Four: commander, gunner, driver and dismount
The M1117 armoured security vehicle (ASV), also known as the Guardian, is a rugged 4×4 wheeled armour vehicle developed by Textron Marine & Land Systems’ (TM&L) Cadillac Gage. The M1117 ASV not only protects military police crew from small arms fire and mines but also provides quick insertion capability and manoeuvrability in urban areas.
The M1117 was first introduced into the US Army’s Military Police inventory in 1999. Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom were the two major missions in which the vehicle was involved as mission essential equipment. The ASV proved its operational capability in both missions.
The vehicle is compatible with C-130 aircraft and almost six M1117s can be accommodated in a single C-17 aircraft. It is the only combat vehicle that can roll on and off, while remaining combat loaded.
The M1117 has three primary variants: the infantry carrier vehicle, which holds two crew and eight passengers; a command and control vehicle, which carries two crew, four battle staff and a recovery vehicle; and the M1200 armoured knight vehicle for combat observation and lasing teams.
The armoured knight is another variant provided with a sensor package, which locates and assigns targets for indirect fire and laser-guided weapons.
The M1117 has separate variants for the purpose of special missions, including reconnaissance surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA), and ambulance.
The first M1117 ASV production contract for 94 vehicles was awarded to TM&L on 30 March 1999, by the US Army Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren, MI.
By January 2008, the US Army alone procured more than 1,270 M1117s from TM&L. Seven ASVs were delivered to the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria in 2008, in fulfilment of a contract signed in January 2008, worth $10.2m.
In August 2010, Textron Systems received an order from the US Army to supply 52 M1117 ASVs and 21 M1200 Armoured Knights. In April 2011, US Army TACOM placed a $64.3m firm-fixed-price contract for 37 M1117 ASVs and 51 M1200 Armoured Knight vehicles.
By April 2011, the US Army received a total of 2,777 ASVs and 314 Armoured Knight vehicles under the ASV programme.
The M1117 comes with a 40mm MK-19 grenade launcher and a 12.7mm machine gun. The vehicle can travel across 360°, with the weapons elevated between -10° to +60°.
The M1117’s turret is the critical component of its crew protection. It can reload under armour for both weapons while operating with the enemy, a capability that has proved advantageous during combat.
The M1117 has been carefully designed to offer superior protection to its crew. The hatch of the turret is kept flat, decreasing the ASV’s silhouette and thus providing the crew with greater protection. The crew can enjoy 360° security from small arms fire by an exterior modular appliqué and an interior spall liner.
The vehicle’s M36 E3 day / night sight and 360° vision blocks are known to provide outstanding lethality and protection on the non-linear battlefield.
The vehicle can also protect the inmates from anti-tank mine blasts or overhead attacks by shell fragments of artillery. As the armour is designed to bolt on, further protection can be added depending on the level of ballistic defence required.
The M1117 is provided with a central tyre inflation system. The ASV runs on specially designed flat tyres, which provide added essential mobility under fire. A gas particulate air filtration system provides additional protection to the vehicle against all threats, whether nuclear, biological or chemical.
The M1117 is powered by a 260hp Cummins 6CTA8.3 diesel engine coupled with the Allison MD3560 six-speed transmission and R-611 independent axles. The vehicle can reach 0-32km/h in under seven seconds.
M1117’s design enables it to achieve a good ride quality on highways and off-road terrains. An independent suspension system makes the ASV easier to handle even at highway speeds exceeding 60mph, while retaining a high-quality ride and mobility.
The ASV can cross water depths of 5ft, climb gradients of 60% and can get over vertical obstacles of 2ft high.
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