The Dutch M113 C&V and its 25mm Oerlikon cannon: a report

Report No. 2963 on the presentation of the 25mm Oerlikon Weapon System for NATO on May 20, 1969 at Ochsenboden Works Firing Range

The article below centres on the M113 C&V (Commando en Verkenning; sometimes abbreviated C&R for Command and Reconnaissance), a vehicle more commonly known in Anglophone publications after its Canadian nickname, the Lynx.

As part of the American-style battalion-level reconnaissance platoons operated by the Dutch Army, the M113 C&V replaced the M38 "Nekaf" jeep.

With a total of 266 bought in 1966, the original vehicles were equipped with an M2 .50 and FN MAG.
In 1974, all 266 vehicles were re-equipped with the Oerlikon 25mm cannon. All in all, not a bad upgrade over the WWII-style jeeps used some 9 years prior.

The vehicle would service until 1999, gradually being replaced a few years earlier by the YPR-765 pri until the Fennek reconnaissance vehicle was procured.

Below, the rapid changes to the recon platoon are illustrated as per the relevant manuals :

The recon platoon in 1965, consisting of a command squad, a recon squad, tank squad, infantry squad and support (mortar) squad. In total, five M38 "Nekaf" jeeps with FN MAGs, two AMX 105mm light tanks, an AMX pri with M2 .50, and a YP-408 with M2 .50 towing an 81mm mortar.

The recon platoon in 1970, similar to the platoon described above, but with all M38 "Nekaf" jeeps replaced by the M113 C&V with M2 .50 and FN MAG. The AMX pri and YP-408 have been replaced by the M113 pri and M106A1 4.2-in mortar carrier. Note that the AMX light tanks were replaced by the Leopard 1 in 1971.

The recon platoon of 1982, consisting of a command M113 C&V 25mm, four M113 C&V 25mm in two recon teams making up a recon squad, two Leopard 1/2 tanks, an infantry squad carried in an M113 pri, and an M106A1 mortar carrier.

For a final bit of context, the specifications of the M113 C&V were as follows:

Carrier Co/Verk M113 CenV m/kn 25 mm
Crew 3
Length 480 cm
Width 227 cm
Height 273 cm
Ground clearance 40 cm
Weight 8.130 kg
Ground pressure 0.48kg/cm2
Fuel capacity 290 litres
Speed 67 km/h
Amphibious speed 6.5 km/h
Range approx. 460 km
Incline 60%
Vertical obstacle 61 cm
Trench crossing 147 cm
Turning radius 6.4 m
Engine GMC 6V53
Horsepower 215 hp at 2800 rpm
Armour Aluminium
Front 32-44mm
Top 32mm
Underside 25mm
Side 19-32mm
Rear 32mm
Armament Oerlikon KBA B 02 25mm
Rate of fire 570 rds/min
Elevation -12°/+52°
Ammunition 200 rounds ready, 250 rounds in hull

By 1969, the Dutch Army had not yet decided on the calibre for its recon vehicles, with the 20mm and 25mm being the primary contenders. As such, various demonstrations by manufacturers were attended, with the document below illustrating one such demonstration.

With all that being said, it is time to consider the document central to this article, that is, Report No. 2963 on the presentation of the 25mm Oerlikon Weapon System for NATO on May 20, 1969 at Ochsenboden Works Firing Range. as found under index Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Inspecties van de Wapens en Dienstvakken van de Koninklijke Landmacht, nummer toegang 2.13.158, inventarisnummer 1170: Stukken betreffende het 25 mm wapensysteem voor pantservoertuigen. 1969

Report No. 2963

Although the document speaks for itself and requires no translation, it is worth pointing out the performance of the 25mm round, as this was indeed the main point of the demonstation.

Firing HEI rounds of both 20mm and 25mm calibre at a 2mm aluminium alloy plate with three fir-wood plates 1.3 metres behind it arranged per the sketch below, the 20mm round produced some 126 penetrations, with the 25mm HEI nearly doubling that figure with 234 penetrations.

Similarly, the power of 25mm APHEI is demonstrated on a 25mm plate angled at 35 degrees at a distance of 100 metres, and 35mm plate entirely vertical at the same distance.

Finally, the performance of 25mm APDS is noted, being fired at a 25mm plate angled at 60 degrees from 1000 metres. With 11 rounds fired, 8 hit and penetrated their target, 1 shot grazed the plate, and 2 missed.

Once again, not a bad upgrade over an FN MAG on a jeep...

Original Document