LMV – MEETING THE THREAT
By Julian Nettlefold
IVECO held a DVD Preview at Millbrook in May to show off its new line of civil and military vehicles.
BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold took the latest Iveco LMV vehicle round the Millbrook off-road track after the brief.
The rising star of IVECO Defence Vehicles is the Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV). The LMV is a 4WD tactical vehicle developed by IVECO, and in, or entering, service with eight countries.
Andrew Simpson, Military Commercial Manager IVECO Defence Vehicles gave an update on new enhancements made to the LMV range to meet current and future threats. He gave an outline as to the development of the LMV.
“In the late 1990’s IVECO identified a need for a light 4×4 multi-role protected military vehicle to meet the evolving threats being encountered around the world, particularly IED and mine blast. IVECO invested €25m to develop a vehicle using many COTS parts available through IVECO dealers. Development started in 1999 aimed at meeting an Italian Army requirement in 2003; crew Survivability was key. To that end IVECO developed an armoured ‘crew cell’ structure mounted on the chassis members, not a monocoque armoured body. The ‘crew cell’ concept counters mine attacks by managing the blast energy, deflecting it away from the crew cell. By contrast, a monocoque chassis provides less scope for energy management, so risking subjecting the occupants to blast trauma, resulting in anything from severe internal injuries to loss of limbs and eyes. In addition, we mounted the seats on the roof of the crew cell. This allows the cab to act like a giant spring, again absorbing the blast energy and avoiding the direct transmission of shock to the feet of the crew. The cab is constructed of armoured steel, armoured glass and composites developed by IBD. Much of the armour consists of panels which are inserted inside the doors and side panels. This allows different levels of protection to be provided, depending on the threat environment. The cab provides integrated survivability and is designed to withstand a 6kg blast with added top attack protection. Depending on the armour package, the protection levels are designed to meet ballistic threats up to Stanag Level 3. We have added additional safety measures such as 5 point seat harnesses, IED blast protection on the doors, a blast plate underneath the vehicle, fire suppression kits, a deflected exhaust pipe and no storage space under the seats to avoid debris causing injury. We have had reports of eight vehicles being attacked by IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan to date with no serious injuries reported. The bonnet and engine compartment are not armoured and are designed to break away from the vehicle in the event of attack, so further managing blast energy away from the crew cell and protecting the crew. IBD has developed a roof-mounted active defence system which can be mounted on the LMV. This senses and destroys shaped charge warheads within metres of the vehicle.”
After its adoption by the Italian Army under the name VTLM Lince (1287), LMV has been adopted by the British Army as the Panther CLV (401) Austria (150), Belgium (440), Croatia (10), Czech Republic (22), Norway (103) and Spain (120). Total numbers of vehicles sold to date number more than 2500 with over 1000 having been delivered to customers.
“The LMV has a Gross Vehicle Weight of 7.1 tonnes in its latest version and can accommodate a crew of 5 with payload of up to 1.6 tonnes, depending on protection levels. We have developed a Long Wheel Base/short cab 120” podded ambulance version for the Spanish Army which further improves the vehicle’s utility. We have the added advantage of a very advanced permanent 4×4 power train coupled to an IVECO F1D Common Rail EURO 4 136 kW (185 PS; 182 hp)with a 6 speed ZF transmission and steering and running gear developed by Steyr. Together, these give excellent cross-country performance. The vehicle has seen serv