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File: MTLB.jpg

The MT-LB (многоцелевой тягач легко бронированный, Mnogotselevoy Tyagach Lekhko Bronirovannyi / multi-purpose light-armoured towing vehicle) is a Soviet multi-purpose fully-amphibious armoured vehicle which was first introduced in the late 1960s. Initially the vehicle was known as the M 1970 in the west.


The MT-LB amphibious armoured tracked vehicle is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by its tracks. The low-silhouette MT-LB has a flat-track suspension consisting of six road wheels with no return rollers. The box-like welded steel plate hull has a crew compartment at the front, engine immediately behind on the left side, and a troop compartment at the rear which has inward-facing folding canvas seats for 10 infantrymen. The flat hull roof has two forward opening troop exit hatches. The infantry enter and leave the vehicle by two rear doors which are provided with firing ports. The total of four firing ports also include one on each side of the vehicle. The small turret to the right of the commander's position mounts a single 7.62-mm machine gun. Standard

Ex-East German MT-LB used by US Marines

equipment on all vehicles includes an NBC protection system.

The MT-LB is an amphibious armored tracked vehicle with a low-silhouette, box- like hull made of welded steel plates and a small turret on the right front, mounting a single 7.62-mm machine gun. There are four firing ports, one on each side of the vehicle and one in each of the two rear exit doors. Two additional, forward-opening, troop exit hatches are located on the flat hull roof. The flat-track suspension consists of six road wheels with no return rollers.

The MT-LB can employ an extra-wide-track with an "aggressive" grouser to make over snow and swamp operations easier. The wide-tracked version, designated MT-LBV, has a track which is 565 mm wide compared to the normal 350-mm-wide track. The wider track reduces ground pressure from 0.46 to only 0.28 kg/cm2.

The MT-LB is a multipurpose vehicle. When used as an ARC or command vehicle, it can carry ten personnel besides its two-man crew (driver and commander-gunner). It also is used as a prime mover for various types of artillery. In this case it can also carry the artillery crew (six to ten personnel). It is frequently used as prime mover for the 100-mm antitank gun T-12. As a cargo and general transport vehicle, it has a cargo capacity of 2.0 metric tons (towed load 6.5 metric tons). The wide-tracked MT-LBV is

A Russian MT-LB

used as a soft-terrain vehicle.

The MT-LB is lightly armed and lightly armored.

The MT-LB was first designated M 1970 since it was initially identified by the West in 1970. Its design is based on the MT-L light transport vehicle and prime mover. The MT-L, which is unarmored and turretless, was first developed for geological research in the far north.


The MT-LB chassis also has become the basis for a variety of other vehicles. Russian AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher modification is available for use on MT-LB. Russian KBP offers a drop-in one-man turret, called Kliver, with a stabilized 2A72 30-mm gun, a 4 Kornet ATGM launcher, thermal sights, and improved fire control system.

  • MT-LB Upgrade: 1995 upgrade includes improved steering and a new engine.
  • 2S1: 122-mm self-propelled howitzer.
  • 9P149/Shturm-S: ATGM launcher vehicle with AT-6 autoloader.
  • MT-LB "blade": Dozer version with a blade attached to the vehicle.
  • MT-LBu [ M1974] -- Expanded variant for artillery command and reconnaissance vehicles (ACRVs) and other applications uses the same basic chassis as the 122-mm self-propelled howitzer 2S1. The small turret at the front of the MT-LB is removed, and a larger turret is mounted on the rear half of the vehicle.
  • MT-LBV: Arctic variant with .57m wide track for snow and improved flotation., in Iraq this designation was for MT-LB with fitter tracks
  • MTP-LB: Technical support vehicle.
  • MT-SON: Ground surveillance radar vehicle with Pork Trough/SNAR-2 radar.
  • RKhM: Chemical reconnaissance vehicle.
  • SNAR-10: Ground surveillance radar vehicle—The artillery-associated radar BIG FRED is mounted on the rear half of the MT-LB chassis. Unlike the 2S1 and the ACRV M1974, the chassis of the radar variant does not appear to be lengthened. It still has the original six- road-wheel suspension and retains the MT-LB's small front turret with its 7.62-mm machine gun. It also has the two rear exit doors of the original MT-LB.
  • The SA-13 Regimental surface-to-air missile transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), introduced around 1980, is also based on the MT-LB chassis.The 122-mm self-propelled howitzer S21, introduced in 1974, is mounted on the MT-LBu chassis derived from the MT-LB. Compared to the MT-LB, the 2S1 is somewhat longer (7.40 m versus 6.45 m) and has seven road wheels (versus six).


  • Alternative Designations:
  • Date of Introduction:
1970, modernized in 1995
  • Proliferation:

At least 9 countries


  • Crew:


  • Troop Capacity:

11 passengers

  • Combat Weight (mt):


  • Chassis Length Overall (m):


  • Height Overall (m):


  • Width Overall (m):


  • Ground Pressure (kg/cm 2 ):

0.46 standard track / 0.28 wide track

Automotive Performance

  • Engine Type:

290-hp Diesel

  • Cruising Range (km):


  • Speed (km/h):
  • Max Road:

61.5/70 modernized

  • Max Off-Road:

30/45 modernized

  • Average Cross-Country:


  • Max Swim :


  • Fording Depth (m):


  • Radio:
R-123 or upgrade to -123M/-173


  • Armor, Turret Front (mm):


  • Applique Armor (mm):


  • Explosive Reactive Armor (mm):


  • Active Protective System:


  • Mineclearing Equipment:


  • Self-Entrenching Blade:


  • NBC Protection System:


  • Smoke Equipment:


  • Main Armament(s):
  • Caliber, Type, Name:

7.62-mm (7.62x 54R) machinegun, PKT

  • Rate of Fire (rd/min):

250 practical / 650 cyclic, 2-10 round bursts

  • Loader Type:


  • Ready/Stowed Rounds:


  • Elevation (°):

-5/ +35

  • Fire on Move:


  • Auxiliary Weapon:


  • ATGM Launcher:


  • Firing Ports:
1 on each side and 1 in each rear door.

Fire Control

  • FCS Name:


  • Main Gun Stabilization:


  • Rangefinder:


  • Infrared Searchlight:
  • Sights w/Magnification:


  • Day:

PP-61AM, 2.6x

  • Field of View (°):


  • Acquisition Range (m):

1,500 (est)

  • Night:


  • Commander Fire Main Gun:

Main Armament Ammunition

  • Caliber, Type, Name:

7.62-mm API, API-T

  • Maximum Aimed Range (m):


  • Max Effective Range (m):
  • Day:

1,000/400-500 on the move

  • Night:


  • Tactical AA Range:


  • Armor Penetration (mm):

8 (RHA) at 500 m

  • Other Ammunition Types:
Light Ball, Ball-T, Heavy Ball, Incendiary

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