Armor: March 29, 2001


The Irish Defence Force has received the first two of 40 Mowag Piranha-IIIH 8x8 armored personnel carriers fitted with the Helio FVT-800 one-man turret (armed with one 12.7mm and one 7.62mm machineguns). These will be used for peacekeeping missions. (These have hydropneumatic suspension, hence the designation Piranha-IIIH.) These 40 vehicles, and another 40 that may be ordered later, will replace the old Panhard M3 4x4 armored cars. The two vehicles will remain at the factory in Switzerland for the present so that they can be used to train crews and mechanics; they will be delivered in Dec 2002. These Irish LAVs will have appliqu armor so that they survive mine hits and small arms fire. The 8x8 Piranha-III (also known as the LAV-III) has been selected by Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the US Army. Sweden has selected the larger 10x10 variant.--Stephen V Cole


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