Thursday, May 30, 2019

Canadian Army's LAV 6.0...perfecting the iron triangle...

via Canadian Army
The LAV 6.0 is a refinement of the lessons gained from a decade of experience in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Over 350 of its predecessor, the LAV III, were damaged during the mission, three dozen beyond repair, from small arms, rocket-propelled grenades, and improvised explosive devices.

To develop the mandatory requirements, the project team drew from more than 1,600 lessons learned since the LAV III was first introduced in 1999, including 300 interviews with crew commanders, gunners, drivers and maintenance technicians to identify 700 improvements.

“We looked not only at the technical aspects, but also the TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures), the way the vehicle was being used,” Larrivee explained in an interview in 2014. “We also looked at what was being developed on newer vehicles.”

The result was what he called a “perfect triangle” of protection, mobility and lethality with the electronic architecture to integrate into a digitized network as part of the Army’s future concept of adaptive dispersed operations.

Though it was labeled an upgrade project, little of the original LAV III remains. The LAV 6.0 addressed protection with a double-V hull with energy attenuated seating; mobility with a new suspension and driveline and a more powerful 450 horsepower Caterpillar engine and larger Michelin tires; and lethality through improved turret components and layout.

What was retained, in addition to the 25mm M242 Bushmaster automatic cannon, turret drive, heater, and automatic fire suppression system, are the core design elements and functionality that have made the LAV the backbone of the Army’s combat vehicle fleet. 

Perfecting that triangle, however, was no easy task. Enhanced armoured protection with the same mobility meant a larger vehicle. The baseline weight of the LAV III that deployed to Afghanistan was about 36,000 pounds – it surpassed 42,000 with add-on armour. After the Army added new belly and side armour, an enhanced weapon station and attenuating seats as part of the LAV Operation Requirement Integration Task (LORIT) program in 2009 to address the threat of IEDs, the vehicle weighed in at 52,000 pounds with personnel and kit piled on.

The LAV 6.0 begins at a baseline weight of 45,000 pounds and increases to 63,000 with the full combat package of added armour protection and ammunition.

As the gross vehicle weight grew, though, GDLS-Canada had to enhance the suspension and drive train. “That combined to produce a vehicle that was in a much heavier weight class,” acknowledged Steve Child, senior engineer for product and technology development. “We then started looking at how to redistribute the weight in the vehicle to better support the loads and to move the platform in terms of functionality for both weapons and protection systems.”
Story here. 

Full disclosure.

I'm a General Dynamics Land fanboy.

Having said that, let me also add that I'm looking for some great things from this company going forward.

I already here ya saying...but what about those competitions that they lost. Easy I say.  It wasn't a failure of product (they have vehicles in their portfolio that would easily be considered as state of the art, and top of the class) but more a failure in interpreting the solicitations being brought forward by the  various govts.

Regardless, the Canadian Army seems pleased with their steed.  Good on them and GD.

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