Lazika Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Georgia
Lazika IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) is a new tracked infantry combat vehicle developed for the Georgian Armed Forces by the State Military Scientific-Technical Centre DELTA. The first vehicle was unveiled at the Vasiani military firing-range on 25 February 2012.
Lazika IFV development is funded by the Ministry of Defence of Georgia. The prototype vehicles will undergo final trials before serial production is started. Lazika is the first indigenous IFV and second domestically developed combat vehicle after the Didgori light armoured personnel carrier.
Lazika IFV design features and observation
The armoured hull of the vehicle is based on the tracked chassis. The layout houses an engine compartment in the front, crew cab in the centre and troop compartment at the rear. The power pack is placed at the front of the hull, with the exhaust outlet on the right. The vehicle can accommodate 11 personnel, including three crew plus eight infantrymen.
The troop section is provided with individual mine blast seats for occupants. Troops can enter and exit the vehicle through a power-operated ramp at the rear. An emergency door is also provided on the ramp.
The combat weight of the vehicle is 14t, which is considered to be much lighter in comparison with other modern IFVs. Primarily designed to transport a squad of infantry and their weapons, Lazika delivers mobility, protection and fire power for the operators.
The driver's cabin and remotely controlled weapon station are equipped with day / night and thermal imaging cameras. The observation systems aboard the vehicle can detect and identify multiple targets located at long ranges. Four roof hatches are provided for observation purposes.
The fire control system ensures accurate firing in all weather conditions. Other equipment includes friend or foe (IFF), digital controls and satellite linked navigation. The modern communication systems fitted on the vehicle ensure effective communication between troops.
Armaments and weaponry of Georgia's infantry fighting vehicle
Lazika IFV is fitted with a remote control weapon module mounting a 23mm 2A14 auto-cannon and a 7.62mm PKT machine gun. The externally installed weapon is aimed and fired by the gunner from within the vehicle under full armour shelter. The vehicle can also accept a 120mm automatic mortar platform. The secondary armament varies based on the customer requirements.
Self-protection, armour and engines of the prototype combat vehicle
The hull of the vehicle is attached with combined armour for all-round protection against 7.62mm Nato rounds and 14.5mm AP rounds at close range. Lazika offers STANAG Level IV mine blast protection. The vehicle can withstand 10kg anti-tank mine blasts and 6kg mine blasts at any location underneath the hull.
The Lazika is considered to be one of the most well protected infantry fighting vehicles in the world. The armour solution bears similarities with the advanced armour solutions employed by Israeli armoured vehicles.
Eight smoke-grenade dischargers mounted on the top of the forward hull improve the survivability of the vehicle. The vehicle can be fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
Lazika IFV is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine which is capable of developing a power of 300hp. The power pack provides a maximum speed of 70km/h. The vehicle has an operational range of 200km, which can be increased to 400km by additional fuel tanks. It is fitted with torsion bar suspension system. The running gear on either side of the vehicle's hull includes five road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front and idler at the rear. The upper part of the suspension is covered by armour plates.
Mobility of the Georgian Armed Forces' Lazika IFV
The tracked vehicle delivers superior mobility over difficult terrains and offers better obstacle climbing power and greater manoeuvrability than other wheeled IFVs. Lazika can negotiate a 60% gradient and 30% side slopes. The vehicle is capable of crossing vertical steps of 0.7m and trenches of 2m depth.
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