In recent years, the Russian army has been paying increased attention to specialized models of equipment that can work effectively in the difficult conditions of the Arctic, Siberia or the Far East. One of the results of this interest was the two-link tracked snow and swamp vehicle GAZ-3344-20 "Aleut". Such equipment is supplied to various formations of the armed forces and has a positive effect on their mobility and combat capabilities.
In 2012, the Zavolzhsky plant of caterpillar tractors (part of the GAZ Group) began production of the multipurpose snow and swamp-going vehicle GAZ-3344, intended for a wide range of potential customers. Later, the Ministry of Defense opened the Korobochka development project, the purpose of which was to create a vehicle for army units operating in regions with a harsh climate and difficult terrain.
To participate in the "Korobochka" ZZGT modified the original design of the GAZ-3344, as a result of which the GAZ-3344-20 "Aleut" transporter appeared. The design, the composition of the units and the equipment of this vehicle are determined taking into account the needs of the armed forces.
By the mid-tenths, new samples were made in metal and went out for testing. The manufacturer and the Ministry of Defense carried out a full cycle of various checks, incl. in future regions of operation. So, since 2017, GAZ-3344-20, along with other promising models, has repeatedly taken part in Arctic races and other similar events.
According to the results of all tests, in 2017, the Aleut received a recommendation for acceptance for the supply of the armed forces. Soon, the army officially accepted it, and also placed the first order for mass production. At the beginning of the next year, the first batch of equipment entered the combat unit. The first serial GAZ-3344-20 hit the coastal troops of the Northern Fleet.
In the future, the Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported on the transfer of new snow and swamp vehicles to one or another part of the armed forces. According to the 2017-18 contracts, ZZGT was supposed to transfer more than 120 vehicles to the customer until 2020 inclusive. Taking into account the needs of the army, it can be assumed that production will not stop there, and the number of Aleuts in units will grow.
In terms of design, the GAZ-3344-20 is a typical modern two-link tracked transporter. All solutions and ideas typical for this class of technology were used in the project. At the same time, some changes were made related to the peculiarities of operation in the army. In particular, in the military modification, units of mainly domestic production are used.
"Aleut" is divided into two module links. The front link is designated as a power module. It has a separate cab for 5 people, including the driver. The power plant is placed behind the habitable compartment in its own casing. The rear link is made in the form of a transformable passenger module. Its habitable compartment can accommodate up to 15 people. Both cabins received noise and heat insulation, as well as autonomous heaters.
The main task of the army GAZ-3344-20 is the transportation of personnel in difficult terrain. A relatively comfortable overnight stay is also provided. At the same time, the possibility of re-equipment of the rear module is provided, as a result of which the snow and swamp vehicle becomes a specialized machine. The transporter can be turned into a command post, an ambulance, etc. The payload of the module reaches 2500 kg, which gives the customer a certain freedom of choice.
The all-terrain vehicle for the army is equipped with a YaMZ-53402-10 diesel engine of Yaroslavl production with a capacity of 190 hp. An automatic transmission is also used. The original transmission provides power transmission to the propellers of both links. One driveshaft from the transfer case goes into the nose of the front link, the other goes through the joint and drives the rear tracks.
The tracked chassis of two links has six rollers with independent suspension on board. The drive wheels are located in the nose of the hull. A wide track belt based on a rubber-metal hinge is used. Removable shoes are available for driving on hard surfaces. Specific ground pressure is on average 0.2-0.21 kg / cm2, which provides high permeability on different surfaces.
The two housings are connected by means of a hydraulically actuated articulation unit. This device provides controlled mutual movement of links in two planes. In addition, the propeller shaft of the rear chassis drive, as well as electrical and hydraulic lines, pass through it. Horizontal movements of the unit are responsible for turning the machine, and vertical ones are used to overcome obstacles.
The Aleut can carry light weapons. In the roof of the front link-module there is a hatch, in front of which there is a pivot mount for a machine gun of normal caliber. Probably, the all-terrain vehicle can receive other weapons.
The length of the GAZ-3344-20 car does not exceed 10 m, the width is 2.4 m, the height is 2.5 m along the body. Clearance - 430 mm. The curb weight reaches 8, 7 tons, the carrying capacity is 3, 5 tons. On the highway, the all-terrain vehicle develops a speed of up to 60 km / h, on water (by rewinding the tracks) up to 5 km / h. Low specific pressure allows for movement in snow and swampy areas. The movable articulation of the two hulls ensures overcoming of various obstacles, incl. overly complex for other classes of technology.
Off-road vehicles in the army
The first order for production vehicles GAZ-3344-20 appeared in 2017, and in the next 2018 such equipment entered the army. To date, more than 120 all-terrain vehicles have been built and delivered to the customer, and new orders and new lots are expected. The general needs of our armed forces for such equipment have not yet been announced.
According to known data, "Aleuts" were supplied to the formations of the coastal troops of the Northern Fleet, as well as parts of the Eastern Military District. The areas of their responsibility are distinguished by a harsh climate and, often, the absence of any roads. To solve combat missions in such conditions, special vehicles and combat vehicles are needed.
The two-link GAZ-3344-20 is considered as an alternative to existing models of automotive technology, which is characterized by high cross-country ability and mobility. In this role, it should complement other models and occupy an intermediate position between lighter snowmobiles or wheeled all-terrain vehicles and heavy two-link "Knights".
It should be borne in mind that the Aleut is not a full-fledged combat vehicle. He has no armor and faces a weapon limit. However, such an all-terrain vehicle does not need such qualities. It is seen as an alternative to trucks, but not armored personnel carriers. However, in the event of a clash, such an all-terrain vehicle can support the landing with fire.
For special tasks
Currently, the Russian armed forces are actively working to re-establish their presence and build up combat capabilities in remote regions. The Arctic or the Far East are distinguished by specific natural conditions and have certain limitations on infrastructure. As a result, troops in these regions need vehicles with special capabilities.
GAZ-3344-20 "Aleut" is one of the main means of solving this problem, and has already shown its capabilities during trials and during service. A significant number of such machines have been built, and production should continue. New equipment of other types is also being built. Thanks to this, the mobility of units in remote regions continues to grow - and has a positive effect on the defense of these lines.