Dozens of aging Light Armored Vehicles will get new turrets in 2018.
The LAV’s anti-tank variants will replace the obsolete Emerson 901, which is based on technology from the 1960s.
The new turrets can fire radio frequency-guided TOW anti-tank missiles and the gunner’s seat will remain stationary as the turret traverses, officials said. With the current anti-tank LAVs, the gunner’s seat moves with the turret.
The Marine Corps has more than 700 LAVs, including 100 anti-tank variants.
The upgrades started in late 2017. The first four anti-tank LAVs were upgraded with the new turret in September and that will continue until the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, the Marines are working toward designing a new, next generation LAV. Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh said in September that the new LAVs should have advanced technologies, such as Active Protective Systems, which can confuse or destroy incoming anti-tank missiles.
Walsh, deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration, likened the leap in technologies needed for future vehicles to the difference between U.S. aircraft that fought in the Gulf War and the F-35.
“We need to look at something like the F-35,” he said. “You can clearly see a generational change when you go from AV-8 Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets to the F-35.”