The M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, or ASV, is an internal security vehicle manufactured by Textron Marine & Land Systems for use by the U.S. Army’s Military Police Corps. Its armament consists of an Mk 19 grenade launcher and M2HB Browning machine gun, mounted in a turret similar to that used on the U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Assault Vehicle; and a M240H Medium Machine Gun mounted outside the gunner’s hatch. The vehicle was utilized by American military police and convoy security units in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a more heavily protected and heavily armed alternative to the armored Humvee which was not originally designed to be a protected fighting vehicle.
At about 15 tons, the M1117 is lighter than the 20 ton Stryker ICV or 25 ton M2 Bradley armored vehicle. It can reach a speed of 20 miles per hour in 7 seconds. It is only 7 feet 9 1⁄2 inches (2.375 meters) wide, compared to 11 feet 9 1⁄2 inches (3.594 meters) for a Bradley. Buttoned up, the crew has 360° visibility. In size and capability, it fits between the Humvee and the $1.42 million Stryker. The crew compartment is fully air-conditioned.
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 survivability varies depending on the location at which the 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.
ASVs in Iraq and Afghanistan have withstood several IED attacks, some vehicles multiple times. One ASV returned 28 miles (45 km) after an IED destroyed 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 currently not in service due to lack of crew masks for the system. The ASV has experienced several rollover incidents. 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. Since the incidents, Textron has started adding 15 additional bolts to the vehicle turret.
The typical mission profile of an ASV involves 50% travel primary roads, 30% travel on secondary roads, and 20% cross-country travel. It uses a model MD3560 Allison Transmission. Front and rear independent suspension provides smooth highway speeds of up to 70 mph (110 km/h), while it is capable of fording 5-foot (1.5 m) depths of water, climbing gradients of 60%, negotiating 30% side slope, and overcoming obstacles of five feet. Its turning radius is 27.5-foot (8.4 m), and it has 18-inch (46 cm) ground clearance.
Six ASVs can enplane on a C-17, fully loaded and ready to roll off. Also, the CH-53E Super Stallion is able to carry one ASV.