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Komatsu LAV
Komatsu LAV - 1.jpg
A Komatsu LAV on display at the JGSDF Ordnance School in Tsuchiura, Kanto, Japan.
Type Light Armored Vehicle
Place of origin Japan
Service history
In service 2002-Present
Used by JGSDF
Wars Iraq War
Production history
Designed 1997[1]
Manufacturer Komatsu
Weight 4500 kg
Crew 4+1 (MG or ATGM gunner)

Can mount the Sumitomo M249 LMG or Sumitomo M2HB 12.7mm machine gun. Can also mount the Type 01 LMAT or a Kawasaki Type 87 anti-tank missile.
Engine 4-cylinder diesel
160 hp
Suspension 4x4 wheeled
Speed 100 km/h Speeds can exceed 70mph

The Komatsu LAV (軽装甲機動車 Keisoukoukidousha ?), first produced in 2002, is used exclusively by the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces, and has seen use in the Iraq War.[2] It is built by Komatsu Ltd. Defense Systems Division in Komatsu, Ishikawa, Japan.[3]

It has a passing resemblance to Panhard's VBL, used by the French army.



The Komatsu LAV was developed in 1997 to meet a JGSDF need for an armored wheeled vehicle that could provide armored protection since their Toyota High Mobility Vehicles and Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Trucks were not adequate to provide protection from small arms fire.[1]

It had made its first appearance in Kuwait when JGSDF units had deployed the Komatsu LAV prior to humanitarian operations in Samawa.[4]


A Komatsu LAV, with no weapons mounted, displayed at the JGSDF Ordnance School in Tsuchiura, Kanto, Japan.
Komatsu LAV during annual Narashino exercises with smoke grenade dischargers.

No variants are known to be available, but the Komatsu LAV can be armed with the Sumitomo M249 LMG[5] or Sumitomo M2HB 12.7mm machine gun for anti-personnel duties. It can also mount the Type 01 LMAT[5] or a Kawasaki Type 87 anti-tank missile for anti-armored missions.

Komatsu LAVs can also be equipped with an armored turret around the Sumitomo M249 LMG or Sumitomo M2HB 12.7mm machine gun for the machine gunner, a pintle-mounted turret and two Smoke grenade dischargers on the rear sides of the vehicle.


  •  Japan: More than 1300 (2008)


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