Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Safer Than a Humvee

This is the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle built by Textron, and according to USA Today, it is a survivor:

(Retired Army colonel David)Treuting, 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, was director of combat development at the U.S. Army's Military Police School in 1996 when he began writing Army specifications for a new generation of armored vehicles. After the Cold War, U.S. military planners realized future combat might not be on traditional battlefields — with the enemy massed in front of U.S. forces — but against guerrillas and terrorists.
Textron won a small design contract for the Army's military police, based on an early-1960s dinosaur it had built known as the V-150.

Between Army demands for new technology and Textron engineers' development of the vehicle, the ASV continued to evolve until it was fielded on a small scale in 2000. The company argued that the wheeled ASV's armor, firepower and mobility were perfect for the type of urban warfare that Allied forces had confronted in the Balkans and anticipated in Iraq.
But, two years later, the Army opted for General Dynamics' larger, more expensive Stryker combat vehicle, the first new vehicle to enter Army service since the M1 Abrams tank in the 1980s. Each Stryker basic infantry vehicle costs the Army about $2 million compared with $700,000 for the ASV.

The military's logic is more expensive must be better.