In a similar fashion to the Romanian TAB lineage and the MLI-84 lineage the MLVM would be modernised to carry the OWS-25R turret. Just like the Zimbru 2000 this prototype would not proceed past being showcased in military expeditions.
The MLVM is one of the IFV’s of Romania although due to it’s light armour and armament it was usually considered by an APC due to the 7 passengers. Although the vehicle may look like the MLI-84 this vehicle is smaller and lighter than it’s the MLI-84. It is designed for traversing the rough terrain found in Romania which has allowed it to remain in service since the late 1980’s.
The initial vehicle was equipped with the same turret seen on the TAB-71’s with the driver sat on the left side of the vehicle and the commander. gunner on the right inside the turret, there were others MLVM variants equipped with 120mm mortars, ammunition or as ambulances and were powered by a 154hp engine allowing for a maximum speed of 48km/h. the design was to keep it as light (9 tonnes) as possible whilst able to carry enough of a fighting force to make the design worth it.
As time went by the requirements for the Romanian army had changed and by the early 2000’s the 14.5mm heavy machinegun found in the MLVM was not adequate for the role the vehicle was required to take, plans were set into motion to modernise the vehicle and get them up to NATO standards. Around this time the Zimbru, RN-94 and the MLI-84 were being tested with the OWS-25R turret developed by Israel.
Other than the OWS-25R turret that gave the vehicle a new Oerlikon 25mm cannon, ability to fire Maliutka, Maliutka M2T or Spike missiles and a 7.62mm mg the vehicle received a laser warning receiver, six 81mm smoke grenades located on both sides of the hull 3 per side, the commander now has a second generation intensification periscope the EC2-55 with a x3 magnification and a 24° field of view, this was developed by the French company SAGEM-ODS company, the commander view allows the detection of objects at a range of 1600 meters and recognise them at a range of 600 meters.
In addition to those changes the vehicle received a new engine that significantly boosts the performance of the what the vehicle can do, the engine beforehand the Saviem 798-05M2 4 stroke supercharged diesel engine could only produce 154hp with a manual transmission and gave the vehicle a top speed of 48km/h at a power to weight ratio of 17.11hp/ton from the 9 ton vehicle. The new engine a Mercedes-Benz diesel or Deutz air-cooled diesel gave the vehicle 340-400hp and was coupled with an automatic transmission. The new engine allowed for a top speed of 65km/h and gave the vehicle between 30-35.4hp/ton, the vehicle only weighed 2.3 tons more.
The EADS S & D L’Hotellier fire detection and suppression system had been installed allowing for an effective fast detection and suppression of fire in the engine compartment and crew compartment with the system split for both areas. This like other Romanian IFV upgrades received a laser warning receiver to warn the crew if they’re being targeted by a laser rangefinder.
The amphibious capabilities of the vehicle were also improved upon allowing for a new top speed of 15km/h in water compared to the previous 6km/h.
Lastly because the vehicle was built from an all-welded steel armour that only allows protection against small arms fire the vehicle received a passive armour protect as an option to be fitted on the vehicle if required.
The height of the modernised vehicle I could not find however army-guide.com claims it to be 2800mm or 2.8 meters however every other source present the initial vehicle as 1.95m in height.
The vehicle would be showcased in 2005 at the expedition of arms and military technical Expomil.
Dimensions (L-W-H): 5.85m x 2.71m x 1.95m (height of MLVM (presumably the OWS turret is slightly larger) ) (19’2’’ x 8’9’’ x 6’4’’ ft)
Total Weight: 11.3 tons
Propulsion: Mercedes-Benz diesel or Deutz air-cooled diesel engines 340hp-400hp
Transmission: Automatic Transmission, unknown gears.
Power to Weight Ratio: 30-35.4hp/ton
Suspension: Torsion Bar
Top Speed: 65km/h (40.4 mph) (15km/h amphibious (9.3mph))
Main Armament: 25mm Oerlikon KBA (200 rounds) or 30mm Mauser MK30
Vertical Guidance: -11°/60°
Secondary Armament: 1x 7.62mm (250 rounds)
2x Maliutka M2T or Spikes or 9K11 Malyutka atgms
6x 81mm smoke grenade launcher (optional)
Laser Rangefinder Yes
Armour: All around protection against small arms fire.
Automatic Fire detection and suppression system
Production: 1 (MLVM total 75-88 vehicles)