The MUV 70.20 marks the pace. We talk about VM90, indeed "TOTOVM"

(To Gianluca Celentano)

On the forecourts of the barracks one speaks for some time, at least according to rumors, however it would seem that the MUV 70.20, the Multirole Military Utility Vehicle 4x4, means against which many have critically pointed the finger claiming to be a militarized copy of the New Daily, will have to wait a little longer before enlisting fully in our Armed Forces, definitively replacing the VM90, a means to which many are still attached.

The judgment of many, after the presentation at Eurosatory '18, was not of the most tender and, I admit, when I contacted Iveco for news on New Military Daily, of having taken a small shot: "I had to call it MUV 70.20!" But how did I know before? Watching ...

The production line, especially the military one, follows precise codes and only after having documented it, I understood that the analogy with the New Daily it is only apparent, it is, as described, a special structure that basically equates it to a light truck while maintaining the appearance of a harmless "van".

Engineering concept vehicle optimization

On the web, interesting images of the MUV 70.20 appear in engaging versions Combat, but these are probably means and equipment provided for other armed forces, often in countries where there is no native production of the automotive industry.

It would seem obvious that the production and subsequent use of modern military vehicles follows a concept that could fall into theengineering concept vehicle optimization.

Basically, with an optimization criterion, repetitions of vehicles with the same characteristics would be banned, to concentrate instead on a subdivision by classes.

The operational field would therefore be disputed by the light, medium and heavy classes - including armored vehicles - to which to assign operational logistic or tactical tasks in relation to the real needs. Excluding the MUV 70.20 for which sources of defense have declassified out-of-area uses, the VTLM LINCE and FLYER (few units) would be the "light" with multi-role, logistic, sanitary or reconnaissance - while the Super AV, Centaur e Ram the "heavy", leaving in the middle class i logistic tactics Iveco Astra.

Perhaps the first units of the New Daily and not of the MUV to be delivered to the Defense, it will be the logistical versions, commonly called for mixed use, which have taken over for the obvious turn over of the defense means.

VM90, back to the old school?

It is not to be excluded, that during the tests, the engineers have compared the data of the modern Military Utility Vehicle with the well-known and proven VM90, definitively out of production in the 2010. A comparison that would bring out some good points in the veteran 40 E15, or the chameleon VM90 (v.articolo), born from an 78 project and tested on all terrains until destruction. Then it was done like this ... and served!

However, again for honesty of the news, it would be reasonable to think that there could also be purely economic background, some linked to cuts in defense and purchases.

It seems that the Italian Army has commissioned Iveco Defense Vehicles a supply of well 50 units of the VM90 restyling, probably in the TT version Torpedo, so it is likely that during the summer the Iveco Bolzano production chains will be reactivated to supply the vehicles in the autumn.

To tell you everything, dear readers, the news does not sound like a novelty to me, in fact, beyond the sound criticisms, its quality is remarkable and, without putting one's hand on fire, an episode of this kind I believe had already occurred previously , perhaps in the 2010.

How do I see it ...

In the automotive field I follow a perhaps retro school of thought and I prefer constructive concepts based on simplicity - what is not there cannot break - but also on the obligation of the conductor to know and think about the actions to be done, without relying too much to on-board electronics. The most complex and electronic systems - some naturally necessary - I consider them more useful than anything else to reduce fatigue; "But to be comfortable there is always time". Personal opinion clearly.

New life for VM90, among the novelties is the explosion proof

We have already met the 4x4 DVD (Defense Vehicles Division) in Verona and I described his re-vamping mission led by Alessandro Pozzani.

Do you think that the VM90 withdrawn in the departments with the modalities that I mentioned in the previous article partly have a new future already eight months before the exchange with the Armed Forces.

Among the company's customers, in addition to private buyers, there are institutions such as the Civil Protection, the Italian Army, the Carabinieri, the volunteer military corps of the CRI but also IVECO DEFENSE VEHICLES itself.

Processing from A to Z

The company, starting from a frame with different thicknesses compared to the civil production line, deals with the purchase, construction, transformation, set-up and overhaul and is specialized in the sale of bodywork with special equipment to be used for office, mobile workshop, laboratory ambulatory / ambulance, fire engine / ladder.

Received the order and recovered the vehicle, in this case the Iveco VM90, the vehicle is disassembled and completely separated in its components: chassis, bodywork and engine.

The frame and the structure, before being repainted, are subjected to a meticulous manual grinding to remove rust and incrustations, while sandblasting is not practiced because any residues of the process could compromise the final painting or generate, for their microscopic consistency , friction and wear. The original body is the part of the vehicle that is almost always regenerated, perhaps following a new design according to the needs of the customer or in relation to its future use.

Think about the 4x4 DVD Truck I saw the total reconstruction of a MMW 135 cabin.

The engine is overhauled, some parts are replaced, others are regenerated and others are upgraded. Interesting are the alternators for military use with much more efficiency, as in the case of the ACTL. The braking group is also disassembled and overhauled and in some cases increased and all processing, at the end of the cycle, is subjected to careful testing before a regular registration card is issued.

The final assembly takes place with the precision of a "tailor" (another nickname of Pozzani) that I would compare more like a skilled chiseller: this is the most technically delicate work phase, but also the one that offers more satisfaction in reporting the finished product to new life.

"TOTO VM" Explosion proof, what is it?

We have seen how a half of the former Armed Forces come back to life, but it will be interesting to know that many of them even return to serve public utility functions.

Pozzani makes a simple example: “Even when using a normal hair dryer there is an imperceptible spark. Enough, in the presence of gas, to trigger an explosion. "

For this reason, authoritative consortia have turned to the Truck 4x4 DVD, to identify a solution against the risk of detonation during underground processing, where it is not impossible to come across gas pockets during drilling.

Following the strictest regulations, BERTINEX, the first Italian debut of a traditional explosion proof medium, was applied to an Iveco VM90 ex army. It was the TOTO SpA Costruzioni Generali Group, one of the largest Italian companies linked to the creation of large public works, to understand the importance of using a traditional explosion-proof vehicle for site safety.

Hence the nice nickname TOTOVM, immediately after the enlistment of ours chameleon for work on the A1 Pass Variant.

Think that also CAVET, high speed consortium, and PIZZAROTTI SpA for the TAV consortium, were able to safely carry out the works thanks to this idea applied to Iveco VM90; a medium as we have seen from the thousand connotations, including the amphibious one, in short, more than a multi-role for good reason, just a "chameleon", a term that suits him perfectly ...

As did?

Presented at the SAMOTER 2011, the first experimental vehicle, it lacked all the traditional electrical system, although already simplified for military versions.

With careful work and equipment that also detects minimal electrical activity, the 4x4 DVD Truck has completely isolated and protected a new power line (a sort of CAN. Bus) by modifying all the electrical components and eliminating all wiring.

Many of you will now argue that diesel engines don't have much to do with electricity and, in fact, I thought so too, but just try to think of a simple engine start or the lights on in the gloomy underground environment.

Apparently the anti-fragmentation VM90 is identical to the boxed version, but only after a few minutes do you begin to notice the first differences in the headlights or on the flashing light on the roof. It is in all respects of another machine and, just to give you an idea, the same wiper control is sealed and made with components that are not commercially available.

The battery and starter are eliminated and the turbine shell is redesigned to receive cooling only from the water. The temperature of the oil can in fact be a trigger.

A computerized, self-powered and sealed system by Magnago's Bertinex carries out the functions of a black box as well as the management of on-board systems.

I can't report the costs to you, but the strong appreciation from other countries for this technology is no secret Made in Italy applied on a traditional medium.


For a June 2 parade, the Civil Protection needed to parade with a particular VM90 and, given the tight deadlines, Iveco commissioned Truck 4x4 DVD for urgent work. The reconditioned vehicle with ivory painting performed in record time was presented at the scheduled deadlines.

I dedicate the article to the Maestro

To the great Niki LAUDA, a shy person and perhaps "not very communicative" (think that Niki thanked his colleague Arturo Merzario, for having taken him off the flames, only thirty years later). However, he proved to be a true and courageous pilot of the old school, where the dialogue between machine and driver was the fundamental qualities. A determined person, perhaps not very extroverted, but who would never have hit you in the back. Very few like him.

Photo: Iveco Defense Vehicles / Deba Bedrijfswagens BV / web / author