The Hellenic Army officially received the first delivery of M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) from the US at a ceremony in Athens on Thursday. The first 44 M1117 wheeled armoured security vehicles (ASVs) donated by the US Army to Greece arrived in Athens on 26 November. The official acceptance ceremony for the vehicles took place on 2 December at the 301 Military Factory in Agioi Anargyroi near Athens. At the ceremony, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said that “the M1117 security armored vehicles will give a new lease of life to the operational design of our army formations, enabling them to carry out a wide range of missions.”
The M1117 Guardian, also denoted Armored Security Vehicles which were donated without weapons and communication equipment, will be fitted with TRC 92000 radio sets already possessed by the Hellenic Army. They will be armed with M2HB 12.7 mm, M85 50-cal or M-60A1/A3 7.62 mm machine guns. 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.
The Armored Security Vehicles are part of a total of 60 stationed in Germany that were audited by a Hellenic Army committee. A second batch of M1117 ASVs will be sent to Greece from the United States. They were sent to Greece by rail via central Europe and Bulgaria. When completed, the transfer of the M1117 vehicles “will reflect a US acquisition value of almost a billion dollars; $970 million of equipment provided to Greece at no cost under our Excess Defense Article program. The Hellenic Army is expected to receive 1,200 of the ASVs, at no cost, from the US military under the Excess Defense Articles program.
The Guardian is an internal security vehicle based on the V-100 and V-150 Commando series of armored cars. 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. 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. ASVs in Iraq and Afghanistan have withstood several IED attacks, some vehicles multiple times.