Following on from success in winning orders from UK and Italy, the Belgium Government have awarded Iveco a contract for 440 Iveco LMV – Light Armoured Tactical Vehicles (LATV) plus an option for a further 180.
This latest order is for an initial batch of 440 vehicles plus 120 armoured protection kits with the first vehicles due for delivery in 2006. Additional batches, each consisting of 90 vehicles plus 30 armour kits, are expected to follow.
Previous orders have been from the UK Ministry of Defence, who has on order 401 ‘Panther’ variants for use as Command and Liaison Vehicles and the Italian Military who have ordered 1210 LMV vehicles to fulfil a variety of tactical roles.
The Iveco Lightweight Multipurpose Vehicle (LMV) is a highly innovative armoured scout and liaison 4×4 vehicle. The lightweight, anti-mine tactical vehicle incorporates the following key features:
- High strategic mobility, i.e. transportable by C-130J and C-27J/C.160 aircraft and CH-47 and CH53 heavy lift helicopters.
- High tactical mobility with fast maximum road speed coupled with optimal off-road characteristics and cross-country performance.
- High protection levels against anti tank land mines, favouring crew protection over vehicle integrity.
- Modular construction enabling protection levels to be tailored to meet a variety of mine and ballistic threats.
- Low vehicle profile and signature, minimising optical, thermal and radar detection risk.
Adaptable crew protection provided by the replacement of modular armour packs within the vehicle’s internal body skin, enables LMV to be tailored to meet a variety of threat levels. The result is a highly survivable, high mobility vehicle capable of deployment in a wide variety of roles from general warfare to peacekeeping missions.
Accommodation is provided for up to five personnel and there is a spacious rear cargo compartment. LMV has been designed to afford maximum protection for its occupants and encompass the following features:
- A citadel design was adopted whereby the wheels, suspension and engine are sacrificed for the sake of the crew. With wheel stations located at the vehicle corners, the point of mine detonation is as far away as possible from the crew cabin.
- The hull floor under the crew cell has a shallow V-shape to allow the mine blast to vent away from the vehicle. Additionally, high ground clearance – up to 470mm – counters the effects a mine exploding under the belly of the vehicle.
- The cabin floor is made up of a tri-layered, impact absorbing honeycomb sandwich that collapses on mine detonation. All heavy mechanical items which could become projectiles following a mine blast, are installed away from the crew cell.
- All four passenger doors have been designed to withstand the shock waves created by an explosion and will remain firmly closed in such an event. A sturdy tubular steel roll cage maximises crew compartment protection, should the blast cause an inversion of the vehicle.
- Much thought has been given to the need to distance potential hazards from the crew area. As an example, the fuel tank is installed at the rear of the vehicle with the filler cap as far away as possible from the cabin.
- Provision has been made to stow kit and equipment at the rear of the vehicle and not under seats where in the event of an explosion they could become potentially hazardous projectiles.
- Crew survivability is further enhanced by the installation of crashworthy suspension seats fitted with lateral headrests and five-point quick-release safety harnesses, and fastened to the roll cage – not the floor pan.
Where ever possible COTS components have been selected.
The Iveco LMV is without doubt a class-leading armoured reconnaissance vehicle and with confirmed orders for over 2,050 vehicles has already shown that it is a vehicle ideally suited to meeting today’s global defence needs.