GDLS introduces next-generation LAV 700 Desert Viper APC at DIMDEX 2024

GDLS introduces next-generation LAV 700 Desert Viper APC at DIMDEX 2024

At the DIMDEX 2024 exhibition, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is presenting the LAV 700 Desert Viper armored personnel carrier (APC). This vehicle, an evolution of the LAV 6.0, features a range of updates aimed at enhancing its operational capabilities, including a larger hull, advanced protection systems, increased payload capacity, and a more powerful 711 hp engine, a significant step up from the 450 hp engine of its predecessor.
The LAV 700 was initially presented to the public at the IDEX 2017 exhibition in a command post variant. Since then, it has undergone various evaluations, including firing tests conducted by the US Army. These tests involved a LAV 700 8×8 armored vehicle fitted with a turret armed with a 50mm XM913 Bushmaster automatic cannon during the Project Convergence 21 exercise, as reported by Army Recognition on November 12, 2021.

In terms of design, the LAV 700 incorporates modern digital command and control architecture, equipped with systems for health and usage monitoring. For increased survivability, this APC features self-sealing fuel tanks, energy-attenuating seats, add-on armor, and scalable ballistic protection, designed to safeguard the crew and vehicle integrity. These features partly explain the total weight of 21,000 kg, while the payload capacity can reach a total of 11,000 kg.

The armored vehicle’s protective capabilities are comprehensive, with the option to install ceramic add-on armor for enhanced defense against various threats. Its protection levels are adaptable, offering resistance against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds and front arc protection against 30 mm cannon fire. Additionally, cage armor can be fitted to defend against anti-tank rockets. The LAV 700 also comes with an automatic fire suppression system, NBC detection capabilities, and an optional NBC protection system with overpressure. Other defensive measures include a laser warning system, a shot detection system, and the capability to integrate an active protection system. Its double V-shaped hull is designed to mitigate the impact of land mines and improvised explosive devices, and it features adjustable ground clearance for varied terrain conditions.

The vehicle accommodates 6 to 8 infantrymen, with access provided by a rear power-operated ramp and roof hatches. Powered by a new 711 hp Caterpillar C13 turbocharged diesel engine, the LAV 700 maintains the driveline and independent hydropneumatic suspension system from the LAV 6.0. Its conception, which allows for adjustable ground clearance and includes a central tire inflation system, contributes to its ability to reach speeds exceeding 110 km/h and a range of over 1000 km. The vehicle can also traverse various obstacles, including 60% gradients, 30% side slopes, and water fordings of up to 1.2m.

A key aspect of the LAV 700 is its ability to be airlifted by aircraft such as the C17 Globemaster III or Airbus A400M, enabling rapid deployment across diverse operational theaters. The LAV 700, like its predecessors, is designed to support a wide array of mission configurations, making it a valuable asset for military forces, as demonstrated by the order of 900 units by Saudi Arabia in several configurations.

General Dynamics Land Systems has marketed the LAV 700 as an armored vehicle that retains the ability to be customized for different roles, including personnel transport, command and control, and direct and indirect fire support, among others. In terms of armaments, the LAV 700 is designed to support various turrets or remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWS), with a standard configuration that includes a 12.7 mm machine gun. Options are available to equip the vehicle with 30 mm or 40 mm turrets, which, when installed, allow the LAV 700 to be classified as a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle.

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