USA delivers 20 Textron M1117 Guardian ASV Armored Security Vehicles to Colombian Army
According to Military Leak, the Colombian Army has received 20 Textron M1117 Guardian 4×4 armored vehicles, donated by the USA. This marks the first batch of a total of 145 GUARDIANs to have been declared as US Army surplus and earmarked for Colombia, 39 initially, used by the Army.
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In the 2000s, Textron M1117 APCs were purchased by the US Army as a kind of "light Ersatz MRAP " for use in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of HMMWVs. (Picture source: U.S. DoD)
These vehicles are the APC version, purchased to supplement Colombia’s recently acquired fleet of BTR-80s; another 39 were expected to enter operational service in 2012. In August 2013, Textron was awarded a $31.6 million contract for 28 Commando APCs with a remotely controlled weapon station. Deliveries were scheduled to begin in November 2013 and be completed by April 2014. On 4 April 2016, the United States Department of Defence made public that Colombia acquired 54 new M1117 APCs.
The 14-ton armored vehicle M1117 Guardian (Armored Security Vehicle - ASV 150), produced by Textron Corporation, is a development of the famous Commando armored personnel carrier dating back to the Vietnam war, originally developed for the American military police. In the 2000s, it was purchased by the US Army as a kind of "light Ersatz MRAP " for use in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of HMMWVs. In total, the US Army purchased 2,058 units plus 844 M1200 based on them. To date, the main part of the redundant M1117s has been transferred to storage.
The Colombian Army uses the Guardians in internal security missions against terrorist groups. The vehicle features an RWS mounting a 12.7mm machinegun and a 40mm grenade launcher. It uses an Allison MD3560 transmission. The Guardian uses an advanced modular expandable armor package from IBD Deisenroth Engineering, consisting of ceramic composite applique on the exterior and spall liner on the interior. 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. Angled armor is more resistant to attack than vertical armor due to the shape of the V-shape hulls deflecting explosive forces, as opposed to a single-plane hull which takes the entire force impact.
The vehicle can reach 70 mph (110 km/h), while it is capable of fording 5-foot (1.50 m) of water, climbing gradients of 60%, negotiating 30% side slope, and overcoming obstacles of 5 feet. It has an 18-inch (46 cm) ground clearance. Six Guardians can be carried in a single Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. A Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter is able to carry one ASV.