FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Land | ROW ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS


The Piranha family of light armoured vehicles, available in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 configurations, has become the choice of military customers around the world. In 1977 the Canadian Forces selected the MOWAG Piranha 6x6 Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP). The Canadian government selected DDGM as the Canadian based contractor for this order. The armoured vehicle general purpose (AVGP) comes in three variants: the Cougar, the Grizzly and the Husky. The AVGP entered service in 1976. The Cougar's main function is to provide direct or semi-direct fire support in a combined operation. The Grizzly's primary use is to provide mobility and protection for an 11-person infantry section in combined arms operations. In 1999, the Cougar is being gradually removed from service with the Regular Force and will remain operational at the Reserve unit level only. Plans are being made to extend the life of some of the AVGP vehicles and to use them in a variety of new ways. The Canadian Forces order later led to a major contract with the US Marine Corps (USMC) for the 8x8 version of the Piranha and later to an even larger vehicle procurement by the U.S. Army TACOM for the National Guard of Saudi Arabia.

GKN teamed up with MOWAG of Switzerland in 1990 to produce the Piranha family of wheeled armoured vehicles to meet a number of requirements in the UKs FFLAV (Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles). MOWAG and GKN Defence signed an agreement which licensed GKN to be system prime contractor for the design, integration, production and marketing of the GKN Piranha 8x8 for agreed customers. Vehicles have already been sold to Saudi Arabia and Oman. The GKN Piranha 8x8 can hold up to 15 persons. It has a combat weight of 12.3 tonnes, a maximum road speed of 100 km/h and a fording speed of 10.5 km/h. Its maximum range is 780 km and it can be armed for whatever role is assigned to it. Existing customers for the Piranha include Denmark, Canada (designated the LAV III Kodiak), and Sweden.

In August 1999 Diesel Division, General Motors of Canada Limited (DDGM), announced the acquisition of the privately owned Mowag Motorwagenfabrik AG (MOWAG), based in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. The sale formalizes a 22-year working relationship between the two companies that has focussed on the design development, international licensing and manufacturing of the Piranha family of light armoured, wheeled military vehicles. DDGM had recently begun production of a new and significantly larger category of the Piranha 8x8, known as the LAV III, as part of a 651-unit replacement program for the Canadian Forces.

PIRANHA III Baseline Vehicles

Weights (approx.) 6x6 8x8 10x10
Weight empty kg 9.500 10.500 12.500
Payload kg 3.000 6.000 7.500
Total combat weight kg 12.500 16.500 20.000
Power-to-weight ratio hp/t 28.0 24.0 22.5
Dimensions (approx.) 6x6 8x8 10x10
Overall length m 6.25 6.93 7.45
Height over hull m 1.985/2.17 1.985/2.17 1.985/2.17
Overall width m 2.66 2.66 2.66
Max. number of seats 10 14 16

Comparison PIRANHA I, II, III example 8x8

Width 2.5 m 2.6 m 2.66 m
Length 6.3 m 6.8 m 6.93 m
(over hull)
1.88 m 1.88 m / 1.92 m 1.98 m
Tire size 325R16 325R16, 335/80R20 12.00R20, 365/80R20
Baseline Weight 9'500 kg 10'000 kg 10'500 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight 12'500 kg 14'000 kg 16'500 kg
Payload 3'000 kg 4'000 kg 6'000 kg

Sources and Resources

FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Land | ROW ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Wednesday, September 29, 1999 10:41:35 AM