Procurement: Spain Adopts Italian Armor


p> May 10, 2008:  Spain has ordered 80  LMVs (Light Multipurpose Vehicles). Italian firm Iveco produces the vehicle for the Italian army, and a growing number of foreign customers (Belgium, Britain, Norway, etc). The seven ton, 4x4 vehicle is another design influenced by the success of armored hummers and MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Italian army has ordered 1,210 LMVs, and received 500 last year. Some have already shown up in Afghanistan.


Like the hummer, the LMV normally carries five people. The LMV can carry a remote control gun turret on the roof, and there will be variants with the rear of the vehicle used for cargo or equipment. The LMV is similar in size to the hummer  (15.8 feet long and 7.3 feet wide), but is actually a few percent larger, and weighs about a third more. Like the hummers built with armor (rather than having it added), the LMV provides excellent protection from bullets and roadside bombs. The V-shaped hull of the LMV improves protection from explosions beneath the vehicle. The LMV costs nearly half a million dollars each, when tricked out with all the accessories, using the larger (3.5 meter compared to 3.2 meter) wheelbase,  and configured for maximum bomb resistance.