Ground Warfare

Belgian Army to Receive Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLVs)

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Belgian Army to Receive Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLVs)

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Falcon Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV)
Belgian Army Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV)

The Belgian Army Bataljon Jagers te Paard proudly announced the arrival of its first Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) from Oshkosh Defense. In Belgium, the JLTV will be baptized “Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV)” and adapted to Belgian needs and to the European legislation. The move comes as part of Belgium’s strategic plan to modernize its military fleet and enhance operational capabilities. As disclosed in a tweet by the Directorate General Material Resources (DGMR) of the Belgian Army on September 11, 2020, Oshkosh Defense secured a crucial contract to supply 322 JLTVs. These vehicles are intended to replace the aging IVECO LMV Lynx armored vehicles currently in service. The Belgian Council of Ministers gave the green light to the Ministry of Defense to proceed with the acquisition, amounting to a substantial €134.7 million. The decision reflected a concerted effort to ensure a seamless transition, with the new CLVs set to be delivered starting in 2023—three years ahead of the scheduled retirement of the existing fleet of IVECO LMVs.

Belgian Army Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV)
Belgian Army Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV). (Photo by Belgian Ministry of Defence)

The urgency for this fleet renewal becomes apparent when considering the current Lynx vehicles’ compromised structural integrity, leading to their premature retirement. The IVECO LMVs, introduced in 2007, have faced challenges related to chassis and roof armor cracks, particularly in the 120 SPS and RPK variants equipped with Remote Weapon Systems (RWS) and additional armor. The unforeseen extra weight resulted in a significantly shortened operational lifespan. The contract with Oshkosh not only includes the procurement of JLTV CLVs but also a supplementary €15.4 million agreement for “technical assistance” and logistical support during the initial four years of service. This comprehensive approach ensures the Belgian military’s ability to seamlessly integrate and maintain the new vehicles, minimizing downtime and maximizing operational efficiency.

Falcon Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV)
Belgian Army Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV). (Photo by Belgian Ministry of Defence)

The Belgian Ministry of Defence has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract for 322 Oshkosh Defense Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) for the Belgian Armed Forces in 2020. The Belgian Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) is the proven Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) platform from Oshkosh equipped with Belgian communication systems. The JLTV is currently used by the U.S. military. The Ministry of Defence opted for a worldwide competition in which “money for value” was the only criterion. The CLV will be integrated in the CaMo program, an international partnership between the French and Belgian land forces. Traditionally procured via foreign military sales, the Belgian procurement marks Oshkosh Defense’s first large direct commercial sale of a JLTV-based vehicle. Belgium joins the United States, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Montenegro in choosing this vehicle.

Belgian Army Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV)
Belgian Army Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV). (Photo by Belgian Ministry of Defence)

135 of the Falcon Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) platforms will be equipped with FN Herstal deFNder Light Remote Weapon Systems armed with a 7.62mm machine gun, underscoring Belgium’s commitment to equipping its forces with cutting-edge firepower. The decision to opt for an “off the shelf” purchase underscores the Defense Ministry’s intention to avoid unnecessary development costs, opting for a mature vehicle that has undergone thorough evaluation and analysis, particularly in the United States. The Defense Ministry clarified that the procurement process prioritized Payload, Tactical Mobility, and Passive Occupant Protection. By choosing a vehicle that has been rigorously tested in partner countries, Belgium aims to ensure the reliability and effectiveness of its new fleet, aligning with international standards.

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