The United States Marine Corps (USMC) Light Armored Voertuig (LAV) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) Product Improvement Project (PIP) occurred te Fiscal Year 2005 to 2010. Militar Dynamics Land Systems wasgoed responsible for upgrading the LAVs to the current вЂњA2вЂќ standard. This article only covers the LAV-25 SLEP PIP.
The USMC has not produced fresh LAVs since the late 1980s and the current LAVs have progressed to LAV Generation III which has enhanced armor, mobility, sensors, fire control, communications, and powertrain improvements. The LAVs the USMC bought were basically Generation Zero to I, the very very first versions off the drawing boards when the LAVs were very first conceived.
Originally a U.S. Army idea thought out during the Cold War for a prompt infantry carrier on eight wheels, the U.S. Army thought that the LAVs were too lightly armed and armored for battles on the European pui against invading hordes of strongly armed and armored Soviet waterreservoir and infantry fighting voertuig formations. Thus, the U.S. Army dropped out of the LAV program. However, the USMC witnessed a need for the LAVs, and with their high speed, mobility, and swim capability, could act spil armed and armored scouting vehicles, which wasgoed better than sending an unarmored open-top jeep or unarmored Humvee spil a scout. The 25mm autocannon could take care of most enemy voertuig threats up to a waterreservoir. But due to its light armor, only able to repel (medium machine gun or AK-47) 7.62mm Armor Piercing across the delantero arc, and 7.62mm ball and artillery shrapnel all around, the USMC felt awkward using the LAVs spil infantry fighting vehicles which wasgoed what the LAVs were originally designed for. Therefore, the USMC LAV-25s (25 to denote 25mm, the caliber of the autocannon) has a team of three: driver, gunner, voertuig commander, and two to four Marine scouts te the rear. The LAV-25 were tasked not to stand and fight the enemy, but to drive around, scout out the enemy, take out lightly-armored targets, and retreat from heavily-armored threats using mobility, stealth, and speed because the lean skin of the LAVs could not take hits above puny arms fire.
By the 1990s, the USMC LAV-25s were getting long ter the tooth, worn out and total of outdated electronic and mechanical systems. The U.S. Marine Corp had no replacement for the LAVs so the USMC determined to extend their life with a SLEP program and also improve them with a PIP.
The SLEP gives the LAVs a Generation II suspension by adding fresh struts, steering knuckles, torsion kroegen, shocks, mounts and drive shaft. The turret’s hydraulics are substituted with electrified drive components which are safer because te the event of a breech, there is no hydraulic fluid to unload from the leak. The engine and transmission have bot substituted with newer versions. Survivability upgrades include an automatic fire suppression system and ballistic protection upgrade package ter the form of add-on bolted-on armor on the exógeno and Kevlar spall liners te the interior. The add-on armor gives the LAV SLEP a skin thick enough to stand against 14.5mm powerful machine gun fire all around. Further armor upgrades could include underbody mine protection armor kits against Improvised Explosive Devices and turret roof вЂњglass armorвЂќ blast shields to protect the voertuig commander spil he stands ter his hatch to fire the M240 medium machine gun. Some LAVs receive a faceted shroud overheen the side muffler and harass pipe to hide its thermal signature. The addition of the bolt-on armor weighs down the LAV SLEPs and thus negates their swim capabilities.