The Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on 20 December that the indigenously developed Lazar III (8x8) Multi-Role Armoured Combat Vehicle (MRACV) has entered service with the Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije: VS).
The Lazar III 8×8 MRACV has entered service with the VS. (Serbian MoD)
The Lazar III was introduced into service at the VS's Nikinci Technical Test Centre, 45 km west of Belgrade, where the first group of VS soldiers completed training for the operational use and maintenance of the new vehicle.
The vehicle has a roof-mounted M15 remote-controlled weapon station with a modernised 12.7 mm NSV machine gun and electro-optical system fitted with a charge-coupled device day camera, thermal night camera, and laser range finder.
Produced by state-owned company Yugoimport-SDPR at its Complex Combat Systems (Borbeni Složeni Sistemi) factory in Velika Plana, central Serbia, the Lazar III has a powertrain on the front right side of the vehicle and uses a 500-hp Cummins ISM500 diesel engine, coupled with an Allison automatic transmission. Its gross vehicle weight is 22–26 tonnes, depending on the mission and level of armour protection, with a road speed of up to 110 km/h.
The Lazar III can carry 12 troops: the commander, driver, gunner, and 9 soldiers. It has STANAG 4569 Level 3 all-round ballistic protection and Level 3+ over the frontal arc, with STANAG 4569 Level 3a and 3b mine protection. With additional armour, the vehicle’s all-round ballistic protection can be increased to STANAG 4569 Level 4, with Level 5 over the frontal arc.