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Russia looks at joint venture for vehicles

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LONDON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Russia's Defense Ministry said it hopes to set up a joint assembly line with Italy's Iveco Defense Vehicles to produce LMV M65 tactical vehicles.

Defense Update, a U.K. Internet publication, quoted unidentified Russian sources as saying the Russian state corporation Rostekhnologii is negotiating with Iveco on launching the venture.

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About 500 of the light, multirole armored vehicles would be produced every year under the envisaged endeavor, which could use one of the assembly lines of truck manufacturer KamAZ for production.

Defense Update said the vehicles would go to the Russian Interior Ministry and Federal Security agencies.

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to spend about $1 billion on the program, acquiring 278 Italian vehicles in 2011 and 2012, and during the next two years the volumes of supplies would be increased to 458 vehicles per year.

The locally produced alternative to the MV M65 is the Russian Tigr, developed by the privately owned company Russkie Mashiny. It's been in service with the Russian army since 2006.

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