Mowag Piranha

The Mowag Piranha is a family of armoured fighting vehicles designed and manufactured by the Swiss Mowag corporation (now the European part of General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems). Four generations of vehicles have been produced, and variants include the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) in service with many militaries.

Design and development


It is available in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, and 10x10 wheel versions. There are several variants within these versions, giving different degrees of armour protection and several kinds of turrets, 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 and Spain. Piranha derivatives have been manufactured under licence by General Dynamics (Canada), GKN Defence (UK), Komatsu (Japan), CARDOEN and FAMAE (Chile), and in the USA.

The Belgian Army has selected the Piranha IIIC 8x8, while simultaneously removing the current main battle tank, the Leopard 1, from the inventory. Despite the fact that the Piranha is an inferior vehicle in all aspects (protection, firepower and mobility).

The 8x8 US Army Stryker vehicle is derived from the Piranha, as is the LAV 25 family in service with the USMC. The Australian Defence Force also has its own modified version of the Piranha known as the ASLAV (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 abilities are limited to sheltered waters.

The Canadian Army employs five different versions: Bison (8x8) APC, Cougar (6x6) 76mm Fire support, Grizzly (6x6) APC, Husky (6x6) Recovery, and Coyote (8x8) reconnaissance.

Saudi Arabia ordered 1,117 in 10 versions (LAV-25, TOW, APC, 120mm Mortar, Recovery, Command, Ambulance, Engineer,Assault gun and Ammunition Carrier)

A new Piranha V version, weighing in between 25 to 30 tons, is competing in the British Army's FRES program.

Family tree


External links

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