Romanian MLI-84M1 IFVs deployed at Justice Eagle-21 exercise


The Romanian army has deployed its MLI-84M1 IFVs at Justice Eagle-21 exercise taking place at Smardan Training Area. MassiasThanos has tweeted interesting pictures showing them in action.
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Romanian MLI-84M1 IFVs (Picture source: Massias Thanos via Twitter account of The Dead District)


The MLI-84 is an infantry fighting vehicle currently in service with the Romanian Land Forces. It was derived from the chassis of the Soviet BMP-1 but possessing a lengthened hull. It is armed with a 12.7mm DShK 1938/46 heavy machine gun mounted on the roof of the troop compartment. The MLI-84M1 has an Oerlikon KBA autocannon and new ATGMs.

In 1982, Romania purchased a license to produce 178 BMP-1 IFVs from USSR. At the same time, it received permission to modify the construction in order to adapt it to its industry. The decision of improving the old Soviet IFVs came in 1995. As a result of the Romanian-Israeli cooperation project, the new modernized MLI-84M variant was created. Since then, the Romanian Ministry of Defense spent over US$ 155 million to upgrade 99 vehicles. MLI-84 production began in 1985 and 178 vehicles were produced until 1991, one year after the revolution.

The most important improvement in the MLI-84 was the replacement of the Soviet UTD-20 (a 4-stroke V-shaped airless-injection water-cooled multifuel 15.8-liter diesel v6 engine) with the 8V-1240-DT-S 4-stroke liquid-cooled diesel V8 engine developed in Romania. The new engine is more powerful as it develops 355 hp (265 kW) but it is heavier and bigger. Because of that, the engine compartment had to be rebuilt in order to accommodate the new engine. The fuel capacity was increased to 600 liters. Because of these modifications, the length of the hull of the vehicle was increased by 60 cm (7.335 m) which in turn resulted in wider gaps between the roadwheels. The vehicle is also wider (3.15 m) and higher (2.11 m). The ground clearance has increased from 370 mm to 400 mm. The new engine has increased the vehicle's maximal road speed to 70 km/h.


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Romanian MLI-84M1 IFV (Picture source: Massias Thanos via Twitter account of The Dead District)


The armament wasn't modified but a 12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 heavy machine gun was placed on a rotatable mount fitted on the left rear troop compartment roof hatch. It is operated by the trooper sitting next to the left rear door of the troop compartment which makes operating it while the infantry is dismounting impossible. Based on the initial version, the MLI-84M1 is also armed with an ATGM launcher capable of firing the Yugoslavian 9M14-2T Maljutka-2T antitank guided missiles instead of the 9M14 Malyutka ; the ATGM launcher is alternatively capable of firing Israeli Spike antitank guided missiles instead of the 9M14 Malyutka. The OWS-25R turret with overhead 25mm gun and twin ATGM launchers, at a weight of around 1 tonne, seems a very cost-effective, adaptable, and capable system.

Because of the mentioned modifications and additions, the weight of the vehicle increased to 16.6 tonnes and although the vehicle can still travel across water with little preparation, the amphibious ability was weakened.


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Romanian MLI-84M1 IFVs with NATO allied military (Picture source: Massias Thanos via Twitter account of The Dead District)


 

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