Russia's Defense Ministry has started to develop amphibious armored engineer vehicles that are equipped with machine-guns, electronic countermeasure devices and GLONASS navigation system for its army.
The next-generation unified vehicles will be capable to withstand temperatures ranging from -40°C to +40°C and will be used for earth-moving works on the battlefield, as well under enemy fire.
It will move in advance of infantry or paratroopers, breaching obstacles (such as stone or tree entanglement), bridging ditches and, if necessary, ploughing minefields.
The development and engineering project has been named as “Gorets-O”, the Russian equivalent of the word “mountaineer”, Russia’s daily newspaper Izvestia reported on Thursday.
The “Gorets” will be equipped with a ditching scoop and backhoe, a hydraulic hammer, winches, a crane and other necessary equipment.
The projected development cost of the vehicle is $6.84 million. The first test of the pre-production model is set for 2017; if it is successful the vehicle will then enter the field.
The vehicle will be able to operate for 600 km without refueling and capable of working on site for at least three hours. It will substitute Russia’s Soviet-era IMR-2, IMR-3 armored breaching vehicles and BAT-M and BAT-2 military bulldozers.
The two-member crew will include a commanding officer and machine driver; a separate compartment may seat at least two combat-engineers.