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The Gun, Air Defence Artillery, Self-Propelled: 20-mm, M163 is a rank VI 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".
Survivability and armour
Armor 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.
|Game Mode||Mobility characteristics||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
A 20 mm M168 VADS, or Vulcan air defence system. The M168 is a variant of the M61 cannon, which is represented in-game in the Japanese T-2, and the American F-4C Phantom. 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.
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 defense 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 targetting zone of the M163.
The M163 wields about 60 mm of penetration, and at the 8.0 battle rating, that's 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.
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.
|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|
|7,000 m||100 m||360°|| -20°/+85°
(lock between -20°/+20°)
|15 m/s (54 km/h)|
Pros and cons
- Quick acceleration
- Good traverse, especially when fully upgraded
- Insane rate of fire of 3000 rpm; can literally shred incoming enemy aircraft.
- Has a tracking radar
- Light armour
- 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
The VADS was used during the Vietnam war and onwards and was based on the chassis of the M113 armoured personnel carrier. NATO used it as an anti-aircraft gun platform.
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
Other vehicles based off the M113 platform:
- [Weapon Systems M163 Vulcan]
|USA anti-aircraft vehicles|
|Based on M3||M13 MGMC · M16 MGMC · M15A1 CGMC|
|Based on M24||M19|
|Post-war||M42 · M163 · M247|