Country of origin
Dimensions and weight
25 mm cannon
2 x 7.62 mm
1 320 rounds
Detroit Diesel 6V53T diesel
Maximum road speed
Amphibious speed on water
In the 1980s
the US Marine Corps (USMC) began looking for a light armored vehicle to
give their divisions additional mobility. They selected a design,
that had its origins in Switzerland. The Light
Armored Vehicle (or LAV), is an 8x8 variant of the
I, license-produced by General Motors of Canada for the US Marine Corps.
closely follows the overall layout of the Swiss Piranhas, as do the 6x6 Canadian armed forces models,
such as the
entered service with the USMC in 1983. A
total of 758 8x8 LAVs of several variants were ordered and fielded.
It replaced in service the slower
armored personnel carriers and other armored vehicles. At the time
of its introduction the US Army was also interested in these
wheeled armored vehicles, however no orders were eventually placed. The LAVs
first saw combat in 1989 during operation in Panama. These vehicles
were widely used during various other military conflicts. This armored vehicle was exported to Australia
(ASLAV) and Saudi Arabia.
the LAV-25 is basically a heavily-armed armored personnel carrier,
it combines speed, mobility and firepower to fulfill a variety of
missions. In the USMC it
is used as a fighting vehicle for reconnaissance roles, raiding and
screening operations, where its mobility can best be exploited.
Dismounted scouts are supported by the firepower of the vehicle.
is a baseline version, fitted with a turret-mounted 25 mm Bushmaster
The same weapon is used on the
Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. 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
has a welded hull and turret. It provides protection against 12.7 mm rounds at the front arc.
All-round protection is against 7.62 mm rounds and artillery shell
splinters. Interestingly vehicles offered for the US
Army were better protected.
has a crew of 3 and accommodates 6 Marines. Soldiers enter
and leave the vehicle via rear doors. Also there are roof hatches
for observation, firing and emergency exit.
powered by Detroit Diesel 6V53T turbocharged diesel engine,
developing 275 hp. Engine is mated to an Allison automatic
transmission with 5 forward and 1 reverse speeds. This armored vehicle has selectable 8x8 or 8x4
configuration. Two front axles can be disengaged when driving on
hard surface roads in order to increase road range. This armored vehicle 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
Abrams main battle tanks.
The LAVs are
amphibious with minimum of preparation and are capable of fording
streams, rivers and inland waterways. This armored vehicle
is made fully-amphibious within 3 minutes. It is air-transportable
C-130 Hercules or larger military transport aircraft and can be also
carried underslung by the
CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. The LAV-25s have been para-dropped.
service have undergone some upgrades, modification and armor-increase projects
involving add-on armor tiles. 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
SuperAV armored personnel carrier was selected as a winner of
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.
baseline version, described above.
carrier. This logistics vehicle carries ammunition and other
battlefield supplies under armor.
mortar carrier with 81 mm mortar.
command and control vehicle.
anti-tank missile carrier, armed with
electronic warfare vehicle.
defense vehicle, fitted with combined gun/missile armament. This
version was later discontinued.
LAV-105 fire support version, armed with a 105 mm tank gun. It
evolved form the LAV-AG (Light Armored Vehicle, Assault Gun). It was
to be the primary fire support vehicle of the LAV I series. A couple
of prototypes of this fire support vehicle were delivered for the
USMC for testing in the early 1990s. However design ultimately
proved unworkable due to excessive recoil force and the LAV-105 was
not accepted to service.
support vehicle, armed with a 90 mm gun. It was developed in the
1990s following the failure of the LAV-105. The USMC attempted to resurrect the LAV-AG
program, via the LAV-90. This vehicle was
essentially an LAV I equipped with the Cockerill turret, armed with
a smaller Mecar KEnerga 90 mm gun, but the test firings once again
overwhelmed the chassis and suspension. This project was also
rejected by the USMC.
proposed LAV variants for the Saudi Arabian National Guard order
(which stands at a total of 1 117 of all types) include a 120 mm
mortar carrier, an air defense version.
initial models have emerged a host of others with the basic LAV's
spacious hull being configured for example, to accommodate long
range reconnaissance equipment. There has even been a proposed
'disputer' version to clear unexploded ordnance from airfields but
the development funds were withdrawn. An NBC reconnaissance
version has been produced but was not proceeded with.
an upgrade of original LAV series vehicles under a Service Life
Extension Program. Many minor modifications were made to the
vehicles in the late 1990s.
is an upgraded version with add-on armor tiles and some other modifications.
Upgrades were initiated in 2004-2005.
a further upgrade. In 2019 a contract was awarded to upgrade the a
total automotive components 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.