The Australian light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Australia for the Royal Australian Army. It is derived from the LAV-25 light armoured vehicle.
ASLAV is an eight-wheeled amphibious armoured vehicle designed for reconnaissance and surveillance missions. Australia has deployed ASLAVs in theatres in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ASLAV programme
The ASLAV 8×8 wheeled light armoured vehicles are procured under the LAND 112 programme. The vehicles are designed to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance activities over large distances with minimal logistic support. The project has progressed in four phases.
In 1990, 15 light armoured vehicles were acquired from the US Marine Corps for evaluation in Australian conditions. In 1992, 111 vehicles were acquired under phase 2. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment was fully equipped with the ASLAV by 1997. The purchase of 144 improved vehicles was approved in phase 3.
Phase 2 fleet was upgraded to the more evolved phase 3 standard. The upgraded vehicle is fitted with modern electric turret drives, advanced thermal sights, an integrated laser rangefinder, a second-generation drive train and new suspension parts. The new remote weapon stations were incorporated to achieve behind armour commander’s weapon station capability. The vehicles were assembled by General Motors Defence Australia.
In June 2010, the Australian Government provided second pass approval to upgrade ASLAV under the LAND 112 phase 4 project, scheduled to begin in April 2012.
Based on the LAV-25 platform, the ASLAV is of eight-wheeled configuration, equipped with either four or eight-wheel drive. The versatility is increased by the addition of non-permanent mission role installation kits (MRIKs). This unique Australian alternation will generate several variants from a single hull design.
ASLAV is fitted with air-conditioning to protect the crew from interior temperatures reaching 55°C (131°F) in northern Australian region. The modernised vehicles carry a laser rangefinder, a new-generation thermal imager, 28V DC electric drive for the turret and improved suspension for the hull.
ASLAVs have been delivered in six variants: reconnaissance, personnel carrier, command, ambulance, surveillance, fitters and recovery. ASLAV-25 reconnaissance is a three-man reconnaissance vehicle armed with an M242 dual-feed 25mm Bushmaster cannon and two 7.62mm MAG58 machine guns. ASLAV-PC is a personnel carrier armed with a .50-calibre machine gun and capable of carrying seven troops. ASLAV-C is a command vehicle equipped with modern communication equipment and radio masts, mapboard and stowage compartments.
ASLAV-S is a surveillance vehicle equipped with a thermal imager, a laser range finder and a day television camera. ASLAV-A, an ambulance variant, carries medical equipment and litter stations. It can accommodate three lying patients or six sitting.
Orders and deliveries
In December 1992, the Commonwealth Government signed the ASLAV phase 2 contract with GDLS Canada for 113 ASLAV wheeled armoured fighting vehicles. Following the success of phase 2, the phase 3 contract for a further 144 ASLAVs was signed in September 2001. A total of 257 vehicles have been received in seven variants.
The primary armament of the ASLAV is a M242 25mm chain gun with thermal imaging sight. An M240 7.62mm machine gun mounted coaxially to the main gun serves as a secondary weapon. There is also a MAG58 7.62mm pintle-mounted machine gun fitted on the vehicle. Ancillary armament includes two 76mm smoke grenade launchers (clusters of four launchers each).
The all-welded steel hull protects the crew from small arm fires and shell splinters. The add-on armour fitted on the vehicle provides all-round protection against projectiles of up to 14.5mm. The add-on armour over the frontal arc protects the vehicle from 30mm projectiles.
ASLAV is powered by 275hp Detroit Diesel 6V53T Silver diesel engine coupled with Allison MT653 (five speeds forward, one reverse) transmission.
The ASLAV is a fully amphibious vehicle capable of travelling at a top road speed of 100km/h and maximum swim speed of 10km/h. It has a maximum road range of 660km. The vehicle is equipped with two propellers and four rudders for waterborne operations. A solid-core secondary tyre fitted to all wheels enhances battlefield mobility of the vehicle. This will allow the vehicle to run even with eight flat tyres. The vehicle can be transported by C-130, C-141, C-5A and CH-53 aircraft.
The ASLAV fleet comprises a number of specialist purpose designed variants built in three distinct hull configurations.
ASLAV Type I
The ASLAV Type I is the most numerous type; it is a turreted vehicle derived from the LAV-25 and comes in only one variant.
- ASLAV-25 (Reconnaissance) – is an Armoured Car with a crew of three (commander, gunner & driver). The two man turret has day, thermal and infrared imaging weapon systems, a stabilised M242 25mm dual-feed chain gun and two FN MAG 58 7.62 mm machine guns. The ASLAV-25 conducts troop-level tactical reconnaissance and can carry up to six dismounts in the rear.
ASLAV Type II
The ASLAV Type II has no turret and greater internal capacity and is derived from the Canadian Bison Armoured Personnel Carrier. The ASLAV Type II has a crew of two (commander and driver) and is armed with a pintle mounted M2 12.7 mm machine gun. In a number of vehicles, the standard machine gun pintle mount was replaced by a Kongsberg Protector remote weapon station (RWS), which can accommodate either a 12.7 mm machine gun or a Mk 19 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Using a common hull design installed with interchangeable Mission Role Installation Kits (MRIKs), it can be converted into any one of four variants.
- ASLAV-PC (Personnel Carrier) – is an Armoured Personnel Carrier capable of carrying seven fully equipped troops in support of troop level tactical reconnaissance.
- ASLAV-C (Command) – is an Armoured Command Vehicle, it is equipped with an enhanced radio installation and radio masts, map boards, stowage compartments, specialised seating and an stowable annex. In addition to the crew, the ASLAV-C can accommodate three staff officers and provides command and control at the Squadron and Regimental Headquarter level.
- ASLAV-S (Surveillance) – is a specialised surveillance vehicle equipped with a hydraulically raised mast mounted thermal imager, laser range finder, day television camera and battlefield surveillance radar RASIT or AMSTAR. The ASLAV-S supports tactical reconnaissance with ground surveillance and observation and can carry four crew and two occasional troops.
- ASLAV-A (Ambulance) – is an Armoured Ambulance and is fitted with specialist medical equipment and in addition to the crew can accommodate a medic and three lying patients or six sitting patients.
ASLAV Type III
The ASLAV Type III has no turret and is used by members of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for repair and recovery. The ASLAV Type III has a crew of two (commander and driver) and usually carries a third mechanic, it is armed with a pintle mounted FN MAG 58 7.62 mm machine gun, although some have been fitted with the Kongsberg Protector RWS. The ASLAV Type III comes in two variants utilising two specialist MRIKs.
- ASLAV-F (Fitter) – is a maintenance support vehicle that provides a protected mobile workshop for field repair personnel, including vehicle parts and tools, and is fitted with a HIAB 650 crane.
- ASLAV-R (Recovery) – is an Armoured Recovery Vehicle that is equipped with a heavy winch to recover disabled vehicles to a more accessible location or tow them to a repair facility.
|Mass||13.2 t (13.0 long tons)|
|Length||6.53 m (21.4 ft)|
|Width||2.62 m (8.6 ft)|
|Height||2.69 m (8.8 ft)|
|M242 25mm Bushmaster Chain Gun
|FN MAG 58 7.62 mm machine gun
|Engine||Detroit Diesel 6V-53T
205 kW (275 hp)
|660 km (410 mi)|
|Maximum speed||100 km/h (62 mph)
10 km/h (6.2 mph) on water
- Australian Army – 257 ASLAV.