Spain purchasing Lince and RG-31 armoured vehicles


Spain’s Council of Ministers has approved contracts for the purchase of 76 Lince (Lynx) and 20 RG-31 armoured vehicles, at a total cost of 40 million euros.

The Spanish government said the acquisition of the 96 vehicles will ensure the acceptable safety and security of troop movements during international peacekeeping operations, particularly in Afghanistan.

The 20 RG-31s destined for the Spanish Army are configured to carry nine passengers and will cost an estimated 15,331,807.59 euros. Spain already operates 100 RG-31s (85 configured as armoured personnel carriers, ten as ambulances and five as command post vehicles), which were ordered in late 2008 for 64 million euros. They have been deployed to Afghanistan and Lebanon – the first departed for Afghanistan in October 2009.

The RG-31 Nyala is a 4 x 4 multipurpose mine protected ambush resistant armoured vehicle manufactured in South Africa by BAE Systems Land Systems OMC. It comes in several variants, including an armoured personnel carrier, command vehicle, ambulance, armoured utility vehicle and surveillance vehicle.

The RG-31, with its a V-shaped hull, was introduced in the mid-1990s and is superficially similar to the South African Army’s Mamba. It is certified to protect its crew from rifle and light machine gun fire, anti-tank land-mine detonations and improvised explosive devices. In its standard troop carrying configuration the Mk 5E variant can carry up to ten troops (a driver plus nine others), although it can be configured for many other roles. The vehicle is equipped with a remote-controlled weapon station armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun.

According to Wikipedia, the vehicle, in various marks, has been used by the Canadian Forces; Colombia; France, the Netherlands; Rwanda; Spain; United Arab Emirates; and the US: Special Operations Command, US Army and the USMC. In addition the United Nations operates 30.

BAE Systems says it has delivered 2 653 RG-31s to several forces, various versions, around the world.

The 76 IVECO Lince tactical vehicles will be configured to carry five passengers and will cost an estimated 24,628,606.36 euros, according to the Spanish government. Spain already operates nearly 200 Lince vehicles, which are the Spanish variants of IVECO’s Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) in service with several countries, including Italy, Belgium, Croatia, Norway and Russia.

The LMV/Lince is the first European vehicle of its type to be built to a modular concept and with a mine-protected floorpan as standard, with any required ballistic or increased mine protection being installed during the production process or later as an in-service retrofit. The modular armour packs are adjusted according to mission requirements, with the basic armour pack providing protection against small arms fire, while heavier armour kits protect against ambush weapons like mines. The vehicle has a collapsible V-shaped floor that deflects and absorbs mine blasts – in Afghanistan, LMVs have saved passengers’ lives in several improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. Seats are attached to a roll-bar rather than the floor. The 4 x 4 vehicle features run-flat tyres.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence ordered its first 40 LMVs, for 14.4 million euros, in 2007 for operations in Afghanistan and Lebanon as part of its Forces Equipment Renewal Programme.