The USMC LAV-AD Anti Aircraft Vehicle

The LAV-AD vehicle is a member of the USMC LAV-25 family. It uses a standard LAV-25 hull and running gear for ease of maintenance and commonalty, but uses a specialist turret called Blazer, which was developed by GDLS and Raytheon.

The USMC LAV-AD Anti Aircraft Vehicle No longer in service

The LAV-AD entered service between 1995 – 1997 with the USMC. Originaly 125 were to be delivered, but congress would only fund 17 and the final one was delivered to the USMC in 1999.

Status of the LAV-AD has been hard to track down and confirm. However we found the “Tables Of Organization And Equipment” from the USMC for fiscal year 2004 (dated 2003), stating deactivation of 4th lav (ad) platoon. Due to maintenance costs, the Avenger and LAV-AD programs were discontinued.

About The USMC LAV-AD Anti Aircraft Vehicle Blazer Turret

Raytheon supplied the two four-Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher pods and FLIR TV sighting system for the FCS. GDLS (USA, not Canadian) provided the turret and the GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun, which forms the second weapon system on the turret.

Raytheon‘s Stinger missile has a two-colour, infrared-ultraviolet rosette scan seeker and a 3kg high explosive warhead. Maximum speed of the missile is Mach 2.2 and maximum range is 8km. Each loader has 4x stinger missiles, which are fire and forget.

The 25mm Gatling gun provides anti-air cover in the missile dead zone and has a rate of fire of 1,800 shots a minute and maximum range of 2,500m. The gun is effective against pop-up helicopter targets, low infrared signature and ground targets.

The turret is manned by the commander and gunner, whilst the driver is found up front of the vehicle on the left with the engine to his right. The vehicle is able to fire on the move.

Export Model

The Blazer air defence system has been developed by General Dynamics Armaments Systems and Thales Air Defense for the export market. It uses the Thales TRS 2630P acquisition radar and cueing of the Raytheon FLIR/TV targeting sight.

The TRS 2630P radar system is also fielded by the French Army. It has a range of up to 17km and also provides target identification.

The Blazer air defence system combines the high-rate-of-fire Gatling gun with either the Stinger or Mistral infrared-guided surface-to-air missile system.

The Mistral missile is manufactured by MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics, France) and has a maximum range of 6km. A fully automated digital fire control system allows gives the to also fire on the move.