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LAV-25A2

Armored reconnaissance vehicle

LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

The LAV-25A2 is an upgraded version with improved armor protection and some other modifications

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 2004 - 2005
Crew 3 men
Personnel 6 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (with add-on armor) ~ 15 t
Length ~ 6.45 m
Width ~ 2.55 m
Height 2.7 m
Armament
Main gun 25 mm cannon
Machine guns 2 x 7.62 mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 420 rounds
Machine guns 1 320 rounds
Mobility
Engine Detroit Diesel 6V53T diesel
Engine power 275 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 100 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 8 ~ 10 km/h
Range ~ 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.5 m
Trench 2 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The original LAV-25 series of armored vehicles was adopted by the US Marine Corps back in 1983. A total of 758 8x8 LAVs of all variants were ordered and fielded. The LAVs first saw combat in 1989 during operation in Panama. These vehicles were widely used during various other military conflicts. In 2004-2005 a Service Life Extension Program was initiated by the US Marine Corps in order to keep these armored vehicles operational. LAVs in service have undergone some upgrades including add-on armor tiles, powerpack enhancements, upgraded suspensions and some other modifications. Upgraded vehicles are known as LAV-A2. However despite all improvements these lightly armored vehicles are showing their limitations on modern battlefield.

   In 2018 a modified Italian IVECO SuperAV armored personnel carrier was selected as a winner of the USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program, which called for a LAV series replacement. This new 8x8 armored vehicle has significantly improved ballistic and mine protection. It has a crew of 3 and can carry up to 13 Marines. The ACV can self-deploy from amphibious assault ships and swim significant distances from ship to shore. A contract was awarded to for the delivery of first 30 production vehicles. More ACVs will be ordered in the near future. It is planned that first production ACVs will enter service in 2019-2020. These will be produced at BAE Systems plants in the United States. However upgraded LAV series armored vehicles are expected to remain in service with the US Marine Corps until at least 2024.

   The LAV-25A2 is armed with a turret-mounted 25 mm Bushmaster chain gun. The same weapon is used on the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. At the time of its introduction the original LAV-25 was a well armed vehicle, however today many modern armored personnel carriers are also fitted with 20-30 mm automatic cannons. The baseline LAV-25A2 is basically an armored personnel carrier. It combines speed, mobility and firepower to fulfill a variety of missions. The US Marines use it for combat and reconnaissance roles, including raiding and screening operation. So it is not just a an armored troop transport like many other armored personnel carriers. Dismounts are supported by the firepower of the vehicle.

   The "A2" upgrade introduced add-on armor kit, upgraded fire control system with a new thermal sight and eye-safe laser rangefinder.

   Secondary armament consists of a coaxial M240 7.62 mm machine gun and another M240 machine gun, mounted on top of the turret roof. There are also eight smoke grenade dischargers.

   The LAV-A2s are fitted with add-on armor kit, which covers turret, front arc, sides and some areas of the roof. Additional shielding was added to machine gun position of the turret. Interior of the vehicle was fitted with a spall liner, which minimizes damage once the armor is penetrated. So ballistic protection has been improved. Front arc of the LAV-25A2 withstands hits from 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Front arc of the original LAV-25 could withstand only 12.7 mm rounds. All-round protection is against at least 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds, as well as artillery shell splinters. So ballistic protection of the LAV-25A2 is now similar to that of the Stryker, which is used by the US Army.

    A special kit improved protection from mine blasts and improvised explosive devices. The original LAV-25 was never designed to be a mine resistant vehicle and recent military conflicts revealed that mine protection is very important.

   Fire suppression equipment has been upgraded. The LAV-25A2 uses an automatic fire suppression system. Also it has an NBC protection system. Hydraulics drive of the turret have been replaced with electric drives Such upgrade significantly improves post-penetration survivability, as the hydraulic drives contain flammable liquid.

   The LAV-25A2 has a crew of 3, including commander, gunner and driver, and accommodates 6 Marines. Soldiers enter and leave the vehicle via rear doors. Also there are roof hatches for observation, firing and emergency exit.

   This armored vehicle is powered by a Detroit Diesel 6V53T turbocharged diesel engine, developing 275 hp. Engine is mated to an Allison automatic transmission with 5 forward and 1 reverse speeds. Suspension has been improved in order to cope with increased weight of the vehicle. This armored vehicle has selectable 8x8 or 8x4 configuration. On hard surface roads it uses 8x4 configuration for better fuel efficiency and longer range, while 8x8 configuration is normally engaged on difficult terrain. The LAV-25A2 is equipped with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tyres. A self-recovery winch is fitted as standard. Mobility of this armored vehicle allows to move in advance of Marine mechanized formations, equipped with M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks.

   Despite increased armor and weight the LAV-A2s are amphibious with minimum of preparation and are capable of fording streams, rivers and inland waterways. On water it is propelled by 2 waterjets, located at the rear.

   This armored vehicle is air-transportable by a C-130 Hercules or larger military transport aircraft and can be also carried underslung by the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. In 2018 the LAV-25A2 havd been certified as air-droppable. During the same year the US Army borrowed LAV-25A2 vehicles from the US Marines as a stopgap solution in order to support its airborne forces. These armored vehicles provide reconnaissance and fire support for paratroopers until a more suitable and more heavily armored vehicle is available. The LAV-25A2 is smaller than the Stryker, so a C-17 heavy transport can carry 4 of them instead of 3. Currently the LAV-25A2 is the only armored vehicle in US military service that can be airdropped from an airplane and has a weapon larger than a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun.

 

Variants

 

   LAV-25A2 is a baseline armored reconnaissance vehicle version, described above.

   LAV-ATM, sometimes referred as LAV-ATM A2, is an anti-tank missile carrier. It is upgraded version of the LAV-AT. It is fitted with a new rocket launcher and uses TOW 2 anti-tank guided missiles. Target acquisition has been improved. So overall anti-tank capabilities of the LAV-AT have been improved significantly. Testing of the LAV-ATM was completed in 2017 and it was fielded shortly afterwards.

   LAV-M is a mortar carrier, fitted with an 81 mm mortar. It was also upgraded to the A2 standard.

   LAV-R recovery vehicle. Underwent upgrades to the A2 standard.

   LAV-L supply carrier. This logistics vehicle carries ammunition and other battlefield supplies under armor. Underwent upgrades to the A2 standard.

   LAV-C2 command and control vehicle. Upgraded to the A2 standard.

   LAV-MEWSS electronic warfare vehicle. Upgraded to the A2 standard.

   LAV-25A3 is a further upgrade. In 2019 a contract was awarded to upgrade automotive components of the LAV fleet. Initial contract was for 60 upgrade kits that should be installed by 2021. The upgrade kit includes improvements to the powerpack and new drivetrain.

 

 
LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-25A2 armored reconnaissance vehicle

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LAV-AT anti tank missile carrier, upgraded to A2 standard

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