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MT-LB

Multi-purpose armored vehicle

MT-LB

The MT-LB design is simple and basic, but it is a highly adaptable vehicle

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1964
Crew 2 men
Personnel up to 11 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 11.9 t
Length 6.45 m
Width 2.88 m
Height 1.86 m
Armament
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm
Mobility
Engine YaMZ-238V diesel
Engine power 240 hp
Maximum road speed 61 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 4 - 5 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 2.4 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The MT-LB is not really an APC, but an amphibious multi-purpose tracked carrier which may be adapted to meet virtually any armored support vehicle requirement. Its design is simple and basic but it has proved to be highly adaptable.

   First seen in 1970, the MT-LB was originally employed as an artillery tractor but is now rarely encountered in this role. Instead the MT-LB can carry up to 11 troops in its main load-carrying compartment behind the two-man crew compartment. It may be armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun, positioned in a small commander turret. However, the MT-LB can function as a front line load carrier for anything from ammunition to fuel, or as a mobile platform for numerous weapon systems and even as the basis for a self-propelled 122 mm howitzer. One variant, the MT-LBV, has extra wide tracks for operations over snow and soft terrain.

   There is also light repair and recovery variant, 82- and 120 mm mortar carriers, combat engineering, reconnaissance vehicle, battlefield radar carriers, armored ambulances, air defense missile carriers, command posts for all roles, NBC reconnaissance vehicles and so on. The list seems endless and probably is.

   Just one series examples may suffice. In 1993 Sweden purchased some 800 former East German MT-LB carriers (at a very favorable price). Some of these were modernized with about 200 being stripped down for spares. Once updated these were used by the Swedish Army as command vehicles, load carrier and to carry mortars and other weapons. Swedish expertise has also been employed to mount a 40 mm Bofors gun turret on a Polish license-produced MT-LB chassis for Polish Army service.

 

Variants

 

   MT-LBu Margaritka, a bigger variant of the MT-LB, with longer hull and more powerful engine of the 2S1 Gvosdika 122 mm self-propelled howitzer. Development was completed in 1971 and this armored vehicle was adopted in 1972. The MT-LBu was widely used as a specialized equipment carrier. This armored vehicle had over 50 military variants alone.

   2S1 Gvosdika 122 mm self-propelled howitzer.

   Strela-10 short-range air defense missile system.

   Shturm-S anti-tank missile carrier.

   AZM combat engineering vehicle.

   MT-LB SE armored ambulance with raised rear roof.

   MTP-LB armored recovery vehicle.

   UR-77 Meteorit mine clearing vehicle, used to clear minefields.

   RKhM Kashalot chemical reconnaissance vehicle.

   RKhM-K command version of the chemical reconnaissance vehicle.

   BMP-23 Bulgarian infantry fighting vehicle, based on the MT-LB. Bulgarians have developed their own array of variants.

 

 

 
MT-LB

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MT-LB

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MT-LB

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MT-LB

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MT-LB

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