Armor: Canadian Cold War Conversions


August 23, 2007: Canadian troops are finding that driving their LAV III wheeled armored vehicles around Afghanistan is tough on the equipment. This is especially true when the LAV IIIs go off the roads. In order to supply more vehicles to replace those being worn down, 33 LAV III ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) vehicles are going to have the ATGM launchers and missiles removed. These vehicles will be converted to the basic infantry carrier. This is the most widely used one in Afghanistan, and peacekeeping missions in general. The ATGM versions were a Cold War relic, for use fighting hordes of Russian tanks. Canada also cancelled a project to develop an LAV III that carried a 105mm gun. Again, this was another Cold War relic. Smart munitions (bombs and artillery shells) can do the same job more cheaply and effectively.

It will cost about $1.4 million to convert each of the ATGM vehicles, and this will include upgraded electronics and other components. Canada has nearly 700 LAV IIIs in service. The LAV III vehicle was the basis of the U.S. Stryker armored vehicle.


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