Formalised through the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a crown agency of the Canadian Government, the $65.3m contract represents a priority acquisition by the Colombian MND, and covers delivery of 24 LAV IIIs to mechanised infantry units of the army.
General Dynamics Land Systems International Operations senior vice-president and general manager Dr Sridhar Sridharan said the company aimed to establish a long-term relationship to address the Colombian armoured vehicle requirement.
Selected against Steyr Pandur II LAV and Otokar-built Arma 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles, the LAV IIIs are scheduled to replace the army’s ageing TPM-113 A and EE-11 Urutu armoured personnel carrier (APC) fleet.
The LAV III variants to be delivered under the contract are expected to feature double-V hull technology and add-on armour, which is capable of increasing crew defence against mine blasts, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other battlefield threats.
Additional equipment also includes a Rafael remote controlled weapon station (RCWS), which can be equipped with Browning M-2HB-QCB 12.7mm machine gun or a 25 or 30mm cannon.
Powered by a Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine, the LAV III is a generation III armoured vehicle primarily used for infantry transport, while providing all-round protection against 7.62mm rounds in the battlefield.
A license produced variant of Swiss MOWAG Piranha III, the vehicle has been developed in multiple variants, such as tactical command post variant, a forward observation officer (FOO), TOW under armour (TUA), engineer variant, as well as the multi-mission effects vehicle (MMEV).
Deliveries under the contract are scheduled to complete by May 2014.
Image: A light armoured vehicle used by the New Zealand Army. Photo: courtesy of 111 Emergency.