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HEMUS 2024: Bulgarian army signals possible modernisation with Iveco truck purchase

The Bulgarian Land Forces is using this Iveco Astra HD9 recovery truck able to tow vehicles of up to 25 tonnes. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Bulgarian Land Forces has purchased a new recovery truck for potential widespread adoption, Janes learnt on 5 June at the defence exhibition HEMUS 2024 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The Iveco Astra HD9 has been in service since the third quarter (Q3) of 2023. Svetlozar Boyadzhiev, executive director of Iveco Defence Vehicles' (IDV's) local partner Bulauto Bulgaria, said the single vehicle is in use with the Bulgarian army. He said he hopes this will result in substantial orders to replace legacy vehicles as part of plans to modernise the army's logistics units.

The 6×6 truck has a crew of three and a kerb weight of 14 tonnes. It is equipped with a crane that can lift vehicles of up to 9.4 tonnes and a rear boom that can lift up to 25 tonnes. This will allow it to tow the majority of wheeled vehicles currently in the inventory of the Bulgarian Land Forces. Boyadzhiev added that a protected cab solution may be offered in future, produced by local company, Samel-90.

The new truck marks Bulgaria's first acquisition of heavy logistics vehicles since the procurement of Mercedes Unimog and Zentros vehicles in the 2000s.

For more information on Bulgarian defence developments, please seeHEMUS 2024: Local attack drone unveiled by Samel-90 .

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