New Zealand has agreed to sell 22 eight-wheel drive New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicles (NZLAVs) to the Chilean Navy.
The $19.8 million deal is part of plans to reinforce the expeditionary and rapid deployment capabilities of the Chilean Navy’s 1,200-strong amphibious expeditionary brigade.
New Zealand will deliver vehicles in two batches, one this year and the second in 2023.
Chile originally planned to procure light-armored vehicles in 2014, however, it got postponed as the country focussed on modernizing its fleet of frigates.
The plans for equipping the Chilean marines with the vehicle resumed in 2019, but it was again delayed due to COVID-19. Plans got finally got back on track in 2021.
About the NZLAV
The NZLAV is a third-generation, highly mobile platform that can be operated on and off the road.
The vehicle comes equipped with a range of weapon systems, including an M242 25mm cannon, MAG-58 7.62mm machine guns, and 76mm grenade dischargers.
It can be transported through land, water, and air.
The NZLAVs were developed in Canada by General Dynamics.
New Zealand bought 105 platforms in 2003. One vehicle has been out of service after suffering damage in Afghanistan while another is being used as a test vehicle in Canada.
The country has eight more platforms ready to be sold. The remaining 73 vehicles will continue their service with the New Zealand military.