Robot-Enhanced Vehicles Planned for Arctic Equipment Evacuation

“Arctic Troops will be equipped with robot tow-trucks and repair vehicles that will be capable of working with any damaged equipment at a Temperature of -50 or below.”

Special terrain requires special equipment, and Russia’s new recovery vehicles will improve its combat capabilities in the Arctic.  According to the pro-government newspaper Izvestiya, the Russian military has mounted the REM-KL recovery vehicle super structure on the tracked articulated multipurpose DT-30PM vehicle.  The REM-KL can reportedly pull 13 tons and its 9.8-meter hydraulic crane can lift 950 1-ton loads with a reach of 8 meters and 3 tons with a reach of 3 meters.  Its hydraulic winch has a traction force of 10.5 tons and a pulling force up to 20 tons.  Further, the MTR-K reconnaissance vehicle’s recovery capabilities, traditionally fitted on a wheeled chassis, are being fitted to the GAZ-3344-20 articulated tracked transport vehicle and being designated as the MTR-G.  The MTR-G’s reported lifting capacity is some 3 tons.  The MTR-G does double duty as an NBC reconnaissance vehicle.  The two new Arctic vehicles will work as a team to recover and repair ground forces equipment.  The addition of an on-board unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) search capability should greatly aid Russia’s ability to find broken-down and disabled vehicles in rugged terrain.   Russia employs such purpose-built tracked articulated vehicles in a variety of ways: as mobile kitchens and bakeries, mortar and artillery platforms, communications vehicles, command posts, troop transports, and supply vehicles.  They readily cross snow, ice, and swamps and can swim bodies of water.


Aleksei Ramm and Bogdan Stepovoi, “Северный почин: арктические войска вооружат роботами-эвакуаторами (Equipping the Arctic forces with robot tow trucks and repair vehicles),” Izvestia (Moscow based pro-government newspaper), 3 December 2021.

Arctic Troops will be equipped with robot tow-trucks and repair vehicles that will be capable of working with damaged equipment at a Temperature of -50 or below.  Special Arctic recovery and repair subunits will be incorporated into the Russian Ground Forces soon.  Special tow trucks and mobile repair shops, mounted on articulated prime movers are part of the subunit’s TO&E equipment.  Their primary advantage is their capability to tow a heavy vehicle at minus 50 degrees or below… The vehicles are robotized and permit the crew to accomplish their work without leaving the heated cab. If necessary, their equipment will help find a vehicle on the battlefield and eliminate the malfunction on the spot.  The arctic “repairmen” will be involved with not only trucks and armored vehicles.  They will be able to work with such complex types of weapons as S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, “Bal” and “Bastion” missile systems, and with future robotized platforms…. 

The evacuation and repair subunits will deploy to main garrisons and repair the entire range of ground forces equipment.  The REM-GT heavy repair and recovery vehicles and the MTR-G technical reconnaissance vehicles will become the main “work horses” of the arctic repair detachments that are already at a high degree of readiness.  The vehicles will undergo state tests in arctic conditions in the near future.  After this, the arctic subunits’ organization and staff structure will be determined. 

The new heavy-duty REM-GT repair and recovery vehicle is based upon the DT-30PM articulated tracked transport vehicle.  It is designed for maintenance, field repair, and recovery of all types of equipment, which are deployed in the arctic zones.  The MTR-G technical reconnaissance vehicle is mounted on the GAZ-3344-20 articulated tracked transport vehicle.  It will transport the maintenance subunits’ specialists to reach marooned equipment, assess its state, and render needed assistance on the spot. 

The new repair vehicles function in the Arctic and the Far North, Siberia, and the Far East.  At low temperatures or in wind squalls, the crew use the robotized manipulators to take even the heaviest models of military equipment undertow, without leaving the heated cab.

According to Military Expert Aleksey Khlopotov, “In northern conditions, the combat capability of the entire arctic grouping depends on the functions of the rear services units.  The new repair and recovery vehicles will precisely help to support them. The North is permafrost, snow during the winter and swamps in the summer.  The tracked all-terrain vehicles with low ground pressure have been adapted for operating in those conditions.  They will go where wheeled vehicles get stuck.  This will help provide repair and recovery of equipment on inaccessible terrain. 

Khlopotov pointed out that the DT-30PM articulated tracked transport vehicles are already well known in the Ground Forces.  The “Tor-M2DT” and “Pantsir-SA” are air defense missile systems that are part of the arctic force’s inventory and are also mounted on these vehicles. 

Vehicles for the recovery and repair of equipment are being delivered to the Ground Forces now.  The Ministry of Defense previously reported that the wheeled version of the powerful REM-KS would arrive in the Western Military District inventory by the end of 2021. They will conduct the recovery and repair of the “Iskander” short-range ballistic missile systems in the field.  The REM-GT and MTR-G will operate in tandem in field conditions and combat. The equipment reconnaissance specialist must first arrive at the location of the combat in order to assess the amount of work and damage.  If necessary, its crew will be able to assist the soldiers and officers to extract the stalled vehicle or to conduct minor repairs on the spot. 

The vehicle is equipped with navigation and night vision instruments, a 360-degree video surveillance system, and an unmanned aerial vehicle.   This package permits the conduct of searches at a distance of 10 kilometers at any time of day and practically in any weather.  It will also be indispensable in peacetime dung the conduct of search and rescue operations in accessible areas of the North.  The MTR-G has equipment for radiation and chemical reconnaissance.  During large-scale operations, the crew needs to know that the terrain is not contaminated with toxic agents and that the atmosphere does not pose a danger for personnel in order to begin work or to call for backup. 

The articulated REM-GT is capable of operating autonomously.  The all-terrain vehicle is equipped practically with that same suite of hardware as the maintenance reconnaissance vehicle but does not have an unmanned aerial vehicle.  The vehicle has been adapted for functioning in a cold climate to the maximum extent possible.  In particular, it has robot manipulators that can take any damaged equipment in tow.  The video cameras provide 360-degree visibility and assist the crew in this extraction.

Depending on the type of equipment, which they will have to repair, the crew can rapidly select or change the machine tool sets, the necessary spare parts, and the necessary expendable supplies.  These are located in the rear vehicle articulated compartments.  This stockage will permit the crew, without outside help, to repair ground force vehicles and tanks or the combat modules of air defense systems.  The time required for the REM-GT to prepare for movement at a temperature of -50 degrees is 30 minutes.

Izvestiya previously reported that repair and recovery regiments formed in each military district.  During combat, each of them is capable of forming several quick response teams, which will function in an autonomous mode directly at the front line.