The MT-LB (Russian: Многоцелевой Тягач Легкий Бронированный, romanizedMnogotselevoy tyagach legky bronirovanny, literally "multi-purpose towing vehicle light armored") is a Soviet multi-purpose, fully amphibious, tracked armored fighting vehicle in use since the 1950s. It is also produced in Poland, where (starting in the mid-1990s) its YaMZ engine was replaced by a Polish version.[1]

TypeArmored personnel carrier
Infantry fighting vehicle
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In servicelate 1950s – present
Used bySee Operators
Production history
DesignerCentral Auto and Tractor Directorate
ManufacturerKharkiv Tractor Plant
Mass11.9 tonnes (13.1 short tons; 11.7 long tons)
Length6.45 m (21 ft 2 in)
Width2.86 m (9 ft 5 in)
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Crew2 (+ 11 passengers)

Armor14 mm max.
7.62 mm PKT machine-gun (2,500 rounds) or 12.7mm NSV or Kord machine gun or 30mm autocannon (2A42 or 2A72)
AGS-17D or AGS-30 grenade launcher
EngineYaMZ 238, V-8 diesel
240 hp at 2,100 rpm
Power/weight20 hp/tonne
SuspensionTorsion bar
500 km (310 mi) (road)
Maximum speed 61 km/h (38 mph) (road)
30 km/h (19 mph) (off-road)
5 to 6 km/h (3.7 MPH) (in the water)


In the 1950s, the Soviet Central Auto and Tractor Directorate began a development program to replace the AT-P series of artillery tractors (which were based on the ASU-57 airborne self-propelled gun) with a new generation of vehicles. The MT-L was developed to meet this requirement based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank chassis. The MT-LB is the armored variant of the MT-L. Entering production in the early 1970s, it was cheap to build, being based on many existing components, e.g. the engine, which was originally developed for trucks. It is built at the Kharkiv Tractor Plant[2] and under license in Poland by Huta Stalowa Wola[3] and Bulgaria.[4][5]


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.[6]

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 armored against small arms and shell splinters with a thickness of 3 to 10 mm of steel with a maximum of 14 mm for the turret front.[7]


Former USSREdit

  • MT-L
    • MT-LB (izdeliye 6) – basic model, often used as simple APC but also as artillery tractor or ambulance. In the West the term MT-LB Blade or MT-LB M1980 is used for vehicles that are fitted with a hydraulic dozer blade.[citation needed]

Russian FederationEdit

  • MT-LBM (izdeliye 6M) – MT-LB modernization developed by Muromteplovoz in the 1990s. It can be fitted with several different turrets.[citation needed]
  • 2S24 – mortar carrier with 2B24 (or 2B14 "Podnos") 82 mm mortar and 83 rounds. The GRAU designation for the carrier vehicle, mortar, and ammunition is 2K32 "Deva". The 2S24 was designed by TsNII "Burevestnik" and has a crew of five. In service with RF Interior Ministry.[8][9]
  • MT-LBVMK – a modification of MT-LBVM with "Kord" 12.7 mm machine gun instead of NSVT 12.7 mm.[10]
  • TorosArctic adapted vehicle developed by Muromteplovoz based on the MT-LB chassis, armed with a 30mm autocannon 2A42, PKMT 7.62mm machine gun, and 30mm AGS-17D grenade launcher, and equipped with a snowplow. Toros is able to operate in −45 °C.[11][12]


  • Bulgaria has various models of the MT-LB in service, as of 2016.[13] Along with the base model, between 1971 and 2012 Bulgaria manufactures MT-LB VM variation with improved snow and swamp-going capabilities.[14][15]
Ex-East German MT-LB used by US Marines in the OPFOR role.

East GermanyEdit

  • MT-LB (Pi) – combat engineer vehicle.[16]
  • MT-LB (Pzj) – version for anti-tank units.
  • MT-LB (Pzj Fü) – command vehicle for anti-tank units.
  • MT-LB (BO) SFL – battery command vehicle in self-propelled artillery units.
  • San MT-LB – ambulance
  • MTP-LB – technical support vehicle.


Iraqi MT-LB converted into a SPAAG armed with a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun.
Iraqi MT-LBV fitted with wider tracks.
  • MT-LB converted into a SPAAG by mounting a ZU-23-2 23×152mm twin anti-aircraft gun on the rear part of the vehicle. The gun had its wheels removed and as such cannot be easily dismounted and used separately. There were at least two variations of this conversion; one with the ZU-23-2 mounted in an open-topped turret, the other with the ZU-23-2 mounted on a platform extending beyond the hull of the MT-LB with a roof for the gun operators. The second version was most likely intended to be used in a fire support role, as the roof would hinder the gun's sights at high elevation.[17]


Polish HSW S.A. (Huta Stalowa Wola S.A.) license produced MT-LB since 1976, and it also developed a modified chassis SPG-2, with better floating capabilities.[18]

  • MT-LB-2AP – APC variant with a turret from SKOT-2AP, armed with high elevation 14.5mm KPVT MG and 7.62mm PKT CMG. Prototype only.
  • WEM Lotos – medical evacuation vehicle with four stretchers.
  • WPT Mors – armored recovery and repair vehicle, produced from 1983.
  • R-137T (radiostacja ruchoma UKF) – signals vehicle with VHF radio set R-137. Entered service in 1987 and has a range of 70 to 150 km.
    • ZWD-1 "Irys" (zautomatyzowany wóz dowodzenia) – command vehicle, belongs to the automated command set "Irys".
  • MT-LB-23M "Krak" – APC variant with a 23 mm gun in an unmanned turret. Prototype only.
  • Promet – self-propelled AA gun with twin 23 mm guns, from 1979. Four prototypes only.
  • "Przebiśnieg" – electronic warfare system, consists of three different vehicles:
    • SZ or MT-LB Z (stacja zakłóceń) – EW/Jamming vehicle;
    • SR or MT-LB R (stacja rozpoznania) – Comint/Sigint vehicle;
    • WD krel – command post vehicle (wóz dowodzenia kompanii radioelektronicznej).
  • SPG-2 – much-modified base vehicle, with reworked nose section and hydro jets for better floating:[18]
    • TRI Hors – engineering reconnaissance vehicle, built in series from 1983, armed with 12.7mm NSVT AAMG mounted on a turret;[18]
    • WPT Mors-II – armored recovery and repair vehicle, produced from 1986, armed with 12.7mm NSVT AAMG mounted on a turret;[18]
    • Opal-I and Opal-II – artillery command vehicles, with a turret with NSWT-12.7 Utios: Opal-I with a 245 hp (180 kW) turbocharged diesel engine SW680/167/1, Opal-II with a 300 hp (220 kW) engine SW680T (YaMZ-238N) and a longer chassis with 7 road wheels on each side.[19] Prototypes only.
    • BWO-40 – infantry fighting vehicle with 40 mm Bofors gun. A similar turret was mounted on the BWP-40 (BMP-1 upgrade). Prototype only.


Swedish MT-LB converted into Pbv 401
  • Pbv 401 (pansarbandvagn) – modified a former East-German vehicle with 7.62 mm machine guns Ksp 95 and Ksp 58.[citation needed]


Map of MT-LB operators in blue, with former operators in red

Current operatorsEdit

Bangladesh Army MT-LB on exhibition.
Lithuanian army MT-LB on exhibition.

Former operatorsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "MT-LB multipurpose tracked armoured vehicle technical data sheet specifications pictures video". Archived from the original on 3 November 2018.
  2. ^ vehicles Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Archived 11 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Light Armoured Multipurpose Tracked Tractor MTLB
  4. ^ "US Analyst Expects Bulgaria to Renew Production of BMP Armored Vehicles". 1 March 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Bulgaria has signed contract for sale of 500 MT-LB multirole tracked armored vehicles to Iraq". Army Recognition. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  6. ^ Pike, John (16 January 2000). "MT-LB Multipurpose Armoured Vehicle". Federation of American Scientist Military Analysis Network. Retrieved 21 July 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "MT-LB Light Armored Multi-purpose Vehicle". Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  8. ^ "JSC CRI "Burevestnik"/ 82 mm 2K32 MORTAR SYSTEM". Archived from the original on 18 April 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  9. ^ "ЦНИИ "Буревестник" в 2011 году отгрузит Венесуэле 48 мобильных минометных комплексов | «НТА Приволжье» Новости Н. Новгорода". Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  10. ^ Транспортер-тягач МТ-ЛБ ВМК (in Russian). Muromteplovoz. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Russia could order Toros tracked armoured vehicle for military units deployed in the Arctic Region". Archived from the original on 3 November 2018.
  12. ^ Behrendt, Paweł (11 October 2015). "Nowa wersja MT-LB dla brygad arktycznych".
  13. ^ a b The Military Balance 2017, p. 97.
  14. ^ Петров, Генерал-майор (рез.) Петър Петров (9 May 2016). "Бойната техника, произведена в комбината „Девети май", Червен бряг, още е на въоръжение в армията". Отбрана.com (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  15. ^ Александрова, Галина (24 April 1995). "Министерството на промишлеността търси решение за лошите кредити на военните заводи". (in Bulgarian). Economedia. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  16. ^ Gau L-R., Plate J., Siegert J. (2001) Deutsche Militärfahrzeuge – Bundeswehr und NVA. Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02152-8
  17. ^ Jim Webster. "MT-LB [ZU-23 – Iraq] tracked armoured fire support vehicle". Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  18. ^ a b c d Jerzy Kajetanowicz, Prace nad rozwojem sprzętu pancernego w Polsce – przegląd lat 1955–1990 in: Poligon nr.5/2010, pp.12–18 (in Polish)
  19. ^ "Lekki samobieżny zestaw przeciwlotniczy Sopel/Stalagmit" (in Polish). Militarium. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  20. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 199.
  21. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 201.
  22. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (2021). The Military Balance. p. 448. ISBN 9781032012278.
  23. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 274.
  24. ^ @CalibreObscura (2 June 2021). "#Nigeria: An ex-NA ("Upgraded") MT-LB recaptured by the NA after an attack by ISWA, which appears to have been foil…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 203.
  26. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 508.
  27. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 511.
  28. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 109.
  29. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 205.
  30. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 380.
  31. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 206.
  32. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 209.
  33. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 316.
  34. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 528.
  35. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 136.
  36. ^ Mitzer, Stijn; Oliemans, Joost (29 October 2021). "Kurdish Armour: Inventorising YPG Equipment In Northern Syria". Oryx Blog.
  37. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 212.
  38. ^ "В России модернизируют бронетранспортер МТ-ЛБ". 14 May 2018. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  39. ^ "Russian Naval Infantry to receive MLBSH armored tractors for Arctic operations | April 2019 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2019 | Archive News year". Archived from the original on 28 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  40. ^ "ЦАМТО / / Горные мотострелки ЮВО получили партию модернизированных бронированных тягачей-транспортеров".
  41. ^ "ЦАМТО / / На учениях в ЗВО впервые применили модифицированные бронированные тягачи в качестве платформы для ЗУ-23".
  42. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 228.
  43. ^ John Pike. "Ground Forces Equipment – Ukraine". Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  44. ^ "Drgnęło w eksporcie broni".
  45. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 472.
  46. ^ Mitzer, Stijn; Oliemans, Joost. "Vehicles and equipment captured by the Islamic State inside Syria until November 2014". Oryx Blog.
  47. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 133.
  48. ^ The Military Balance 2017, p. 145.
  49. ^ "Puolustusvoimat hankkii miehistönkuljetusajoneuvoja". The Finnish Defence Forces. 24 March 2011. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  50. ^ Kočevar, Iztok (August 2014). "Micmac à tire-larigot chez Tito: L'arme blindée yougoslave durant la Guerre froide" [The Yugoslav armored arm during the Cold War]. Batailles et Blindés (in French). No. 62. Caraktère. pp. 66–79. ISSN 1765-0828.


External linksEdit