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VT-55 Armoured Recovery Vehicle

In the early 50s USSR started developing an ARV build on the hull of T-54 that was just entering production. A prototype vehicle was completed after a short while and was named BTS-1 (BTS - Bronirowannyj Tjagacz Sriednij). Production was launched and it became the basic ARV of the soviet army.

In 1955 BTS-1 was upgraded with a hoist and a small folding crane. This upgraded version was given name of BTS-2. It was build on the T-54 hull and later on the T-55 hull. In the end of the 60s Poland and Czechoslovakia bought the BTS-2 license. Basing on BTS-2 technical data the polish as well the Czechoslovaken army devoeloped a ARV.

General Specifications
Length 7.12 m
Width 3.27 m
Height 2.25 m 
Weight 35 tonne (combat ready)
Armour and Armament
Armour 33 - 100 mm
Armament   1 x 7.62 mm PKT
Secondary Weapon 1x RBG-7
Engine Model V-55 12-cyl. 38.88-l diesel
581 hp (433 kW)
Suspension Torsion bar
Max speed > 55 km/h
Power/weight 16 hp/tonne
Range 100 km off road
270 km on road
Without external fuel tanks


More information about the vehicle

The Czech Version is called VT-55 A and the devolopment ended 1968, in 1969 the serial production started and continued till 1983. About 20% of the VT-55 produced in CS where bought by the Czechoslovakian Army (ČSLA), export to warsaw pact states was around 50%, the rest , aproximetly 30% was bought by kapitalistik states.

Czech ARV build on T-55 hull. It was build to perform repairs on T-55 and T-55A tanks. When it entered service in 1973 it was not only the best ARV in the whole Warsaw Pact but probably in the whole world. It is still able to carry out tasks that NATO gives ARVs of its class. Unlike the T-55 the VT-55 is still the basic ARV of the czech army uses for field repairs. It's able to perform repairs on Soviet tanks like the T-54/T-55 and T-72 but also on the BVP-2 APC.  A number of those vehicles are used by Cesky drahy (Railroad emergency respond CR) 

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