Concept

AVGP Cougar

Résumé
The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose), later known as the LAV I, is a series of three amphibious armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in the 1970s. The vehicles, named Grizzly, Cougar and Husky respectively, were based on the six-wheeled version of the Swiss Mowag Piranha I, and became the first generation Light Armoured Vehicle produced by General Motors Diesel (later General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada). The AVGP program led to the development of the 8×8 LAV II, variants of which were adopted as direct replacements for the AVGP. These were the Bison and Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle, which replaced the Grizzly and Cougar respectively. The Canadian Army retired all AVGP variants beginning in 2005; however, a number of the retired vehicles were transferred to other militaries and police forces, where they continue in use. In 1974 the Canadian military launched an acquisition program to procure a light vehicle for the Army reserves. The Army desired a flexible vehicle that could be adapted to serve in many different styles of conflict. The military drafted requirements for four different variants. Cadillac-Gage seemed primed to win this contract. The Swiss firm Mowag pitched its Piranha. Mowag partnered with General Motors Diesel to manufacture the AVGP at GM's plant in London, Ontario. In March 1976, the Piranha was selected. The AVGP variants were introduced into Canadian service in the late 1970s. The AVGP had propellers and trim vanes for amphibious use, like the eight-wheeled Bison, which was the vehicle family's immediate successor. The Cougar was used for training in Canada as a reconnaissance vehicle. During the 1980s and 1990s, it was used by armoured units as a fire support vehicle, for those units not equipped with the Leopard tank. The Grizzly was used as an armoured personnel carrier in regular force infantry battalions not equipped with the M113 APC, and also by reserve units. The majority of vehicles had their marine propulsion systems removed.
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