The New Zealand defense ministry has finalized the sale of 22 surplus New Zealand Light Armored Vehicles (NZLAVs) to the Chilean Navy, where they will be used by the country’s Marine Corps.
According to the announcement, the contract for the 22 vehicles is worth US $19.8 million and will see the vehicles shipped to Chile in two tranches, one this year and one in 2023.
New Zealand bought 105 NZLAVs in 2003. One was written off after being badly damaged in Afghanistan and one is being used in Canada as a test vehicle.
Commodore Brown said the remaining 73 NZLAVs will continue in service with the NZ Army. The army uses the vehicles for domestic disaster response, regional security missions, peacekeeping through to combat operations.
New Zealand is selling the vehicles after analysis undertaken during the defense assessment process in 2008-09 concluded that the Army had more NZLAVs than necessary to fulfil its missions.
In 2012, the country determined that the number of NZLAVs should be reduced, and that 20 would be made available for potential sale. The number of vehicles for sale was later increased to 30 in 2019.
With the sale to Chile concluded, New Zealand now has an additional eight NZLAV available for purchase.
Commander Defence Logistics Command, Commodore Andrew Brown, said it was pleasing to get a sale negotiated for the vehicles. The prospect of a sale to the Chilean Navy has been under consideration and negotiation for over two years, with a number of NZ and foreign government consents required before any sale could be finalized.
The Chief of Army, Major General (MAJGEN) John Boswell, said the NZLAV fleet continues to be critical to army’s ability to provide the New Zealand government with a combat capable military response option for use alongside our allies and partners.
The NZLAVs were built in Canada by General Dynamics Land Systems and the sale to the Chilean Navy was brokered by Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Canadian government organization that supports international trade arrangements.