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Armored recovery vehicle


The WZT-3 armored recovery vehicle is in service with Poland and India

Entered service 1988
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 42 t
Length 8.3 m
Width 3.27 m
Height 2.71 m
Lifting capability 15 t
Winch capacity 31 t / 62 t
Towed load ~ 50 t
Earth working capacity ~ 100 m/h
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm (200 rounds)
Engine V-46-6 diesel
Engine power 780 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 450 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 50%
Vertical step 0.85 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) ?


   The WZT-3 (Woz Zabiezpeczenia Technychnego) is a Polish armored recovery vehicle, developed in the late 80s. It was intended to support the Polish Army T-72 main battle tanks, that was adopted back in 1978 and was locally produced under license. The previous WZT-2, based on the T-55 tank was not capable to support the heavier T-72. Prototypes of the new armored recovery vehicle were tested from 1986 to 1988. It was immediately accepted to service with the Polish Army. Production commenced in 1988 and ceased in 1989. Only 20 of these armored recovery vehicles were built for the Polish Army.

   The WZT-3 is based on a modified T-72M main battle tank chassis. It is fitted with a crane, winch and front-mounted dozer. The main mission of this vehicle is to evacuate damaged tracked vehicles from the battlefield. It also recovers overturned and swamped main battle tanks in different terrains. The WZT-3 provides maintenance service in the field, or tows damaged MBTs to maintenance units. Vehicle also performs earth moving activities, or digs combat emplacements.

   A jib crane has a 15 t capacity for 5.8 m boom and 13.5 t capacity for 8 m boom. The crane is less powerful comparing with contemporary Western ARVs, however it's power is adequate to lift turret or powerpack of the T-72 MBT. If repairs are required to a vehicle's suspension, the crane raises the front of back of the vehicle to allow access to the damaged system. When not required the crane lays along the left side of the hull.

   Vehicle has a main mechanical winch with a 31 t pull capacity and 200 m long cable. With the help of pulley blocks traction force is increased to 62 t. The main winch is used to recover damaged, stuck, sunken and overturned vehicles. There is also auxiliary winch which has 200 kg pull capacity.

   The WZT-3 armored recovery vehicle tows damaged, faulty or uncontrolled vehicles, or similar type tanks using rigid or non-rigid hitches to the nearest shelters, assembly points of repair units. This armored recovery vehicle has a towing capacity of around 50 000 kg.

   The dozer blade is used for clearing obstacles and earth-mowing works, such as preparation of firing positions, covering up of ditches, self-entrenching and so on. The dozer blade is also used to stabilize the vehicle during craning and winching operations.

   The WZT-3 has inbuilt welding and cutting equipment. It is used to repair damaged hulls in field conditions. It also carries a wide array of tools for field repairs. This armored recovery vehicle can also re-fuel other combat vehicles in the field, or drain fuel from them. Vehicle has a rear loading platform and can carry a spare powerpack of the T-72 or similar MBT.

   The WZT-3 has a crew of four. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. This military vehicle is armed with a roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun for self-defense against ground and air targets.

   The WZT-3 is powered by a V-46-6 turbocharged multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 780 hp. This armored recovery vehicle is also fitted with auxiliary power unit.




   WZT-3M, improved armored recovery vehicle, based on the PT-91 Twardy main battle tank. The main difference was the more powerful engine of the PT-91. It is powered by a WZT-3M S-12U diesel, developing 850 hp. Production of improved ARV commenced in 1999. Only 9 of these armored recovery vehicles were built for the Polish Army. All original WZT-3 vehicles (20 units) were upgraded to this standard. The WZT-3M is also in service with India, which operates 352 of these ARVs. In 2012 India ordered additional batch of 204 armored recovery vehicles. It was planned that these vehicles will be locally built from Polish supplied components. It was scheduled that the Indian-made vehicles will enter service of the Indian Army in 2014. Indian Army ARVs are used to support the fleet of T-72 and T-90 series main battle tanks.

   WZT-4 armored recovery vehicle for Malaysian Army, based on the PT-91M tank;

   M-84ABI Yugoslavian armored recovery vehicle for Kuwait, based on the M-84AB main battle tank. It is a license-produced version of the WZT-3. A total of 15 ARVs were built and exported to Kuwait.


Video of the WZT-3 armored recovery vehicle








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