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ASLAV
An ASLAV-25
An ASLAV-25
Type Eight-wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier
Place of origin  Canada,
 Australia
Service history
Used by Australian Army
Wars Iraq War, Afghanistan, East Timor
Production history
Designer MOWAG
General Motors Diesel Division Canada
General Dynamics Land Systems - Australia
Designed 1992–1994
Manufacturer General Motors Diesel Division Canada
General Dynamics Land Systems - Australia
Unit cost USD$2.0 million[1]
Produced 1995–2007
Number built 257
Variants ASLAV-25, ASLAV-PC, ASLAV-C, ASLAV-S, ASLAV-A, ASLAV-F, ASLAV-R
Specifications
Weight 13.2 tonnes
Length 6.53 m
Width 2.62 m
Height 2.69 m
Crew 3 + 6 troops

Armor Unknown
Primary
armament
25 mm M242 Chain Gun

720 rounds

Secondary
armament
7.62 mm M240C machine gun

1,200 rounds

Engine Detroit Diesel 6V-53T
275 hp (205 kW)
Power/weight 15.53 kW/tonne
Suspension 8 wheel independent
Operational
range
660 km (410 mi)
Speed 100 km/h (62 mph)

The Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV), is an Australian version of the Light Armoured Vehicle designed and manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada for the U.S. Marines. The initial design was the MOWAG Piranha 8x8, however the vehicle was re-designed to meet North American requirements and US Military Standards. It is a highly mobile, eight wheeled amphibious armoured vehicle used for reconnaissance and surveillance operations.

Contents

History

In 1990, a year-long evaluation was conducted by A Squadron 2nd Cavalry Regt on 15 light armoured vehicles leased from the United States Marine Corps. This was to see how wheeled vehicles would handle Australian conditions and what modifications would need to be made.

In 1992, under Phase 2 of ASLAV Program, the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation acquired 113 of the Australian version of the Canadian manufactured LAV for the Australian Army. By 1997 the 2nd Cavalry Regiment was fully equipped with the ASLAV.

Phase 3 of the ASLAV acquisition was approved with the follow-on purchase of 144 vehicles with increased levels of local content including the fabrication and assembly of LAV-25 turrets by General Dynamics Land Systems - Australia. The Wheeled Manoeuvre Systems Program Office of the Defence Materiel Organisation manages the ASLAV Phase 3 project, as well as the through-life support of in-service ASLAV assets.

These vehicles have been issued to training units, and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. The Phase 2 vehicles have been upgraded and the bulk issued to the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) in Brisbane. This equips the Army's two armoured reconnaissance units with ASLAVs.

The vehicle to the right is an American Marine Corp LAV-25 that was used during the trials. The major visual differences include no guard around the marine drive and an elongated exhaust.

Design

The ASLAV has an eight wheeled configuration (capable of either four or eight wheel drive), is amphibious and has a range of 600 km with a top road speed of 100 km/h.

The vehicle has excellent battlefield mobility, as all wheels are equipped with a solid-core secondary tyre next to the hub, allowing the vehicle to function even with eight flat tyres.

Phase 3 improvements include a laser range finder, the latest generation thermal imager, 28 V DC electric drive for the turret and improved suspension for the hull.

The heat of northern Australia poses special problems for armoured vehicle crews with interior temperatures reaching 55 °C (131 °F).

The ASLAV is fitted with air-conditioning that reduces temperatures at the crew positions to outside levels. Increasing the versatility of the ASLAV even more is the use of non-permanent Mission Role Installation Kits (MRIKs) to generate several variants from a single hull design.

This is a unique Australian modification and much of the design and development work was done in Australia.[citation needed]

Operational service

ASLAVs have seen operational service with the Australian Army in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Variants

By using the abovementioned MRIKs and the three different hull types of the ASLAV the Australian Army has at their disposal, the following variants have been developed:

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ASLAV Type I

  • ASLAV-25 (Reconnaissance) - A three-man reconnaissance vehicle armed with an M242 dual-feed 25 mm Bushmaster cannon and two 7.62 mm FN MAG 58 machine guns. Similar to the LAV-25.

ASLAV Type II

  • ASLAV-C (Command) - A vehicle equipped with enhanced radio installation and radio masts, mapboard, stowage compartments, appropriate seating and annex. Armed with a single .50 caliber BMG M2 machine gun, although vehicles on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fitted with the Konnsberg Protector RWS.
  • ASLAV-S (Surveillance) - A specialised surveillance vehicle equipped with thermal imager, laser range finder, day television camera and battlefield surveillance radar RASIT or AMSTAR on a hydraulic mast. Armed with a single .50 BMG M2 machine gun.
  • ASLAV-A (Ambulance) - Equipped with medical equipment and litter stations this ASLAV can carry three lying patients or six sitting patients. Armed with a single .50 BMG M2 machine gun.

ASLAV Type III

  • ASLAV-F (Fitter) - Maintenance support vehicle with HIAB 650 crane, crewed by soldiers of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) for the repair and maintenance of ASLAV vehicles. Armed with a single 7.62 FN MAG 58 machine gun. ASLAV-F vehicles were fitted with the Konnsberg Protector RWS in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • ASLAV-R (Recovery) - Maintenance support vehicle with recovery winch, also crewed by RAEME soldiers for recovering damaged or bogged vehicles. Armed with a single 7.62 FN MAG 58 machine gun. ASLAV-R vehicles were fitted with the Konnsberg Protector RWS in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gallery

ASLAV-25 in the Puckapunyal museum
ASLAVs in Iraq in 2006. Note the ASLAV-PC fitted with a PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station behind the ASLAV-25
ASLAV-A ambulance during exercise Talisman Sabre 2007

See also

References

External links


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