Friday, January 20, 2012

Saudi Arabian LAVs in Halifax

Light Armoured Vehicles for export:
1. A typical LAV shrink wrapped and ready for export to Saudi Arabia.

2. One variant is a recovery vehicle with knuckle boom and towing winch.3. 25 LAVs stored for shipping.

4. Some LAVs are marked with the sickle moon shape.

5. Very early this morning a typical Earl Paddock Kenworth awaits the opening of the security gate.

6. Another pair of Paddock K'worths also waiting, one with a low rise and one with a flat top sleeper.

7. A non-typical Paddock is this Western Star B-train, note the prominent grizzly motif. He's waiting for two other trucks to convoy back to London.

The Royal Saudi Arabian National Guard is in the midst of receiving a large order of Light Armoued Vehicles (LAVs). It is hard to tell how many they are getting, because there are at least two orders that I know of. There is the recent order for 82 of the vehicles, but I believe that is on top of previous orders of 73 for the regular army and of 724 for land forces which has not been completely delivered. These are in addition to the some 1,117 LAVs delivered between the 1990s and 2000.
This type of vehicle, with many variants, was originally developed by the Swiss firm MOWAG (Motor Wagenfabrik AG) in a 6x6 and later an 8x8 and 10x10 versions. Called the Pirhana, it was built by MOWAG and licensed to other builders.
Canada’s LAV III and the US MARINE Corps LAV-25s are of this type, and were originally built by General Motors in London, Ontario. General Motors (GM Defence in later years) was taken over by General Dynamics, as was MOWAG.
Saudi Arabia’s most recent order was placed in the US, but then contracted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC, a government purchasing agency) as prime government-to-government contractor. CCC then subcontracted to General Dynamics Land Systems Canada.
In the recent 82 unit order, there are apparently 9 variants. There are to be 25 LAV-25 (these will be fitted with a tank turret with 25 mm cannon), 24 LAV-C2 (command and control), 8 LAV-AT (anti-tank, with missiles), 8 LAV-AG (90 mm assault guns), 6 LAV-MS (125 mm mortar) and a variety of support vehicles: 3 LAV standard personnel carriers, 3 LAV ammo carriers, 2 LAV-A (ambulance) 2 LAV recovery (with towing winch and boom) and 1 LAV engineer (with bulldozer/ mine plow.)
They can operate at speeds to 100 kph and can work in 6x8 or 8x8 configuration. I believe these are the latest Piranha IV version (LAV4) with the 300 hp engine.
All the units are being trucked from London to Halifax by Earl Paddock Transportation of Stoney Creek, ON, then shipped out on ships of the National Shipping Corp of Saudi Arabia. When they arrive in Halifax, they are shrink wrapped and unarmed, and without turrets, so it isn’t easy to guess which variant they may be, but I have spotted one with a knuckle boom. Some units carry the green sickle moon symbol and others do not. Perhaps that is the distinction between army and National Guard.
Earl Paddock runs a very neat fleet of mostly Kenworths, all with custom paint, driver’s names on the sleepers, and a big chrome grizzly on the hood and the same motif on the mudflaps. This is not a low end operation! They arrive two units per truck (either drop deck single or b-train double) and usually in convoy of two or three trucks at a time.
After they are driven off the trucks, they are stored in the open until the next Saudi ship arrives, then driven aboard by the longshoremen.



  1. The red crescent (not green sickle)... Marks an ambulance like ours have red crosses.

    All those picture are of the LAV2 family. The LAV4 are much larger. The giveaway is the suspension.

  2. The EP trucks doesn't have the driver names on them,each truck is dedicated to an important person from the company,past or present.