2008: Iraq has ordered 160 U.S. U.S.
Army M1117 ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles). Also ordered were 160 12.7mm
machine-guns and 160 Mk19 40mm automatic
grenade launchers for the turrets of the ASVs (which can hold both weapons).
Iraq is also buying four tow trucks for the vehicles, as well as spare parts,
maintenance material and technical training. The vehicles themselves cost about
a million dollars each. The total
package will cost about $206 million.
was, in effect, one of the first MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) to get
to Iraq. Originally developed in the 1990s for use by MPs in combat zones, only
a few were bought initially. It was found that for peacekeeping, existing
armored vehicles were adequate, and that in the narrow streets of Balkan towns,
the ASV was too wide to be very maneuverable. Then came Iraq, and suddenly, the
ASV was very popular. The army got lots more because military police like these
vehicles a lot. The MPs originally wanted 2,000 ASVs, but before Iraq, were
told they would be lucky to get a hundred. Now the MPs may end up with over two
The ASV is a 15 ton armored car that is built
to handle the kind of combat damage encountered in Iraq. The ASVs are, unlike
armored hummers, built from the ground up as an armored trucks. ASVs are 20
feet long and 8.5 feet wide, making them a bit larger than hummers. The ASV is
heavy enough to survive most roadside bombs and keep going. The ASV is bullet,
and RPG proof. The turret is the same one used on the U.S. Marine Corps LAV.
When the marines went shopping for armored trucks, however, they passed on the
ASV. This is believed to be mainly because most armored trucks have more room
inside. The ASV carries a crew of three.