Military Starting Trials of Russian Engineering Vehicle Impervious to Radiation
21:56 04.01.2019(updated 22:44 04.01.2019)
Russian armoured vehicle maker Uralvagonzavod first showed off its new engineering vehicle, based on the chassis of the T-90 main battle tank, at the Army-2018 military technical forum outside Moscow last summer.
State trials of the Universal Armoured Engineering Machine (Russian acronym UBIM) will kick off this year, the communications department of the Russian ministry of defence confirmed Friday.
According to the ministry, trials will include operating the vehicle in conditions of enemy fire, and in areas contaminated by radiation.
"The vehicle outclasses modern foreign analogues in a number of characteristics, and has wider functional capabilities," the defence ministry boasted in a statement.
After debuting at Army-2018, the UBIM was quickly dubbed the "Battle Scorpion" by Russian media for its aggressive silhouette, dozer blade and 'stinger', the rear boom used to pick up rubble and manipulate the surrounding environment.
Built by tank and armoured vehicle maker Uralvagonzavod and based on the T-90 chassis, the 55-tonne vehicle has a 1,130 horsepower engine, advanced communications equipment, and a remote-controlled 12.7-mm heavy machine gun with thermal imager and laser rangefinder for protection. If necessary, its dozer blade can be switched out and replaced with a hydraulic hammer to destroy heavy fortifications or other obstacles. The vehicle has a crew of two, and can carry three sappers in its bed.
The Russian armed forces have a rich complement of engineering vehicles in their arsenal, featuring everything from heavy duty excavators and cranes, to trenchers, floating bridge layers, minelayers, mine clearing vehicles, engineering reconnaissance and armoured recovery vehicles. Service combat engineering vehicles currently include the IMR-2 and IMR-3M tracked vehicles.
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