US gives Jordan 150 M577 Command Post Vehicles

On February 20, Jordan has taken delivery of 150 units of M577 Command Post vehicles, a version of the battle-proven M113 APC. They are a gift from the US government to be used in combat and for border protection, according to an official statement.

US gives Jordan 150 M557 Command Post Vehicles
M577 Command Post vehicles delivered to Jordan (Picture source: Twitter)

These M577s are offered in the framework of an annual grant provided by the United States to close allies, after the US approved a multi-billion dollar aid package to help the kingdom balance its payment sheets. The US military aid to Jordan amounts to roughly half a billion dollars. In return, Jordan provides the US with various military bases and has been actively helping the CIA to control militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

On February 14, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Jordan in which the United States makes a non-binding commitment to support providing no less than $1.275 billion per year in U.S. bilateral foreign assistance to Jordan, beginning in FY 2018 and ending in FY 2022. This is the first such MOU signed by the Trump Administration.

The United States is the single largest donor of assistance to Jordan. For FY 2017, this help amounts to $1.3 billion in bilateral foreign assistance and $200 million in Department of Defense support to Jordan’s armed forces. The new, five-year MOU represents an annual $275 million increase in bilateral foreign assistance over the 2015-2017 MOU. The MOU commits the United States to support providing a minimum of $750 million of Economic Support Funds (ESF) and $350 million of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) between FY 2018 and FY 2022. As part of this bilateral understanding, Jordan has committed to prioritize economic and security sector reforms that aim to support Jordanian self-reliance.

The M577 is a US tracked armored command post vehicle. It is based on an M113 armored personnel carrier chassis and is a member of the same vehicle family. The first 4 prototypes, known as XM577, were converted from M113 APCs. Production began in the early 1960s. The M577 has been exported to a number of countries. Despite its age the M577 is still used around the world.

The M577 is basically an M113 with a raised rear part of the roofline. This vehicle is used as a tactical operations center. The hull of this armored vehicle is welded of aluminum armor. Up to 40% of vehicle components are manufactured from light alloys. The armor of this vehicle provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. The vehicle is also fitted with NBC protection system.

Vehicle has a crew of 5, including the driver. The M577 is also fitted with external diesel generator. It is mounted at the front of the vehicle and develops 4.2 kW to provide 24-volt power. The generator powers all electronic systems and communication equipment when the main engine is turned off. Electricity can be also exported. A single generator provides enough power for two M577 vehicles.

The engine is located at the front of the vehicle on the right side. Initial production M577 were powered by a Chrysler 75M petrol engine, developing 209 hp. It was mated with a manual gearbox. However soon improved production version of the M577 were fitted with General Motors 6V53T diesel developing 275 hp, that was mated with an automatic gearbox. It is worth mentioning that engine compartment is fitted with a fire extinguishing system. It is manually operated by the driver. It can be also activated from outside of the vehicle. The M577 has an additional fuel tank, mainly for the generator.

Despite its bulky appearance this vehicle is fully-amphibious. On water it is propelled by its tracks.

Although the M577 was developed as a command post vehicle it was – and still is – also used for other roles. Due to its large internal volume it is used as an armored ambulance, medical treatment vehicle, fire direction center and for other roles.



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