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LAV-AT



Overview


LAV-AT

Two LAV-AT in desert camoulage with TOW launcher in raised position.

Source: US Marine Corps - © Public domain

Origin
Canada
Type
Tank destroyer
Entered service
1988
Status
In service
Development
Mid 1980's
Developer
Canada - General Motors
Production
January 1987 - June 1987 (96 for USMC)
Mid 1990's (111 for SANG)
Producer
Canada - General Motors
Number produced
207
Designations
LAV-AT / Light Armored Vehicle - Anti-Tank
Notable users
United States - US Marine Corps
Saudi Arabia - National Guard

Description


Introduction

The LAV-AT is a tank destroyer of US origin. It was developed for use by the US Marine Corps. The LAV-AT is based on the chassis of the LAV-25 series of wheeled armored vehicles.

Layout

The LAV-AT looks similar to the LAV-25, but features the distinctive "hammerhead" missile launcher. The launcher is lowered when on the move, and raised in the firing position. The crew of four consist of a commander, driver, gunner and loader. The engine and driver are located at the front, the rest of the crew in the middle and the launcher and additional missiles are further at the rear.

Firepower

The LAV-AT features the same Emerson 901 Hammerhead missile launcher as developed for use on the M901 Improved TOW Vehicle. This turret has two TOW wire-guided missiles ready to launch. An additional 14 missiles are carried internally. The TOW missile has a range of 3.75 km. Over time these vehicles were upgraded to fire the TOW-2 series of missiles. For self-defense there is a 7.62mm M240 machine gun on a pintle mount.

Mobility

The wheeled 8x8 chassis provides the LAV-AT with good mobility on roads and reasonable cross country performance. The Detroit Diesel turbocharged diesel engine provides up to 275 hp. Maximum speed on roads is 100 km/h and the operational range is 650 km. The LAV-AT is amphibious and its two propellers allow for a speed of up to 10 km/h in the water. Furthermore, the LAV-AT can be airlifted by C-130 Hercules aircraft and CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters.

Protection

In order to be highly mobile and amphibious the armor protection is limited for todays standards. The steel armor provides a degree of protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. The missiles are launched and reloaded from under armor protection.

Users

The LAV-AT was acquired by the US Marine Corps and later by the Saudi Arabian National Guard. A total of 95 vehicles were produced for the USMC. These vehicles became operational in the late 1980's and remain in service today. A number of vehicles was modernized to LAV-ATM standard. Those vehicles are refitted with the same turret as used on the Stryker ATGM.

Details


LAV-AT

LAV-AT with its twin TOW turret traversed to the rear during an exercise in 1997.

Source: US Marine Corps - © Public domain

Variants of the LAV-AT

LAV-AT
Original production variant. Has the ability to launch TOW and Improved TOW missiles.
LAV-AT A1
Improved variant with Emerson 901A1 turret that has the ability to launch the newer TOW-2 missiles.
LAV-ATM
Further improved variant. Replaces Emerson 901A1 turret with MTAS, which is also used on Stryker ATGW. Introduced in 2017.
Facts LAV-AT
General
Origin
Canada
Type
Tank destroyer
Crew
4
Dimensions
Weight
About 12 t
Length
6.4 m
Width
2.5 m
Height
4 m with launcher raised
Main armament
Type
BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missile
Mount
Emerson 901 launcher
Ammunition
10 missiles, 2 ready to fire
Traverse
360 degrees, powered
Stabilizer
No
Chassis
Chassis type
Wheeled chassis, 8x8
Tire size
11.00 x16
Suspension
Independent
Automotive
Engine
Detroit Diesel 6V53T 6-cylinder diesel
Power output
275 hp @ 2.800 rpm
Transmission
Allison MT-653 automatic, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel
300 L
Mobility
Speed
100 km/h on road
10 km/h afloat
Range
650 km
Power to weight ratio
23 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.5 m
Wall
0.5
Trench
2 m
Gradient
60 %
Slope
30 %
Fording
Amphibious
Protection
Armor type
Steel, welded
NBC system
Yes
Smoke system
2x2 smoke grenade dischargers

Related articles


Stryker ATGM

The Stryker ATGM fulfills a similar role as the LAV-AT. The Stryker is based on a more modern chassis and features a turret with better optics and fire control systems.