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M163 VADS at Ft Hood....
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:45 pm
Post subject: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Here's another new one for Neil to add to his register of armor thats at Ft Hood. I found this M163 VADS in front of Building 10006, at the corner of Old Ironsides and 31st. The building is HQ to 4-15th ADA, 4th ID. The 1st CAV markings have been scrapped off before its transfer. This must be why I missed this vehicle before. I did remember it from when I was here in 1998-2001, but it was a few blocks away then and in better shape. The trim-vane was inside and the tam paint was very thick so that I could not find a hull stamping in the usual M113 family areas. Here is some information I found about these vehicles;

The Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS) is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) used by the US Army. It is also known as the M163. The M168 gun is a variant of the General Dynamics 20 mm M61 Vulcan rotary cannon—the standard cannon in most US combat aircraft since the 1960s.

The weapon is either mounted on a modified M113 vehicle (the M741 carrier) or on a towed trailer, which is designated the M167. The systems were designed to complement the M48 Chaparral missile system. The M163's uses a small, range-only radar, the AN/VPS-2, and an M61 optical lead-calculating sight. The gun fires at 3,000 rounds per minute in short bursts or 5,000 rounds per minute when holding the trigger down. The system is suitable for night operations with the use of AN-PVS series night vision sights that mount above the sight reticle. Vulcan was slated to be replaced by the M247 Sergeant York DIVADS (Divisional Air Defense System), but that system was cancelled due to cost overruns and technical problems.

Although it was designed primarily as an air defense weapon, it is not very effective against modern fast moving fixed wing aircraft. Consequently the Vulcan gun system was in use throughout the late 80's and early 90's primarily as a ground support weapon. For example, VADS guns were used to support American ground assault troops in Panama in 1989 during Operation Just Cause. One Vulcan of B btry. 2/62 ADA even sank a PDF Vosper PT boat.

Eventually the M48 and M163 were both replaced in US service by the M1097 Avenger and the M6 Linebacker (M2 Bradley with FIM-92 Stinger missiles instead of the standard TOW anti-tank missiles).


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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:51 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Is this the same one you mentioned recently as near the parade field?

Neil
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:20 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

As far as I can remember, this is the only M163 on the post. I might have mentioned I found it after taking pictures of other vehicles that were by the parade field. I saw a Soviet BRDM down a side street today that was only about a block from the M163. I couldn't get turned around though to photograph it. When I do, I make sure I let you know where it's located.

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:49 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Isnt there also an M163 at the 1st Cav Div Museum?

Neil
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:56 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Jeff

An impressive weapon system. Vulcan was test fielded in Vietnam on both PBR and M113 hull system as well as towed version.

Having grown up an 'Army Brat' to a FA / ADA Officer 'Dad', I grew up around the Vulcan. Seen it live fire a number of times.....Truely awesome.

Don
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:06 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Neil,
This M163 had old 1st CAV markings that were removed so it may have possibly been there at one time.

Dontos,
I remember seeing M42 Dusters and ground mounted Vulcans fire at remotely towed targets out over Lake Erie at Camp Perry, Ohio. My dad was a Transportation Major at the time and took me out to the firing line to watch them fire. I was allowed to take 4-40mm casings and 4-20mm casings home with me. I was about 12-13 at the time, which would have been around 1975-76 timeframe. When the remote controled airplane, (I believe they were called ARCATS?) would get hit by accident and crash in the lake, a crew would take a DUKW or "Goose" out to get the remains if it hadn't sunk. The Coast Guard kept that portion of the lake clear during the live-fires. I still have those casings, and its a time I will never forget.

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:21 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Jeff

I was able to go up to Mcgregor Range and White Sands on a number of occasions to watch live fire demos of all the different ADA weaponery.

I have even seen a 'NIKE Hercules' fire, back in the 60's....

'Dad' spent some time with Dusters (stateside & Vietnam). I hope to get his photos and slides from 1957-1980 (spanning his career) soon. Stay tuned.....!!

I'm sure many of the images will interest more than a few members of this DG. Mr. Green

I plan on digitizing everything in his 'collection'. I would imagine there are more than 3,000 color slides. (of course, many are the family 'tourist' type images from the 50's, 60's, & 70's....I won't bore ya'll with those!!) Cool

Don
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Sabot
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:12 am
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

4-5 ADA used to be the Air Defense Battalion that was part of the 1st Cav. It looks like the transformation has sent divisional air defense assets to the 31st ADA Bde.

I remember when the Vulcans were retired from 1st Cav. I was BMO for 1-12 Cav at the time, so I would place it around 1993 to 1994. I remember going to the Cann (cannibilization) Point and stripping Vulcans of any and all parts that would have taken any of my M113A2/M106A2/M577A2 off of the deadline report.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

All my M61 experience is of the Air Cav employed variety, but it certainly was wicked and helpful. These are close ups on an AH-1G in my Sqdn.:

www.vhpamuseum.org/wea.../20mms.jpg

www.vhpamuseum.org/wea...mmrear.jpg
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:37 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

Neil,
I drove by the 1st CAV museum this afternoon and there sure was an M163 on display there as well. Looked to be in better shape as well.

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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:59 pm
Post subject: Re: M163 VADS at Ft Hood....

I no sooner posted that last response and then I found a picture of it I took when I got here a couple months back.

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