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LAV III Kodiak Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The Canadian LAV III is based on the successful Swiss MOWAG Piranha and has been built to the tune of some 650 examples.

 Updated: 6/23/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

The LAV III "Kodiak" is based on the successful Swiss MOWAG Piranha III and is the armored personnel carrier of choice for the Canadian Army. The non-amphibious 8-wheeled system has proven a favorite among operators looking to update their aging APC systems with stellar off-road performance and chassis adaptability as the system has found a home with the US Army (as the Stryker), the Australian Army (as the ASLAV-25), Romania and New Zealand along with Canada. The adaptability of the LAV III chassis will no doubt ensure its use for decades to come.

Armor becomes the prize of any APC crew and the Kodiak does not disappoint. Standard thickness allows for protection against the 7.62mm round while additional applique armor can raise this level of protection to include 14.5mm heavy caliber rounds. Insurgency experience has forced the redesign of the hull underside for improved mine protection as well. Standard armament is a 1 x 25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun in a powered turret offering 360 degree protection. This is supplemented by a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun (also in the turret) and a single 5.56mm machine gun on the roof. Crew accommodations amount to three personnel while a further 6 to 7 combat ready troops can be carried as passengers. Entry and exit is accomplished through a rear ramp or roof hatches. The Kodiak is powered by a 350 horsepower Caterpillar diesel engine providing speeds of 100 kilometers per hour and a range of around 450 kilometers.

Since entering service in 1999, the Kodiak has been produced to the tune of 650 examples, all handled by General Motors Land Systems. The most popular LAV III in service today probably remains the American "Stryker" series as that unit has seen extensive action in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Stryker features a remote weapon station in place of the standard turret. Other variants in the Kodiak series include a command vehicle, anti-tank guided missile carrier and an artillery forward observation vehicle.

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LAV III Kodiak Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1999
Type: Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)
National Origin: Canada
Manufacturer(s): General Motors Land Systems - Canada
Production: 650

Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

Operating Crew: 3
Length: 22.74 feet (6.93 meters)
Width: 8.73 feet (2.66 meters)
Height: 9.19 feet (2.80 meters)

Operating Weight: 19 tons (16,950 kg; 37,368 lb)

Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
Nightvision Equipment: Yes - Optional

Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

Engine(s): 1 x Caterpillar 3126 diesel-fueled engine developing 350 horsepower.

Maximum Road Speed: 62 mph (100 km/h)
Maximum Road Range: 280 miles (450 km)

Armament and Ammunition

1 x 25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun
1 x 7.62mm coaxial anti-infantry machine gun
1 x 5.56mm anti-infantry machine gun (roof)

500 x 25mm ammunition
2,000(?) x 7.62mm ammunition
1,000(?) x 5.56mm ammunition

Global Operators / Customers

Canada, Australia, Romania, New Zealand and the United States of America.

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

APC - Base Armored Personnel Carrier
AEV - Armored Engineering Vehicle
CP - Command Vehicle
OPV - Artillery Forward Observation Vehicle
MMEV - Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle
TUA - Anti-Tank Guided Missile Carrier
"Stryker" - American (Army) Armored Personnel Carrier; features a remote weapon station in place of turret assembly.
ASLAV-25 - Australian (Army) Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle.