A left front view of a Soviet MT-LB multi-purpose tracked vehicle on display at Bolling Air Force Base
Type Armored personnel carrier
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service late 1960s - present
Weight 11.9 tonnes (13.1 short tons; 11.7 long tons)
Length 6.45 m (21 ft 2 in)
Width 2.86 m (9 ft 5 in)
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Crew 2 (+ 11 passengers)

Armor 14 mm max.
7.62 mm PKT machine-gun
2,500 rounds
Engine YaMZ 238, V-8 diesel
240 hp at 2,100 rpm
Power/weight 20 hp/tonne
Suspension Torsion bar
500 km (310 mi) (road)
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)

The MT-LB (Russian: Многоцелевой Тягач Легкий Бронированный, Mnogotselevoy Tyagach Legky Bronirovanny / Light Multi-Purpose Armoured Towing Vehicle) is a Soviet multi-purpose fully amphibious auxiliary armoured tracked vehicle, which was first introduced in the late 1960s. Initially, the vehicle was known as the M 1970 in the west.


In the 1970s, 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 armoured 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[1] and under license in Poland by Huta Stalowa Wola[2] and Bulgaria.


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.

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 armoured against small arms and shell splinters with a thickness of 3 to 10 mm of steel. The infantry compartment has two hatches over the top, which open forwards. There are four firing ports - one in either side of the hull, the other two in the rear twin doors of the infantry compartment.

The driver is provided with a TVN-2 infra-red periscope, which in combination with the OU-3GK infra-red/white light search light provides a range of about 40 m. All vehicles include an NBC system.


Former USSR



Ex-East German MT-LB used by US Marines in the OPFOR role

East Germany

Iraqi MT-LBV fitted with wider tracks


Iraqi MT-LB converted into a SPAAG armed with a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun.


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.[8]


Swedish MT-LB converted into Pbv 401


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

Current operators

Lithuanian army MT-LB on exhibition.
MT-LB of the Nigerian Army, captured by Boko Haram, destroyed during military operations in March 2015. Near Marrabara, Adamawa State, May 2015

Former operators

See also


  1. HTZ-3H-road vehicles
  2. Light Armoured Multipurpose Tracked Tractor MTLB
  3. "JSC CRI "Burevestnik"/ 82mm 2K32 MORTAR SYSTEM". Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  4. "Транспортер-тягач МТ-ЛБ ВМК" (in Russian). Muromteplovoz. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  5. "Транспортные модификации машины МТ-ЛБ" [Transport modifications of the MT-LB vehicle]. (in Russian). 19 April 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  6. Gau L-R., Plate J., Siegert J. (2001) Deutsche Militärfahrzeuge - Bundeswehr und NVA. Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02152-8
  7. Jim Webster. "MT-LB [ZU-23 - Iraq] tracked armoured fire support vehicle". Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Jerzy Kajetanowicz, Prace nad rozwojem sprzętu pancernego w Polsce - przegląd lat 1955-1990 in: Poligon nr.5/2010, pp.12-18 (in Polish)
  9. "Lekki samobieżny zestaw przeciwlotniczy Sopel/Stalagmit". Militarium. Retrieved 2016-10-05. (Polish)
  10. John Pike (2012-09-27). "Belarus Army Equipment". Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  11. 1 2 "Puolustusvoimat hankkii miehistönkuljetusajoneuvoja". The Finnish Defence Forces. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  12. "Борисов спазари наши бронирани машини за Ирак" (in Bulgarian). 30 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  13. "MT-LB - Contracts, Orders & Sales". Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  14. "Wojsko Polskie - Uzbrojenie". Militarium. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  15. The Military Balance 2010, IISS
  16. "MT-LB - Russian Military Analysis". Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  17. John Pike. "Ground Forces Equipment - Ukraine". Retrieved 2013-03-22.


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