January 6, 2010:
Two years ago, the Czech Republic bought fifteen Dingo 2 and fifteen MLV armored vehicles for its 500 troops in Afghanistan. Since then, there have been problems with the Dingo engine. It's believed that the low quality of fuel (brought in via Pakistan, by truck) is the reason. In any event, the MLV vehicles have fewer fuel quality related problems, and the Czechs are ordering 90 more of them.
The Dingo 2 is a four wheeled, 12 ton, armored version of the classic Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG truck series, and carries up to eight personnel. Top speed is 90 kilometers per hour, and the armor protection can handle mines, roadside bombs and small arms fire. The Dingo 2 is roughly similar in size and capability to an armored hummer, but much heavier. The German Dingo is armed with a remote control (from inside the vehicle) 7.62mm machine-gun. Israel, Austria and Germany have also ordered Dingo 2s, which cost about half a million dollars each.
The Italian LMV is a 6.5 ton armored vehicle similar to the hummer, but with many anti-mine and bomb features (V shaped bottom, suspended seats and so on). It seats five and is designed to accommodate a remote control gun turret.
The Czechs bought four of each vehicle three years ago, to try out in Afghanistan, and were pleased with the results. But since then there have been engine problems with the Dingos. If it turns out (after laboratory analysis) that it is a bad fuel problem, a new fuel filter might be a simple solution.