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M106 MC

Tracked 107mm Mortar Carrier Vehicle

United States | 1965

"The M106 Mortar Carrier vehicle was an offshoot of the storied M113 APC line - incorporating a powerful 107mm field mortar."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/21/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The M106 was a Cold War-era (1947-1991) dedicated mortar carrier of the United States Army before being supplanted by the more modern M1064 series in same battlefield role. The type was built upon the existing - and proven - framework of the classic M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), a ubiquitous tracked system seeing service all over the globe primarily with American allies. The M106, for its part in military history, was featured in the fire-support role, capable of lobbing various 107mm projectiles through Non-Line-of-Sight (NLoS) fire in support of infantry and mechanized ground actions.

The M106 conversion was handled by FMC Corporation of the United States. The vehicles saw combat service in the Vietnam War (1955-1975).

The variant was born through the developmental-minded "XM106" form and entered service as the "M106". The primary change to the M113 was the introduction of a rounded, two-piece roof hatch which sat over the 107mm (4.2") M30 (or Soltam M-65) heavy field mortar at the rear of the vehicle. The mortar sat atop a 90-degree (right and left of centerline) traversing turntable (rear-facing fire) and could be dismounted for use as a standard mortar weapon system as needed. The vehicle's exterior port side hull wall was used to carry the baseplate and bipod support structure for this feature.

Up to 88 x 107mm projectiles could be carried on board the vehicle and this collection amounted to a mix of High-Explosive (HE) shells along with illumination and White Phosphorous (WP) types.

Beyond the 107mm mortar weapon was a single, optional 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) installed at the commander's cupola over the center of the hull roof. This gave the operator complete 360-degree coverage around the vehicle to counter both aerial and lightly-armored threats (as well as infantry). Vision blocks were embedded into the cupola for situational awareness when "buttoned down". Armor protection was of aluminum, suitable against only small arms fire. The vehicle's overall weight reached nearly 13 tons and dimensions included an overall length of 16.2 feet, a width of 9 feet, and a height of 7.3 feet.

Internally, drive power came from the M113's Chrysler gas-powered engine but this changed to a Detroit Diesel 6V53T diesel-fueled engine of 210 horsepower to drive the conventional track-and-wheel arrangement once the M113 line switched to the diesel units. This change then gave rise to the "M106A1" variant in turn. The M106A1's powertrain included the Allison X200-4 series transmission.

All told, the vehicle could range out (on roads) to nearly 290 miles. The track-and-wheel running gear gave it a good steady pace to keep up with accompanying mechanized forces.

M106 total production reached 860 units of which the United States Army procured 589 and 271 being shipped to foreign allies (the series was not widely exported, ending up in the inventories of just Argentina, Greece, and Peru). The follow-up M106A1 was built to the tune of 1,316 units with the U.S. Army taking into inventory 982 and the remaining 334 shipped overseas.

With the M113A2 APC's introduction into service, the M106 line was, again upgraded in turn resulting in the "M106A2" carrying the same improvements and capabilities as the APC form.

The United States no longer operates the M106. The replacement M1064 vehicles entered service in 1990 and have only seen export to ally Lithuania.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the M106 MC Tracked 107mm Mortar Carrier Vehicle.
M106A1: 1 x Detroit Diesel 6V53T diesel-fueled engine developing 210 horsepower and driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
42 mph
68 kph
Road Speed
289 miles
465 km
The physical qualities of the M106 MC Tracked 107mm Mortar Carrier Vehicle.
16.1 ft
4.9 meters
O/A Length
8.9 ft
2.7 meters
O/A Width
7.2 ft
2.2 meters
O/A Height
29,762 lb
13,500 kg | 14.9 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the M106 MC Tracked 107mm Mortar Carrier Vehicle.
1 x 107mm M30 OR Soltam M-65 heavy field mortar.
1 x 12.7mm Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) at commander's cupola.
88 x 107mm mortar projectiles.
500 x 12.7mm ammunition (estimated).
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - OPTIONAL.
Notable series variants as part of the M106 MC family line.
M106 - Base Series Designation; initial service form with Chrysler gas engines; 860 units completed.
XM106 - Developmental model designation.
M106A1 - Detroit Diesel engines introduced with M113A1 production series; 982 built for U.S. service and further 334 shipped overseas.
M106A2 - Improved form based in the M113A2 production series.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the M106 MC. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 2,176 Units

Contractor(s): FMC Corporation - USA
National flag of Argentina National flag of Greece National flag of Peru National flag of Portugal National flag of Thailand National flag of the United States

[ Argentina; Greece; Peru; Portugal; Thailand; United States (retired) ]
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Image of the M106 MC
Historical image from the U.S. Army archives; Public Domain.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The M106 MC Tracked 107mm Mortar Carrier Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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