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Colombian army to equip its new LAV III with RWS Samson and 30mm guns.

| 2023

Colombia will equip its 55 new General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) 8x8 LAV III vehicles with a remote weapons station of the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems RWS Dual Samson type, which will use a 30x113mm Orbital ATK type cannon and a machine gun Browning M2A2 QCB COAX 12.7x99 mm, InfoDefensa reports.
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GDLS LAV III of the Colombian army. The future vehicles will be fitted with Rafael's Samson RWS armed with a 30mm automatic gun (Picture source: Army Recognition)

According to sources consulted by, the selection of the weapon was due to technical reasons on the part of the Colombian Army, when comparing the maintenance costs of this cannon with that of 30x173 mm originally intended (an option that Canada would also evaluate for 59 of its units), adding that a batch of 26,000 30mm rounds would have been purchased.

It should also be noted that all the vehicles will have their respective RWS and weapons, which would include the Rafael Advanced Spike-ER anti-tank system, as stipulated in the Background and justification section: Strengthening lethal direct fires with anti-tank systems with a range of 8 kilometers from the Acquisition of Main Weapons Systems for Armored Vehicles project, issued by the National Planning Department (DNP).

Similarly, with the remote weapons station, the selection of the Samson instead of the Kongsberg Defense (RT series) is due to the fact that the Army intends to standardize with a single supplier its remote station systems, since the 32 LAV III that are already deployed are fitted with the Rafael Samson Mini, InfoDefensa explains.

Additionally, the new LAVs will incorporate the suspension height management system (HMS) and also, thanks to the OffSet contemplated in the contract, the levels of training in the use of this system will be the highest, after those of the United States and Canada, also being completely autonomous in their management, thus without the approval or supervision of the manufacturer.

Let us recall that, in May 2022, the government of Colombia approved the purchase of 50 LAV III DVH 8x8 manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). The purchase of these vehicles was negotiated directly with GDLS.

The LAV III DVH (Double-V Hul) is an improved version of the LAV III that provides greatly improved survivability and protection. The Double-V Hull configuration of the LAV provides unprecedented survivability against mines and IEDs, while the new driveline and suspension significantly improve the vehicle’s payload capacity, ride stability, and reliability. The vehicle can be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station.

Defense News May 2023

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