Radio New Zealand reported that twenty (20) New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV) remain unused and waiting for a buyer – nearly a decade after the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) decided they were surplus to requirements. The New Zealand armed forces purchased 105 LAV from General Dynamics Land Systems Canada. The New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV) is based on the General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) Third Generation Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV-III). The vehicle has a 19 – 21 metric tonne Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (depending on configuration) and is transportable by land, sea and air, including C- 130 airlift.
The New Zealand government purchased 105 LAVs from General Dynamics Land Systems Canada for $653 million in 2001 to replace ageing armoured personnel carriers. The New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle provides New Zealand with a world class vehicle capable of providing protected mobility to soldiers on the battle field. The NZLAV is highly mobile, and comes equipped with a lethal arsenal of weapons and systems making it an ideal vehicle for combat, peace and peace support operations. A mid-mounted turret carries the vehicle armament, consisting of an M242 25mm cannon, co-axial and roof-mounted MAG-58 7.62mm machine guns, and two banks of 76mm grenade dischargers.
The New Zealand Defence Force decided it didn’t need 20 of them in 2011 and they have been in storage at Trentham Military Camp, north of Wellington waiting for a new home. Despite some overseas interest a few years ago, a deal never eventuatedand remain in long-term storage. The military could not say how much it cost to keep the vehicles in storage and had made no final decisions on what should be done with them if they are not sold.The NZDF said 83 remained in operational service. Future upgrades for NZLAV will include upgraded mobility and payload/storage capacity; enhanced power generation and management; optimised ergonomics for crew and dismounts, and improved tactical utility through the provision of NZLAV variants.