Light Armored Vehicle, 25mm1-5

LAV-25: General
Date of first acceptance 1983 Total acceptances 467 by 2003
Manufacturer General Motors Canada Crew
9 men:
  • Commander in turret right
  • Gunner in turret left
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 6 passengers
LAV-25: Dimensions
Combat weight 28,400lbs
Height over turret 100.9"
Length 252.6"
Width 98.4"
Tread Front: 85.8"
Rear: 86.8"
Front: 218cm
Rear: 220cm
Wheelbase Front to 2nd axle: 43.3"
Front to 3rd axle: 95.9"
Front to rear axle: 136.8"
Front to 2nd axle: 110cm
Front to 3rd axle: 244cm
Front to rear axle: 347.5cm
Ground clearance 14.9"
Fire Height ~83"
LAV-25: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
25mm Chain Gun M242 Bushmaster Turret 630 rounds
(210 ready)
(manual and hydraulic)
36°/sec +60° to -8°
(manual and hydraulic)
7.62mm M240 MG Coaxial to 25mm gun 1,600 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
36°/sec +60° to -8°
(manual and hydraulic)
7.62mm M60 or M240E1 MG Flexible in turret pintle mount Manual -- Manual --
Aiming equipment
Periscope M36/LAV for gunner
Azimuth and elevation
Night vision
Thermal for gunner with remote display for commander, image intensifying periscope for driver
LAV-25: Armor
Rolled hard homogeneous steel
Rolled hard homogeneous steel
LAV-25: Automotive
Engine General Motors 6V53T; 6 cylinder, 2 cycle, vee, supercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 275@2,800rpm Torque Gross: 586 ft-lb@2,000rpm Fuel capacity 71gal
Transmission Allison MT653, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
Brakes Pneumatic-hydraulic
LAV-25: Suspension
Type Road wheels Shock absorbers
Front 2 axles: Independent coil spring
Rear 2 axles: Torsion bar
4/side On each wheel
LAV-25: Performance
Max level road speed 62mph
Max water speed 6.5mph
Max trench 68.4"
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 19.7"
Min turning diameter 50.8'
Max fording depth Floats Cruising range ~400mi, roads
~640km, roads

The LAV-25 was based on the 8-wheel version of the MOWAG Piranha. Power was able to be sent to all 8 or the rear 4 wheels, and water propulsion was via two propellers at the rear of the hull. A 15,000lb (6800kg) winch was mounted in the left-front hull. The passenger compartment could accommodate six passengers (although four scouts are normally carried), and there were two doors in the hull rear and two hatches in the hull roof behind the turret. When the rear roof hatches are open, sensors prevent the M242 and coaxial machine gun from firing to the rear. The ready ammunition for the 25mm gun consisted of 60 armor-piercing (AP) and 150 high-explosive rounds; the coaxial MG had a 400-round ready box. The turret weighed 1,815kg (4,001lb), was 162.5cm (63.98") wide, and 434.6cm (171.1") long. Two sets of two 12-volt batteries were connected in series for the vehicle's 24-volt electrical system. A fixed 9.0lb (4.1kg) Halon fire extinguisher was present, and two 2.75lb (1.25kg) portable Halon extinguishers were also carried. The base armor was proof against 7.62mm ball and artillery fragments, and applique armor could be added to proof the vehicle against 14.5mm ammunition. Protection against 20mm AP was provided by Composite Ceramic Armor kits that were first procured in 1998.

A service life extension program (SLEP) was initiated in 2000. Visual and thermal characteristics were ameliorated by applique camouflage panels and modification to the engine exhaust. Reliability was increased by enhancing corrosion resistance and replacement and improvement of unreliable electronics, and the driver was provided with a heads-up display. Vehicles that underwent the SLEP were designated LAV-25A1, and these entered service in May 2003.

February 2006 saw General Dynamics awarded a contract to produce new 125 vehicles and upgrade existing machines to LAV-25A2 standard. Reflecting knowledge gained in Iraq and Afghanistan, the -A2 LAVs could use a three-tier applique armor suite to help protect against improvised explosive devices as well as kinetic energy penetrators; the hull's internal protection was also increased. An automatic fire suppression system was installed, and the turret hydraulics were replaced by an electric system to mitigate fire risk. The gunner was provided with the AN/PAS-13 Improved Thermal Sight System with laser rangefinder. Weight increases imposed by the upgrades necessitated replacing the suspension torsion bars, shock absorbers, struts, steering knuckles, and drive shafts by stouter components. The LAV-25A2 entered service in October 2007.




  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Armored Car: A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2002. Reprinted from Armored Car, R.P. Hunnicutt ©2002, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Novato, CA 94945.
  2. D'Angina, James. LAV-25: The Marine Corps' Light Armored Vehicle. Botley, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2011.
  3. Estes, Kenneth W. Marines Under Armor. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000.
  4. Hogg, Ian V. The Greenhill Armoured Fighting Vehicles Data Book. London: Greenhill Books, 2000.
  5. Cullen, Tony, and Christopher F. Foss, eds. Jane's AFV Retrofit Systems 1994-95. Seventh ed. Coulsdon, Surrey: Jane's Information Group, Ltd., 1994.
Last updated 9 Dec 2023.
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