LAV-25 (Light Armored Vehicle 25) 8x8 Wheeled Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle
The Canadian-produced LAV-25 eight-wheeled armored vehicle is a mainstay of United States Marines land force elements.
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The LAV-25 eight-wheeled vehicle is classified as a light armored reconnaissance vehicle. Its wheeled nature allows it to traverse both on-road and off while an inherent amphibious quality allows it to cross water sources. The LAV-25 has seen consistent use since its arrival in 1983, delivered to the battlefronts of the 1989 Invasion of Panama, the 1991 Gulf War, the post-9/11 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq. The LAV-25 was designed and continues to be manufactured in Canada under the General Dynamics Land Systems Canada brand label (formerly General Motors of Canada). The LAV-25 design is based on the Swiss MOWAG "Piranha" 8x8 series of armored vehicles which is also owned by GDLS Canada.
Such wheeled armored vehicles offer cost-savings measures and in-the-field simplicity when compared to their tracked counterparts. The LAV-25 has proven adaptable across many different combat environments and can be showcased in large numbers due to their relatively controlled procurement and long-term maintenance costs. Indeed, many modern land armies have moved away from expensive and complex tracked vehicles to such six-/eight-wheeled offerings like the LAV-25. Its light armor protection is offset by inherent mobility and speed while armament is sufficient to combat other lightly-armored/soft-skinned vehicles or troop emplacements in turn and the system provides warplanners with a mobile and adaptable platform to undertake several battlefield-related tasks.
The LAV-25 was originally ordered in six different versions for the US Marine Corps and the US Army though the latter eventually bowed out of the program. The USMC was then alone in ordering its first 758 units for delivery slated between 1983 and 1987. After production had completed, the LAV-25 was subsequently added to the inventory of the Canadian Armed Forces during 1996 to which 203 were adopted under the "Coyote" designation
to serve as battlefield reconnaissance vehicles (the Coyote is detailed elsewhere on this site).
The standard LAV-25 offering seats the driver at front left with the engine mounted to the right of the hull (its placement identified by the large cylindrical muffler assembly fitted). A two-man powered turret seats the capable 25mm M242 "Bushmaster" chain gun and is installed over the vehicle's middle-rear. Internally, the LAV-25 can house six fully-equipped infantrymen across a pair of three-person benches found against each hull side wall. Firing ports are provided for each of these positions to allow passengers to help defend the vehicle through use of their personal weapons.