The light armored vehicle – air defence (LAV-AD) is a hybrid gun / missile air defence system, manufactured by General Dynamics Armaments Systems (now, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products) of Burlington, Vermont, USA. It combines a high-rate-of-fire Gatling gun and the short-range, infrared Stinger fire-and-forget missile system.

The LAV-AD is in service with the US Marine Corps (USMC). The last of 17 systems was delivered in January 1999. The mission of the USMC LAV-AD is to provide air defence for the light armored vehicle battalion, with a secondary role to defend against ground threats.

The system consists of the Blazer air defence turret, developed by General Dynamics Armaments Systems and Thales Air Defense (formerly Thomson-CSF Airsys) of Bagneaux, France, installed on a modified LAV-25 vehicle, manufactured by the Diesel Division of General Motors of Canada. The LAV-AD 8×8 wheeled vehicle has all-terrain and amphibious mobility.

LAV-AD armament​

The Blazer turret for the LAV-AD includes two air defence weapons: the GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun and two four-Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher pods. The gun and missile combination provides quick and decisive reaction to close-in, low-flying air threats. The turret is all-electric driven and is controlled by either of two turret operators, the commander and the gunner. A stabilisation system is fitted for fire on the move capability.

“The light armored vehicle – air defence (LAV-AD) is a hybrid gun / missile air defence system.”
The Stinger missile, manufactured by Raytheon, has a two-colour, infrared-ultraviolet rosette scan seeker and a 3kg high explosive warhead. Maximum speed of the missile is Mach 2.2 and maximum range is 8km. The current production Stinger missiles are the RMP (reprogrammable microprocessor) FIM-92D and the block I FIM-92E. The block I missile has a new roll frequency sensor and an improved processor. The funding for Stinger block II missile, with an imaging infrared seeker based on a focal plane array, was cancelled in 2002. Elevation for the missile and gun is -8° to +60°. As well as the eight missiles in the launch pods, another eight missiles are carried which are reloaded manually.

The 25mm Gatling gun provides anti-air cover in the missile dead zone and has a rate of fire of 1,800 shots a minute and maximum range of 2,500m. The gun is effective against pop-up helicopter targets, low infrared signature and ground targets.


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