Armor: Leaving LAV-25 Behind


August 12, 2011:  The U.S. Marine Corps recently brought another 33 LAV-25A2 wheeled armored vehicles, for $1.3 million each. This may be the last such purchase, as the marines are working on an LAV-25 replacement; the MPC (Marine Personnel Carrier). The marines have bought about a thousand LAV-25s in the last three decades, about half of them in the last five years.  

The marines have been using these vehicles since 1983, and that experience influenced the army to adopt the Stryker (which is actually a further development of the LAV design, from the same manufacturer). The LAV series are a licensed version of the Swiss MOWAG Piranha. This model is in use by many other countries, like Chile, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Spain. MOWAG is now owned by an American corporation.

The LAV-25A2 is a 13 ton 8x8 vehicle with a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver) and room for six passengers. Normally, only four combat equipped marine scouts are carried, as the LAV-25A2 is mainly used as a scout vehicle. Armament consists of a 25mm autocannon and two 7.62mm machine-guns. The vehicle is 6.4 meters (21 feet) long, 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) wide and 2.7 meters (8.85 feet) high. Top road speed is 100 kilometers an hour. The Stryker is slightly larger (7 meters long) and heavier (16.5 tons).

The MPC will be larger and use a remotely controlled turret. MPC will have a crew of two (commander/gunner and driver) and carry nine fully equipped marines. The design of the MPC is not yet finished.


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