Based on the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle, Romania developed an indigenous variant, the MLI-84, with an elongated hull and the addition of a heavy machine gun.

Romania is heavily influenced by Soviet armor doctrine. Based on the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle, Romania developed an indigenous variant, the MLI-84, with an elongated hull and the addition of a heavy machine gun. 178 units have been produced and are currently in service with the Romanian Ground Forces.

MLI-84 began service in 1985 and continues to be operational through a more modernize “M” form. To date 99 Romanian MLI-84 IFVs were upgraded to the MLI-84M standard. The MLI-84M has a crew of two and can carry 9 fully equipped troops. There are a number of firing ports for the occupants. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via the rear doors or roof hatches.

The most important improvement in the MLI-84 was the replacement of the Soviet UTD-20 with the 8V-1240-DT-S 4-stroke liquid-cooled diesel V8 engine developed in Romania. The new engine is more powerful as it develops 355 hp, but it is heavier and bigger, and because of that the engine compartment had to be rebuilt in order to fit the new engine. The fuel capacity was increased to 600 liters. MLI-84 can reach a maximum speed of 65 km/h, a range of 600 km.

As completed, the vehicle weighs 17.6 tonnes and has a running length of 7.3 meters, a beam of 3.3 meters and a height of 2.9 meters. Its crew consists of a driver at front-left in the hull, the vehicle commander direct behind him, and a gunner positioned at the turret. There is space to carry eight combat-equipped infantry towards the rear of the hull as the engine is nested at front-right.

The MLI-84M has its 73 mm gun removed and fitted with a fully-stabilized OWS-25 Overhead Weapon Station, developed in Israel and supplied by Rafael. The OWS-25 is armed with a 25 mm Oerlikon KBA cannon and 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. It is also equipped with two Yugoslavian Maljutka-2T anti-tank guided missiles instead of the Soviet 9M14 Malyutka. Alternatively it can be fitted with four Spike ATGMs, developed in Israel. The OWS-25 weapon station can target both land targets and low-flying helicopters.

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