New Zealand sells 22 NZLAV Light Armoured Vehicles to Chilean Marine Corps

The New Zealand Defence Force has finalised a sale of 22 surplus New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicles (NZLAVs) to the Chilean Navy for use by their Marine Corps. The sale is worth US $19.855 million and the vehicles will be shipped to Chile in two tranches: one this year and one in 2023. The sale to the Chilean Navy was brokered by Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Canadian Government organisation that supports international trade arrangements.
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The New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV)  is a General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) Third-Generation Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV-III) (Picture source: NZ Army)

Commander Defence Logistics Command, Commodore Andrew Brown, said it was pleasing to get a sale negotiated for the vehicles. Eight more NZLAVs remain on the market to sell. The prospect of a sale to the Chilean Navy has been under consideration and negotiation for over two years, with a number of NZ and foreign government consents required before any sale could be finalised. Commodore Brown said the remaining NZLAVs, numbering 73, will continue in service with the NZ Army.

The NZDF bought 105 NZLAVs in 2003. One was written off after being badly damaged in Afghanistan and one is being used in Canada as a test vehicle. Analysis undertaken during the Defence Assessment process in 2008-09 concluded that the Army had more NZLAVs than necessary to fulfil government-directed outputs. In 2012 the Government determined that the number of NZLAVs be reduced and that 20 would be made available for a potential sale. The number for sale was later increased to 30 in 2019.

The Chief of Army, Major General John Boswell, said the sale still allows the Army to maintain a range of capabilities and offer a number of potential deployment options including domestic disaster response, regional security missions, and peacekeeping through to combat operations.

The New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV) is a General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) Third-Generation Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV-III). The LAV III, originally named the Kodiak by the Canadian Army, is the third generation of the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) family of infantry fighting vehicles built by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C), a London, Ontario, based subsidiary of General Dynamics. It is a license-built version of the Mowag Piranha IIIH. It first entered service in 1999, succeeding the LAV II. It is the primary mechanized infantry vehicle of both the Canadian Army and the New Zealand Army. It also forms the basis of the Stryker vehicle used by the U.S. Army and other operators.

The vehicle has a 19-21 metric tonne Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (depending on configuration) and is transportable by land, sea and air, including a C-130H airlift (at reduced weight). 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.

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New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV) in Afghanistan (Picture source: NZ Army/Wikipedia)


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