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LAV-AD: Revolving Firepower

The LAV-AD is an American SPAA unit, developed on the basis of the highly versatile Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) chassis in the late 1980s. Featuring a devastating arsenal and superb mobility, the LAV-AD will soon join the fight in top ranked ground battles, arriving in War Thunder as part of the next major update “Wind of Change”!

Briefly: An air defence variant of the American LAV combat vehicle, featuring a hybrid arsenal consisting of a 25 mm Gatling cannon and both guided and unguided weapons.



  • High fire rate 25 mm cannon
  • Stinger missiles
  • Hydra-70 rockets
  • Excellent mobility
  • Amphibious capabilities
  • Light protection 

Development of the LAV-AD began in 1987 after a contract was signed with both the FMC Corporation and General Electric to design a SPAA variant for the LAV-25 for the USMC. Both companies began developing a system based on the USMC requirements that it had to be armed with a 25 mm cannon and possess provisions for mounting Stinger missiles and Hydra-70 rockets. While the FMC company opted to outfit their design with the same M242 cannon used on the base model of the LAV-25, General Electric decided to go for the GAU-12 ‘Equalizer’ Gatling style rotary cannon.

Having reviewed both prototypes, the USMC decided to procure General Electric’s design, placing an initial order for 125 vehicles to be produced. By 1996, the LAV-AD had formally been adopted into service. Despite the initial plans to produce over 100 vehicles, only 17 were actually manufactured due to funding issues. In 1998, the final unit was delivered to the USMC and further development of the vehicle was discontinued due to high maintenance costs. Among other operations, the LAV-AD was used in combat action in Iraq.


In War Thunder, the LAV-AD will be a new SPAA unit awaiting veteran tankers at rank VI of the American ground forces tree in the next major update. The LAV-AD certainly isn’t the first SPAA vehicle in War Thunder to feature a hybrid weapons arsenal consisting of, say, a conventional gun and missiles. At the same time however, the LAV-AD will be the first to also throw unguided rockets into the mix, but more on that in a moment. For now, it’s important to note that the LAV-AD’s primary weapon is the GAU-12 ‘Equalizer’ 25mm cannon. Being a Gatling-style rotary gun, the cannon can achieve a rate of fire of 2,200 rounds/min, making it ideally suited to virtually erase any hostile air threats out of existence, particularly helicopters, up to a range of around 4,000 metres. However, to hit even more distant targets or fast-moving jets, the LAV-AD also has access to IR-guided Stinger missiles fired from two quadruple launchers situated on top of the vehicle’s turret.

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So far however, the LAV-AD might just sound like an ordinary high-tier SPAA unit which can be found in virtually all nations’ top ranks. However, as mentioned before, the LAV-AD does come with one unique feature not found on similar vehicles in the game currently. Namely, we’re talking about the LAV-AD’s ability to replace one of its Stinger launchers with a rocket pod, thus allowing the vehicle to also launch 19 Hydra-70 unguided rockets. Although originally conceived as a means to extend the LAV’s effective range against helicopters, in our game, tankers are more likely to use the Hydra-70’s good ballistic properties and predictable trajectory to engage hostile armored units. This feature will especially come in handy when the rapid-firing 25mm cannon isn’t powerful enough to fend off a heavily armored threat, such as an MBT.

Another excellent feature of the LAV chassis in general is it’s super mobility, as expected from a light wheeled chassis. Being powered by a 275 horsepower diesel engine, the LAV-AD can reach a top speed of 62.2 mph (100 km/h) on paved roads, with its overall mobility decreasing slightly in off-road conditions. Furthermore, as the LAV chassis is built for the USMC, engineers also gave it amphibious capabilities. In turn, this gives War Thunder tankers more tactical options on battlefields with deep bodies of water, allowing them to potentially strike the enemy from an unexpected position!

The LAV-AD is arriving to the top ranks of the American ground forces tree as part of the next major update “Wind of Change” coming to War Thunder. In the meantime, keep your sights lined up on the news as we continue revealing more details about new additions and features awaiting you in the upcoming update. Until then, happy hunting tankers!

You can greatly speed up the research on this vehicle with:

XM-1 General Motors Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • XM-1 General Motors tank (Rank 6, USA);
  • 2000 Golden Eagles;
  • Premium account for 15 days;


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