Enhanced Tow System for the US Marine Corps’ LAV-AT

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U.S. Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle Anti-Tank (LAV-AT) weapon system. Photo: Raytheon
U.S. Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle Anti-Tank (LAV-AT) weapon system. Photo: Raytheon

Raytheon successfully completed an initial round of live-fire testing with a new U.S. Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle Anti-Tank (LAV-AT) weapon system. Equipped with the TOW-II missile, the upgraded LAV-AT weapon system is designed to protect reconnaissance and light infantry teams. Its mission is to defeat threats at long-range, day or night, and in all weather conditions.

The Marine Corps LAV-AT seen here with the 2nd Marine Division during Desert Storm in 1991 remains the only platform in US inventory to use the obsolete M901 Emerson turret. This turret and M224 TOW system are now replaced to standardize with the M4 SABER system used by the US Army.
The Marine Corps LAV-AT seen here with the 2nd Marine Division during Desert Storm in 1991 remains the only platform in US inventory to use the obsolete M901 Emerson turret. This turret and M220A3 TOW system are now replaced to standardize with the M41 SABER system used by the US Army. (Photo: DOD)

Raytheon is delivering an enhanced capability designed to save Marines’ lives,” said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Land Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. “The new turret and thermal systems can perform surveillance and targeting on the move, providing greater situational awareness. Raytheon has also reduced the size of the equipment to provide more crew space inside the vehicle.”

In April 2012, the U.S. Marine Corps awarded Raytheon a contract to develop and integrate an anti-tank weapon system on four LAV-ATs. The LAV-AT Modernization Program was required to deal with the obsolescence of the original system, the M901 Emerson turret, which is no longer in production and has been retired from the U.S. Army inventory. Along with the vehicular mounted turret the M220A3 TOW system has also been replaced by the M41 SABER system, which is already in use with infantry and the tank battalions of the Marine Corps. The program will procure 118 Anti-Tank Weapon Systems (ATWS) of which four are being produced under the current Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase. All four vehicles will go into development testing later this year, with operational testing to follow in late 2014.