For decades, the US Army's MPs have gotten the short end of the stick. Given the mission of protecting the rear areas of any military ground operation, they have long been forced to rely on deploying unarmored HMMWVs with only one of the Heavy Squad's weapons mounted on the roof. After land mines destroyed a few Hummers in Kosovo, they got some shiny new M1114 uparmored HMMWVs, but only a few. They got a lot more of them for operating in Iraq, too.
However, Iraq and the widespread use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) got them something better than a HUMVEE. In Iraq, they get to use the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle. The M1117 is a direct descendent of the Cadillac Gage manufactured M706 armored cars used primarily by the United States Air Force for base security in the Vietnam War era. The M1117 is a state of the art light armored vehicle to meet the transportation, protection, and firepower needs of the MP Heavy Squad, a team of three men that must lug around and deploy both an M-2 Browning .50 cal. MG and a Mk. 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher.
With the M1117, both weapons are turret mounted in a fashion that keeps all weapons activity, including reloading, under the protection of the vehicle's armored shell. Additionally, with a top speed of 63 mph, it is designed to move faster than most transport vehicles in convoy, making it an exceptional route scout and convoy patrol vehicle.
The M1117 in the last 6 years has proven to be quite successful. As of 2011, 14 variants exist and while the United States is still the primary user, the vehicle has also been sold to Bulgaria and Colombia, Canada is considering a major purchase of up to 500 vehicles to make it the second largest user and Afghanistan has ordered 440 to make it the third largest user.
Along with detailing all current variants of the vehicle, we also provide a brief on the history from the original Cadillac Gage XM706 armored car to the current Textron vehicle line. We also provide information on the MEXAS applique armor system that is critical the the M1117's success, the weapon turret it chares with the USMC's AAV-7A1, and the various weapon systems it carries.
This product supercedes ATN11007 - Big Bang Ricochet 007: The M1117 Guardian ASV, originally published in 2005. This is a major enhancement over the previous edition, expanded from 10 pages to 44.