The Australian 8×8 ASLAV Infantry Fighting Vehicle Background
Most major AFV manufacturers have facilities in a number of countries. General Dynamics Land Systems is no exception and has a large facility in Canada known as GDLS-Canada (which was previously GM Defense and was purchased by GDLS), which focuses on the production & development of Wheeled Vehicles for the international market.
The Swiss firm MOWAG developed a series of 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 wheeled troop carriers for the Swiss Army commonly known as the Piranha during the 1970’s. Their order books have expanded to include international purchases from many other nations Armies and includes the licenced production during the 1970’s of their 6×6 vehicle by GDLS-Canada for the Canadian Army, who designated it the Armoured Vehicle General Purpose AKA “AVGP”.
There were three variants of this vehicle built:
The Grizzly – infantry carrier, The Cougar – British Scorpion tank turret equipped with a 76 mm main gun, The Husky – recovery vehicle.
GDLS-Canada’s 8×8 vehicles are called Light Armoured Vehicles, Better known as LAV. LAV is not a non-European designation of Piranha.
Since the production of the AVGP, GDLS-Canada have gone on to develop the LAV II & LAV III, which despite some similarity’s to the Swiss Piranha’s are GDLS’s own designs based on the AVGP and are not copies of Swiss Piranha’s.
The LAV II 8×8 was developed during the 1980’s. It is in service with the USMC as the LAV-25. In Canada its used as the Coyote (Reconnaissance Vehicle) & Bison (infantry carrier) and ASLAV in Australia.
The LAV III was developed in the late 1990’s for the Canadian Forces and also is in service with the New Zealand Army. It serves as both armies principal Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The US Army Stryker is a lighter armoured version of the vehicle.
The success of the series has been its high mobility and adaptability to serve other mission roles.
The Australian 8×8 ASLAV Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Royal Australian Armoured Corps trialled LAV-25’s purchased from the USMC in 1990 in North Australia and completed 6500km with the intention of the vehicle being used as an armoured reconnaissance vehicle.
In 1992 The RAAC trialled the Bison. This vehicle was selected as the infantry troop carrier and in the same year 97 LAV’s were ordered in various variants from GM Defence Canada, to supplement the 15 LAV-25’s.
33 ASLAV-25 reconnaissance version with 25mm Bushmaster Chain gun in a Delco turret.
33 ASLAV-PC personnel carrier based on the Bison. Has .50cal MG on a pintle mount or Remote Weapon System (RWS) mount.
10 ASLAV-S surveillance version.
9 ASLAV-C command version with additional radios, map boards, seats, etc
2 ASLAV-A ambulance version with capacity for 3 stretchers
10 ASLAV-F Fitters vehicle/Recovery vehicle with winching and lifting capacity
Delivery’s from GM Defence started in 1995. A further 150 vehicles were later ordered, with both combined orders equipping a total of 2 regiments in the RAAC (2nd Cavalry Regiment and 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry)) as well as training vehicles at the School Of Armour.
The ASLAV has a number of significant changes from the LAV25 in its stowage configuration, thicker heavy duty tyres better suited for the harsh Australian bush, communications, exhaust system and a fridge for cold drinks and meat, to name a few.
Both the ASLAV-25 and ASLAV-PC were deployed as part of the peacekeeping force in East Timor and have been deployed in recent years in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ASLAV-25’s based in Baghdad as a part of SECDET (Security Detachment) were withdrawn in 2009 with the ASLAV-PC’s following a year later, in line with the improved security conditions and lack of role.
The Australian 8×8 ASLAV Infantry Fighting Vehicle Spec’s
Length: 6527 mm 257 in.
Width: 2620 mm 103 in.
Height: 2692 mm 106 in.
Curb weight: 11,680 kg 25,750 lbs
Combat weight: 13,200 kg 29,100 lbs
Governed speed: 100 kph 62 mph
Swim speed: 10 kph 6.2 mph
Maximum range: 660 km 410 miles
Minimum turn diameter: 15.5 m 51 ft.
Maximum trench crossing: 2 m 6.5 ft.
Maximum grade: 60%
Maximum side slope: 30%
Power Train & Suspension
Engine: 275 hp Detroit
Transmission: Allison MT653 5 speeds forward 1 reverse
Transfer case: 1
Differentials: 4 automotive 1 water drive
Suspension: 8 wheel independent
Full time 4 wheel (rear) drive
Selective 8 wheel drive
Selective water drive
Water drive: 2 propellers 4 rudders
(1) CH-53 (helicopter lift)
2 rear with centre post
2 rear roof
1 vehicle commander
1 left-hand side escape (“Hot dog stand”)
1 power entry
By similar vehicle (with standard towbar MS-500048)
• Halon 1301
• AFES two shot automatically activated
24 volts negative ground:
• radio suppressed system
• wiring, connectors, breakers, harnesses IAW MIL-STDs
• MIL-STD 220 amp alternator
• 4 batteries per MS 52149E (AT)
• 500 amp slave receptacle
1 vehicle commander
8 troops (provision for)
1 Vehicle Commander
• M242 25mm chain gun with M36 LAV sight offering thermal imaging and day sight
• MAG58 7.62mm machine gun mounted coaxially to the main gun
• MAG58 7.62mm machine gun (pintle mounted)
• (2) 76mm Smoke Grenade Launchers (Clusters of 4 launchers each)
Ready: (8) 76mm Smoke Grenades, 400 rounds 7.62mm COAX, 230 rounds 7.62 FLEX, 60 rounds 25mm HE, 150 rounds 25mm SABOT
Stowed: (8) 76mm Smoke Grenades 800 rounds 7.62mm 510 rounds 25mm, 5.56mm as required
Climate Control System
Anti Tank Guided MissileWire Cutter
Fully (with 3 minute preparation)
On Vehicle Equipment
Tools, Camouflage nets and Utensils
• (3) M-17 periscopes
• (1) night vision AN/VVS 2 (LAV) GEN III
• (7) M-27 periscopes
• (1) M36/LAV sight consisting of:– Day sight– Night Sight Elbow (GEN III)
• ( 1) Commander’s Thermal Display
• (1) M-27 periscope
• (1) DTAS-DIM36TH sight consisting of:– Thermal Sensor and Display– LASER Range Finder/Day sight
• (6) vision block MIL-B-11352 and MIL-F-62422
Self-recovery Hydraulic Winch (Front-mounted 15,000 lb. dynamic pull)
• 4 station intercom system
• 2 VHF radios COMSEC ECCM
• 1 HF radio COMSEC ECCM