Officials of the Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich., on Thursday announced a $56.4 million contract modification to Raytheon to upgrade the missile turrets on 34 U.S. Marine Corps LAV systems. The anti-tank LAV fires the Raytheon tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided (TOW) anti-armor missile.
Raytheon will provide the LAV anti-tank version (LAV-AT) with an improved thermal sight and advanced fire-control system to enable the combat vehicle to acquire targets while on the move, fire current and next-generation heavy anti-armor missiles, and provide multi-shot capability.
These improvements are expected to improve the reliability, availability, maintainability, supportability, and mission effectiveness of the LAV-AT.
Thursday's $56.4 million contract modification is an addition to Raytheon's original $19.7 million contract, which was awarded in April 2012 for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the LAV-AT Modernization Program.
This program is designed to counter two converging obsolescence issues on the LAV-AT, Army officials say. First, the M901 Emerson turret is no longer in production and has been retired from the U.S. Army inventory. Second, the M220A3 TOW system is being replaced by the M41 SABER system in the infantry and the tank battalions of the Marine Corps.
Ultimately the program seeks to acquire 118 anti-tank weapon systems for the Marine Corps LAV-AT combat vehicles. The Army is handling this procurement for the Marine Corps.
Raytheon is building the anti-tank weapon systems for the LAV-AT combat vehicles in McKinney, Texas, and the systems will be installed on the vehicles at Marine Corps maintenance centers.
The anti-tank weapon system on the LAV-AT rises out of the vehicle's hull when needed, and retracts inside the vehicle for protection and reloading. The system can destroy enemy armored vehicles and hardened targets.
The LAV-AT is an eight-wheeled amphibious armored vehicle that serves Marine Corps expeditionary forces with speed, mobility, and fire power. It serves as an offensive weapon and armored personnel carrier.