American M1117 APCs Arrive in Ukraine: Anticipation Since 2022

M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle / Open source illustrative photo
M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle / Open source illustrative photo

The M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicles for Ukraine were included in the aid package from the United States as of November 4, 2022

For the first time, the American M1117 Armored Security Vehicles appeared in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The 425th Separate Assault Battalion Skala published a video with them.

The video was filmed at one of the training grounds where the soldiers are undergoing preparation.

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It is worth reminding that 250 units of M1117 were included in the aid package from the US, which was announced on November 4, 2022. Its value amounted to $400 million.

In addition to these armored vehicles, the aid package included 45 T-72 tanks, 1110 Phoenix Ghost drones, river boats, missile repairs for MIM-23 HAWK SAM systems, communication systems, marking, and more.

From this entire list, the Ukrainian military have already observed refurbished and upgraded equipment, including T-72 tanks and the MIM-23 HAWK surface-to-air missile system. In the United States, the effectiveness of the Phoenix Ghost in the Ukrainian army has already been assessed, but the M1117 APCs did not appear in the media space at all.

In early December 2022, a shipment of M1117 was reportedly spotted in Romania en route to Ukraine in green, rather than the traditional American desert camouflage. At the same time, it is difficult to determine the reasons why these armored vehicles did not appear in Ukraine earlier.

Certainly, they were allocated under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative - USAI program when weapons were ordered from manufacturers.

In this particular case, it is about refurbishing machines that were decommissioned, and this involves technological cycles. Nevertheless, even considering the need for months for refurbishment, it turned out that this process indeed took much longer than expected.

This became unofficially known in September 2023 when the issue of expediting the refurbishment of M1117 Armored Security Vehicles was the subject of a separate briefing for the congressional defense committees because it turned out that these works would require another 18 months. However, the main thing is that these vehicles have already started to reinforce the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Reminding that the M1117 is a 4x4 wheeled armored personnel carrier, weighing 13.4 tons, which was developed in the 1990s by Textron Marine & Land Systems based on the Cadillac M706 Commando from the 1960s.

The need for armored vehicles for the U.S. Military Police Corps, who even in combat zones had to move in HMMWVs, prompted the development. That is why the M1117 is not spacious - accommodating only 4–5 people, including the driver and weapon operator.

M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, Defense Express
M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle / Open source illustrative photo

However, the need for the M1117 turned out to be much greater than anticipated. The vehicle was utilized by American military police and convoy security units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As of 2008, the USA produced 2,058 units of the M1117, but in 2019, a decision was made to gradually replace it with the Oshkosh M-ATV MRAP.

It is worth noting that the M1117 APCs received an enclosed turret borrowed from the AAV-P7 amphibious assault vehicle, which simultaneously features the traditional M2 Browning and a Mk 19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.

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