July 15, 2005 Our recent story on the world’s toughest bus caused a lot of reader response, so we thought it might be worth noting the United States Army’s US$500 million purchase of an additional 724 Armoured Security Vehicles (ASV) to protect troops in Iraq. The ASV is a 4X4 wheeled armoured vehicle that provides crew protection against medium calibre armour-piercing machine gun fire, large artillery projectile fragments, and land mines. The advanced exceedingly lightweight ceramic armour allows the vehicle to be able to "roll-on/roll-off" C-130 military transport aircraft. ASV’s off-road performance includes the capability to ford water depths of five feet, climb gradients of 60 percent, and overcome obstacles 2 feet high. Unlike many other vehicles, the ASV enables the crew to load, reload and clear gun jams under full armour protection. Special run-flat tires with central tire inflation offer the crew added mobility when under fire. When faced with nuclear, biological and chemical threats, ASV’s gas particulate air filtration system, used in tandem with a ventilated facepiece, offers additional protection.
With the changing nature of warfare and the expected elevation in asymmetric conflicts, extreme mobility, deployability and survivability is paramount. Textron Systems’ ASV fills the capability gap that previously existed between tanks and very small vehicles. Tanks are too heavy and large to deploy strategically and are difficult to manoeuvre through urban areas, while smaller vehicles offer mobility but leave the crew vulnerable to small arms and mines. The ASV provides both protection and quick insertion capability and is now recognized as mission-essential equipment.
Since the introduction of ASV into the United States Army’s inventory, Textron Systems has received inquiries from many countries.
Studies have been conducted to determine the ASV’s suitability for a variety of mission configurations, including Scout Vehicle, Personnel Carrier, Engineer Vehicle, NBC, Reconnaissance, as well as a stretched version with wider doors that could be used as a Medevac Unit or for Command and Control. ASV can be outfitted with a variety of armament stations, turrets and other equipment to provide soldiers with better mission equipment and increased force protection.
To maximize crew effectiveness, the ASV provides superior ride quality on highways and off-road terrain. Travelling at highway speeds over 60 mph, it offers excellent handling, ride quality and mobility, based upon independent suspension. ASV’s off-road performance includes the capability to ford water depths of five feet, climb gradients of 60 percent, and overcome obstacles 2 feet high.
The ASV is equipped with the dependable firepower of the Cadillac Gage developed 40mm/.50 caliber upgunned weapon station, battle-proven by the U.S. Marines in the LAV-25. The turret’s protected feed chute provides the gunner with reload-under-armour capabilities for both weapons systems.
A modular ceramic composite appliqué on the exterior and spall liner on the interior provide excellent crew survivability. The ASV’s advanced armour defeats .50 cal AP on the front, rear and sides of the vehicle. Its crew is also protected from 12-pound mine blasts under each wheel and fragments from 155-mm artillery shells detonated at 15m overhead.
Because the armour is designed to bolt on, additional protection can be added, depending on the level of ballistic defence required.
Special run-flat tires with central tire inflation offer the crew added mobility when under fire. When faced with nuclear, biological and chemical threats, ASV’s gas particulate air filtration system, used in tandem with a ventilated facepiece, offers additional protection.
"We’ve been working closely with the Army to expedite getting these important vehicles to our soldiers,” said Richard Millman, president of Textron Systems. “We are proud to be building these high quality and highly protected armored vehicles that have proved so successful in Iraq. We’ve significantly increased our production rate and, with this order, will proceed to achieve a rate of 48 vehicles a month.”
This latest contract brings the total number of production vehicles awarded to Textron to 1,118. The first deliveries are expected by February 2006 and full delivery will be completed by June 2007.