Belgian army to donate 80 Iveco LMV Lynx 4x4 armored vehicles and 150 Volvo N10 trucks to Ukraine

Belgium will deliver 230 military vehicles (Volvo N10 trucks and IVECO LMV Lynx 4x4 armored vehicles) to Ukraine in the coming weeks. This confirms information published by the newspaper 'De Standaard' the day after a meeting of the contact group on aid to Ukraine under the leadership of the United States. The Belgian government gave the green light to these deliveries on January 27, 2023. 
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Iveco/IDV Lynx LMV of the Belgian army, seen during the rehearsal of the National Day military parade taking place in Brussels on July 21, 2022 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The vehicles that Belgium is about to donate to Ukraine are 80 Iveco (IDV, Iveco Defense Vehicles) LMV Light Multirole Vehicles nicknamed Lynx. The Belgian army has got 437 of these 4x4 armored vehicles, in service since 2007. The LMVs should be replaced from this year by 322 JLTVs designated VLC (Command and Liaison Vehicle) purchased in 2020 from Oshkosh Defense for an amount of 134.7 million EUR.

The LMV (Light Multirole Vehicle) was designed in the 1990s and the first LMVs were produced in 2001 while the UK's Panthers were produced between 2006 and 2009. Iveco LMV is in service with several countries. After its adoption by the Italian Army as the Veicolo-Tattico-Leggero-Multiruolo (VTLM) Lince ("Light tactical multirole vehicle Lynx"), it won the Future Command and Liaison Vehicle (FCLV) competition of the British Army as the Panther, but the fleet was put up for sale in 2018. It has been adopted by the armies of Albania, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Norway, Russia and Spain. The Italian Army took vehicles to both Afghanistan and Lebanon. In Afghanistan, Lince vehicles have saved passengers' lives in several attacks with IEDs.

The LMV uses modular armour packs to adjust its level of protection to its mission requirements. In regards to mine protection, the vehicle's ground clearance has been increased to 493 mm without increasing the overall height (less than 2 meters); it also uses suspended seats of aeronautical derivation, V-hull under body, and a collapsible sandwich structure in the floor to deflect and absorb mine blasts. Its exhaust is piped through its C-pillars, and its turbocharger is located underneath the engine to reduce its thermal signature. Mobility is helped by a run-flat system, allowing the vehicle to move even with completely deflated tires. It is related to the Fiat Oltre concept car unveiled in 2005.

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Lt.Gen. Marc Thys, Vice-Chief of Defense, in an IDV Lynx LMV used for the Belgian National Day military parade (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The other vehicles that Belgium will donate to Ukraine are 150 Volvo N10 trucks in different versions (cargo, shelter, with a Fassi auxiliary crane and Manumat recovery) which are gradually being withdrawn from service within the units of the Land and medical components. 1,228 units were purchased in April 1986 for 3.5 billion francs at the time (the equivalent of 87.5 million euros). Some have already been shipped to Ukraine after their overhaul.

The Volvo N10 is a heavy-duty commercial vehicle. Due to its robust design it proved perfectly suited for military applications. Production commenced in the 1970s. The N10 is in service with Swedish Army and Air Force. Over 1,200 of these trucks were delivered to the Belgian Army. These vehicles were locally produced. This heavy utility truck was available in 6x2, 6x4 and 6x6 configurations. Three wheelbase lengths were available. Some cargo vehicles are fitted with a load-handling crane, others carry van bodies for medical services, offices, maintenance and so on. Payload capacity is about 10 t, depending on the version. Other production variants of the N10 truck include dump truck, load handling system, tanker and recovery vehicle. A similar Volvo N12 was also available as a tractor truck. It is used by the Swedish Army in the heavy equipment transporter role. The N10 is powered by a Volvo 9.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine, developing 275 hp. A similar Volvo N12 was fitted with a more powerful 12.1-liter turbocharged diesel engine.

In 2002 the Belgian Army awarded a contract to supply 150 IVECO EuroTrakker military trucks, fitted with load handling systems made by Fassi.

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Loading of a Volvo N10 Fassi (fitted with a hydraulic crane) at the Vissenaken Barracks, 27 Aug. 2009 (Picture source: Alain Henry de Frahan)

Defense News March 2023