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Komatsu LAV



Overview


LAV

Japanese LAV reconnaissance vehicle on the move.
Source: Los688 - © public domain

Origin
Japan
Type
Reconnaissance vehicle
Entered service
Early 2000's
Status
In service
Development
1997 - 2000
Developer
Japan - Komatsu
Production
2002 - 2015
Producer
Japan - Komatsu
Unit cost
35 million yen in 2001
31 million yen in 2005
30 million yen in 2010
Number produced
1.937 by 2015
Designations
LAV / Light Armored Vehicle
Keisoukoukidousha
KU50W (factory index)
Notable users
Japan - JGSDF and JASDF

Description


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 Most unarmored 4x4 utility vehicles in front line service have been replaced by the LAV.

Details


Facts LAV
General
Origin
Japan
Type
Reconnaissance vehicle
Crew
2 + 3 (driver, gunner, 3 troops)
Dimensions
Weight
4.5 t combat load
Length
4.4 m
Width
2.04 m
Height
1.85 m
Main armament
Type
5.56mm Minimi machine gun
Mount
Pintle mount on roof
Ammunition
Total unknown, 200 rounds ready to fire
Traverse
Manual traverse and elevation
Stabilizer
No
Chassis
Chassis type
Wheeled chassis, 4x4
Automotive
Engine
4-cylinder diesel
Power output
160 hp
Mobility
Speed
100 km/h on road
Range
500 km
Power to weight ratio
35.6 hp/t
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Smoke system
2x4 smoke grenade dischargers

Media