Combat vehicles / Reconnaissance / LAV

LAV

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Reconnaissance vehicle

  • ORIGIN
    Japan

  • NICKNAMES
    Keisoukoukidousha
    Light Armored Vehicle

  • DESIGNED
    1997 - 2000

  • DESIGNER
    Komatsu

  • PRODUCTION
    2002 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Japan - Komatsu

  • QUANTITY
    1.630 produced until 2010

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good mobility
    Heavy

Introduction

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.

Layout

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.

Firepower

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.

Protection

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.

Mobility

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.

Users

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 Most unarmored 4x4 utility vehicles in front line service have been replaced by the LAV.

Variants

LAV

The LAV is produced only in a single variant. The armament may differ.

  • Specifications:
  • LAV
TypeReconnaissance vehicle
Crew2 + 3 (driver, gunner, 3 troops)
Length4.4 m
Width2.04 m
Height1.85 m
Ground clearance?
Weight4.5 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4
Turn radius?
Engine4-cylinder diesel, 160 hp
Power ratio35.6 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed100 km/h on road
Fuel?
Range500 km
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorSteel
NBC equipment?
Night vision?
Smoke2x4 smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament5.56mm Minimi machine gun
Weapon15.56mm Minimi machine gun on roof mount
200 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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