Armor: August 2, 2001


Critics Challenge LAV-III Choice- Those opposed to the new Medium Brigade concept, along with many others, are challenging the Army's choice of the LAV-III as the primary vehicle. For one thing, the existing M113 fleet can do anything that the LAV-III can do (including fit into a C-130) except for "high road speed" which is a rarely used attribute. The Army demanded an off-the-shelf solution but ended up buying a vehicle (LAV-III) which is still being designed (although it is based on earlier versions of the same 8x8 chassis). For example, the LAV-III as designed for the Canadian Army won't fit into a C-130, requiring design changes before it can be issued to Medium Brigades. The exposed externally-mounted machinegun on the squad carrier variant of the LAV-III is an anachronism in a day when remote weapon stations are the state of the art. The LAV-105 tank destroyer is inferior in every regard to the tracked XM8 Armored Gun System. The entire concept of the LAV-III was based on a "wheels vs tracks" analysis which was fatally flawed and rigged to select the LAV.--Stephen V Cole


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