The GDELS Piranha is a family of armoured fighting vehicles designed by the Swiss company MOWAG (since April 2010 the name has changed to General Dynamics European Land Systems GDELS – Mowag GmbH). Five generations of vehicles have been produced, manufactured by Mowag or under licence by other companies, and variants are in service with military forces throughout the world. Piranhas are available in 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, and 10×10 wheel versions. There are several variants within these versions, giving different degrees of armour protection and several kinds of turret, for use in a variety of roles. Piranha derivatives have been assigned roles as troop transports, command vehicles, fire support vehicles, tank trainers, and police vehicles.
Piranhas are used by the Swiss Army. Swiss-built Piranha derivatives have been exported to Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Romania, Spain, and Belgium. The Romanian and Belgian Armies have selected the Piranha IIIC 8×8. Belgium converted to an all-wheeled force, and replaced all their M113s, AIFVs and Leopard 1s with 268 Piranha IIIC in 7 variants. Piranha derivatives have been manufactured under license by General Dynamics (Canada), BAE Systems Land Systems (UK), Cardoen and FAMAE (Chile), and in the USA. The 8×8 LAV-25 family in service with the USMC was derived from the AVGP variants of the Piranha 6×6 built by GM Defense (Canada).
Due to the design concept of this truly multipurpose vehicle, a wide range of special variants were built to meet the specific requirements of our customers. The Australian Defence Force also had its own modified version of the LAV-25 8×8, known as the ASLAV Type I (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle). The ASLAV is operated by two cavalry regiments (the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment) and is used in the armoured reconnaissance and armoured personnel carrier roles. Some variants, like the United States Marine Corps’s Light Armored Vehicle-25 (LAV-25) and its derivatives, are equipped with propellers for amphibious use, though their swimming capability is restricted to sheltered waters.
General Dynamics European Land Systems launched their new Piranha Class 5 at EUROSATORY 2010 with a MTU 6V199 TE21 diesel engine producing 430 kW, both Denmark and Spain have opted for a different Powerpack built by the Spanish company SAPA, consisting of a Scania Diesel engine with 480 kW coupled with the SW 624 automatic transmission, and an auxiliary power unit with 75 kW. With more than 11,000 vehicles fielded worldwide, the development of the PIRANHA family continues. The experience gained from over 40 years of operations in more than 20 countries is reflected in its latest designs. The vehicles offer a full range of standout features, such as custom built driveline, modular protection, unrivalled payload to gross vehicle weight ratio, almost unlimited range of weapon stations, amphibious capability and the renowned PIRANHA mobility.