Forces of Valor 85013 US M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - Operation Iraqi Freedom, Baghdad, 2003 (1:72 Scale)
"We will carry out a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility ... and by the application of overwhelming force."
- CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks commenting on the conduct of Operation: Iraqi Freedom, March 21st, 2003
The Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle (ACAV) was a derivative of the US Army's standard M113 armored personnel carrier. APCs such as the M113 were designed to ferry a squad of troops into battle and protect them from small arms fire. Once the vehicle came to a stop, a rear ramp would be lowered so that the troops riding inside the carrier could disembark behind the vehicle without being exposed to enemy gunfire. The ACAV was an upgunned variant that featured a .50-caliber machine gun and shield over the commander's hatch, plus two M-60 machine guns and shields near the rear cargo hatch for additional fire support.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US M113 Armored Personnel Carrier that participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: December 2006
Historical Account: "ACAV" - The "Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle" or "ACAV", was introduced in the Vietnam war after it was found that the commander and cargo hatch positions were extremely exposed and the vehicle's armament was in many ways lacking. Initially field expedient shields and mounts were used, then a kit was produced on Okinawa for the .50 cal. machine gun. Finally, the full ACAV kit, manufactured in the U.S., was introduced. The kit included shields and circular turret armor for the commander's Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine gun, and two additional 7.62mm M60 machine guns, again with shields, fitted on either side of the top cargo hatch.
This kit could be retrofitted to any M113. ACAV kits were also sometimes fitted to the M106 mortar carrier, but the different rear hatch found on this vehicle required the left M60 machine gun to be fitted to the extreme rear instead of the side.
Many kits were added in the field, but at least in the case of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the vehicles were modified in the U.S. before the unit left Ft. Meade, Maryland for Vietnam. Additional armor in the form of a mine protective kit under the hull was also frequently fitted.