Armor: May 5, 2002


Criticism of the Army's new LAV (Light Armored Vehicles) program continues. The LAVs are costing $2-3 million each. But we currently have 15,000 M-113 APCs that are a lot closer to the LAV in performance than anyone thought. Moreover, many of the LAVs are now too big or heavy to fit in a C-130 aircraft. The C-130 is how the LAVs will make the trip to the battlefield. M-113's have no such weight or size problem. That is, unless you start adding some of the heavier weapons some versions of the LAV will carry. But critics point out that you don't need these heavier weapons for the types of missions the LAV equipped units will be going to (peacekeeping, for the most part.) Moreover, with money still short in the army, spending so much on new LAVs rubs a lot of people, especially those liable to have their programs cut, very unhappy. To muddy the water a bit more, the Army now calls the LAVs, IAVs (Interim Armored Vehicles.)


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