Is there anything this crawler can’t cross?

I came across this video clip of the Russian Vityaz amphibious tractor, and was amazed by how well it crosses all sorts of terrain. See for yourself.

I’m used to offroading in Africa, where dust, rocks and sand are much more common than mud, snow and ice;  so this sort of capability is new to me.  If any readers have seen this thing in operation, or Western equivalents, I’d love to learn more about them.  Please let us know in Comments.



  1. No Peter there is nothing in the US inventory that even comes close to this in capability. In fact the thirty plus year old heavy divisions have for the most part been superseded by light armored(aluminum) cars. The tanks APCs and "soft skinned" transport placed in storage, sold off or scraped. The US Army of 2013 is less well armed and less capable than the "Berlin Brigade" of 1963.

  2. Much interesting. The video doesn't show it, but it appears that the traile4rs aren't simple "drag behinds" but either have their own power or PTO from the lead vehicle to drive their own track.

    I guess the DOD isn't quite smart enough to buy a couple and reverse engineer them, but I'd think there would be several private sector contracting outfits that could use the capability they offer.

  3. The USMC AAV (LVT-7 series) has similar capability without the trailer. I'd be a little concerned about the semi-submerged window that, if fractured, would sink the vehicle.

    The cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program developed a bus-sized 75-ton vehicle that actually would plain in excess of 20 knots. The Marines are still pursuing a high-water speed vehicle that will serve as an APC on land, possibly with added armor kits for IED protection once ashore.


  4. As well as the Snow Cat mentioned by Old NCO, there was the Twister that Lockheed designed in the 60's and the TerraCruzer that carried a Mace missile in the 50's. Also, don't the USMC have some fairly serious hovercraft?

  5. I don't think the US has any, but the Brits, Canadians, Swedes and other Scandinavians have the BV-206.

    Uses Mercedes running gear and the rear compartment/trailer is also driven by a PTO.

    There is also a lightly armoured version.

  6. Actually the US does have something similar, though smaller. In 6th ID we had the SUSV (M-973) which is a BV-206 as referenced by Paul. It would go through whatever you like, amphibious and would go through any depth of snow as long as you could get on top of it.

  7. "Is there anything this crawler can't cross?"

    Chuck Norris, because nothing and no-one can cross Chuck Norris.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Seriously, that is an impressive piece of kit. The USSR's military demanded and got the best engineers and materials 'for defence of the Rodina' and the consumer goods division got the dregs, hence the Moscowvitz sedan, a dumbed down Fiat 125, as the worker's car.


  8. It's very similar in concept to the ubiquitous Swedish Hägglunds BV-206 (now superseded by the BV-209). They have been basic equipment in the Royal Marine inventory for decades, for use in arctic and/or boggy terrain (a number of Fire departments use them too). Second-hand they are used in forestry, etc. a friend has one (they own a pub in an area regularly snowed in) – noisy, almost unstoppable and great fun to drive.

    I'm not sure whether I want one of these:

    or one of the Icelandic Toyota Hilux 'modifications' for my daily commute. I'd settle for an Alvis Stalwart though.

  9. I agree with Able. I've seen the Hägglands tractor running in snow, and as I recall, there is a drive shaft to the second unit.

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