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Russian army UBIM armored engineer vehicle completes trials.

| 2020

Russia’s newest UBIM (Universalnaya Boyevaya Inzhenernaya Mashina; Multipurpose Combat Engineer Vehicle) armored engineer vehicle (AEV) has completed all trials, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD).
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UBIM armored engineer vehicle (Picture source: Army Recognition)

"All the required trials of the UBIM AEV have been completed for the benefit of Russia’s Engineering Troops [Inzhenerniye Voyska]," the MoD reported on May 14, adding that the UBIM vehicle "is capable of conducting a wide range of works".

"Despite its heavy weight, the UBIM features high maneuverability and can carry various applique subsystems that provide increased efficiency of engineering works," the MoD noted. The UBIM is controlled by a two-strong crew and carries three explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialists under its armor.

The UBIM has received a U-blade with adjustable wings, a jib-type crane with a clamshell bucket and a hook assembly, and two towing winches. The crane’s bucket can be replaced with a hydraulic hammer. "An electronic control-and-management system ensures high effectiveness of these pieces of equipment," said the MoD.

The UBIM AEV was unveiled at the Army 2018 international military-technical forum held in Kubinka near Moscow in August 2018. The vehicle, which is developed by the concern Uralvagonzavod (UVZ, a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec), was presented in the ready-use configuratioThe UBIM is based on chassis of either T-72B3 or T-90M (‘M’ for Upgraded, Modernizirovanniy) main battle tank (MBT). According to the Russian military, the new AEV weighs more than 50 t and is powered by a 1,130-hp engine. The UBIM is organically fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station (RCWS) with a Kord 12.7 mm heavy machinegun.

At present, UVZ offers two types of engineer vehicles, namely, the BREM-1M armored recovery vehicle (ARV) and the IMR-3M AEV. The UBIM appears to replace the IMR-3M (and, perhaps the Soviet-age AEVs); however, it could potentially be refitted to evacuate damaged land platforms (in this case, the military could get an all-in-one self-propelled engineer system that is capable of serving both needs). Compared to the UBIM, the IMR-3M is equipped with a less powerful 840-hp engine, a lighter crane with a lifting capacity of some 2 tons, and a less sophisticated U-blade. At same time, the IMR-3M weighs less (according to UVZ, the system’s weight reaches 49.5 tons with a mine flail) and has smaller dimensions. The two platforms might be combined into a joint two-tier engineer system, with the IMR-3M being a workhorse and the UBIM accomplishing the most difficult tasks. Therefore, UVZ might introduce a really unique solution to the global market of military engineer vehicles.

According to the Russian MoD, the UBIM "is designed to support the advances of the troops and conduct engineer works, including those in a contaminated environment, under fire". Thus, the new AEV is believed to be a successor to the renowned IMR family of engineer vehicles: the military does not have the evacuation of damaged vehicles on the UBIM’s list of tasks.

The UBIM appears to be a versatile tool capable of conducting almost all types of land works. In October 2019, the UVZ’s Special Representative for Military-Technical Cooperation, General of the Army Alexey Maslov told the news agency TASS that the UBIM would dramatically reduce the life cycle costs of the Russian military’s land engineer inventory

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