|M1117 Armored Security Vehicle|
M1117 Armored Security Vehicle
|Place of origin||United States|
|In service||1999 - Present|
|Used by||See Operators|
|Wars||Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan 2001-present), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-present)|
|Manufacturer||Textron Marine & Land Systems|
|Weight||29,560 lb (13,408 kg)|
|Length||237 in (6.07 m)|
|Width||101 in (2.56 m)|
|Height||102 in (2.59 m)|
|Armor||IBD Modular Expandable Armor System|
|40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher, .50 caliber M2HB|
|M249 Squad Automatic Weapon|
|Engine|| Cummins 6CTA8.3|
|Suspension||4×4 wheeled, fully independent|
|440 miles @ 40 mph|
|Speed||63 mph (100 km/h)|
The M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, or ASV, is an all-wheel drive armored vehicle manufactured by Cadillac Gage of Textron for use by the United States Army Military Police Corps. Its armament consists of an Mk 19 grenade launcher and M2 Browning Machine Gun, mounted in a turret similar to that used on the US Marine Corps' Amphibious Assault Vehicle; and a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon mounted outside the gunner's hatch. The vehicle has become very popular with U.S. Military Police Units and Convoy Security Units in Iraq. It is a more heavily protected and heavily armed alternative to the armored HMMWV which was not originally designed to be a protected fighting vehicle.
By the 1980s, American military doctrine emphasized two distinct types of equipment. Heavily armored tanks and infantry fighting vehicles were for front line combat, and unarmored utility vehicles would be used for transport behind the lines. In 1993, the military had to fight through Mogadishu in unarmored Humvees. This led to the development of armored HMMWVs. Many generals doubted the benefits, but the Military Police Corps, tasked with patrolling the "safe" rear area behind the battle line insisted that the Army fund a slow but steady production of the bullet resistant M1114 armored Humvee.
In 1999, the Army began buying a limited number of M1117s (originally the ASV-150) for the Military Police Corps. This purpose-built ASV was derived from Cadillac Gage's previous Commando family of AFVs which was used in Vietnam, by allies and for base security. The ASV 150 is a much improved version the earlier Cadillac Gage 100/150, with improved armor protection and better maneuverability due to the use of Timoney's independent suspension system.
The ASV uses an advanced modular expandable armor from IBD, consisting of ceramic composite applique on the exterior and spall liner on the interior. At $800,000 each, the M1117 was more expensive than the $140,000 price for an armored Humvee. They were field tested by MP units in Kosovo mostly by members of the 709th MP Battalion. The program was canceled in 2002 because of budget priorities. The Army believed that existing vehicles could be used without an "unacceptable level of risk." When the Iraq war began in 2003, the U.S. Army only had 49 of the ASVs with almost all of them being assigned to MP Units. The first MP unit to officially have them in a combat zone was the 527th MP Company and other elements of the 720th MP Battalion. However, the onset of events in Iraq have given a new lease on life for this program as HMMWVs have proven vulnerable to attacks and a large source of casualties. Uparmored HMMWVs were not designed to be armored cars like the M1117 which are designed to withstand hits from small arms, mines and rockets in frontline combat units. Some members of congress visiting Iraq have favored them over other mine protected vehicles. As of mid-2007, 1,729 vehicles were delivered or under contract with many being dispersed not just to MP's but numerous other military units to include the Iraqi National Police.
In response to urgent U.S. Army requirements in the mid-2000s, production has increased from one ASV every three weeks to the complete 56 vehicles per month. The plant that produces the vehicles is located in New Orleans and was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The manufacturing facilities have since been rebuilt and expanded to five buildings and personnel have more than doubled. The vehicle is a 21st century version of the V-100 Cadillac Gage Commando which was used by the US Army Military Police during the Vietnam War, whose duties often consisted of providing armed escort for wheeled convoys. The USAF in South Vietnam utilized an open hatched (turret-less) Commando for base security missions.
A variant was to be evaluated by the US Marine Corps as part of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program. As of May 18, 2007, After their vehicle submission failed ballistics testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Textron received word that they would not receive further orders as part of the MRAP program. However in early 2008, Textron was awarded a contract to build 329 ASVs worth $228 million. They will be delivered with the latest fragmentation protection kits. The total number of ASVs produced or remaining to be delivered to the U.S. Army is at 2,058 vehicles at that time.
At about 15 tons, the M1117 is lighter than the 20 ton Stryker ICV or 25 ton M2 Bradley armored vehicle. It is only 7 feet 9½ inches (2.4 meters) wide, compared to 11 feet 9½ inches (3.6 meters) for a Bradley. Buttoned up, the crew has 360º visibility. In size and capability, it fits between the Humvee and the $1.42 million Stryker. The crew compartment is fully air-conditioned. The ASV is built by Textron in Louisiana.
The Guardian's armor is designed to defeat small arms fire, mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The armor is angled presenting no vertical surfaces, deflecting many rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) hits. If an RPG does hit the vehicle directly, it can still function, although crew deaths and injuries will vary depending on where the RPG hits. Angled armor is more resistant to attack than vertical armor due to the V-shape hulls deflecting explosive forces (due to their shape), as opposed to a single-plane hull which takes the entire force impact.
ASVs in Iraq have withstood several IED attacks, some vehicles multiple times. One ASV returned 28 miles (45 km) after an IED blew out all four tires. As for chemical and biological attacks, the ASV’s gas particulate air filtration system was designed to provide additional protection, but is not usable due to lack of crew masks for the system. The ASV has had several incidents of rolling over. Soldiers have a higher survivability rate when rolling over, as the turret is fully enclosed protecting the gunner from ejection. However there have been at least two incidents of rollovers that resulted in the deaths of two soldiers when the turret broke away from the vehicle. (see article by Will Higgins - Indianapolis Star Posted : Monday Jul 21, 2008 11:13:15 EDT.) Since the incidents, Textron has started adding 15 additional bolts to the vehicle turret.
The typical mission profile of an ASV involves 50% primary roads, 30% secondary roads, and 20% cross-country conditions. Front and rear independent suspension provides smooth highway speeds of up to 60 mph (97 km/h), while it is still capable of fording 5-foot (1.5 m) depths of water, climbing gradients of 60%, and overcoming obstacles of five feet.
Six ASVs can fit on to a C-17 fully loaded, ready to roll off.
The following variants are known to be in production/service:
- Command & Control
- Recovery Vehicle (Each ASV can flat tow another ASV or HMMWV)
- Reconnaissance Surveillance & Target Acquisition (RSTA)
- Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)
- M1200 Armored Knight FiST-V
Bulgaria uses a variant of the M1117 APC fitted with a NSVT heavy machine gun instead of the M2. Not all vehicles have been converted this way.
The Iraqi Armored Personnel Carrier ASV variant is configured for transport.
- Bulgaria - 7 (6 with the troops in Afghanistan), more to be delivered. General Defence Staff of Bulgaria has put a requirement for additional 30 units to the Parliament.
- Colombia - 39, Used by the Army, it is expected the acquisition of a batch of the same amount.
- Iraq - 184, used by Iraqi National Police units. 80 more to be delivered.
- United States - 1,836. The vehicle is primarily used by U.S. Military Police Units and Convoy Security Units in Iraq.
- Afghanistan - 50 on order to be delivered by the end of 2011.
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- Doyle, David. Cadillac Gage V-100 Commando. 2008, Squadron Signal Publications. ISBN 978-0-89747-574-7.
- ↑ New style of war key to success in Iraq By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. National Journal March 26, 2007
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Safer Vehicles For Soldiers.
- ↑ Doyle, p. 2
- ↑ Doyle, p. 2, 40
- ↑ Textron’s M1117 Removed from MRAP Competition
- ↑ Marine & Land Awarded $228 Million for 329 Additional U.S. Army M1117 Armored Security Vehicles.
- ↑ Global Security
- ↑ Armoured Security Vehicle (ASV) in demand in Iraq.
- ↑ Textron Marine & Land Completes ASV M1117 Sale to Bulgaria.
- ↑ Iraqi Army beefs up armored forces.
- GlobalSecurity.org site on ASV
- Armored Security Vehicle Data Sheet (PDF)
- Video of ASV
- M1117 in Iraq video