December 19, 2009:
Colombia has bought 39 American M1117 ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles) ICVs (Infantry Carrier Variant). The ICV is 24 inches (61cm) longer than the stock ASV, and can carry a crew of three and eight passengers. Instead of the turret, there will be a cupola mounting a 12.7mm machine-gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher. These vehicles cost about $1.17 million each. They will all be delivered by next November.
The basic ASV has a turret that can mount either 12.7mm machine-guns or Mk19 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The ASV 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 1990s era Balkan 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 get all they want.
The basic ASV is a 15 ton 4x4 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 armored trucks. Basic ASVs are 20 feet (6.1m) long and 8.5 feet (2.6m) 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, with plenty of room for additional gear, but not a lot of people. That's why the stretched ICV version was developed. Iraq has also bought the ICV version.