The Light Armoured Vehicle, or LAV, is one of the newest vehicles in the Marine Corps’ arsenal. Based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha and built by General Motors in Canada, this vehicle offers the Marines a fast, highly mobile reconnaissance and light fire support vehicle.
Introduced in 1983, the Marine Corps have organised a number of light armoured vehicle battalions equipped with the LAV and assigned to the Marine divisions. Each battalion has four light armoured vehicle companies equipped with LAV-25, LAV-AT and LAV-M vehicles.
The M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle, or ARAAV, is fitted with the M81 dual-purpose gun/missile launcher. It can fire conventional HEAT antitank ammunition for shorter range targets, or the MGM51 Shillelagh (pronounced shil-laylee) anti-tank guided missile, which was more effective at longer ranges.
The AAVP7 (Assault Amphibious Vehicle, Personnel Mark 7) is a fully tracked amphibious landing vehicle used by the assault amphibian battalions to land the infantry assault elements and equipment during amphibious operation. They can also conduct mechanized operations ashore.