The MLI-84 is a tracked Romanian infantry fighting vehicle currently in service with the Romanian Land Forces. It was derived from the chassis of the Soviet BMP-1 but possessing a lengthened hull, a 12.7×108mm DShK 1938/46 heavy machine gun mounted on the roof of the troop compartment and MLI-84M having Oerlikon KBA autocannon and new ATGMs.[5]

MLI-84M on the Romanian National Day parade at the Triumph Arch in Bucharest, 1 December 2008.
TypeInfantry fighting vehicle
Place of originRomania
Service history
In service1985–present[1]
Used byRomania
Production history
Produced1985–1991 (MLI-84)[2]
1995–present (MLI-84M)
No. built178
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications (MLI-84M[3])
Mass17.6 tonnes
Length7.335 m
Width3.3 m[4]
Height2.942 m[4]
Crew3 (commander, driver and gunner) + 8 troops[4]

ArmorProtects against 12.7 mm caliber heavy machine gun fire
MLI-84: 73 mm 2A28 Grom low-pressure smoothbore cannon
MLI-84M1: 25 mm Oerlikon KBA autocannon
MLI-84: 9S415 launcher for 9M14 Malyutka ATGM[1]
1 × 12.7×108mm DShK 1938/46 Heavy machine gun
MLI-84M1: 9M14-2T "Maljutka-2T" or Spike ATGM
EngineMLI-84:Romanian 8-cylinder-1240-DT-S
MLI-84M1:Caterpillar C9
MLI-84:355 hp (265 kW)
MLI-84M1:400 hp at 2,200 rpm
Power/weight23.4 hp/tonne (16.8 kW/tonne)
Suspensionindividual torsion bar with hydraulic shock absorbers on the 1st and 6th road wheels
Ground clearance400 mm[4]
Fuel capacity620 l
550–600 km
Speed65 km/h

Development history

In 1982 Romania purchased a license to produce 178 BMP-1 IFVs from USSR. At the same time it received permission to modify the construction in order to adapt it to its industry.[1][6]

The decision of improving the old Soviet IFVs came in 1995. As a result of Romanian-Israeli cooperation project the new modernized MLI-84M variant was created. Since then, the Romanian Ministry of Defense spent over US$ 155 million to upgrade 99 vehicles.


The most important improvement in the MLI-84 was the replacement of the Soviet UTD-20 (a 4-stroke V-shaped airless-injection water-cooled multifuel 15.8-litre diesel v6 engine) 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 (265 kW) 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. Because of these modifications the length of the hull of the vehicle was increased by 60 cm (7.335 m) which in turn resulted in wider gaps between the roadwheels. The vehicle is also wider (3.15 m) and higher (2.11 m). The ground clearance has increased from 370 mm to 400 mm. The new engine has increased vehicle's maximal road speed to 70 km/h.[1][4]

The armament wasn't modified but a 12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 heavy machine gun was placed on a rotatable mount fitted on the left rear troop compartment roof hatch. It is operated by the trooper sitting next to the left rear door of the troop compartment which makes operating it while the infantry is dismounting impossible.[1][4]

Because of the mentioned modifications and additions, the weight of the vehicle increased to 16.6 tonnes and although the vehicle can still travel across water with little preparation, the amphibious ability was weakened.[1][4]

Production history

MLI-84 production began in 1985 and 178 vehicles were produced until 1991.


  • MLI-84 – Basic version, as described.
  • MLI-84M1 JDERUL – MLI-84 modernization fitted with a new Israeli OWS-25R overhead mount turret armed with 25 mm Oerlikon KBA autocannon and two 9S415 ATGM launchers.[7] It is also equipped with two banks of four 81 mm DLG 81 heat and smoke grenade launchers. Grenades leave a thermal curtain of fire around the vehicle for about five minutes, to confuse enemy missiles. MLI-84M1 vehicle also has a system that can disperse dense smoke over a radius of 360 degrees around the vehicle and at a distance between 300-400 m. Because mounting of the new turret increased the weight of the vehicle to 17.6 tonnes, a new more powerful engine had to be fitted. The new engine is the Caterpillar C9 engine developing 396 hp (295 kW) which is the same engine as the one found in MOWAG Piranha III IFVs recently acquired by the Romanian Land Forces. However the vehicle lost its ability to travel across water with little preparation and has to be specially prepared before entering water. The vehicle also became even wider (3.3 m) and higher (2.942 m) than its predecessor. Although the engine is more powerful, the weight of the new equipment has in fact decreased the vehicle's maximum road speed to 65 km/h.[1][4][8] The 9S415 ATGM launcher capable of firing 9M14 "Malyutka" (NATO: AT-3A Sagger A), 9M14M "Malyutka-M" (NATO: AT-3B Sagger B) and 9M14P "Malyutka-P" (NATO: AT-3C Sagger C) ATGMs also has been replaced and there are two different variants, each with a different ATGM launcher replacing it:
  • MLI-84M Punct de Comanda Batalion – MLI-84M1 converted into a battalion command vehicle with a large superstructure instead of the turret.[8]
  • MLI-84M Tractor Pentru Evacuare Tehnică – MLI-84M1 converted into an ARV with its turret replaced by a large three-section hydraulic crane controlled from outside the vehicle, winching frame mounted on the rear of the top of the hull, stowage box on the left hand side of the rear of the top of the hull and two stowage boxes on the right hand side of the top of the hull.[8]
  • MLI-84M Vehicul de Evacuare Medicală – MLI-84M1 converted into an armoured ambulance[8] and fitted with a higher superstructure as found on the PCB command vehicle.


  •  RomaniaRomanian Land Forces operate 178 MLI-84 IFVs of which 99 are being upgraded to the MLI-84M standard. The first modernized vehicles entered service with the 282nd Mechanized Brigade in 2005.[9] Initially, the modernization program aimed at upgrading a total of 180 vehicles.[10]


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