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Ukrainian soldiers bring 1950s GAZ-69A 4x4 vehicle back to service

As reported by OSINTtechnical on December 3, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers from the Khorne drone group demonstrated resourcefulness in Donetsk Oblast. They successfully located, repaired, and put into service a 1950s-era Soviet GAZ-69A off-road vehicle, which is the predecessor of the UAZ-469 4x4 vehicle launched in 1972.
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The GAZ-69, produced by the Soviet UAZ plant in 1953, served as a 4x4 reconnaissance vehicle inspired by the American WW2 Willys MB Jeep. (Picture source: Twitter/OSINTtechnical and Yandex)

The GAZ-69, developed by the Soviet Gorky plant in 1946, served as a 4x4 reconnaissance vehicle designed to succeed the GAZ-67B. Inspired by the American Willys MB Jeep, the GAZ-69 underwent extensive testing in 1947 during its prototype phase, known as the E-1 or "Truzhenik." These tests focused on evaluating the vehicle's traction, minimal speed damage, and maneuverability through challenging mud terrain. Subsequent trials in off-road conditions affirmed its performance relative to the ZIS-151.

Production of the GAZ-69 began in 1953 at the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant, resulting in two variants. One variant, designed for military use, featured two doors and an open 8-seater body, while the GAZ-69A, intended for officials, boasted a 4-door, 5-seater configuration with a trunk.

The GAZ-69 incorporated components from earlier GAZ models, such as a 4-cylinder carburetor engine derived from the GAZ-M20 and various elements from the GAZ-51. Notable features included a rear axle with a non-locking cross-axle differential, a transmission transfer case without a direct transmission, dependent spring wheel suspension, ball joints, and double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers.

Over its two-decade production span, the GAZ-69 saw the creation of over 600,000 units, with exports reaching 56 countries, including Romania and North Korea, both of which obtained rights for mass production. The GAZ-69 underwent upgrades, leading to variants like the GAZ-69-68, the 2K15 GAZ-69A Shmel armed with four anti-tank rockets, and the GAZ-69 DIM designed for mine detection at depths not less than 70 cm.

The GAZ-69A, the specific variant revived by the Ukrainian soldiers, is powered by a 55hp 2.1-liter 4-cylinder engine, which has an average fuel consumption of 14l/100 km, with a 60-liter fuel tank, allowing a top speed of 90 km/h and an estimated range of 400 km. Weighing 1,960 kg, including standard equipment and fluids, the vehicle measures 3.85 m in length, 1.75 m in height, and 2 m in width. It exhibits a towing capacity of 850 kg, accommodates five passengers, and has a load capacity of 500 kg.

In terms of design, the GAZ-69A features an open body with a manual soft top, offering adaptability to diverse weather conditions. The 8-passenger configuration includes two benches at the back, doubling as storage boxes. Conversely, the GAZ-69A, tailored for agricultural use, accommodates five passengers and features a spacious trunk accessible from the passenger compartment.


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