The M113 parentage of the M163 is obvious. The side flotation cells and high-displacement trim vanes are readily apparent on this vehicle. The gun turret is open-topped, and the driver retains his normal position in the vehicle's left front corner. Along the vehicle's left-hand roof can be seen the square fire extinguisher activation handle cover, and directly behind this is the semi-circular link chute cover.
The depth of the trim vane can be better seen from this angle.
The personnel door in the rear ramp is open on this vehicle, and light can be seen shining in from the open commander's hatch in the hull rear roof. A towing pintle is mounted on the ramp below the personnel door.
The commander's hatch opens to the vehicle's left, and the link chute cover can be seen to the left of the image under the canvas bag.
The M157A1 gun mount is seen here. The antenna for the AN/VPS-2 radar set is mounted on the turret's right side, and the sight M61 can be seen on the top of the turret above the ordnance. The partially obscured forward exhaust pipe on the vehicle's roof is for the engine, and the rear pipe is for the personnel heater.
This interior view provides some scale of the room taken up by the gun turret. The driver can be seen in the background, and the large ammunition drum with its windows for viewing remaining rounds is in the picture's lower right corner. Batteries for the gun system are ahead of the ammuition drum, and the ammunition can be seen snaking up the right side of the image. (Picture taken 1 Apr 1978; available from the National Archives.)
This vehicle lacks the side-mounted flotation cells and high-volume trim vane, but there would be little use for these in the California desert in any case. The commander's hatch on this vehicle is also open, and can be seen on the rear roof, just inboard of the external stowage. The vehicle in the background is an M551 Sheridan modified to resemble a T-72 tank. (Picture taken 1 Nov 1988; available from the Defense Visual Information Center.)