Marine Corps Awards Contract for LAV Fleet Upgrade

Anti-Tank Weapon Systems are mounted on Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank variants at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 20, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Michael Lovell)
Anti-Tank Weapon Systems are mounted on Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank variants at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 20, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Michael Lovell)

General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada has been awarded a $37.2 million contract to upgrade the Marine Corps' fleet of light armored vehicles.

The Jan. 4 contract, which was awarded through Army Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan, procured 60 hardware kits for the Light Armored Vehicle Reset Program, an effort to extend the service life of the LAV into the 2030s, according to a Marine Corps news release.

Active light armored reconnaissance battalions will be the first units to receive the upgraded vehicles, which will be known as LAV A3s, the release states.

The Marines originally fielded the LAV in 1983 and relied on the system's speed, maneuverability and firepower for security, command and control, reconnaissance and assault missions.

The reset effort will include improvements to the LAV's powerpack to improve reliability, cooling capacity and diagnostics, with the added benefit of better fuel economy, the release states.

It will add a new drivetrain to improve towing capability, a steering dampener to improve road feel and usability, and a digitized drivers' instrument panel, according to the release.

"The Marine Corps is committed to ensuring this platform remains viable into the 2030s," Steve Myers, LAV program manager, said in the release.

The hardware kits will be installed at Marine Corps depots, with initial operational capability targeted for the second quarter of fiscal 2021, the release states.

In February 2006, General Dynamics Land Systems received a $128 million increment of a $257 million contract for the Light Armored Vehicle A2 for the Marine Corps, according to a GDLS press release.

The LAV A2 variants were an improved version of the original Marine LAV. The eight-wheeled amphibious armored vehicle -- which offered improved suspension and enhanced armor protection -- came in armored personnel, anti-tank, command and control, logistic, and mortar variants.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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