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Russian military beefs up all-terrain capabilities.

| 2018

Russian military is continuing to shore up its all-terrain capabilities. In particular the armed forces are receiving tracked all-terrain vehicles (ATV) at a quickened pace.

Russian military beefs up all terrain capabilities
Russian-made GAZ-3344-20 multirole tractor vehicle, an improved copy of the Swedish Volvo BV-206 Hägglund (Picture source: Nokita Panin)

It is noteworthy that several tracked ATVs, namely the members of the Vityaz (Noble Knight) family, have been recently introduced into service. This family comprises two vehicles, namely the DT-30PM and the smaller DT-10PM. Both ATVs have been developed by the Ishimbai-based Vityaz Machine-Building Company (a subsidiary of Rostec's Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) research-and-manufacturing corporation).

The DT-30PM is an upgraded two-unit amphibious tracked all-terrain vehicle. It features high cross-country capability and is suitable for off-road operations. Moreover, the ATV does not require any road network. The vehicle can be used in swampy and snowy conditions.

According to the official catalogue of UVZ, the DT-30PM has a laden weight of 29 t and a payload of 30 t. It is powered by an engine with a power output of 710 hp, which produces a maximum road speed of 43 km/h and a maximum swimming speed of 5-6 km/h. The ATV features a travel range of 700 km. A 350 mm ground clearance ensures high cross-country capability of the vehicle. Owing to wide tracks, the DT-30PM has an average ground pressure of 0.3 kg/cm². The vehicle is fitted with a cabin, which is equipped with five seats for the crew.

The Vityaz company also produces a smaller ATV designated DT-10PM. The basic features of this land platform are identical to those of the DT-30PM. According to the portfolio of UVZ, the DT-10PM has a laden weight of 23.5 t and a payload of 10 t. Like the DT-30PM, the smaller vehicle is powered by an engine with a power output of 710 hp that produces a maximum road speed of 44 km/h and a maximum swimming speed of 5-6 km/h. The DT-10PM features a ground clearance of 350 mm, an average ground pressure of 0.22 kg/cm², and a travel range of 700 km. The ATV is fitted with a cabin with five seats for the crew.

According to the foreign experts, several systems based on the DT-30PM all-terrain vehicle have been developed. "One example is the latest Tor-M2DT surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that is based on the DT-30 platform and is expected to enter service which Russian forces in 2018". The Tor-M2DT is intended for use in the Arctic region.

An Arctic variant of the Pantsir-S1 SAM system is also based on the DT-30 platform. According to an image published by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Arctic Pantsir-S1 can destroy all types of aerial targets at a distance of up to 20 km.

Several other DT-30-based platforms for Russia's Arctic units are believed to be under development. In early February 2018, the Izvestia newspaper said Russian Arctic brigades would be armed with the Grad and the Smerch multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS). Both weapons would be mounted on the DT-30PM ATVs, the daily added. A military source told the Izvestia that a MLRS (he did not mention its type) on the chassis of the Vityaz platform had been included in list of advanced weapons intended for the Arctic brigades.

It should be mentioned that other Russian manufacturers of automotive vehicles also offer their ATVs to potential customers. In early January, a separate motor rifle brigade of the Northern Fleet received the GAZ-3344-20 Aleut two-unit amphibious tracked ATVs.

The Aleut features modular structure. The front unit is fitted with a module that holds five servicemen (including the driver). The rear unit with a useful payload of nearly 2,500 kg can be equipped with a cabin for 15 soldiers, an ambulance module or a command-and-control post. The GAZ-3344-20 is powered by a YaMZ (Yaroslavl Motor Plant) engine coupled to an automatic transmission. The ATV features high cross-country capability, low average ground pressure, and high power-to-weight ratio.

According to the experts, the abovementioned Russian-made ATVs "are similar" to their foreign counterparts, namely the members of the Bv/BvS family of all-terrain vehicles developed by the BAE Systems Hagglunds company. In particular, the BvS 10 resembles the DT-10PM while the Bv 206 is similar to the GAZ-3344-20.

Compared to the DT-10PM, the BvS 10 features a higher road speed (nearly 70 km/h) and a lower swimming speed (around 4 km/h). It is noteworthy that the smaller Vityaz features a 20% higher payload compared to the BvS 10 (10 t and 8 t, respectively) and an increased travel range (700 km and 400 km, respectively). The GAZ-3344-20 also beats the Volvo Bv 206 Hägglund in terms of payload (2,500 kg and 2,240 kg, respectively).



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