What could be the substitute for VM90, the unstoppable and loyal workmate of thousands of soldiers during more than 35 years? Three decades that we could define three epochs, if with epoch we refer to three moments in the history of our country; the 80 monopoly, the change of corporate structures in the decade '90, and then comes the two thousand, the new century of economic crisis and intense competition, but in this long period, the qualities behind the VM90 seem to have held on.
In these three phases, the VM90, thanks to its technical simplicity, reliability and ample mobility, has been able to improve itself by dressing many sets that made it possible to recognize thanks to its particular, the nice front lights.
A bit of a preview ...
Several restyling from 78 to 2014 also involved the VM 90 and in the 2016 at the Eurosatory held in Paris (following photos), a prototype of Multirole is presented, still in an experimental phase and destined to replace VM90 in the Armed Forces.
From 'Iveco Defense Vehicles of Bolzano is born the MUV Military Utility Vehicle / 70.20, an operational machine far superior to the historical concept already known and after having carefully reviewed it for the fans of the newspaper, I can offer you some aspects that distinguish it, first of all not to confuse it, even if the temptation is so great, with the civil relative Daily.
We could go back to the MUV with the M 70 20 WM 4xNUMX design codes, where the 4 and 70 numbers represent maximum range and horsepower, but the 20 / 70 figures span all versions, but it may be interesting to know that the 20 CV version will be the first to be presented, while the one with 180 CV will be launched only later.
The healthy passion for the 4x4 of the owners of former military vehicles or militarized and therefore re-registered has pointed out to us through the forums interesting realities that underline the great differences present in the military components. In fact, in addition to the different sizes, many details, such as the brake cylinders, the shock absorbers and the brake servo are constructed to guarantee greater efforts and to resist much more than the analogues of the civil production to mud, dust or water. Luigi, in this context, argued that some military tests (in addition to a specific use at the limit for the entire mechanical and motor structure, a stay in an insulated environment where they are brought to temperatures of + 90 ° and -50 ° and then dismantled , analyze and radiograph all the pieces.
The MUV 70.20
Although it has the right credentials to be equipped as a tactical vehicle, this role will be entrusted to the upper class vehicle, that is the LINCE LMV multirole, which, as we know, responds to specific characteristics of NATO alignment for this segment.
A unique structure that resembles the resistance of a truck
The specially designed chassis is similar to those used for trucks with longitudinal longitudinal members with rectangular C section. A concept, actually already known in defense vehicles, just think of the VTMM frame Bear, but also of other rotated esters built for these purposes.
The concept therefore provides for a single structure to which different set-ups can be associated, including that armored. This basic principle of the side members is however also adopted on the version of the New Daily, regardless of the powers and, to change, appear to be the thicknesses of the plates of the supports, which for military use should be of 5 mm.
A particular, that of the frame, which in addition to offering greater torsional rigidity and greater resistance to loads, gives a more prompt and precise driveability raising it even more from the ground compared to the previous VM90, which mounts the same tires 255 / 100 R16.
The height makes the difference on this kind of vehicles and the benefit is appreciated with the greater angles of attack, back and exit, which give it, among other things, excellent qualities of off road extreme.
The shock absorber system recalls the concept, even if updated, of the VM90, with a rigid rear axle and independent front wheels. The front organs, however, have been redesigned and strengthened by increasing the payload on the front axle of well 500kg.
The engines: one displacement and three powers
The speed should be limited to 110 km / h, but this also depends on the transmission ratio as well as the EU regulations for these specific military machines.
However, looking at the graphics of the XXUMXX civil XXUMX engine, the idea that I do is how the torque can be appreciated just after the 1 revolutions and up to the 3.0, a period in which this force crosses with the growth of its power by reaching the vehicle (civil) speed over 1100km / h. An engine response ready that reminds me of the pleasant push of the Mercedes Sprinter its competitor.
Transmission and guidance with distribution to 13 ratios
The MUV also differs "under the body" in fact, if in civilian versions one of the strengths is its 24 ratios, the military choice falls on two differentials and a central distribution that thanks to the epicyclical concept offers 13 ratios, six ordinary roads and as many as six reduced, more clearly two reverse, one long and one reduced.
It is not yet known whether this type of transmission will be associated with a ZF type transmission with splitter or if the insertion of the reduction will take place through a special lever on the central tunnel. In any case "how many memories and shotguns on the balance with the zf ..."
Already with the use of only the first normal gear, which is quite short, MUV would be guaranteed to operate in most of its functions off road.
The version with automatic transmission ZF with torque converter to 8 ratios, which become 16 with the reduced.
A high and precise steering and a direct steering, make its safe and operational conduction based on three levels of road condition: Road surface, Standard or Off-Road.
Perhaps with the center of gravity moved on the front "look" for some oversteer is possible and always simple and intuitive to resume, especially if we consider the control offered by the various stability and control aids. The steering can also be appreciated in urban use where its small turning radius is one of the strong points. On the highway it seems a comfortable and big car and the soundproofing is favored by the system of shock absorbers, which in a sense adapt to the type of terrain. However, the seats, at least for now, do not have an appreciable containment profiling, and with its height the lateral forces can cause the occupants to oscillate sufficiently.
The appropriately protected electrical system will have two circuits, one at 12 volt and one at 24 for certain functions in military use. On the dashboard, switches apart, the instrumentation will probably be more Spartan and indispensable, however it is early to advance certainties.
A braking system at the top and with four disc brakes, in addition to modern ABS and ESP systems, guarantee its performance, but there is also the possibility of interrupting the rotation of the engine fan in the event of water passages, where the dive limit is considerable.
Also the transversal and longitudinal transmission blocks can be deactivated automatically to protect the mechanical parts, if you forget their previous insertion.
It is to be seen whether the definitive military series will adopt the flywheel bi-mass that makes driving much smoother by contributing to the soundproofing and not only. In fact, if the clutch is badly used, for example in violent releases, this solution can be damaged making the departure noisy and not very sweet.
Adventure with the VM, where team spirit prevails
The adventure takes place under the July sun in a desert area a few years ago, where the perceived temperature was almost 50 °, wearing Scbt, helmet and jacket. Antonio Sartori and I were Milan, plus two other colleagues, a Campanian and a Tuscan. Our task was to raise health care facilities for civilians and the means used were different VM90 and some ACTL. The water available as well as to quench our thirst, we also used it to cool the body.
At the end of the activity when the other vehicles engaged in the activity are already moving, our "protege" makes a tantrum and does not seem to want to get going.
From the two open hatches on the roof of the "Scarrafone" come out colorful curses, some in Neapolitan, others in Roman but the most "folkloristic" were from a Tuscan who continued to exclaim: "Maremma ..."
I went down and started to purge the circuit. In fact, some air bubbles or worse than dirty diesel fuel in the delivery duct could be the cause of the failure in a system with an in-line pump and not Common rail. Unfortunately, even after the purging Antonio Sartori's attempts to start it while I press the circuit are in vain and with me I have only one tool with a thousand tools and the comforting words of my colleagues. I was ready to do one by pass extra filter - would have smoked a bit more but we would have come home. After looking at all four of us in the face, we decide to first remove the diesel filter and then clean the delivery pipe to the in-line pump system.
Reassembled the cartridge and tubes, crossing the fingers and the good Antonio with moderate acceleration and lowered friction manages to start our VM90 and between the tired faces of colleagues check a sunny smile that illuminates the evening, accompanied by some nice "exclamation" but they are always those of the Tuscan to be the most memorable and entertaining. The day after our VM90 ends up in the workshop for the coupon and I understand that the cuts to the funds also have repercussions on certain drawbacks.
THE MUV 70.20 embraces different types of total weight on the ground and those with mass within the 3,5 tons are conductible with military license 2 model, the civil B, while beyond this value is necessary to possess the military 3 model.
The knowledge of the medium and also a certain technical culture on the MUV are however necessary to fully appreciate its characteristics and above all to keep it in perfect working order, using it above all with competence.
6500 VM90 at the end of the service
Currently the Italian Army would need to replace well 6.500 VM90, the debut in the barracks of the MUV 70.20 seems so close. Many VM90 will be sold and re-registered and some of them will eventually move to the Weapons Associations, such as the TRAMAT Autieri, or the Transmission ANGET, rather than the ANA or ANPdI, which according to their noble associative ideals , to which I would like to address a heartfelt thanks, persevere as volunteers in the tasks of aid and civil protection in the event of national disasters. But among these associations of arms, there is the new entry in ASSOARMA, the ANMCRI of Crocerossa, at whose head there is Colonel Giuseppe Scrofani, more than ever engaged together with the professional volunteers of the Military Corps in wanting to transmit the traditions of relief to man and his suffering, wherever and wherever it both.
Also read: "A chameleon named Iveco VM 90"