Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Bison, LAV 25, LAV-25, LAV-A2, LAV-AD, LAV-AG, LAV-AT, LAV-C2, LAV-MEWSS and LAV-R
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: LAV I
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1981
Total Production: 3,065
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Description: Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) is a family of lightweight 8x8 wheeled all-terrain armored vehicles that provide support to combat operations. General Dynamics developed LAV for the US Marine Corps (USMC) based on MOWAG's Piranha family of armored vehicles. Air-transportable, amphibious, high mobility LAVs are powered by a diesel engine rated at 275-hp. In addition to the USMC, more than 1,000 LAVs were sold to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. This vehicle is also known as LAV-25 which was the first model produced by General Dynamics with US Marine Corps operating approx. 400 units.
LAV-25 is an armored personnel carrier equipped with a turret-mounted M242 Bushmaster 25mm gun to provide fire support to dismounted troops. Two M240 7.62mm machine guns, coaxial and roof-mounted, are integrated onto the turret. LAVs were deployed during the Gulf War (1990-1991) where they played their most outstanding role in a military conflict to date. The USMC plans call to keep its 600+ LAVs in the inventory through 2015 when a proper replacement should be available. USMC LAVs underwent a service life extension program to keep them up to pace with other modern armored vehicles.
LAV-AD is an air defense variant equipped with Avenger's turret. LAV-AD was introduced in 1997. LAV-AG (Assault Gun) is equipped with a 90mm gun. LAV-AG was developed for Saudi Arabia. LAV-AT is an anti-tank variant equipped with TOW 2 missiles (2 ready + 14 stowed). LAV-C2 is a command and control variant. LAV-R is a recovery vehicle suitable for towing damaged LAVs. LAV-MEWSS (Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System) is a new variant intended to provide Electronic Warfare (EW) capability.
The Canadian Army procured 125 Bison light armored vehicles intended to serve as infantry carriers beginning in 1990. Between 2002 and 2008 these vehicles were upgraded to serve as support variants for the more capable LAV III armored vehicles. The upgrade includes: increased engine power, new torsion bars, fittings for add-on armor, air conditioning, and the VRS respirator system for NBC defense.
In January 2006 Raytheon was awarded a $96 million contract to produce, install and support 416 Improved Thermal Sight Systems (ITSSs) on the US Marine Corps LAV-25 vehicles. ITSS second generation FLIR provided enhanced combat capability at day/night and all weather conditions.
In early February 2006 the USMC awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $257 million contract for 130 LAV-A2 armored vehicles with an option worth $50 for electric turret drives. These vehicles were to be delivered as personnel carrier, anti-tank, command and control (C2), logistic and mortar carrier variants. Vehicle deliveries were scheduled to start in July 2007 and conclude by July 2008. Light Armored Vehicle A2 is an improved variant of LAV featuring improved suspension, armor, and an automatic fire suppression system.
In October 2006, the US Marine Corps awarded a $189 million contract to General Dynamics Land Systems for the production of 151 LAV-A2 light armored vehicles and a $50 million option for 394 LAV-A2 electric turret drives. This contract modified the contract awarded in February 2006 for LAV-A2s. The resulting contract is worth $317 million with deliveries complete December 2008.
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