Canada has taken delivery of its first upgraded Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III, to provide its army units on the battlefield with enhanced defensive protection and firepower.
General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada (GDLS-C) vice president Danny Deep said the vehicle was delivered on-schedule.
"The upgrades we have incorporated on the LAV III will significantly enhance the vehicle's survivability, operational capability and long-term performance," Deep said.
GDLS-C was awarded a C$1.06bn ($1.05bn) contract for modernisation of a total of 550 LAV III vehicles in October 2011, with an option for additional 80 more vehicles.
A C$133.5m ($133.25m) contract modification was also awarded to the company for upgrade of additional 66 LAV III combat vehicles in November 2012.
The LAV III upgrade project focuses on enhancing the vehicle's survivability, mobility and efficiency, with the aim to extend the fleet's service life to 2035.
Survivability improvements include integration of double-V-hull technology and add-on armour protection, as well as energy-attenuating seats to improve the vehicle's crew protection against mine blasts, improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and other threats.
As part of mobility system upgrades, a powerful engine, robust driveline and suspension and height management system (HMS) will be incorporated to optimise the vehicle's automotive performance, handling characteristics and payload capacity.
The company will also improve the vehicle's 25mm turret crew ergonomics and capabilities by incorporating larger hatches, improved fire control, thermal, day and low-light sights and data displays.
Based on the MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8 vehicle, around 651 LAV III units are currently operational with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan and other areas of operation as the primary mechanised infantry vehicles.
Image: The LAV III is a version of the Piranha III. Photo: file image.