The US Donates 44 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles To Greece

The Greek Army received the first batch of M1117 Guardian armored vehicles as part of the US Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program on Wednesday, November 24. 44 of the 1,200 M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicles were delivered to Greece in the first batch, according to reports from Ptisidiastima in the Greek press.

Under the US Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program, the remaining 450 armored vehicles will be delivered to Greece by the end of the year, and the complete 1,200 vehicles will be delivered to Greece by April 2022.

A training course for Greek Army drivers, trainers, and technicians was also completed three weeks before delivery in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The US Army’s 21st Theater Sustainment Command announced on Thursday, November 4 on its Twitter account that a Greek delegation was in Germany to participate in military vehicle familiarization of the M117 armored vehicle with soldiers from the 18th MP and to take part in the military vehicle exercise.

In 2019, the United States and Greece signed a preliminary agreement to transfer the M1117 Guardian wheeled armored vehicle to Greece. Following that, the US decision to sell used M1117s to Greece was approved by the relevant parliamentary committee in December 2020, but both the COVID-19 pandemic and bureaucratic problems and obstacles caused long delays in the delivery of the vehicles during the process of sending and accepting the relevant Letter Offer and Acceptance (LOA).

Because the M1117 armored vehicles cost $800,000 to produce, the US government approved the sale of these vehicles to Greece for around 70,000 euros ($83,700) each. The vehicles were then included in the US’s Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program, which resulted in the vehicles being donated free of charge as a result of long-term negotiations between the Greek Ministry of Defense and GEETHA with their American counterparts.

Under normal conditions, Greece would pay $102 million for the 1,200 M1117 armored vehicles it would receive, but it is paying merely a fraction of that (less than $1 million), with only the shipping costs being covered. It was also stated that the Greek Army would have to purchase and install machine guns and grenade launchers itself because the M-1117 armored vehicles were delivered without weapon systems such as the 40 mm automatic grenade launchers and the 12.7mm and 7.62mm machine guns.

An M-1117 armored security vehicle from 3rd Platoon, 546th Company, 385th MP Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, travels through a dry river bed near the town of Yaqubi in Sabari District, Khost province, Afghanistan, Sept. 30, 2007. / Image Author: Spc. Micah E. Clare, U.S. Army

The M1117 ‘Guardian’ Armored Security Vehicle entered service with the US military in the early 2000s, the transfered vehicle are expected to be delivered to the Thrace 4th Corps and the Supreme Military Command of the Interior and Islands (ASDEN) tasked with protecting the Greek-Turkish land border along the Evros river, can withstand a 5 kg mine explosion and fragments of 155mm artillery shells detonated 15 meters from the vehicle. The four-wheel M1117 weighs 13,410 kg and measures 6 x 2.6 x 2.6 meters in size.  It is powered by a Cummins 6CTA8.3 diesel engine that generates 260 horsepower and allows it to exceed 100 km/h on asphalt. They are equipped with a 40mm MK-19 grenade launcher and a 12.7mm machine gun.