The M1117 armored car is already in use in Afghanistan, with the US Army (esp. Military Police) and with Bulgarian forces. Its combined .50 cal/ 40mm grenade turret offers more firepower than a Humvee, and its shape and construction offer more protection from land mine blasts, albeit less than full MRAP vehicles. Now, Afghanistan is ordering a heavier variant for themselves.
In June 2012, Textron Marine & Land Systems finally described the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) variants being provided to Afghanistan via the Foreign Military Sale protocols, and funded externally via Afghan Security Forces Funds.
Textron’s MASV/ MSFV
Afghanistan’s vehicles have been through more a few name changes. Initial orders referred to a “Medium Armored Security Vehicle” (MASV), which references the USA’s M1117 Armored Security Vehicle from which they’re derived. That name soon changed to Mobile Strike Force Vehicle (MSFV). Then the entire line of M1117 derivatives received a blast from the past, as Textron re-named them “Commando” vehicles. That moniker was used by the predecessor firm Cadillac Gage to name its M706 armored cars, produced from 1962-1971, whose outward design is similar to the M1117.
Under the new naming scheme, M1117 ASVs became “Commando Advanced.” Their 29,500 pound curb weight is lower than other MRAP vehicles, and the type failed MRAP testing. Nevertheless, it was widely fielded in American Military Police units, by Bulgaria, and by Colombia in a stretched infantry carrier version.
Heavier variants like Afghanistan’s vehicles, with additional armor designed to improve mine-blast protection, became “Commando Select“. They have the same mine blast protection as MRAP Category 1 vehicles like the RG-31, MaxxPro, et. al. Afghan vehicles also continue to use the MSFV moniker, and appear to feature suspension improvements designed to deal with that country’s tough off-road conditions.
The heaviest variants, like Canada’s new 35,500 pound curb weight TAPV, offer MRAP Class 2 protection, drive train enhancements, and electronics improvements that can include extensible reconnaissance sensor towers. They’re called “Commando Elite.”
Textron has confirmed that the ANA will receive 3 variants: MSFVs with an enclosed turret, MSFVs with Objective Gunner’s Protection Kits that have to be manned by a gunner up top, and an ambulance variant. Fielding to Afghanistan began in February 2012. This has allowed the first Afghan Kandak (battalion) to complete initial equipment training and reach Initial Operational Capability. As of March 2013, the firm cites production of over 300 MASV/MFSV vehicles for the ANA, out of 634 total MFSV orders.
Stretched Commando Select ICV/Armored Personnel Carrier, command and control, engineering, maintenance, mortar, and reconnaissance versions have been designed, but aren’t currently in production.
Contracts & Key Events
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Afghan orders to date include the initial 18 test vehicles and 41 ordered under low-rate initial production, plus all 440 vehicles contemplated in the 2011 full-rate production order: an initial order for 240 vehicles, and 3 contracts that have exercised the remaining 200 options. The 2013 add-on contract provided the rest.
Unless otherwise noted, the contractor is Textron Marine & Land Systems in New Orleans, LA. US Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI acts as the buying agent, and manages the contracts.
March 5/13: A $113.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for another 135 Commando Select Mobile Strike Force Vehicles to support the Afghanistan National Security Forces. The firm has already delivered more than 300 of its 499 previous orders, and their release quotes Afghan National Army Chief of General Staff Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi. He calls the vehicles “critical to the survival of the state to develop capabilities to fight insurgents.”
Good luck with that after 2014. Work will be performed in New Orleans, LA, with an estimated completion date of Feb 28/14. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 1 bid received (W56HZV-13-C-0170). See also Textron.
June 13/12: Option. A $79.2 million firm-fixed-price contract modification buys another 71 Medium Armored Security Vehicles (aka. MSFVs) for the Afghan National Army. Work will be performed in Slidell, LA, with an estimated completion date of May 25/14. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received (W56HZV-11-C-0114). See also Textron.
May 29/12: Support. A $30.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification for field service representative support in Afghanistan. Work will be performed from Slidell, LA, with an estimated completion date of May 25/14. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received (W56HZV-11-C-0114).
Feb 28/12: Option. A $35.1 million firm-fixed-price contract modification for more Afghanistan Security Forces M1117 Medium Armored Security Vehicles, with objective gunner protection kit gunshields up top. Work will be performed in Slidell, LA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/13. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received (W56HZV-11-C-0114).
June 1/11: Textron Marine & Land Systems in Slidell, LA receives a $125.5 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, to produce 440 “medium armored security vehicles” and support for the Afghanistan National Army. Work will be performed in Slidell, LA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/13. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-11-C-0114).
Textron’s release says that the $125.9 million begins full-rate production work leading to the planned delivery of 240 MASVs and associated support equipment, spare parts, field service representatives, training and training aids. The estimated delivery date for this set is June 2012, and the total value could be up to $257 million. As is often the case, negotiations will seal the amount for the finalization payment.
The contract also includes options to produce up to 200 more vehicles (hence 440 maximum, which were exercised), plus 2 two option years for training and logistics support, with a potential value of another $286 million. Those options could raise the total contract value to $543 million. If ordered, deliveries would be expected by December 2012, but training and logistics support would continue through the first quarter of 2014.
Full-rate production contract: 440
Jan 26/11: Initial order Textron Marine & Land Systems in Slidell, LA receives a $42.5 million firm-fixed-price contract to test 23 M1117 ASV family armored cars, “as well as 50 vehicles being produced for the Afghanistan National Army.”
Work will be performed in Slidell, LA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/11. One bid was solicited with one bid received by the U.S. Army TACOM LCMC in Warren, MI (W56HZV-11-C0114).