Armor: July 3, 2003

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The Canadian army has, since 1996, been using an armored  reconnaissance vehicle that has been making American troops more than a bit jealous. The Coyote is an 8x8 LAV (wheeled armored vehicle) mounting a 25mm Bushmaster cannon and a nine meter (30 foot) telescoping mast that contains a Doppler radar, laser rangefinder, thermal imaging sensor and video camera. The mast mounted sensors can see clearly out to 15 kilometers and identify targets (day or night) for artillery or air attack. When used at the U.S. NTC (National Training Center), it made the brigade that had Coyotes much more lethal. The radar can spot targets out to 24 kilometers, but can only distinguish vehicle types (wheeled, tracked) beginning at about 12 kilometers. The U.S. prefers to rely on helicopters and UAVs (which the Canadians can't afford as many of), but after seeing the Coyote in action, have to admit that the Canadians have developed one very effective reconnaissance system. Many armor officers are agitating to get Coyotes, which could be bought from the Canadian manufacturer. But money is tight for new reconnaissance systems and it appears unlikely that Coyote will head south.

 


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