Friday, December 07, 2012

LAZAR MRAP/APC gets its first foreign orders.

via Defense Web.
Kenya and Bangladesh will be the first recipients of armoured vehicles produced by a new factory in Serbia. It is believed that the two countries will receive the locally developed Lazar BVT mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle.
Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic met with Russian Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin last week to discuss military cooperation, which may see the two countries build 57 and 155 mm ammunition. Russian manufacturers provide components for armoured vehicles Serbia plans to produce for its own military as well as for Kenya and Bangladesh. “We both have the will and the money to invest in Serbia,” said Rogozin.
The new factory will be established with 130 employees before the end of 2013 in Velika Plana, Serbia, Vucic said. It will build several variants of armoured vehicles. Last year the state-owned Yugoimport arms export agency received a contract for 18 Nora B-52 155 mm self-propelled howitzers to the Bangladesh Army. It has been reported that Kenya has also bought the Nora artillery system.
It is presumed that the armoured vehicles that will be delivered to Kenya are the Yugoimport Lazar BVTs, developed by the Serbian Military Technology Institute to meet local and export requirements. The first prototype was completed in 2008. The vehicle has a crew of three (commander, driver and gunner) and can carry ten fully equipped troops. These have firing ports and sit in seats attached to the roof, which reduces the risk of injury in case the vehicle hits a mine. 
With regard to armament, a wide variety of weapons can be fitted in a remotely controlled overhead weapon station or light turret, including 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machineguns and 20 mm and 30 mm cannons or an automatic grenade launcher.
Kenya makes extensive use of armoured vehicles, especially due to its combat operations in Somalia. Last month it was announcedd that South African expeditionary and tactical equipment manufacturer Osprea Logistics has established a factory in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa to produce its Mamba Mk5 armoured personnel carriers. Osprea plans to produce more than a hundred Mamba Mk 5 vehicles in the first year of production.
Over 200 South African-made Mamba APCs are already in use in Somalia. Powered by Iveco or 352N Mercedes Benz 6-cylinder engines, the Mamba is a sturdily designed vehicle which is suited for combat operations in desert and other remote locations. The vehicle can withstand small arms fire, landmine blasts and improvised explosive devices and has been widely used in Iraq.
Interesting.  I can't wait to see how they perform.

Hat tip to Jonathan for the article. 


  1. I am glad they have got some orders for this vehicle. It seems to answer a good number of questions for a number of the world's armed services. Better than the Mastiffs the UK has in Afghanistan. Greater agility means you are stuck to defined routes so helping the mine layers. Giving the guys in the back a view and a way to hit back priceless,

  2. Well, Serbs are definitely trying to beef up both foreign sales and own military force, but I'd be cautious over quality of more complex systems. Pinnacle of their industry is the "Lasta" combat trainer, and it seems to be a technologically inferior product (no ejection seats, underpowered, prone to crashing), while they hadn't produced any armored vehicle since Yugoslavia collapsed in 1991. I would test the shait out of a pre-series of like 24 of these Lazars, before committing to a large purchase.

    Finally: a) Russians seem to be playing a long game there, among other things being involved in the establishment of the factory mentioned in the article, b) there are thousands of NATO peacekeepers in both Kosovo and Bosnia, mainly due to threat exactly from the Serbs, so c) no real reason to be enthusiastic over any build up of their military output.

  3. @Not so simple

    Ejection seats increase costs and many buyers want cheaper alternatives, it is not problem to have injection seats, and name me one war airplane type in the world which has not been crushed, malfunctioned or crushed landed for some reason...

    Lasta that crushed was in testing trials with some new modification and was flown by testing pilots and everyone in the world knows what risk is to test a plane or some new modifications on exiting ones. Not a single Lasta that is in operational use was crashed.

    On what basis do you claim Lasta 95 is under-powered maybe you would add some jet engines to be more powered...Look for similar types and not F-22 when comparing Lasta.


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