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Light Armored Vehicle- Air Defense (LAV-AD)

The light armored vehicle (air defense variant) consists of what equates to an Avenger turret mounted on the chassis of a light armored vehicle (LAV)-25. Its primary mission is to provide low altitude air defense against forces from airborne threats by fixed and rotary winged aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles capable of speeds of zero to 500 NMPH, at ranges within the envelope of the Stinger Missiles and the 25mm ammunition. A secondary mission is to provide ground defense against light armored mechanized forces.

The Blazer turret includes a forward-looking infrared targeting sight, a laser rangefinder, and the option of employing either Stinger missiles or the rapid-fire GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun. The system maintains all the capabilities of the LAV-25 and Avenger with subtle differences. The turret is modified to fit the light armored vehicle and does not have the large crew space of Avenger. The crew compartment inside the light armored vehicle allows two operators with separate windows in the turret to search and scan the air from inside the vehicle.

The turret can slew 360 and has the same standard vehicle-mounted launcher configuration as Avenger. The .50 caliber machine gun was replaced by a 20 millimeter chain gun that provides antiair capabil-ity against aircraft within the inner launch boundary of a Stinger and a significant ground target engagement capability. Each standard vehicle-mounted launcher carries four Stinger missiles that can be fired in rapid succession. The LAV-AD can shoot on the move at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and can operate as an amphibious vehicle. The crew consists of a vehicle commander, two Stinger gunners, and a driver. The crew can communicate within the vehicle by intercom and externally via HF, VHF/FM, and UHF communications nets. The LAV-AD SINC-GARS radio suite is similar to the Avenger's radio suite and allows for the integration of the remote terminal unit and ground-based data link.

Although the LAV-AD is not an organic weapon system to the Marine aircraft wing, it is important to be aware of its associated organization, configuration, and operating characteristics. Stinger gunners and other Marines with Stinger backgrounds could be assigned to the light armored reconnaissance battalion to employ the LAV-AD. Although the tactics, techniques, and procedures associated with LAV-AD operations are still under development, it is likely the LAV-AD will be used in much the same manner as an Avenger-equipped LAAD unit in direct support of a maneuver element. The current concept of employment states that the primary mission of the LAV-AD is to provide local air defense for the light armored reconnaissance battalion, operating well forward of the fire support coordination line. It also outlines the planned table of organization that calls for an antiair warfare officer to command the LAV-AD company and Stinger staff noncommissioned officers and gunners to serve as crewmembers.

General Dynamics began delivering the new LAV-AD to Marine light armor units in the fall of 1997. The Marines are buying 17 of these systems for their extensive LAV fleet.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:44:14 ZULU