Fully fledged CBRN reconnaissance and assessment asset
Based on IVECO‘s ‘battle-proven’ chassis , Cristanini has developed a fully-protected Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Recce Survey and Scene Assessment (RSSA) variant of the Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV).
Physical protection is of paramount importance to any modern combat vehicle, defined as the ability to successfully operate ‘outside the wire,’ in complex terrain, while exposed to multiple direct and indirect threats ranging from improvised explosive devices (IED) to small arms or shrapnel from indirect fire.
The equipment for sample collection is mounted on the rear of the vehicle. Samples are taken by an open metal cylinder on a mechanical arm, which is pressed into the ground and the sample then brought into a chamber for analysis and subsequent storage at the rear of the vehicle, avoiding any possible contamination of the vehicle interior. The results are displayed on the operator’s monitor: if the sample is contaminated, the operator can drop a marker flag to identify the location – again, with no need to place crew or vehicle at risk. Location coordinates are recorded by GPS and entered into the vehicle information system: this can then be communicated to other vehicles or to command or operations centres.
The LMV CBRN vehicle provides a full suite of capabilities, including stand-off chemical agent detection at ranges up to 5 km, air monitoring, biological detection and radiation monitoring. In addition, the vehicle is equipped with a weather station used to record wind direction, force and other parameters. Effective operations can be managed with a three-man crew, an important consideration given the through-life costs associated with personnel. While ballistic protection has been a key design criterion, protection of the crew in a pervasive CBRN environment has also been carefully considered, with air filtration, CBRN COLPRO, air quality control and air conditioning as standard. It also has the ability to collect CBRN samples from asphalt, earth, sand and liquid. It will physically mark suspect contaminated areas with all information at the sampling site, collected, filmed and recorded on a CBRN Information Management System, which also caters for dissemination of information in accordance with NATO standards. In the past, such capability has been incorporated into larger platforms, with the added need to resource accompanying decontamination systems and provide more manpower. The LMV RSSA carries its own integral crew-operated preventive contamination system, to be applied prior to entering a suspect area, and its own decontamination system for use on completion of the mission. The roof-mounted instruments and equipment can also be protected against overhead branches and foliage, wire and live electricity cables by an optional ‘rhino blade,’ the product of lessons identified in overseas operations.