Off-Season Maneuvering Warfare: Two-Segment All-terrain Armored Combat Vehicles

Off-Season Maneuvering Warfare: Two-Segment All-terrain Armored Combat Vehicles

The SVO in Ukraine showed how strongly seasonality affects the course of hostilities. Much of the time, the armed forces of both sides do not have the ability to conduct active maneuverable combat operations at all, since any ground equipment simply gets stuck in the mud, even tracked, even Tanks.

The problem is that in some regions, including Ukraine, the “off-season” can take up most of the year. A little earlier, the rains began in autumn - and now the off-season began in September. Autumn thaw smoothly flows into warm winter - there will be no frost, the soil will not seize, therefore, any offensive has a high risk of getting stuck in the mud. Spring has begun, and a series of snow, rains, thaws and frosts can provide equipment with “mud baths” until May. Thus, our off-season could potentially last nine months of the year, out of the available twelve.

At different times, on different continents

As a result, maneuvering combat operations almost completely stop, positional clashes, similar to the fighting during the First World War.

There is one more problem. Knowing the limitations of the existing ground equipment for movement on muddy soils, the enemy carries out mining of all routes that are more or less suitable for movement. Due to the need to move along predictable paths, a significant part of ground combat equipment is lost on minefields.

Is there any possibility to change this situation?

Two-link all-terrain vehicles

The vast territory of the Russian Federation includes a significant amount of complex, hard-to-reach terrain that requires special equipment to move around it. One of the answers to this challenge was the appearance of two-link all-terrain vehicles on caterpillar tracks, such as DT-10 and DT-30 Vityaz, with a carrying capacity of 10 and 30 tons, respectively, produced by the Ishimbay Transport Engineering Plant.

Two-link caterpillar conveyor DT-10P

These vehicles are designed to transport goods in difficult climatic conditions of the Far North, Siberia, the Far East, the Arctic and Antarctic on soils with low bearing capacity (swamp, virgin snow, off-road, rugged woodland) at an ambient temperature of minus 50 to plus 40 degrees Celsius. Machines with the designation "P" in the name can overcome water obstacles. The range of all-terrain vehicles "Vityaz" reaches 500 kilometers, the maximum speed is 37 kilometers per hour.

The average specific pressure on the ground of the Vityaz all-terrain vehicles is 0,3 kilograms per square centimeter. For comparison, the average ground pressure for the T-72 tank is 0,83-0,87 kilograms per square centimeter, for the T-80 tank - 0,84 kilograms per square centimeter, for the T-90 / T-90M tank - 0,97–0,98 kilograms per square centimeter, that is, 2,5–3 times more.

Two-link caterpillar conveyor DT-30P

For the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (RF Armed Forces), modifications have been created in the amphibious armored version DT-10PM and DT-30PM. Also, on the instructions of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (MO RF), the DT-3PB all-terrain vehicle was developed, which has a payload capacity of 3 tons and a speed of up to 55 kilometers per hour.

Two-link all-terrain vehicle DT-3PB

The high cross-country ability and carrying capacity of two-link tracked transporters makes it possible to create on their basis a line of combat vehicles designed for operations in the off-season, when enemy mobile forces are not capable of active operations.

Presumably, the optimal solution could be the creation of battalion tactical groups (BTGs), consisting of two-link armored combat vehicles (DBMs) for various purposes based on DT-30PM tracked carriers.

Of course, BTGs, built on the basis of two-link armored fighting vehicles, will not be able to fight on equal terms with full-fledged heavy enemy ground units, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), with the support of artillery and infantry.

The actions of the BTG, designed to work in the off-season, should be based on the principle of "hit and run".

Advance behind enemy lines along routes impassable for other types of equipment, strike at a railway junction, ammunition or fuel depots, artillery positions, hunt HIMARS, disrupt enemy supply routes, and so on. In some cases, the BTG of the off-season can attack the advancing enemy from the rear or undercut the base of the enemy grouping, which advanced deep into our positions during its offensive.

What DBBM should be included in the BTG, designed for conducting maneuverable combat operations in the off-season?

DBBM air defense (air defense)

With this direction, everything is relatively simple, as we said above, as part of the creation of the Russian Arctic group, anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) "Tor-M2DT" and "Pantsir-SA" were developed.

SAM "Tor-M2DT" (left) and "Pantsir-SA" (right)

Having abandoned those components that are vital in the conditions of the Far North, but not particularly in demand in the middle lane, the released mass reserve can be used to increase the security of the former Arctic two-link BM.

In the context of the active use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the enemy, effective means are needed to counter both reconnaissance UAVs and kamikaze UAVs, therefore it is desirable to add highly effective DBBM electronic intelligence (RTR) and electronic warfare (EW) to the above air defense systems.

DBBM - self-propelled artillery installations (ACS) and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS)

Unlike air defense systems, there is much less information about self-propelled guns and MLRS placed on two-link tracked carriers. Presumably, the Russian Defense Ministry has a fairly well-developed project of the Magnolia self-propelled guns of 120 mm caliber with a firing range of up to 10 kilometers.

SAU "Magnolia"

There is also a concept for placing a Grad-type MLRS with a caliber of 122 mm based on a two-link tracked conveyor.

Image of the Grad-type MLRS, caliber 122 mm, based on a two-link tracked conveyor

What is missing? There is not enough full-fledged self-propelled guns of 152 mm caliber, for example, with a tower from self-propelled guns 2S19 "Msta-S". As we said above, the carrying capacity of the two-link tracked transporter DT-30PM is 30 tons, and the combat weight of the 2S19 Msta-S is 42 tons, of which a significant part is the mass of the undercarriage, as unified as possible with the T-80 tank, that is, the reserve in terms of weight, for installing a turret from self-propelled guns 2S19 "Msta-S" on a two-link tracked transporter DT-30PM should be very significant.

At the same time, the firing range of the 2S19 Msta-S is 2,5–3 times greater than the firing range of 120 mm caliber guns, and this is what mobile ground groups operating in the off-season deep in enemy territory need.

Given the maneuverable nature of the war and the difficulty of replenishing ammunition, all ammunition for the above DBBMs must be guided. At the very least, most of them. For MLRS, thermobaric munitions similar to those used in the TOS-1A "Solntsepyok" can be created, designed to destroy the enemy in buildings and structures.


The DBBM, designed for a massive launch, can expand the capabilities of the off-season BTG to defeat enemy targets. UAV-kamikaze. For example, something like an analogue of the Chinese "MLRS-UAV", capable of launching dozens of kamikaze UAVs.

Chinese approach to the use of kamikaze UAVs

Potentially, on the basis of the DT-30PM, a DBBM of the MLRS-UAV type can be created, firing something like a kamikaze UAV of the Lancet type in a variant with folding wings. As the experience of the SVO shows, Lancet-type kamikaze UAVs are very effectively used by the RF Armed Forces to destroy the latest Western armored vehicles, for example, from the latter, the German PZ-2000 self-propelled guns, transferred by former Nazis to the current ones, were destroyed.

DBBM melee

It is unlikely that the BTG based on the DBBM, designed for conducting maneuverable combat operations in the off-season, will be able to fight on equal terms with enemy armored vehicles, including tanks, in direct combat. However, sometimes such situations can arise unexpectedly. Thus, for a direct collision with the enemy, a certain number of two-link combat vehicles with weapons designed for this are necessary.

There are several working options to consider. The first is a DBBM with a turret from the 2S25 Sprut-SD light tank. The 125-mm cannon mounted on it can hit the entire range of enemy armored vehicles in close combat, including main battle tanks (MBTs).

Light tank 2S25 "Sprut-SD"

The second option is to use the turret from the tank support combat vehicle (BMPT) "Terminator".

BMPT "Terminator"

In the above combination of DBBM with a turret, the BMPT should be assigned the task of hitting enemy armored vehicles at long range using anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), as well as destroying enemy tank-dangerous manpower with fire from 30-mm automatic cannons, while DBBM with 125-mm cannon must fight at close range.

DBBM-BTR (armored personnel carrier)

Given the maneuverable nature of the combat operations of the promising off-season BTG, its interaction with a large number of infantry is hardly possible, however, it will not be possible to abandon it. It can be assumed that the off-season BTG landing will include fighters of sabotage and reconnaissance groups (DRGs), aircraft controllers, crews of anti-tank missile systems (ATGM), sappers, doctors and a certain number of motorized riflemen as a priority.

There is another important point. The off-season BTG survivability largely depends on its mobility - the less time the BTG spends motionless, the higher the chances that it will not be attacked by MLRS, artillery, kamikaze UAVs or enemy mobile units.

The option of having interchangeable crews for the DBBM can be considered, which will allow the BTG to practically not stop in the process of conducting hostilities.

DBM-BTR should not be equipped with large-sized combat modules, compact remote-controlled weapon modules (DUMV) are quite enough, including a 12,7 mm machine gun and a 30 mm grenade launcher, or compact module with rapid-fire 30 mm automatic cannon. The saved mass is better spent on strengthening armor protection, and the released volumes will allow the fighters to accommodate comfortably.

DUMVs with 30 mm automatic cannons can be quite compact - the M230LF 30 mm automatic cannon on a ground-based remote-controlled robotic complex and on a stationary, manually controlled turret


Of course, this material does not consider all samples of DBBM, which should be used as part of the off-season BTG. Auxiliary vehicles should be added to them - trucks, repair vehicles, demining vehicles and much more.

Does it even make sense to bother with the creation of such specific types of military equipment?

Definitely yes. And the point here is not only in the SVO, although this operation, like a litmus test, highlights the advantages and disadvantages of existing concepts - after all, what's the point in powerful armored shock fists if after a couple of kilometers they stupidly get stuck in the mud or blow up on mines if you risk driving along roads? The climate is changing, winters are getting milder, the soil does not freeze, which means that the need for armored vehicles capable of operating on muddy soils will only increase. At the same time, paved roads quickly fail, in addition, they can be mined and targeted by enemy artillery.

In real reality, when confronting approximately equal opponents with modern high-tech armed forces, there will not be many chances for a maneuver war - aviation, artillery, MLRS and reconnaissance and strike UAVs together are capable of disrupting almost any full-scale ground offensive - of course, we are talking about opponents of approximately equal capabilities.

Thus, only ground units of a limited size will have chances for maneuver warfare, presumably, they could be battalion tactical groups operating in the “hit and run” format - a kind of mechanized sabotage and reconnaissance units of the XNUMXst century.
31 comment
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  1. +20
    April 26 2023 05: 17
    Nope. Not in that steppe. The purpose of the two-link is not simply increased cross-country ability. And the increased cross-country ability, coupled with a heavy kung isolated from the external environment - it’s cold, damn it, to haul shells at -50, for example! Therefore, they will go for the Arctic, for Ukraine they are not needed. These are UNARMORED transporters.
    We cross out the kung - and look, is there anything similar? Eat. MT-LB, its pressure on the ground is plus or minus the same, if the only question is to drag something, it will drag it with a bang, but under fire that any two-link, that MT-LB - they are the same plywood.
    But after all, a motorcycle league is stupidly simpler, and therefore more reliable and much cheaper. In a two-link, the clutch assembly itself with torque transmission is complicated, expensive, unreliable - and you can’t book it in any way, an infantry fighting vehicle from it is like a bullet from something. And this is not to mention the fact that 10 two-link all-terrain vehicles are nothing at all, but already a hundred motorcycle leagues are quite a supply. And for the money, I think it will be about the same. And do not forget that an ideally hefty loaf crawling from 35 km / h is a clear suicide bomber. And the squat and very agile motorcycle league is almost twice as fast - you see it first, that’s why they even use it on the front end in the Donbas all the way - you first try to see it
    1. +2
      April 26 2023 15: 45
      Quote from Bingo
      We cross out the kung - and look, is there anything similar? Eat. MT-LB

      Как Guskov motorcycle league? Motorcycle league again? Why motorcycle league? smile

      How much can you mock a light armored multi-purpose tractor? After all, he has been serving since 1964. And after all, each army, into whose hands this miracle fell, considered it their duty to invent and embody in metal as many ways as possible for its inappropriate use. smile
    2. 0
      April 28 2023 12: 20
      However, the enemy thinks differently. It has been reported that Germany is buying a couple of hundred BvS 10s. That is, they believe that two-link transporters are quite suitable for the European theater of operations.
  2. +10
    April 26 2023 05: 20
    battalion tactical teams operating in the hit-and-run format
    The author is well done, he calculated everything both the mass and the pressure on the ground, except for the speed. Well, what kind of "Hit and Run" with a maximum speed of 37 km / h without a load?
    What kind of destruction of "tank-dangerous manpower" with 30 mm machine guns, with the current development of infantry anti-tank weapons and no armor?
    Completely niche machines for polar swamps and tundra and polar snow and ice, when there is absolutely no other way.
  3. +4
    April 26 2023 06: 14
    expensive, not realistic, not practical. it’s easier and cheaper to crush with blobs
  4. +3
    April 26 2023 06: 30
    "The sleep of reason gives birth to monsters," and if you can also cut the budget on this, then there are no restrictions at all, and such crocozyabrs are born. My first thought when I saw THIS for the first time.
    Where and against what forces will they be used? Far North? Tundra? Solid ice? There, the enemy, apart from the MTR forces with light weapons, with the support of aviation, will not use anything. You will have to answer symmetrically (or are we again for an asymmetric answer? laughing). The only ones, at least somehow justified, are air defense systems on these chassis.
    Thus, only ground units of a limited size will have chances for maneuver warfare, presumably, they could be battalion tactical groups operating in the “hit and run” format - a kind of mechanized sabotage and reconnaissance units of the XNUMXst century.

    The author, how do such actions solve the crisis of positioning caused by off-road (this is what the article began with)? Not at all in my opinion request. A BTG equipped with such equipment is doomed in a collision with a "normal" enemy.
  5. +2
    April 26 2023 06: 48
    Combat offensive operations in muddy conditions are unacceptable unequivocally. Even the trenches are difficult to navigate there. Therefore, the tactics used now are optimal. The proposed technique is not even bad, but for certain purposes and conditions. The times when guns were pulled by horses or carried on their hands are long gone and thank God and engineers. And only trench warfare remains in the mudslide, to destroy manpower and equipment using various means of destruction, including the WTO and the Aerospace Forces. And Russia still has obvious advantages here. We must continue to beat the Nazis to exhaustion, wait and prepare ...
  6. +4
    April 26 2023 09: 10
    Another portion of "Mitrofanovshchina". The author didn't even think about it.
    The range of all-terrain vehicles "Vityaz" reaches 500 kilometers, the maximum speed is 37 kilometers per hour.

    - This is for a flat dry road. And on rough terrain, in muddy conditions, these figures will be many times lower. Against this background and with the current means of observation, the author's "hit and run" looks, to put it mildly, not very adequate.
    As for the "DBBM for various purposes" proposed by the author, all this is already there.

    In the photo - DT-BTR with a combat module BM-30-D. There is an option with a 12,7-mm Utes machine gun. The car has been present at exhibitions since 2015.

    The project of the "polar tank" based on the DT-30PM. Also 2015.

    And with the use of this technique in the NWO, the author was also ahead of them.

    This is the armored DT-30PM "Omnipresent", which the Armed Forces of Ukraine got as a trophy after the "Kharkov regrouping".
  7. +8
    April 26 2023 09: 12
    The author's imagination is too rich to realize this on a scale. Unreal. The author writes that the shells must be high-precision. Yeah I do not mind. And who will make them in such a quantity?
    Didn't read the article to the end. Fantasy can be read more interesting on other resources
    1. +3
      April 26 2023 10: 57
      About the article, similarly. It's time to disperse everyone, put the author at the head of the Ministry of Defense and all kinds of design bureaus, and there will be general happiness. "The sleep of reason produces monsters".
  8. +1
    April 26 2023 10: 18
    Everything is interesting (thanks to my colleague Sergey_84 for the photo of the polar tank), but, apart from the objections already expressed by others, how many funds are there that can be used in Ukraine?
    1. 0
      April 26 2023 10: 41
      In Ukraine, all means will be used, except for nuclear weapons, but in due time.
      1. +1
        April 26 2023 12: 40
        Your statement of principle. but you don't answer the question. From this I conclude that even single copies will go to Ukraine. hi
  9. -1
    April 26 2023 10: 40
    It would be necessary to organize the combat use of all types of weapons, otherwise a bunch of forelocks stood up, and only one of our tanks shoots, and our drone is watching and nothing else happens, how is that?! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  10. aba
    April 26 2023 11: 54
    I personally have the feeling that there is almost nothing new in the active troops, everything else is in reviews, parades, biathlons and darts. Although the same Vityaz comes from the 70s.
    In the early 80s, a group made a course project for a two-link tractor, based on the experience of the Finnish Elk. About Vityaz, even we, students of Baumanka, knew nothing.
    1. +1
      April 26 2023 12: 55
      About Vityaz, even we, students of Baumanka, knew nothing.

      I first saw him at the training ground of military unit 20115 in Ostrogozhsk in 84, he was already tested with might and main along the ravines.
    2. +1
      April 26 2023 14: 47
      Although the same Vityaz comes from the 70s.
      In the early 80s, a group made a course project for a two-link tractor, based on the experience of the Finnish Elk. About Vityaz, even we, students of Baumanka, knew nothing.

      And the idea itself comes from the 50s. And in the 70s, the idea was already widely used.

      Flattrack Nodwell. 1975
    3. 0
      April 26 2023 14: 52
      About Vityaz, even we, students of Baumanka, knew nothing.

      Baumanka didn’t seem to be engaged in 2-link?
      but there was an armored personnel carrier in the yard, for training cadets of the VK.
      Saveliev seems to have received a tower in the EKB (but this is not accurate), and the first car was rolled out in 1981
  11. 0
    April 26 2023 14: 40
    Quote: Andrey Mitrofanov
    Advance behind enemy lines along routes impassable for other types of equipment, strike at a railway junction, ammunition or fuel depots, artillery positions, hunt HIMARS, disrupt enemy supply routes, and so on.

    IN THE REAR? Are my eyes confused?
    The guys who walk behind the ribbon with their feet went into hysterical laughter.
    It is easier for PySy to strike an airstrike on Kyiv on a Yak-52 than to try to rustle in the rear of the Armed Forces on this (good) machine.
    There is aviation to kill the Himars.
    I recommend the author to ask the manufacturer's factory:
    -how much does one item cost?
    - production time
    Will be pleasantly disappointed.
    1. 0
      April 26 2023 22: 27
      And Khrushchev proposed to develop an underground tank that would dive underground and emerge behind enemy lines ... And you are talking about the Yak-52 ..... laughing
  12. -3
    April 26 2023 18: 15
    By the way, why even "tread on the mud"? Where is the Airborne Forces, ay! Where are the airmobile units? Let the enemy wallow in the mud when you can simply capture his rear, through his "head", and cut off from supplies, like the Germans in Stalingrad
    1. 0
      April 26 2023 23: 52
      Now, suddenly, it is 2023, WWII has long ended, anti-aircraft missiles and radars and even MANPADS have appeared - this is if for some reason you missed the last 80 years
  13. 0
    April 26 2023 19: 51
    It’s easier to do something on low-pressure tires than to fasten an Arctic all-terrain vehicle to Ukraine.
  14. 0
    April 26 2023 21: 33
    Nice, but no. It is much cheaper to send a swarm of different types of UAVs.
    For movements in the database zone, the speed is too small and the dimensions are too big, a well-marked target is obtained. The BTG will generally be like a herd of elephants on a pasture, a sort of fat target for the MLRS.
    Their destiny is the transportation of goods over difficult terrain. And small, lightly armored DBBMs are suitable for DRG work.
    The development of combat vehicles for the Arctic and hard-to-reach places is justified only by year-round off-road, where the use of other equipment is impossible in principle.
  15. 0
    April 26 2023 22: 43
    Thanks for the interesting stuff!
    About ours in detail. A little about China.
    And about the fact that there is something similar in the USA, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and other countries that are now our opponents? Do the enemies have nothing? Or are the enemies doing so well that it’s better not to write about it on VO?
  16. +1
    April 26 2023 23: 48
    Is it possible to make a separate section on the site: Non-science fiction? So that you can immediately skip such nonsense and not waste time.
  17. 0
    April 27 2023 06: 52
    To transport goods, you can use all-terrain vehicles on low-pressure tires from 4 wheel type Typhoon to 8 wheel type Shaman, which can not only walk through mud, but also walk through swamps and swim on water.
  18. 0
    April 27 2023 13: 05
    Birdman's dreams. The most cross-eyed will not miss. Yes, and it’s not clear why these two-link things are suddenly more passable? They are clearly not that flexible.
  19. 0
    2 May 2023 19: 06
    There is no such word "Vdar" (yard slang) !!! There is "hit". If you write articles for the media, you need to know this. In the same way as "real reality" should not be, tk. this "butter oil" is a tautology.
    In the article itself, there is absolutely no technical justification for the advantages of such a scheme. Especially in maneuverable tactical combat. And therefore, it can only be the opinion of the author himself ...
  20. 0
    3 October 2023 23: 13
    No one will bother creating such specific types of military equipment.
  21. 0
    4 October 2023 03: 29
    Everything for the muddy road has already been done...
    Just don’t need the old songs about replacing internal tracks, Kostenki has read a lot...