The M981A3 FIST-V is a variant of the M113 FOV that is used as an artillery forward observer vehicle in accordance with the fire support team concept. It's primary mission is to enhance combined arms efficiency by providing the FIST HQ with an operating base for targeting, self-locating and designating equipment which will provide improvements in first round accuracy and by providing mobility and survivability comparable with the maneuver units being supported.
The M981 FISTV greatly enhances the ability of the Field Artillery FIST to provide support to maneuver units. It enables the FIST headquarters to acquire and lase targets for terminally guided munitions and to coordinate fire support for the maneuver unit within a protective armored environment. The vehicle has a M113 chassis, with a laser target designator mounted on the top of the vehicle. Inside the vehicle there are 6 AN/GRC-160 radio sets as well as a AN/VRC-46 radio set. Two digital message devices are also integrated into the vehicle in order to review, edit, and forward calls for fire from the FO to the appropriate fire support asset.
The M981 transports a G/VLLD. The turret is designed to resemble that of the M901, making the vehicle less conspicuous to enemy gunners. The FIST-V has secure voice and digital communication capability.
TACOM intention is to block materiel changes (MC) as funding becomes available. Possible changes include:
- This MC adds an emergency battery power supply to provide an automatic backup of the power supply and a transition sensing unit on the M981 and M981A3 vehicles to warn crew members of a low voltage condition and increase mission readiness.
This MC provides an automatic stow capability which will enable the operator to stow the sighting station without prepositioning the head prior to initiating the stow procedure. Under combat conditions, this time consuming procedure subjects the crew and vehicle to enemy fire and increases the time necessary to take evasive action. Modification to the sighting station will enable it to be stowed automatically at the touch of a switch.
Enhanced Night Site Collimator
- This MC is an installation of remote adjustment knobs inside the vehicle. Presently, one crew member must install the collimator and remain outside the vehicle while the crew member inside adjusts for elevation and azimuth at his direction. Remote collimator reduces the crew's exposure to hostile fire during boresighting and provides more accurate and quicker boresighting when one operator is able to perform adjustments while he is viewing the scene himself.
Night Sight Lens Cover
- This MC is an installation of a remotely controlled cover for the night sight. Presently, the night sight lens is vulnerable to damage from rocks and other objects. The cover will reduce damage to the lens and reduce set-up time by keeping the lens free of dirt.
Operator Selectable Filter
- The purpose of this MC is to provide laser protection to the AN/TAS-4 Night Sight to prevent operator eye injury from damaging laser energy. This change provides a switch mounted in the operators station in the vehicle for control of the filter. The kit includes the switch, electrical cable, and various mounting hardware and fasteners.
WFOV Laser Protection
- The purpose of this MC is to provide laser protection to the Wide Field of View optical path to prevent operator eye injury from damaging laser energy.
Additional M113 FOV MCs which could be applied to the M981A3 FIST-V include: Armor Enhancements; BCIS; Contact Spall Liner; Drivers Night Viewer; EPLRS; Improved cold Start; M17 Laser Protection; PLGR Brackets; Swim Mod; VIS; and Water/Ration Heater.