IVECO Light Multirole Vehicle, Italy
The IVECO Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) is a flagship product of the IVECO manufacturing facility in Bolzano, Italy. It is a four-wheel-drive purpose-built military vehicle in service with various countries.
Around 2,600 vehicles have been sold to nine European armed forces. The vehicle is capable of performing a range of duties from patrolling and escorting to commanding and liaisons. It can also be used in casualty evacuation operations.
IVECO LMV is designed and assembled by IVECO Defence Vehicles, the defence arm of IVECO.
The vehicle is being operated by the armies of Italy, Britain, Russia, Spain, Croatia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria and Norway.
Features and design of the IVECO LMV
The IVECO LMV has high mobility characteristics and uses modular armour packs to achieve the desired protection level. It has good off-road performance and can reach 130km/h.
The vehicle has high protection levels which can be changed without altering its external appearance. Depending upon the assessed threat, the vehicle can be operated in an unprotected or protected state.
The 6.5t (STANAG protection level 3) vehicle has a payload capacity of more than 1.2t and is 5,504mm in length. The width of the vehicle is 2,050mm and the height is 1,950mm. Ground clearance is 473mm. The two front seats are adjustable and suspended, while three suspended seats are available at the rear. The fore of the vehicle is mounted with a windlass.
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The Italian version of IVECO LMV is the VTLM Lince and has been deployed in Afghanistan and Lebanon. The Lince vehicles in Afghanistan have proved to be useful and saved the lives of several army personnel in attacks with roadside bombs, commonly known as improvised explosive devices (IED).
The IVECO LMV variant used by the British Army is known as the Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle or simply Panther CLV.
Design alterations were done by BAE Systems so the vehicles could be assembled at its manufacturing facility in Newcastle, north east England.
Panther CLVs are outfitted with an enforcer remote controlled weapon system (RCWS). Manufactured by SELEX Galileo, the system can be armed with a 40mm automatic bomb launcher or a 12.7mm or a 7.62mm machine gun.
The IVECO LMV comes in two different wheel bases: the standard 3.2m and the extended 3.5m. A two door, two seater vehicle is also manufactured. The Italian version can accommodate up to five fully equipped troops, while the British version can accommodate four. A maximum of seven personnel can be accommodated in a stretched version of the vehicle.
Defence and self-protection equipment
IVECO LMV is designed in such a way that it provides best level of safety against mines. The modular protection system with modular armour packs protects the vehicle and its crew against any type of ballistic and mine threats. The collapsible V-shaped floor helps to turn away and absorb mine blasts.
The inherent stealthy design ensures the vehicle remains undetected from optical, thermal imaging or RADAR sensors.
Armaments and weaponry
The vehicle can be fitted with a remote controlled weapon system which can be equipped with weapons up to 12.7mm in calibre. A smaller two-seat variant can be mounted with large weapons systems such as air-defence missiles.
IVECO LMV engine
The IVECO LMV is motorised with an IVECO F1D Common Rail diesel engine and a fully automatic six-speed gearbox. The engine is capable of generating 136kW.
Orders and deliveries of the IVECO LMV
More than 1,200 IVECO LMVs are operational with the Italian Army and the Navy, and another 7,000 are planned. In March 2010, Russia was reportedly interested in buying more than 1,000 LMVs. It is estimated the Russian Army will buy 1,755 vehicles in five years. The British Army has ordered 401 Panther CLVs and another 400 are on option. Contracts for the procurement of an initial 401 vehicles was signed in November 2003 and a batch of 50 vehicles was delivered in 2007.
In June 2009, Slovak Army awarded a contract to IVECO to deliver a batch of ten LMVs. The Austrian Army ordered 150 vehicles in January 2009. Croatia purchased ten LMVs in 2007 and it is estimated this number will reach 94 by 2012.
The Czech Army owns 19 vehicles and ordered another 90 vehicles in December 2009. These will be delivered between 2010 and 2013.
The Belgium Government had ordered 440 vehicles and 120 armoured protection kits in 2006. Many vehicles are on order with Bosnia, Norway and Spain.