The Canadian Army plans to upgrade the entire fleet of the existing LAV III armoured vehicles to the 6.0 configuration to extend its service life to 2035. The Canadian Army plans to upgrade the entire fleet of the existing LAV III armoured vehicles to the 6.0 configuration to extend its service life to 2035.
LAV 6.0 features blast-deflecting double-V hull. Image courtesy of General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada.
LAV III wheeled armoured vehicle upgrade is named as LAV 6.0. Image courtesy of Mike Babcock.

LAV 6.0 (Light Armoured Vehicle 6.0) is an enhanced version of the LAV III wheeled armoured vehicle developed by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Canada for the Canadian Army.

The new armoured vehicle is outfitted with a next-generation suspension system, enhanced power-train, improved remote weapon station, upgraded sighting systems, and digital electronic architecture. Its protection capability is enhanced with the addition of blast-deflecting double-V hull and energy attenuating seats.

In addition to the LAV 6.0 baseline variant, the LAV 6.0 family also comprises LAV 6.0 combat support vehicle (CSV), which is available in various configurations, including the command post, maintenance and recovery, and ambulance.

The Canadian Army plans to upgrade the entire fleet of the existing LAV III armoured vehicles to the 6.0 configuration to extend its service life to 2035.

LAV 6.0 orders and deliveries

GDLS-Canada was awarded a C$1.064bn ($990m) contract by the Government of Canada in October 2011 to provide an upgrade package for a fleet of 550 LAV III vehicles of the Canadian Army. An amendment to the contract worth C$404m ($303m) to upgrade 141 LAV III vehicles to LAV 6.0 configuration was made in February 2017.

A C$287m ($255m) contract was awarded to GDLS-Canada for the integration of an enhanced surveillance suite on LAV 6.0 in November 2014.

The first operational deployment of the LAV 6.0 took place in Latvia in 2017. The vehicle was deployed to support Canadian soldiers during Operation REASSURANCE mission.
GDLS was selected by the Japan Ministry of Defense as part of Japan’s Next Armored Wheeled Vehicle project in September 2019.

LAV 6.0 design and features

The LAV 6.0 light armoured vehicle is designed to transport infantrymen to the battlefield, while offering superior off-road mobility. It is air transportable by C-17 and C-5 transport aircraft.

The 8×8 vehicle has a length of 7.62m, width of 2.78m and a height of 3.16m. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle is 28,636kg.

A remote weapon station with advanced electronics and sighting systems is mounted on top of the vehicle to provide enhanced self-defence. A range of optional equipment can be added to the vehicle to support a full spectrum of missions.


The main weapon mounted on the vehicle is a M242 Bushmaster 25mm single-barrel cannon, which has a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute. The weapon can defeat light armoured vehicles, aerial targets, and enemy installations.

A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun serves as the secondary armament for LAV 6.0. Mounted coaxially to the main armament, the machine gun can engage enemy personnel and weaponry with a rate of fire of 800 rounds per minute.

The vehicle’s supplementary armament includes a swing mount 7.62mm machine gun and 76mm smoke grenade dischargers.

LAV 6.0 protection features

The vehicle’s double V hull increases resistance to mine and improvised explosive device (IED) blasts. Spall liners can be attached inside the vehicle armour for additional protection.

The energy attenuating systems installed in the crew cabin offer improved survivability for the driver and crew. A chemical agent detector is also installed to detect chemical hazards.

Observation and fire control

The driver’s sight is equipped with three M17 periscopes, thermal imaging cameras, rear viewer to provide forward and rear views during day and night.

A vision block is provided in the rear ramp of the crew compartment to enable the troops to carry out observation.

The turret is fitted with a day and thermal sight, image intensifier, six periscopes, and a tactical display.

A laser warning system is installed in the vehicle to detect and analyse laser and radar guided threats.

Engine and mobility of LAV 6.0

The light armoured vehicle is powered by a 450hp Caterpillar C9 engine, coupled to a ZF seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

LAV 6.0 features an eight-wheel, independent, hydro-pneumatic suspension with height adjustable mechanism. It also boasts one-speed transfer case, limited slip differentials, and full-time four wheel drive with selectable eight wheel drive.

The armoured vehicle is equipped with 395/85 R20 with run-flat tires, which give greater control of the vehicle in emergency conditions. The drum brakes are installed with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) for controlling all wheels.

The central tire inflation system (CTIS) further improves the driving performance of the vehicle.

LAV 6.0 is capable of travelling at speeds of more than 100km, while its operational range is 600km.

The vehicle can cross trenches of 2m and negotiate vertical obstacles up to 60cm high. It can ascend grades of 60% and side slopes of 30%. The turning radius of the vehicle is less than 19m.