The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to acquire a large batch of GAZ-3344 tracked articulated all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), the civil and military versions of which were demonstrated on 4-5 August at the Russian MoD's Innovation Days 2014 exhibition at the Alabino test range near Moscow.
News of the acquisition was revealed to IHS Jane's by Valentin Kopalkin, director-general of Zavolzhsky Caterpillar Tractor Manufacturing Plant (ZZGT), which will manufacture the vehicles.
The GAZ-3344 is conceptually a new vehicle type for Russia, although Western manufacturers such as Hägglunds and Sisu have produced tracked articulated ATVs for some time, the distinctive characteristic of which is their extremely high offroad mobility. Such vehicles comprise a forward drive module and rear mission module, the tracks of the latter also being powered by an articulated drive coupling.
While touring the Innovation Days exhibition, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu tested the GAZ-3344, after which he said the MoD would buy a large batch. Shoigu said the MoD was interested in procuring five GAZ-3344 variants: logistics vehicle, troops carrier, weapon carrier, ambulance, and firefighting vehicle.
The GAZ-3344 is due to complete trials by the end of this year and by February 2015 is scheduled to enter service with the Russian armed forces.
According to Kopalkin, the ZZGT plant will start producing 600 GAZ-3344s a year as early as January. The plant will manufacture the vehicle chassis and weapon carrier module, and will assemble the vehicle, ordering other modules and components on a co-operative basis.
The military GAZ-3344 takes the civil version as a baseline. Fully amphibious, it is not armoured but does have protected fuel tanks and an NBC protection system. Unlike Western articulated ATVs, which typically have rubber band tracks, the GAZ-3344 has metal tracks that can be fitted with rubber pads for moving on roads.
The GAZ-3344 is 9.93 m long, 2.38 wide and has a specific ground pressure of 0.21 kg/m 2 . The vehicle weighs 8,700 kg, with the front drive module having a payload capacity of 750 kg and the rear module having a payload capacity of 2,250 kg. There are five seats in the front section and 12 in the rear section (in the troop-carrying configuration).
Powered by a JAMZ-53402-10 turbocharged diesel engine developing 136 kW (182 hp), the GAZ-3344 has a maximum road speed of 60 km/h, can propel itself in water at a speed of 5-6 km/h, and can climb a 35 deg gradient.