Light Armoured Vehicle III (Photo: CP Photo/Murray Brewster)

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The Canadian-designed and built LAV III has become the principal armoured troop carrier for the army. With a powerful Caterpillar diesel engine, the eight-wheeled LAV can carry 10 soldiers into battle at speeds of up to 100 km/h. Protection comes from a 25-millimetre chain gun and an auxiliary machine gun.

But the LAVs, too, had their limitations when it came to Afghanistan's terrain. Here, Canadian soldiers are digging out a LAV stuck in the mud of a farm during an operation in the Arghandab region in 2008. The Afghan experience prompted defense officials to reverse a decision to ditch the army's Leopard tanks, and rethink whether the next generation of fighting vehicle should have wheels or tracks. And like other armoured vehicles, the flat-bottomed LAV wasn't immune from IEDs, resulting in a number of casualties.

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