UAV-equipped vehicle to debut

April 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM
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BOLZANO, Italy, April 18 (UPI) -- Italy's Iveco/Oto Melara consortium is gearing up to create a splash at this year's Eurosatory exhibition in France.

The consortium is leading off its product offering displays with introduction of an armored reconnaissance vehicle that launches small unmanned aerial vehicles for beyond-line-of-sight tactical information, which is transmitted to the vehicle commander and retransmitted to others.

The Recce vehicle is a variant of the VBM Feccia, an eight-wheel armed vehicle. The Horus UAVs are fired from compressed air launchers mounted on the vehicle and fuse data collected by sensors into a single tactical report.

Additional information on the system wasn't immediately available from the consortium, which was formed in 1985. In the partnering, Oto Melara has full responsibility for tracked vehicles, while Iveco is responsible for production of wheeled vehicles. In all vehicles, Oto Melara designs and produces the weapon systems while Iveco designs and produces the hull and automotive components.

Other vehicles the consortium will display at the June 11-15 exhibition in Paris, include the VTMM 4x4 or 6x6 Medium Protected Vehicle developed with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann of Germany for route clearance and other missions. The vehicle's ambulance/intensive care variant offers more room for treatment of casualties than other battlefield ambulances, the consortium said.

The Italian army has ordered 12 of the ambulance variants. They are to be delivered this year and next.

Also on display will be the 6X6 VBTP Amphibious Armored Vehicle. It features a ballistic steel monocoque hull design. The Brazilian army has ordered 2,044 of the vehicles in base model design from Iveco.

Light Multirole Vehicles will be shown as well. Iveco said its modular design allowed its engineers to implement the vehicle family approach. The LMV 4X4 Digital features a ully digitized CAN-based electronic vehicle architecture. The Austrian army has signed a contract for 150 LMV Digitals in seven different configurations.

The he consortium will also provide related logistics support under the contract.

Other LMV variants include:

-- LMV 4X4 Special Forces with rapid dismount doors. Add-on kits can be mounted to provide enhanced ballistic and mine protection.

-- TRAKKER, a civil on-road and heavy duty applications vehicle suitable for adaptation to military missions. It is available in a large number of variants, and can be fitted with an armored cab. Ten NATO countries use the vehicle. Germany's Bundeswehr uses it as a tractor.

Iveco notes that Switzerland has ordered 910 of its Stralis and Trakker heavy trucks in in six versions, while Britain has ordered 206 Trakkers, in 6x6 and 8x8 versions, to support the Royal Engineers.

A number of High Mobility trucks will also be on display.

Iveco is a Fiat Industrial company. OTO-Melara is a Finmeccanica company.

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