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Chris Jerrett builds the US Marine Corps Light Armoured Vehicle.

The LAV-25 is an eightwheeled amphibious armoured reconnaissance vehicle used by the US Marine Corps and the Canadian Army. Built by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada, the vehicle was based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha family of AFVs. Development of the LAV was in conjunction with the Carter administration’s creation of the Rapid Deployment Task Force (RDTF). During the early 1980s, the US Marine Corps had been looking for a light armoured vehicle that would give its divisions greater mobility; the LAV design was the ideal choice, and it entered service in 1983. It first saw combat during the 1989 Invasion of Panama, and continued in service in the First Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan. Although the US Army did not order any LAVs, several were borrowed for use by the 82nd Airborne’s 73rd Cavalry Regiment during the Gulf War, and returned to the USMC after the conflict.

The standard LAV is fitted with a fully traversing turret, armed with an M242 25mm Bushmaster chain gun, and co-axial M240C machine gun. It also carries a pintle-mounted M240B/G machine gun on the turret roof. Several derivatives have been developed based on the LAV chassis, including the LAV-AT (anti-tank), LAV-M (mortar), LAV-AD (air defence), LAV-R (recovery), LAV-C2 (command & control), LAVLOG (logistics), LAV-MEWSS (mobile electronic warfare support system), and LAV-EFSS (expeditionary fire support system). The LAV platform is planned to remain in service with the USMC until 2035.

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About Military Modelcraft International

MODERN ARMOUR SPECIAL Inside this issue we talk about modelling and reference on contemporary AFVs.