The Lazar BVT is a Serbian mine resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), manufactured by Yugoimport. Named after Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, a 14th-century ruler of Serbia.
Lazar is a vehicle conceived for use in urban and rural anti-infantry patrol and transport role, a supplementary vehicle meant to prevent exposure of even basic infantry units to enemy fire as well as to run support of heavier vehicles in convoy situations. The chassis is started as a simple redesign of the TAM-150 truck but evolved to include a completely modified hull, 4×4 and 8×8 configuration, added armor and dozens of structural improvements. Special attention was given to a high acceleration rate, stability (due to high center of gravity), hardiness and reliability in many types of environments (fire, snow, ice, rain, mud etc.). During testing, the vehicle outperformed every parameter except the weight requirement, which was exceeded in full armor and armament load-out, although the report excused this by saying that the extra weight does not degrade vehicle function.
This vehicle has a standard steel hull with STANAG level III+ protection in the basic configuration, although additional laminate armor developed by Jugoimport provides an upgrade to NATO STANAG 4569 agreement level V+ armor protection. In addition to the two armor configurations mentioned, both can be upgraded with ERA packets for protection against close range urban attacks with RPG weapons, as well as cages and other means of protecting against heavy fire. The armor itself can be considered NERA and is meant only to protect against infantry portable weapons. The ballistic glass is extremely strong, rated at level III in the front and level II+ at the sides. In addition, the specially formatted hull and internal seating arrangement affords maximum protection against IED devices, anti-tank mines and other ground-level explosive devices.
The thing which stands out about the Lazar is the open side system which allows troops inside to use their own personal weapons (40mm grenade launchers, assault rifles etc.) to engage the enemy or help locate threats in a 360 degree area. Of course, in addition to this open concept system there are a variety of turrets, cupolas and other weapons systems depending on budget and application of vehicle.