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MT-LB - Бронетранспортер (Украина)


Type - Armored personnel carrier / Amphibious armored personnel carrier / Multi-purpose armored vehicle
Place of origin - Soviet Union
Service history
In service - late 1950s - present
Production history
Designer - Central Auto and Tractor Directorate
Designed - 1950s
Manufacturer - Kharkiv Tractor Plant
Mass - 11.9 tonnes (13.1 short tons; 11.7 long tons)
Length - 6.45 m (21 ft 2 in)
Width - 2.86 m (9 ft 5 in)
Height - 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Crew - 2 (+ 11 passengers)
Armor - 14 mm (max)
Main armament - 7.62 mm PKT machine-gun (2,500 rounds) or 12.7 mm NSV or Kord machine gun or 30 mm autocannon (2A42 or 2A72)
Secondary armament - AGS-17D or AGS-30 grenade launcher
Engine - YaMZ 238, V-8 diesel / SW 680, I6 diesel (in Poland) // YaMZ 238: 240 hp at 2,100 rpm / SW 680: 240 hp at 2,200 rpm
Power/weight - 20 hp/tonne
Suspension - Torsion bar
Operational range - 500 km (310 mi) (road)
Maximum speed - 61 km/h (38 mph) (road) / 30 km/h (19 mph) (off-road) / 5 to 6 km/h (3.7 MPH) (in the water)

The MT-LB (Russian: Многоцелевой Тягач Легкий Бронированный, romanized: Mnogotselevoy tyagach legky bronirovanny, literally "multi-purpose towing vehicle light armored") is a Soviet multi-purpose, fully amphibious, tracked armored fighting vehicle in use since the 1950s. It was also produced in Poland, where (starting in the mid-1990s) its YaMZ engine was replaced by a Polish 6-cylinder SW 680 diesel engine.
In the 1950s, the Soviet Central Auto and Tractor Directorate began a development program to replace the AT-P series of artillery tractors (which were based on the ASU-57 airborne self-propelled gun) with a new generation of vehicles. The MT-L was developed to meet this requirement based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank chassis. The MT-LB is the armored variant of the MT-L. Entering production in the early 1970s, it was cheap to build, being based on many existing components, e.g. the engine, which was originally developed for trucks. It is built at the Kharkiv Tractor Plant and Bulgaria. Formerly it was also manufactured under license in Poland by Huta Stalowa Wola.
The crew, a driver and a commander/gunner, sit in a compartment at the front of the vehicle, with the engine behind them. A compartment at the rear enables up to 11 infantry to be carried or a cargo of up to 2,000 kg. A load of 6,500 kg can be towed. The vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled by its tracks in the water.
A small turret at the front of the vehicle fits a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun with 360-degree manual traverse and an elevation of -5 to +30 degrees. The vehicle is lightly armored against small arms and shell splinters with a thickness of 3 to 10 mm of steel with a maximum of 14 mm for the turret front.
Several weapon systems are based on this hull (for example Strela-10 or SNAR-10).


Former USSR
MT-LB (izdeliye 6) - basic model, often used as simple APC but also as artillery tractor or ambulance. In the West the term MT-LB Blade or MT-LB M1980 is used for vehicles that are fitted with a hydraulic dozer blade.
Russian Federation
MT-LBM (izdeliye 6M) - MT-LB modernization developed by Muromteplovoz in the 1990s. It can be fitted with several different turrets.
2S24 - mortar carrier with 2B24 (or 2B14 "Podnos") 82 mm mortar and 83 rounds. The GRAU designation for the carrier vehicle, mortar, and ammunition is 2K32 "Deva". The 2S24 was designed by TsNII "Burevestnik" and has a crew of five. In service with RF Interior Ministry.
MT-LBVMK - a modification of MT-LBVM with "Kord" 12.7 mm machine gun instead of NSVT 12.7 mm.
Toros - Arctic adapted vehicle developed by Muromteplovoz based on the MT-LB chassis, armed with a 30 mm autocannon 2A42, PKMT 7.62 mm machine gun, and 30 mm AGS-17D grenade launcher, and equipped with a snowplow. Toros is able to operate in -45 °C.
Bulgaria has various models of the MT-LB in service, as of 2016. Along with the base model, between 1971 and 2012 Bulgaria manufactures MT-LB VM variation with improved snow and swamp-going capabilities.
East Germany
MT-LB (Pi) - combat engineer vehicle.
MT-LB (Pzj) - version for anti-tank units.
MT-LB (Pzj Fü) - command vehicle for anti-tank units.
MT-LB (BO) SFL - battery command vehicle in self-propelled artillery units.
San MT-LB - ambulance.
MTP-LB - technical support vehicle.
MT-LB converted into a SPAAG by mounting a ZU-23-2 23×152 mm twin anti-aircraft gun on the rear part of the vehicle. The gun had its wheels removed and as such cannot be easily dismounted and used separately. There were at least two variations of this conversion; one with the ZU-23-2 mounted in an open-topped turret, the other with the ZU-23-2 mounted on a platform extending beyond the hull of the MT-LB with a roof for the gun operators. The second version was most likely intended to be used in a fire support role, as the roof would hinder the gun's sights at high elevation.
Polish HSW S.A. (Huta Stalowa Wola S.A.) license produced MT-LB since 1976, and it also developed a modified chassis SPG-2, with better floating capabilities.

MT-LB-2AP - APC variant with a turret from SKOT-2AP, armed with high elevation 14.5 mm KPVT MG and 7.62 mm PKT CMG. Prototype only.
WEM Lotos - medical evacuation vehicle with four stretchers.
WPT Mors - armored recovery and repair vehicle, produced from 1983.
R-137T (radiostacja ruchoma UKF) - signals vehicle with VHF radio set R-137. Entered service in 1987 and has a range of 70 to 150 km.
ZWD-1 "Irys" (zautomatyzowany wóz dowodzenia) - command vehicle, belongs to the automated command set "Irys".
MT-LB-23M "Krak" - APC variant with a 23 mm gun in an unmanned turret. Prototype only.
Promet - self-propelled AA gun with twin 23 mm guns, from 1979. Four prototypes only.
"Przebiśnieg" - electronic warfare system, consists of three different vehicles:
 - SZ or MT-LB Z (stacja zakłóceń) - EW/Jamming vehicle
 - SR or MT-LB R (stacja rozpoznania) - Comint/Sigint vehicle
 - WD krel - command post vehicle (wóz dowodzenia kompanii radioelektronicznej)
SPG-2 - much-modified base vehicle, with reworked nose section and hydro jets for better floating:
 - TRI Hors - engineering reconnaissance vehicle, built in series from 1983, armed with 12.7 mm NSVT AAMG mounted on a turret;
 - WPT Mors-II - armored recovery and repair vehicle, produced from 1986, armed with 12.7 mm NSVT AAMG mounted on a turret;
 - Opal-I and Opal-II - artillery command vehicles, with a turret with NSWT-12.7 Utios: Opal-I with a 245 hp (180 kW) turbocharged diesel engine SW680/167/1, Opal-II with a 300 hp (220 kW) engine SW680T (YaMZ-238N) and a longer chassis with 7 road wheels on each side. Prototypes only.
BWO-40 - infantry fighting vehicle with 40 mm Bofors gun. A similar turret was mounted on the BWP-40 (BMP-1 upgrade). Prototype only.
Pbv 401 (pansarbandvagn) - modified a former East-German vehicle with 7.62 mm machine guns Ksp 95 and Ksp 58.
MT-LB-12 - A 2022 modification in which a MT-12 Rapira 100 mm anti-tank gun was mounted on top of the vehicle with an open-topped superstructure for cover. At least two made with more planned. During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Ukraine also deployed improvised chop-jobs combining the hulls of the MT-LB with the 85 mm divisional gun D-44.


Current operators
 Azerbaijan - 336
 Angola - 31
 Bangladesh - 134
 Boko Haram - Captured from the Nigerian Army.
 Bulgaria - 100
 Belarus - 70
 Congo-Kinshasa - 6
 Eritrea - 10
 Finland - 389 MT-LB/v, 50 MT-LBU.
 Georgia - 66 in Service.
 Iraq - About 400 in Service.
 Kazakhstan - 150
 Moldova - 60
 Myanmar - 26
 Nigeria - 67
 North Korea - unknown number of HT-16PGJ based on Strela-10.
 North Macedonia - 10
 People's Defense Units (YPG)
 Russia - 3,300 in active service. Currently being modernized in the version MLBSh for the Marines with more powerful engines KAMAZ-740.50 of 360 hp, new tracks and new weaponry, etc. They are also being upgraded to the version VM1K for the Ground Forces with a domestic 310 hp YAMZ-238BL-1 engine and a new radio station. Some are being equipped as platforms for ZU-23 anti-aircraft guns.
 Ukraine - 2,090 (In 2018 nine MT-LBs received from Poland (those vehicles were previously in Polish service).)
 Uruguay - 5
 United States - Used by Opposing force units.
Former operators
 Croatia - 6 SNAR-10 stored, for scrap.
 Czechoslovakia - Passed on to the Czech Republic.
 East Germany - 721 Bulgarian-made MT-LBs, 32 SNAR-10 and 36 Strela-10M. Unified with West Germany.
 Germany - taken from GDR's army, all scrapped or sold to other countries.
 Hungary - Strela-10 and SNAR-10.
 Islamic State
 Lithuania - 10 retired.
 Poland - 15 retired.
 Soviet Union - Passed on to successor states.
 Sweden - 460 (Locally designated Pbv 401, former East German, bought in 1993, then decommissioned gradually until the last 147 examples were sold to Finland in 2011.)

M113 armored personnel carrier
BTR-50 - a similar vehicle based on PT-76 light tank

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