US Delivers Over a Thousand Refurbished M113s to Iraq

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A vehicle crew of Iraqi army soldiers trains with the first M113 APCs delivered by the US Army in 2011, at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, April 27. Photo: US Army

The Iraqi Army is receiving 1,026 M113A2 armored personnel carriers (APC) from the U.S. Army’s surplus, the delivery will be made through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program, after the vehicles are refurbished by an Army Materiel Command through a public-private partnership. The APCs will equip part of the six armored divisions the US is helping to build with the Iraqi Army. The initial package that included 586 vehicles was announced in 2010 and followed by a second batch of 440 vehicles. The contract was awarded to BAE Systems, with Anniston Army Depot, Ala. (ANAD), assisting with part of the refurbishment work.

“The M113 is also just a great vehicle and offers a lot of versatility. Obtaining these through [Excess Defense Articles] also made this an affordable option for the Iraqis,” said Col. Sammy Hargrove U.S. Army Security Assistance Command’s, or USASAC’s, CENTCOM regional operations director, who also served as the Army team chief and USASAC liaison officer for the Iraq-Security Assistance Mission prior to his current position.

The work on the M113s began in February 2011 and was conducted in partnership with defense contractor BAE systems, which provided supply chain management. Refurbishment also included repairs to the vehicle’s powerpacks and engines that were not included in the original plan. Overall, ANAD worked 43,084.4 core hours on the vehicles, and with the additional work from BAE, the total contract cost for all 1,026 vehicles was $51 million.

“This was a win-win situation for both the Iraqis and the U.S. because in the Iraqi’s case, they went from a non-existent armored capability in 2010, to plans for six divisions,” explained Hargrove, “For the U.S., we divested ourselves of 1,026 M113s, most of which were incurring storage costs at Sierra Army Depot (Calif.) for close to 20 years. Demilitarizing that many vehicles can be cost-prohibitive. Using the [Foreign Military Sales] process ultimately saves the U.S. money.” The estimated U.S. cost avoidance for the storage and demilitarization of the 1,026 M113s is $31 million. Another advantage of using Foreign Military Sales, or FMS, as an Excess Defense Articles, known as EDA, divestiture tool is the opportunity for the organic industrial base to provide its services for refurbishment, modernization and/or repair and return to the customer country.