The Libyan National Army (LNA) has taken into service The Armoured Group (TAG) Terrier LT-79 armoured personnel carrier in its latest acquisition of foreign-supplied vehicles.
The Terrier LT-79 vehicles were delivered in December 2019. The LNA’s 106th Brigade displayed at least eight in a video it released on 9 December of a Special Operations Force parade. The vehicles had protected weapons stations for light machineguns.
According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the vehicles had no markings identifying their manufacturer or model type. Their delivery is a violation of the United Nations arms embargo on Libya.
Detroit based TAG began business in 1992 by building vehicles for cash-in-transit. It has since become a leading US builder of cash-in-transit vehicles and expanded into production of armoured personnel carriers, SWAT vehicles used by police forces, and personal protection vehicles.
The company has a large business in armouring vehicles such as Toyota Land Cruisers, the Toyota Hilux and other commercial vehicles. TAG has manufacturing facilities in Detroit, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Germany.
The Terrier LT-79 is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 79 chassis. It comes standard in a three-door configuration which offers a 2+6 seating arrangement. Variants are available in 5-door configurations as well as light surveillance, remote firing post (with RWS capability) and aircraft assault platforms.
The standard ballistic and blast protection of STANAG 4569 level I ensures survivability in most hostile environments, TAG said. From those specific regions which require a higher level of ballistic protection, the Terrier can be equipped with lightweight applique armour increasing to STANAG 4569 level II while maintaining much of the original payload capacity. Curb weight with standard protection levels is 4 600 kg, with a payload of 1 000 kg and combat weight of 5 600 kg.
The Terrier LT-79 is powered by a 4.4 litre diesel engine, giving a top speed of 100 km/h and range of 800 km.
Numerous foreign countries have been supplying armoured vehicles and other equipment to Libya, including Egypt, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since 2014, the UAE and Egypt have provided the LNA with Panthera T6, Typhoon and Caiman armoured vehicles, MiG-21 fighter aircraft and Mi-24/35P helicopters, helping LNA General Khalifa Haftar to make limited progress in the nine-year conflict.
The Libyan National Army in May 2019 announced it would impose a naval blockade on ports in west Libya to prevent any more shipments of military equipment reaching rival Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, which that month received dozens of armoured vehicles and other arms from Turkey, including Turkish-built BMC Kirpi II 4×4 armoured personal carriers and several Vuran vehicles.
In May last year the LNA received Mbombe 6×6 armoured vehicles from Jordan along with Jordanian-manufactured Al-Mared 8×8 vehicles, which are produced by the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB). Jordan has previously delivered other vehicles to Libya – for example in 2013 it supplied 49 Nimr vehicles and in June 2018 a Jordanian manufactured Al-Wahsh 4×4 armoured personnel carrier was spotted in Libyan National Army service, equipped with a Jordanian Snake Head turret.
LNA forces have captured or destroyed a number of Kirpi vehicles and last week posted a scathing report on the type, saying it was underpowered, slow, cumbersome to manoeuvre in urban areas, has poor internal visibility, a troublesome gearbox, constantly leaks oil and has a slow remote weapon station. The LNA added that the Kirpi’s central tyre inflation system almost never works, the axles are weak and the design has weak points in its armour.