Textron to Reset Army Armored Vehicles

by: Matthew Potter
October 13, 2011

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, Events, Federal Budget Process, logistics, production program, Restructuring, Services, Textron, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

Since World War II the U.S. Army has not invested in armored cars like many other nations have. They have used light armored vehicles based on their standard full tracked armored personnel carriers like the M113 or M2 for reconnaissance and screening missions. They have also relied on their large amounts of aerial assets to do this mission. In Vietnam the Army and the Air Force did buy some of these wheeled vehicles from Cadillac Gage to provide local and airfield security but not in any large numbers.

In the Nineties as an alternative to uparmored and upgunned HUMVEE vehicles for use by Military Police and lines of communication security troops the Army did buy a small number of Cadillac Gage, now part of Textron (TXT), newer and larger vehicles. The M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) entered use in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) for some security missions but the Army continued to prefer aviation, the M3 variant of the M2 Bradley and HUMVEE for this mission so production was limited.

Once the invasion of Iraq was complete and the U.S. turned to fighting insurgents and internal problems which the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) were the biggest threats the U.S. Army began a program of uparmoring their existing vehicles and buying heavier armored ones such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) systems. As part of this they began to buy the M1117 in larger amounts for their MP and other security forces to protect convoys and facilities. Ultimately over 2000 of the M1117 would be ordered by the Army.

Now that the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is winding down the U.S. Army is returning troops and reorganizing and resetting their equipment. The M1117 is no different. This means that Textron recently received a contract to begin resetting the armored cars so that they are returned to a like new status and then may be reissued to units.

The base contract is worth almost $20 million but has two option years which could greatly increase the value if they are exercised. It could be used to reset almost 400 of the M1117 ASV.

The Army as part of the overall budget review is looking at their future organization and equipment and part of this will be determining how many of each system they want and need. This could affect how many ASV remain in their inventory and their demand for new ones.

Textron has been able to sell the M1117 ASV to some foreign customers and certainly there is a market for these types of vehicles. They offer some advantages over HUMVEES being more protected and better armed and MRAP since they are more tactically oriented. The U.S. though will probably be a very limited market for the next decade.

Photo from James.Gordon6108 Flickr photostream.

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