Bulgaria Orders M1117 ASVs for Afghanistan
Add one more European nation to the bandwagon of emergency mine-resistant vehicle purchases. On Dec 7/07, Sofia News Agency reported that Bulgaria has just signed a deal with Textron Land Systems for armored vehicles. The memorandum is to be in force until 2011, and each year a concrete agreement will be signed for a given number of armored vehicles. The first 7 vehicles, worth 14 million leva ($10.5 million), are meant for the Bulgarian contingent in Afghanistan and are to be delivered by the end of the 2007.
The vehicles are almost certainly the firm’s mine-resistant M1117 Guardian ASVs, an armored car design that combines good mobility and protection with strong anti-personnel firepower from the combined .50 caliber machine gun and 40mm grenade machine gun in its turret. The ASV is popular with US military police, but was removed from the MRAP competition by the US Marines after testing.
Jan 14/08: Textron confirms a $10.2 million contract for 7 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense, with anticipated delivery of the vehicles in the first quarter of 2008.