The US Marines Light Armoured Vehicle battalion includes a mix of complementary mission role vehicles.

These include the General Dynamics LAV-AT or Anti-Tank vehicle which provides the primary tank defeating capability for the unit. The original vehicle design used the same Raytheon BGM-71 optically-guided Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) launcher used on the US Army’s United Defence/BAE Systems M-901 ITV tank destroyer. When the M-901 was retired support for the LAV-AT became a problem.

The US Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command awarded a $19.7 million competitive contract to Raytheon to develop a new ATGM turret called the MTAS in December 2012. These systems were field tested in 2015. The first production units were integrated by the Marine Corps Logistics Centres in June 2017. The MTAS retracts onto the vehicle for loading and travel but allows the gunner to traverse and acquire targets even while moving. The Marines will require 118 of the new system which will fire both legacy and the latest versions of the BGM-71.

by Stephen W. Miller

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