MLI-84

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MLI-84
MLI-84 IFV on parade.jpg
MLI-84M on the Romanian National Day parade at the Triumph Arch in Bucharest, 1 December 2008.
Type Infantry fighting vehicle
Place of origin  Romania
Service history
In service 1985–present[1]
Used by Romania Socialist Republic of Romania
Wars none
Production history
Designed 1982–1985[1]
Produced 1985–1991 (MLI-84)[2]
1995–present (MLI-84M)
Number built 178
Variants See Variants
Specifications (MLI-84M [4])
Weight 17.6 tonnes
Length 7.335 m
Width 3.3 m[3]
Height 2.942 m[3]
Crew 3 (commander, driver and gunner) + 8 troopers[3]

Armor Protects against 12.7 mm caliber heavy machine gun fire
Main
armament
MLI-84: 73 mm 2A28 Grom cannon
MLI-84M: 25 mm Oerlikon KBA autocannon
Secondary
armament
MLI-84: 9S415 ATGM launcher[1]
1 × 12.7x108mm DShK 1938/46 Heavy machine gun
MLI-84M: 9M14-2T "Maljutka-2T" or Spike ATGM
Engine MLI-84:Romanian 8-cylinder-1240-DT-S
MLI-84M:Caterpillar C9
MLI-84:355 hp (265 kW)
MLI-84M:400 hp at 2,200 rpm
Power/weight 23.4 hp/tonne (16.8 kW/tonne)
Suspension individual torsion bar with hydraulic shock absorbers on the 1st and 6th road wheels
Ground clearance 400 mm[3]
Fuel capacity 620 l
Operational
range
550–600 km
Speed 65 km/h

The MLI-84 is a native-made Romanian infantry fighting vehicle currently in service with the Romanian Land Forces. It is basically a stock BMP-1 with a lengthened hull and a 12.7x108mm DShK 1938/46 heavy machine gun mounted on the roof of the troop compartment.

Development history[edit]

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.[1][5]

The decision of improving the old Soviet IFVs came in 1995. As a result of 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.

Description[edit]

MLI-84 (basic version) on display at the National Military Museum, Bucharest

The most important improvement in the MLI-84 was the replacement of the UTD-20 (a 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped airless-injection water cooled multifuel 15.8 litre diesel engine) with the 8V-1240-DT-S 8-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped liquid cooled diesel engine developed in Romania. The new engine is more powerful as it develops 355 hp (265 kW) but it is heavier and bigger and because of that the engine compartment had to be rebuilt in order to fit 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 vehicle's maximal road speed to 70 km/h.[1][3]

The armament wasn't modified but a 12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 anti-aircraft 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.[1][3]

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.[1][3]

Production history[edit]

MLI-84 production began in 1985 and 178 vehicles were produced until 1991.

Variants[edit]

  • MLI-84 – Basic version, as described.
  • MLI-84M – MLI-84 modernization fitted with a new Israeli OWS-25R overhead mount turret armed with 25 mm Oerlikon KBA autocannon and two 9S415 ATGM launchers. It is also equipped with two banks of four smoke grenade launchers. Because mounting of the new turret increased the weight of the vehicle to 17.6 tonnes, a new more powerful engine had to be fitted. The new engine is the Caterpillar C9 engine developing 396 hp (295 kW) which is the same engine as the one found in recently acquired MOWAG Piranha III IFVs by the Romanian Land Forces. However the vehicle lost its ability to travel across water with little preparation and has to be specially prepared before entering water. The vehicle also became even wider (3.3 m) and higher (2.942 m) than its predecessor. Although the engine is more powerful, the weight of the new equipment has in fact decreased the vehicle's maximum road speed to 65 km/h.[1][3][6] The 9S415 ATGM launcher capable of firing 9M14 "Malyutka" (NATO: AT-3A Sagger A), 9M14M "Malyutka-M" (NATO: AT-3B Sagger B) and 9M14P "Malyutka-P" (NATO: AT-3C Sagger C) ATGMs also has been replaced and there are two different variants, each with a different ATGM launcher replacing it:
  • MLI-84M Punct de Comanda Batalion – MLI-84M converted into a battalion command vehicle with a large superstructure instead of the turret.[6]
  • MLI-84M Tractor Pentru Evacuare Tehnică – MLI-84M converted into an ARV with its turret replaced by a large three-section hydraulic crane controlled from outside the vehicle, winching frame mounted on the rear of the top of the hull, stowage box on the left hand side of the rear of the top of the hull and two stowage boxes on the right hand side of the top of the hull.[6]
  • MLI-84M Vehicul de Evacuare Medicală – MLI-84M converted into an armoured ambulance[6] and fitted with a higher superstructured as found on the PCB command vehicle.

Operators[edit]

  •  RomaniaRomanian Land Forces operate 178 MLI-84 IFVs of which 99 are being upgraded to the MLI-84M standard. The first modernized vehicles entered service with the 282nd Mechanized Brigade in 2005.[7] Initially, the modernization program aimed at upgrading a total of 180 vehicles.[8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]