Iveco Defense Vehicles will supply 60 Lynx light multirole armoured vehicles (LMV) to the Russian Army, deputy defence minister Alexander Sukhorukov has confirmed.
RIA Novosti quoted Sukhorukov as saying: ''The deal was signed in December. Italy will supply kits that will be assembled at a joint enterprise in the central Russian city of Voronezh.''
The $24m contract was awarded following comparative testing on four vehicles previously purchased from Iveco in December 2011 to check driving performance and resistance to landmines. The LMV M65 Lynx is a four-wheel-drive multirole armoured vehicle designed primarily for strategic and tactical mobility with a high level of protection against anti-tank and anti-personnel mines.
The 6.5t vehicle is capable of carrying up to five soldiers and can be fitted with a remote controlled weapon system (RCWS), which can be equipped with 12.7mm-calibre weapons and large weapons systems including air-defence missiles. The vehicles are being operated by the armies of Italy, Britain, Spain, Croatia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Austria and Norway for missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Nato missions abroad.
Iveco formed a joint venture with Russian state-holder KAMAZ in 2011 for domestic manufacture of new vehicles and for the assembly of 2,500 vehicles. Currently, the Russian military operates Tigr Gaz-2330 light armoured vehicles manufactured at Russia's Gorkovsky automobile plant (GAZ) and Arzamas machinery plant (AMZ). Russia plans to spend $30bn on new military equipment including 120 helicopters.
According to military officials, the army weapons and material purchases are estimated to rise to $42bn in 2012 and reach $65bn a year by 2020.
Image: The Russian Army is to purchase 60 Lynx light multirole armoured vehicles (LMV) from Iveco Defense Vehicles.