Armor: November 4, 2002


: The Ukraine's Kharkov tractor plant [KTP] has developed a modernized variation of the old Soviet MTLB APC for rapid-reaction troops. The Russians found during both Chechen Wars that this design (a contemporary of the American M-113) was more reliable than more-modern designs like the BMP-3. The Ukrainian MT-LBR6 will be fitted with a 30 mm gun, a grenade launcher, anti-tank guided missiles and a machine gun, Ponomaryov said. The amphibious vehicle will be able cover up to 800 km on one tank of fuel. KTP-supplied vehicles usually have a Russian-made engine, although they can be fitted with German or British engines. The need for brand-new MTLBs is admittedly small, although there is a market for rebuilds. KTP (as well as Bulgarian and Polish manufactures working under the KTP license) have produced thousands of MT-LBs, in as many as 11 variations but since these vehicles are so reliable, they can usually be repaired or have parts replaced. KTP sends minor batches of spare parts to Russia and some other countries. - Adam Geibel

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