The Italian Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to Oto Melara to supply 81 turrets for its Iveco light multirole vehicles (LMV).

Under the $30m contract, the Italian defence company will provide Hitrole light turrets and technical assistance for the army’s fleet of LMVs currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Hitrole light turrets feature interchangeable 12.7mm and 7.62mm machine guns, a 40mm grenade launcher, thermal camera, laser range finder and TV camera.

The Iveco LMV, known as the Lince by the Italian Army, is equipped with independent front and rear suspension systems to provide the best off-road mobility for this category of vehicle.

The vehicle offers anti-mine protection and can operate in temperatures ranging from -32°C to +49°C.

Delivery of the first turret for operational testing is scheduled for four months after the contract is registered. The remaining turrets will be delivered by the second half of 2010.