But one piece of equipment that often gets forgotten about and many people even over look it, is the MT-LB. Why is it a Soviet hero? i think it has to be said one word comes to mind versatility and the fact its still in wide spread use and in vast numbers, its been used in just about every form of armour vehicle variant known to man. Its also still being purchased by countries, Iraq recently placed an order for roughly 500 MT-LB's armed with ZU-23-2 23.
A brief description of the vehicle taken from source - 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 armoured against small arms and shell splinters with a thickness of 3 to 10 mm of steel. The infantry compartment has two hatches over the top, which open forwards. There are four firing ports - one in either side of the hull, the other two in the rear twin doors of the infantry compartment.
The driver is provided with a TVN-2 infra-red periscope, which in combination with the OU-3GK infra-red/white light search light provides a range of about 40 m. All vehicles include an NBC system.
Below is a list of some of its uses:
Arctic (climate) vehicle
Ground surveillance radar vehicle
Anti-tank version armed with AT-6
Engineer vehicle, with an hydraulic dozer blade and an extendable hydraulic arm with a bucket and armoured recovery and repair.
Comms and SIGINT vehicle
Artillery observer vehicle
Mine-laying systems vehicle
Electronic warfare system vehicle
and more common versions known to many
Anti air Strela-10 (SA-13 Gopher) system
Artillery in the following forms of:
2S1 122mm howitzer system,
Chosta 120mm mortar system,
system armed with the 82mm automatic mortar system 2B14 Podnos.
its also spawned the MT-LBu which shared some similar roles
it was also used as an APC and a form of cheap IFV having various turrets attached such as:
GSh-23V 23 mm
NSV/Kord 12.7 mm
GSh-30K 30 mm
ZSU 23-2 + Igla SAM system (anti air system)
Kornet ATGM system
turret from BTR 80
and a various combinations of the above
so as you can see the list of uses are almost endless. I think despite its thin armour this vehicle used in APC/IFV form is a cheap decent alternative to more expensive IFV, for armed forces on budget this could be a great alternative and Russia has 1,000's in storage to sell. I have to say again that the key strength and success of this vehicle has been down to its versatility and as an added bonus its cheap.
it would be nice to see other peoples views on the MT-LB and do you think its worthy to be included in the long list of Soviet hero's??
some pics below including some different variants
Last edited by d_taddei2 on Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:04 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : pics)