In the interests of the Russian armed forces, new types of equipment are being created, intended for operation in the Far North or in other difficult regions. One of the latest developments of this kind is the two-link articulated snow and swamp vehicle GAZ-3344-20 “Aleut”. By now, this machine has gone into production and is supplied to combat units.
All-terrain vehicle for the Arctic
The GAZ-3344 transporter is designed and manufactured by the Zavolzhsky plant of tracked tractors (part of the Gas Group). On a common articulated chassis, machines are produced in different configurations and for different purposes. The army version of the all-terrain vehicle was created by order of the Ministry of Defense as part of the Korobochka development work.
One of the first Aleuts of the Russian army, winter 2018
The result of this R&D was the Aleut transporters from ZZGT and DT-3PM from the Ishimbay plant of transport engineering. One of them in the future was supposed to occupy the niche of a medium vehicle – intermediate between the Trekol wheeled all-terrain vehicles and heavy tracked DT-30. Comparative tests were carried out, incl. in the most difficult conditions. So, in the winter of 2017, a number of types of equipment passed from the city of Tiksi to about. Boiler room.
Based on the test results, the GAZ-3344-20 all-terrain vehicle was recommended for further production and operation in the troops. In the same 2017, the first contract for the supply of equipment appeared. Then two more orders appeared. By now, snow and swamp-going vehicles have entered mass production, are supplied to the army and are being mastered in different parts.
The first contract for the assembly and delivery of five Aleuts appeared in the spring of 2017. At the same time it was reported that a new contract would appear in the coming months – for a hundred all-terrain vehicles. Soon this order was formalized; The Ministry of Defense decided to purchase 112 new vehicles. Almost immediately ZZGT started production of equipment. In 2018, an additional order for 12 more snow and swamp-going vehicles appeared.
GAZ-3344-20 at the rehearsal of the parade. Murmansk, May 5, 2018
The first formation to receive the GAZ-3344-20 was the 80th separate motorized rifle brigade of the coastal forces of the Northern Fleet. The new cars were handed over to her in January 2018, and soon the technique was tested on snow-covered tracks. The number of vehicles transferred was not specified. In May of the same year, all-terrain vehicles took part in the parade in Murmansk for the first time.
In June 2019, the management of ZZGT spoke about the latest successes in the production of equipment. By that time, within the framework of the order of the Ministry of Defense from 2017, approx. 30 snow and swamp-going vehicles. By the end of the year, it was planned to fully fulfill the existing order, as well as supply the machines under the 2018 contract.
In January 2020, domestic media reported on the upcoming delivery of four snow and swamp-going vehicles to the railway troops stationed in Khakassia. In March, the specialized foreign press reported on the official adoption of the Aleut into service with the Russian army.
All-terrain vehicles of the Northern Fleet at the 2020 parade
On June 24, the GAZ-3344-20 all-terrain vehicles were first shown to residents and guests of Ussuriysk at a parade. It is curious that the supply of “Aleuts” in the part of the military
reported. The first news of this kind appeared only in mid-July. The equipment entered a separate motorized rifle unit based in the Khabarovsk Territory.
The exact number of Aleuts delivered to date is unknown. From the previously announced data, it follows that the army could have already received all the ordered equipment. At the same time, it was reported about the transfer of machines to only two connections. There has been no news of refurbishment of other parts yet – but may appear at any time.
Parade on June 24, 2020 in Ussuriysk
GAZ-3344-20 is a two-link tracked transporter capable of operating in difficult terrain and transporting people and goods. The front link of the machine accommodates the driver’s seat, the volume for the payload, the power plant and part of the transmission units. The rear hull houses a larger cab and a tracked propeller drive. The housings are connected by a rotary-coupling device, which ensures the mutual movement of the links in two planes. An intercom is provided for communication between the cabins. There is no armor protection.
The snow and swamp-going vehicle is equipped with a YaMZ 53402-10 diesel engine with a power of 189 hp. It is possible to install a Cummins ISB4.5E3 engine with similar characteristics, but equipment for the Russian army receives a domestic engine. There is a pre-heater for easy operation in cold climates. The transmission of an original design based on an automatic transmission provides the drive of the tracks of both links.
Training of coastal troops of the KSF to overcome water obstacles. July 10, 2020
The undercarriage of the link has six road wheels with torsion bar suspension on board. The drive wheels are located at the front of the body, the guides are at the rear. Wide rubber tracks are used, providing a ground pressure of approx. 0.21 kg / sq. Cm. Due to two similar caterpillar propellers “Aleut” is able to move both on soils with low bearing capacity and on paved roads.
All-terrain vehicles GAZ-3344 can be used both as transport and as a platform for various special equipment. The Armed Forces ordered vehicles in a transport configuration. In this case, the front link can carry up to five people or 500 kg of cargo. The rear is made in the form of a van with 15 seats; lifting capacity – 2 tons. It is possible to tow a trailer weighing up to 3 tons. Access to the front cabin is provided by side doors, the rear one has aft.
The inhabited compartments of army vehicles are equipped with heaters and filter ventilation units. Installation of special equipment is possible. So, a certain amount of equipment for the army is made in the form of ambulances. They are capable of transporting bedridden patients on stretchers and have some medical equipment. In fact, “Aleuts” are considered as a replacement for standard army trucks with different equipment, designed specifically for the special conditions of the North.
The two-link conveyor has a length of less than 10 m, a width of 2.4 m and a height of at least 2.5 m. The curb weight is 8.7 tons. 5-6 km / h. In transverse dimensions, the all-terrain vehicle does not differ from the most common tractors and cars, and does not require a special approach to the choice of routes.
Actual plans – probably already completed or approaching implementation – provide for the supply of more than 120 two-link GAZ-3344-20 Aleut snow and swamp vehicles. Such equipment is intended for units and formations of the Northern Fleet participating in the defense of the strategic Arctic direction. In addition, it is transferred to other units operating in other latitudes, but in no less harsh conditions.
“Aleut” and other modern all-terrain vehicles are designed to replace other vehicles, the operation of which in the Arctic or other areas is difficult or even impossible. Having the required carrying capacity characteristics, two-link snow and swamp-going vehicles show great advantages in cross-country ability. Accordingly, subdivisions in remote regions with an undeveloped road network do not remain without convenient transport.
It should be noted that the “Korobochka” design and development project and its result in the form of the GAZ-3344-20 machine is not the only measure to provide the Arctic parts with the necessary equipment. In fact, now we are talking about a whole program for the creation and implementation of promising samples of various kinds, initially adapted to the harsh climate and complex landscapes. Together with unarmored transporters, anti-aircraft and artillery systems are created on special chassis.
Thus, in just a few years, the Russian armed forces have formed a combat-ready and fairly numerous group of troops in the Arctic, and are also re-equipping and re-equipping it with various equipment. The unit receives both combat and auxiliary vehicles. And one of the main roles in these processes is given to the GAZ-3344-20 snow and swamp-going vehicle.