Armour in Canadian Service: AVGP Cougar, Grizzly and Husky

Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) AFVs

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) is a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977.  The three vehicles are the Cougar, Grizzly and Husky.  These vehicles were based on the six-wheeled version of the Swiss MOWAG Piranha I.  They formerly had propellers and trim vanes for amphibious use, like the eight-wheeled Bison.  Recent retrofits have removed the marine drive system, as it is no longer used and service is expensive.  The Canadian Armed Forces’ LAV III, the United States Marine Corps’ LAV-25, and the US Army’s Stryker are other variants of the Piranha family.

The AVGP variants brought into Canadian service were intended for use only in Canada, but they were eventually pressed into service for several United Nations missions, including UNPROFOR and the mission to Somalia.

(Author Photo)

Cougar AVGP, Trois-Rivières, Jean Victor Allard Armoury, 574 St Francis Xavier.

(Author Photo)

AVGP Cougar, CFR 78-37368, painted as 21C.  This is the third vehicle on the right on the right as you enter 5 CDSB Gagetown.

AVGP Cougar

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) Cougar is used as a tank trainer, and as a fire support vehicle on United Nations missions.  It is manned by a three-man crew.  It is armed with a 76-mm main gun mounted in the turret of a British Scorpion reconnaissance vehicle.  It is one of a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977.  The Cougar  served with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the LAV III.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5301185)

Four soldiers with a Grizzly AVGP, Kanawke, 1 Sep 1990, (likely during the issues with First Nations).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5301172)

Grizzly AVGP. 3 September 1990.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3930988)

Grizzly AVGPs with the RCR on Exercise Royal Strike, Meaford, Ontario, 15 April 1991.

(Author Photos)

AVGP Grizzly, CFR 78-37252, painted as 13B.  Museum Vehicle Park.

AVGP Grizzly

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) Grizzly is an APC designed to carry a section of infantry with a with a three-man crew.  It mounts a Cadillac-Gage 1 metre turret, armed with a .50 ca HMG and a 7.62-mm machine gun. It is one of a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977.  The AVGP variants brought into Canadian service were intended for use only in Canada, but they were eventually pressed into service for several United Nations missions, including UNPROFOR and the mission to Somalia.  The Grizzly served with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the LAV III.

(Author Photo)

Grizzly AVGP, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (CMR)

(Anthony Seward Photo)

AVGP Husky.

(Author Photos)

AVGP Husky, CFR 78-37557, painted as 88C.  NBMHM', 5 CDSB Gagetown, NB Museum vehicle park.

AVGP Husky ARV

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) Husky is an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) operated by a two-man crew.  The Husky is designed to provide mechanical support for the other two AVGP vehicles. The Husky served with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, 4 Canadian Engineer Regiment  and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the LAV III.