Front and Rear Fenders
  • Rubber-Fabric Screens - Fenders/Sideskirts
  • Gun Steel - Launcher
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 38 mm (45°Upper Glacis

38 mm (26°Lower Glacis

29 mm (45°Engine Maintenance Hatch

44 mm Upper

32 mm Lower

38 mm 38 mm
Turret 0-17 mm Turret Front

150 mm Gun Mantlet

17 mm 17 mm 0 mm
Additional Armor 6 mm Upper Glacis 6 mm Upper N/A N/A

Note: The additional armor does not fully cover the plate it is mounted to.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 69 16 11.2 301 404 26.88 36.07
Realistic 64 14 188 212 16.79 18.93


Main armament

Main article: M168 (20 mm)

The M163 is equipped with a 20 mm M168 VADS, or Vulcan air defence system. The M168 is a variant of the M61 cannon, which can be found in-game on vehicles such as the Japanese T-2, and the American F-4C Phantom II. Used initially during the Vietnam war, the M168 was a 20 mm air-cooled rotary cannon attached to a small turret on the M163. Dangerous to anything in the sky, it will lock on and rip through anything in its path.

20 mm M168 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 2,200 (1,100) 3,000 -5°/+80° ±180° N/A 66.05 91.41 111.00 122.80 130.59 26.00 23.00 21.20 20.00
Realistic 44.63 52.50 63.75 70.50 75.00


  • Default: AP-I · HEI-T · AP-I
  • HEI-T: HEI-T · HEI-T · HEI-T · AP-I
  • AP-I: AP-I · AP-I · AP-I · HEI-T
Penetration statistics
Belt Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Default 53 50 39 28 20 14
HEI-T 53 50 39 28 20 14
AP-I 53 50 39 28 20 14

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M163
rack empty
rack empty
2 belts (+1) (+2) No

Usage in battles

The M163 has an amazing rate of fire with the M168 gun, thus it has amazing damage output. In an anti-aircraft role, it is best used as a point-defence SPAA, defending a group of allies/cap zone from air attack. Its range isn't as good as the M247, so it's best to keep in mind the approximate 1 km targeting zone of the M163.

The M163 wields about 60 mm of penetration, which is enough to mortally wound/destroy many Axis-country's vehicles such as the Leopard, AUBL, and Centauro.

The high rate of fire also allows the M163 a sort of CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) type of role, as it can easily spray in the direction of an incoming bomb, thus destroying it and saving nearby allies. This is especially easy against the infamous FAB-5000 bomb from the Russian Pe-8, as the bomb is large and easy to track.

An M163 firing at a FAB-5000, right before the bomb is hit and destroyed.


Main article: AN/VPS-2

The M163 is equipped with an AN/VPS-2 tracking radar, with no search radar. The radar is fitted to the side of the turret.

Msg-info.png In order to lock on you must be looking through your sight, position the crosshair over a target (within 7 km) and press the lock on key. The target must be within a 2° cone from the centre of the crosshair.
AN/VPS-2 - Tracking Radar
Azimuth Tracking
Elevation Tracking
target speed
7,000 m 100 m 360° -20°/+85°
(lock between -20°/+20°)
15 m/s (54 km/h)


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts HEI-T Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE AP-I Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support NVD

Pros and cons


  • Amphibious
  • Quick acceleration
  • Good traverse, especially when fully upgraded
  • Insane rate of fire of 3,000 rpm; can literally shred incoming enemy aircraft, AP rounds are dangerous against lightly armoured vehicles
  • Has a tracking radar


  • Light armour
  • Top speed of 32 km/h off-road when stock
  • Not keen to climbing hills until performance modules are equipped
  • Relatively slow for the rank
  • Slow in water
  • Inaccurate/wobbly in water
  • One of the longest rearm/reload times in the game
  • No search radar
  • Effective range is not good for a rank V SPAA
  • Inaccurate while approaching far targets


The M163 VADS (Vulcan Air Defense System) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) based on the chassis of the M113 armored personnel carrier (APC). It was nearly unmodified from the base M113, and featured the same armor scheme, rear loading ramp, and the General Motors 6V53 series 6-cylinder 2-cycle diesel engine (212 hp). An open-topped turret was fitted to the center of the roof of the vehicle, and an M61 Vulcan 20mm rotary cannon was mounted in the turret. The gun could fire at 3,000 rpm or 1,000 rpm, and the elevation was from -5° to +80°. The M163 was operated by a crew of four, and there was a wide variety of ammunition for the main gun. A tracking radar was fitted to the turret to improve the chances of destroying an enemy aircraft, but the anti-aircraft ability of the M163 was limited and it was only useful against low-flying aircraft within 5 kilometers, and the chances of destroying the aircraft were best within 1 kilometer.

The M163 entered service with the United States Army in 1969, but at least six vehicles were sent to the Vietnam War before the type had entered service. The vehicles sent to South Vietnam were not fitted with the tracking radar, and they were used mostly in an infantry support role. The M163 was later upgraded to the M163A1 and A2 standards. The M163A1 had an improved gun mount, and the M163A2 featured the improved M113A2 powerplant. The M163 PIVADS (Product Improved Vulcan Air Defense System) upgrade was introduced in 1984. The PIVADS upgrade featured improved radar and accuracy of the gun, and it also introduced armor-piercing capabilities with an APDS round. Over time, the M163 began to be used more in an infantry support role, as surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems became more common. It notably served during the First Gulf War. The M163 was retired from US Army service in 1993.

The M163 was also used by a number of other nations. These include Albania, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) upgraded a number of M163 vehicles with a launcher for 4 x FIM-92 Stinger SAMs, and these were called the Machbet. The IDF also upgraded their vehicles with improved electronics. The M163 is still in service with a number of the nations listed above.



See also

Other vehicles based off the M113 platform:

External links


USA anti-aircraft vehicles
Based on M3  M13 MGMC · M16 MGMC · M15A1 CGMC
Based on M24  M19
Post-war  M42 · M163 · M247