Hundreds of thousands
of Soviet GAZ-66 light utility trucks were produced
1 + 1 men
Dimensions and weight
ZMZ 4.2-liter petrol
Maximum road speed
~ 0.6 m
~ 0.6 m
light utility truck entered production in 1964 at the Gor'kiy Automobile Plant,
where it replaced the earlier GAZ-63 on the lines. Originally
produced for both civilian and military use, the military versions
gradually became paramount. The overall design follows the usual
Soviet guidelines of relative simplicity, strength and versatility.
There are no design frills on the GAZ-66 as it is an orthodox
forward control design capable of being produced in, or modified
into, many different versions. This truck had been produced for 35 years.
It's production ceased in 1999. Nearly 1 000 000 of these trucks
were built. The GAZ-66 is still used by the Russian
Army, many ex-Warsaw Pact armed forces and wherever Soviet influence
has spread. Many are used throughout the Middle East and nations in
was simple in design and technology. Also it was easy to maintain. The basic
cargo/utility model has an all-steel cargo body with an optional
canvas cover over bows mounted on a chassis frame that can be
arranged to carry any number of body styles. Cab is mounted over the
engine and provides seating for the driver and one passenger. Standard equipment
of the GAZ-66 includes a powerful cab heater and an engine pre-heater but these
are omitted on models intended for tropical use.
is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 petrol engine, developing 115 hp. Vehicle
has a full-time all-wheel drive. This truck made it's name for it's
superb cross-country mobility. A self-recovery winch was fitted on
some models. Models produced
from 1968 onwards, the GAZ-66A, have a central tyre pressure
system and may feature a soft-top cab. Vehicle can operate in
climatic conditions ranging from -50°C to +50°C.
is modified version for the airborne forces. It has an opened cab with a
canvas cover. It's windscreen can be folded over the bonnet. This
military truck can be airdropped.
GAZ-66-40 was the final production model. It is powered by a
GAZ-5441 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 123 hp.
There are numerous
sub-variants of the GAZ-66, with or without winches, and with many equipped for
special roles such as NBC decontamination, oil supply vehicles and
numerous van-bodied versions for uses varying from command vehicles
to mobile offices and communications centers. The GAZ-66 is used to
carry the 82 mm Vasilyek automatic mortar, a vehicle/weapon
combination known as the 2B9.
GAZ-3308 Sadko was developed as a replacement,
however Russian Army preferred the
KamAZ-4350, which offers more payload. However the GAZ-66
remains in widespread use and full replacement may take some time.