Armoured Vehicle, General Purpose (AVGP)

The Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) was a series of three armoured fighting vehicles first entering Canadian service in 1976.

The vehicles were based on the six-wheeled version of the Swiss Mowag Piranha. All three vehicles were capable of swimming and were equipped with propellers. This capability, and their shape, led to the nickname "boats".


The Cougar was a tank trainer and later was designated a Fire Support Vehicle (FSV) when shortages of vehicles required its use on overseas missions. The vehicle had a 3 man crew and used a British Scorpion tank turret mounting a 76mm L23A1 gun, capable of firing HESH, Smoke BE (base ejected), and Canister rounds. A co-axial C6 machine gun was also fitted as well as 66-mm smoke grenade launchers (2 clusters of 4 launchers).

Left photo courtesy RCD Archives and Collection. Right photo US Army via Wikipedia.


The Grizzly was an Infantry Fighting Vehicle designed for operation in mechanized infantry units. The vehicle mounted an M2 .50 calibre heavy machine gun as well as a C6 machine gun as well as 66-mm smoke grenade launchers (2 clusters of 4 launchers). The vehicle could seat an Infantry Section, though not comfortably, and theoretically the infantry could fight from inside the vehicle using rifle ports.

Captured Grizzly

In 1994, Bosnian forces massed two corps above Sarajevo in preparation for an attempt to secure the city. Serb forces in the sector conducted small attacks in order to gain equipment and vital ground to shore their defences. An attack on French and British peacekeeping troops captured 100 prisoners as well as weapons and equipment. A Canadian force was attacked next, after French forces counter-attacked to regain their losses in prisoners, equipment and ground. The Serbian movements prompted a Bosnian attack, leaving Canadian forces between two entire corps and desperate Serb defenders. The majority of Canadian Observation Posts were captured along with the soldiers and equipment. The OPs were converted to defensive positions, and a battle lasting several weeks ensued. Canadian losses included a company of Canadians captured, along with equipment such as radios, vision gear, weapons and vehicles.

The Grizzly was later apparently operated by the Jedinica za Specijalne Operacije (JSO, Unit for Special Operations) or Crvene Beretke (Red Berets), a unit of the Serbian police.

The captured Grizzly, as photographed and displayed on a Serbian website. ACE, a Ukrainian plastic model company, produced a 1/72 scale kit of the Grizzly with a painting guide showing the captured vehicle's new colours. The boxtop also featured a painting of the captured Grizzly, in a base colour of light blue-green mottled with dark green and olive green.


The Husky was an armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) designed to support the other types of AVGP in the field. It could be equipped with an M2 .50 calibre machine gun. Officially known as the Husky Wheeled Maintenance and Recovery Vehicle (WMRV) or also as the Car, Armoured, Maintenance and Recovery (HUSKY), this vehicle had a roof-mounted hydraulic crane and was manned by a crew of three. A total of 27 Husky vehicles were built for the Canadian Forces.

  • Length: 6.74 m (includes boom projection)
  • Width: 2.50 m
  • Height: 2.69 m
  • Speed: 100 km/hr
  • Range: 600 km
  • Weight: 10.7 t
  • Gradient maximum: 60%
  • Side slope maximum: 30%
  • Minimum turn diameter: 13 m
  • Armament: 7.62-mm machine-gun and two banks of four smoke grenade dischargers
  • Sights: one periscope restricted by crane mounting
  • Crane: Hydraulic-lifting crane
  • Winch: Hydraulic winch inside the rear
  • Engine: Detroit Diesel 275 hp 6V53T two-cycle turbocharged diesel
  • Transmission: automatic (5 forward gears, 1 reverse)
  • Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorbers
  • Wheels: 6 X 6 drive
  • Tires: Michelin (steel belted radial) 27.9 cm x 40.6 cm
  • Brakes: Air over hydraulic with engine brake mounted on exhaust valves
  • Electrical system: 24V
  • Batteries: 2 x 12 V
  • Alternator: 24 V, 100 amps


CF photo of the Husky.

ACE, a Ukrainian scale-model company, produced a 1/72 scale kit of the Husky; this was the boxtop art. 1999-present