The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has agreed to sell 22 New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicles (NZLAVs) to the Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile).

The sale has been finalised for approximately $19.855m.

Delivery of the vehicles to the Chilean Navy will take place in two tranches, while the first will be shipped this year and the second in 2023.

Once delivered, the NZLAVs will be used by the Chilean Navy’s Marine Corps.

Built by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Canada, the light armoured vehicles are used to provide mobility protection to soldiers in the battlefield.

The NZLAVs sale between NZDF and the Chilean Navy was initiated by the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Canadian government organisation for international trade arrangements.

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NZDF Defence Logistics Command commander commodore Andrew Brown said: “It was pleasing to get a sale negotiated for the vehicles. Eight more NZLAVs remain on the market to sell.

“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 finalised.”

In 2003, the NZDF procured 105 light armoured vehicles, out of which eight vehicles are available for sale in the market.

One is being used as a test vehicle in Canada and one was decommissioned after being damaged in Afghanistan.

Besides, the remaining 73 NZLAVs are in service with the New Zealand Army.

The sale comes after the Defence Assessment analysis undertaken in 2008-09, which concluded that NZ Army had more vehicles than required to accomplish the directed output.

Following the analysis, the government decided to reduce the number of vehicles and made 20 NZLAVs available for potential sale.

In 2019, the number of vehicles for sale was increased to 30.

NZ chief of Army major general John Boswell said: “The sale still allows the Army to maintain a range of capabilities and offer a number of potential deployment options including domestic disaster response, regional security missions, peacekeeping through to combat operations.”