Kosovo Security Force (KSF) received 55 M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle donated by the United States. US Army personnel have been photographed training with M1117s alongside members of the Kosovo Security Force. In April, the US Army provided driver’s training and mechanics familiarization on the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle. US Army personnel have been photographed training with M1117s alongside members of the Kosovo Security Force. This training supports the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) deliberate 10-year transition. Kosovo does not disclose information on the number and timing of the delivery of armored vehicles, apparently by order of Pentagon.
President Vjosa Osmani said the donation was another proof of the “special and close relationship” between the two countries. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, almost a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces that was ended by a 78-day NATO air campaign. It is recognized by most Western nations but not by Serbia or its allies Russia and China. In a decade, the KSF is expected to have 5,000 troops and 3,000 reservists, mainly to deal with crisis response and civil protection operations.Earlier this year, Kosovo sent a military platoon to Kuwait, its first involvement in an international peacekeeping mission.
The M1117 Guardian, also denoted Armored Security Vehicle (ASV), is an internal security vehicle based on the V-100 and V-150 Commando series of armored cars. It was developed in the late 1990s for service with the United States Military Police Corps. The first prototypes appeared in February 1997 and serial production of the M1117 commenced between 1999 and early 2000. The M1117 was one of the first American military vehicles to be built on a specialized mine-resistant hull, and after 2001 was adopted in increasing numbers as a direct response to the threat posed by improvised explosive devices to US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At about 15 tons, the M1117 is lighter than the 20 ton Stryker ICV or 25 ton M2 Bradley armored vehicle. It is only 2.375 meters wide, compared to 3.594 meters for a Bradley. In size and capability, it fits between the Humvee and the $5 million Stryker. The ASV uses an advanced modular expandable armor package from IBD Deisenroth Engineering, consisting of ceramic composite applique on the exterior and spall liner on the interior. 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.