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War against Ukraine

Light Multirole Vehicles

Iveco has supplied its LMVs (Light Multirole Vehicles) to the Russian and the Ukrainian armies equipped with CAN-connectable ECUs.

Stranded in Ukraine, an LMV assembled by an Iveco joint venture in Russia (Source: Twitter)

The LMV by Iveco was launched in 2006 and, from that point onwards, it has been improved and innovated continuously. It uses a CAN-based in-vehicle network connecting electronic control units (ECU), e.g. a diesel engine controller by Bosch. Since 2017, the Italian truck manufacturer has sold in minimum 240 LMVs to Russia. This was after the EU sanctions from 2014 against Russia were in place. According to these sanctions military equipment shall not be supplied to Russian because of the illegal Crimea annexation. Iveco said this business was not covered by the sanctions and falls under the dual-use exception. LMVs are also used by Russian civilian organization. But several LMVs are in operation of the Russian army. They are named Rys (Lince Lynx) by MVPS, an Iveco Russia and Oboronservis joint venture company. Currently, Iveco has frozen its business with Russian companies and business partners.

The LMV is equipped with a high-speed CAN network, which links the electronic control units (ECU) of the engine, the gearbox, and the brakes (with ABS and ESP functions). By connecting a diagnostic tool to the in-vehicle network, the maintainer can gather diagnostic and prognostic information in real-time, enabling pre-emptive maintenance to be planned.

Dual-use as an excuse

EU restrictions due to the Crimean annexation against Russia do not allow to supply directly to the Russian industrial-military complex. However, there are exceptions on existing contracts and so-called dual-use applications. Dual-use items (including software and technology) are items which can be used for both civil and military purposes. The term also includes all goods which have non-explosive uses or assist in any way with the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

In the last couple of years, European companies have delivered a huge number of dual-use products. Security organizations have warned for years that despite strict controls, products exported by European and North American countries have ended up in weapons and military technology. Investigate Europe reported that France has exported from 2015 to 2020 arms with an value of 152 million Euro followed by Germany (121 million Euro) and Italy (22 million Euro). The above-mentioned MPV Lynx model by Iveco were assembled in one of the three factories the Italian company operates in Russia. Such parts include CAN-connectable ECUs manufactured in Germany.

Default equipment includes a cab heater, a defrosting system, an auxiliary heater, an air-conditioning system, and an NRBC (Nuclear Radiological Biological Chemical) protection system. Optionally, the vehicle can be equipped with a central tire pressure regulation system. This allows the driver to adjust the tire pressure to suit the terrain being crossed. The cab is fitted with two front adjustable and suspended seats, plus three suspended seats at the rear.


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