NZ LAV (New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle)

The NZ Light Armoured Vehicle (NZ LAV).

The New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV) is based on the General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) Third Generation Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV-III).

The NZLAV is an eight-wheeled, highly mobile Light Armoured Vehicle that can be operated on and off-road. The vehicle has a 19 - 21 metric tonne Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (depending on configuration) and is transportable by land, sea and air, including C- 130 airlift.

The vehicle can be driven in either an 8x4 mode with the rear wheels driving, or in full 8x8 mode. The forward two axles steer. Limited slip differentials and a fully independent, hydro-pneumatic suspension with height control provide mobility over a wide range of terrain. The NZLAV can cross rivers and streams to a depth of 1.5 metres.

A mid-mounted turret carries the vehicle armament, consisting of an M242 25mm cannon, co-axial and roof-mounted MAG-58 7.62mm machine guns, and two banks of 76mm grenade dischargers. The two-man turret also houses the vehicle commander and gunner, with standard troop seating for seven soldiers behind the turret in the vehicle chassis. There is sufficient seating for an eighth occasional passenger however there is no provision for this individual to connect to the intercom or ventilated respirator system. The hull and turret are ballistic monocoque structures fabricated from electrically welded armour steel plates.

The Survivability Systems currently in the NZLAV include a laser warning receiver, chemical agent detector; ventilated respirator system; fire suppression in crew, passenger and engine compartments. Up armoured kits to provide extra blast protection from mines and IED’s can be fitted to the vehicles and add-on appliqué armour can be fitted to increase ballistic protection.

The NZLAV provides New Zealand with a world class vehicle capable of providing protected mobility to soldiers on the battle field. The NZLAV is highly mobile, and comes equipped with a lethal arsenal of weapons and systems making it an ideal vehicle for combat, peace and peace support operations.

New Zealand joins numerous allies that are operating similar platforms allowing us to maintain and operate the vehicle at a lower cost by creating synergies amongst LAV users. Currently the LAV is fielded with the Canadian Army, US Army, US Marines and the Australian Defence Force.

New Zealand purchased 102 Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IMV) variants and three Recovery vehicle variants. Additionally, to provide flexibility, seven of the 102 IMV’s come equipped with an earth moving blade allowing it to be used for light engineering tasks.

Up-armoured NZLAV have been deployed in the north east of Afghanistan since September 2009, and have been credited with protecting personnel from IED attacks on several occasions.

Future upgrades for NZLAV will include upgraded mobility and payload/storage capacity; enhanced power generation and management; optimised ergonomics for crew and dismounts, and improved tactical utility and versatility through the provision of NZLAV variants.

Download the NZLAV information in PDF [1.0 MB]

This page was last reviewed on 18 March 2015 and is current.