Light Armored Vehicle
1997 - 2000
2002 - present
Japan - Komatsu
1.630 produced until 2010
- UNIT COST
The LAV is a reconnaissance vehicle of Japanese origin. It was developed in the late 1990's to provide the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force with an armored vehicle for frontline reconnaissance and utility duties.
The LAV resembles the French VBL but is not related. The chassis is based on the Toyota Mega Cruiser and is heavily modified. A monocoque steel hull is added which includes the rear cargo compartment. A total of five people can be carried.
The LAV is armed with a single machine gun, either the 5.56mm M249 or 12.7mm M2HB. Additionally a Type 87 Chu-MAT or Type 01 LMAT anti-tank guided weapon can be carried and reportedly launched from the vehicle.
The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. A gun shield is fitted but otherwise the gunner is fully exposed. The LAV was not designed to protect against IEDs but anti-personnel mines are resisted. Some vehicles are fitted with smoke grenade launchers.
The 4x4 wheelbase provides good mobility on the road and in the field. A 160 hp diesel engine provides propulsion, allowing for speeds up to 100 km/h on roads.
As with all Japanese military equipment the LAV is only used by Japan and has not been exported. Most unarmored 4x4 utility vehicles in front line service have been replaced by the LAV.
The LAV is produced only in a single variant. The armament may differ.
|Crew||2 + 3 (driver, gunner, 3 troops)|
|Weight||4.5 t combat load|
|Wheelbase||Wheeled chassis, 4x4|
|Engine||4-cylinder diesel, 160 hp|
|Power ratio||35.6 hp/t|
|Speed||100 km/h on road|
|Smoke||2x4 smoke grenade dischargers|
|Armament||5.56mm Minimi machine gun|
|Weapon1||5.56mm Minimi machine gun on roof mount|
200 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation