Iveco Defense Vehicles will be exhibiting its line of tactical vehicles at this year’s Eurosatory international defense exhibition. In particular, the focus will be on the new medium-weight protected platform (MPV), developed in cooperation with Krauss-Maffei Wegman (KMW) of Germany, the European market leader in main battle tanks.
Sitting roughly between the variants of the U.S. HMMWV (Humvee) that emerged from the war in Iraq and the purpose-built mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) that began replacing them, the MPV uses the off-the-shelf chassis of the Iveco Trakker line of trucks. It adds a ballistic steel-armored crew compartment to fulfill a variety of mission roles, such as ambulance and route clearance vehicle. The Italian Army has already ordered 12 of the 4×4 ambulance variants to be delivered in 2012.
Iveco also produces a 6×6 version which, thanks to a monocoque hull (also fashioned of ballistic steel), is amphibious. Weighing from 17 to 20 metric tons, this variant is known as the VBTP, and is still considered a medium-weight vehicle. The Brazilian Army has ordered 2,044 units of this version. It plans a number of derivatives from the base design, including command, ambulance, repair, and fire direction vehicles, plus a 120mm mortar carrier and an 8×8 variant for the Brazilian Marines. A remotely-operated weapons station is standard and can fit 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns or a 40mm grenade launcher, and a 30mm cannon or antitank missile launcher have been contemplated as well.
The company’s light multirole vehicles use a modular design that can be adapted to a wide range of user requirements, including a Special Forces variant with a crew capacity of 5+1, four doors for rapid dismount, and a variety of add-on kits for additional protection against specific threats. A digital, network-ready version called the LMV Digital has been ordered by the Austrian Army, with Iveco to provide 150 units in seven different configurations.
The military version of the vehicle that underlies these designs, the Trakker, is already in service with 10 NATO countries, and in response to wartime needs, an armored cab is available. The Bundeswehr uses a 6×6 version as a logistics vehicle, and Switzerland has signed a contract for 910 units covering 4×2, 4×4, 6×2, 6×6, 8×6, and 8×8 versions.
The U.K.’s Royal Engineers will also purchase 206 of the 6×6 and 8×8 variants for operational support, and both Norway and Sweden are contemplating the Trakker line to update their logistic support fleets. Finally, both France and Italy will employ the high-mobility 8×8 version for heavy transport, vehicle recovery, and crane missions.
From a line of civilian trucks comfortable in the roughest and most demanding settings, Iveco has produced a series of highly-flexible, multi-mission military vehicles capable of answering just about any army’s requirement for a truck.