Polish MT-LB Versions

     Notes: Huta Stalowa Wola is a Polish company which started out as a steel mill in 1938, and after World War 2 has manufactured military vehicles.  They have long has licenses to build a number of Soviet/Russian vehicles, and one of those is the MT-LB multipurpose carrier.  They make the standard MT-LB as an APC, as well as a number of specialist versions, and some special APC versions, which will be discussed here. (The standard MT-LB APC version will be summarized here for convenience and comparison to their other MT-LB-based APCs.)

     The MT-LB is essentially a ďbasic boxĒ APC, with relatively thin armor and a standard configuration, and of all-steel construction except for a few minor parts.  The driver is on the front left and has three vision blocks to his front; his hatch opens to the left.  The commander is to the right of the driver in the center front with his hatch opening to the rear and with two wide-angle vision blocks to the front.  He mans a driverís position with manual transmission with a rather complex manual transmission in older models, though it becomes less complex in later versions, and eventually gives way to automatic transmission in the latest versions. The commander also controls a small overhead turret that is armed with a PKT machinegun; the turret is to the right of the commanderís seat in the same compartment, and has no hatch of its own.  The commander sights the machinegun through a telescopic/direct sight scope. The driver can remove his center vision block and replace it with a night vision block, and the commander has night vision through his turret. The commander also has a turnable IR searchlight. In addition, there are vision blocks on each side of the front of the hull, to the left of the driver and to the right of the commanderís turret position.  A narrow aisle goes into the passenger compartment, which has folding bench seats down the sides.  The passenger compartment also has a small shelf for the radios.  There are two smallish hatches on the rear deck for passengers to stand up, and two doors in the rear of the vehicle for the crew to enter and leave.  The 240-horsepower YaMZ 238V diesel engine is located behind the driver.  There is one firing port on each side of the passenger compartment; it is at the center of the compartment. The suspension is by conventional torsion bar and the ride can be rough; the MT-LB has six roadwheels and is rather long, and only the first and last set of roadwheels have shock absorbers.  The MT-LB is amphibious with some preparation; a trim vane is erected at the front and bilge pumps switched on, and this takes 5 minutes.  The MT-LB is one of the few vehicles of its period which has a heater adequate for all of the crew and passengers, and it also has a collective NBC system.

     Some Polish MT-LBs have a somewhat larger commanderís turret armed with a DShK machinegun instead of a PKT.  This is identical to the standard turret except for being a little bigger.  Another version has the turret moved to the center front of the passenger compartment, and manned by a dedicated gunner; this turret is identical to that of the OT-64C SKOT-2AP wheeled APC, and in addition has a launcher for an AT-3 Sagger ATGM on each side of the turret.  This version is often referred to as the MT-LB/WAT the type of turret called is a ďWATĒ turret).

     The MT-LB-23M Krak was originally designed to be a light antiaircraft vehicle, and can still be used as such.  However, itís primary role is as an ICV, with the gun providing support and for attacking soft-skinned vehicles and light armor.  The turret is mounted near the rear; it is designed so that the gun is high above the vehicle and can fire over a wide upward and downward arc as well as having 360-degree traverse.  It is a one-man turret with all-around armor protection, but is open-topped. The commanderís turret is retained.

     The Opal I and Opal II are updated versions of the MT-LB APC versions.  These versions have s stronger, reworked nose section that also give room for a better, automatic transmission and final drives, they are propelled in the water by hydrojets, and they have new turrets that are armed with NSVT machineguns.  The Opal I is powered by an SW0680/167/1 245-horsepower turbocharged diesel engine; the Opal II is longer, with seven roadwheels on each side, and is powered by a 300-horsepower SW-680T turbocharged diesel engine.  The hull of the Opal II is similar to the hull of the 2S1 Gvozdika SP howitzer (called the Grau by the Polish).

     The WEM Lotos is an armored ambulance version.  It carries a crew of three, all of whom are medics and two of which function as the commander and gunner.  The turret is removed, and a pintle-mounted PKM is mounted in its place, by the commanderís hatch.  (This is unusual, as medical vehicles are not normally armed.) The Lotos can take four stretcher patients, two stretcher patients and five seated patients, or nine seated patients.  The Lotos has a small refrigerator for perishable medical supplies, a defibrillator, two oxygen administering sets, and the equivalent of two doctorís medical bags as well as 20 personal medical kits, along with items like blankets and suchlike.

     Several command variants exist; exact equipment depends upon their role.  In general, they may be considered to have two long-range, two medium-range, and one short-range radios, with one of the long-range radios being data capable.  The command variants usually have an inertial navigation system, and their commanderís stations have an artillery plotting ring around their hatches.  The vehicles have various map boards, lockers, and plotting supplies and office supplies for use by the staff.  They carry a hand-held image intensifier, thermal imager, and laser rangefinder, as well as four pairs of binoculars.

     The SR MT-LB-R is an electronic warfare variant of the MT-LB used by Poland; this version carries little crew and no passengers, but is equipped with several radar and radio jamming devices in order to disrupt a wide spectrum of enemy signals, as well as radar and radio detectors.  This version sports a large number of antennas and aerials. The crew of the SR MT-LB-R has uses Electronics, Intelligence, or Education skill to successfully jam communications or radar or detect them; the difficulty of this task depends on local conditions and the enemy equipment being jammed, but if Intelligence or Education attributes are being used instead of Electronics skill, difficulty levels are one greater.  Jamming radius is a base of 12 kilometers, adjusted by terrain, weather, and the counter-jamming efforts of the enemy, as well as the equipment the crew is trying to jam.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The Opal I and Opal II are not available in the Twilight 2000 timeline.  The MT-LB-23M Krak was produced only in small numbers before the Twilight War, with a few more (less than 50) being built during the war.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

MT-LB (PKT)

$50,595

D, A

2 tons

11.9 tons

2+11

6

Passive IR (D, C), IR Searchlight

Shielded

MT-LB (DShK)

$53,726

D, A

2 tons

11.9 tons

2+11

6

Passive IR (D, C), IR Searchlight

Shielded

MT-LB/WAT

$67,241

D, A

1.8 tons

12.4 tons

3+9

8

Passive IR (D, G), WL/IR Searchlight

Shielded

MT-LB-23M Krak

$196,978

D, A

1.4 tons

12.8 tons

3+8

8

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

Opal I

$33,045

D, A

2 tons

11.9 tons

2+11

8

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

Opal II

$34,400

D, A

2 tons

12.8 tons

2+13

9

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

WEM Lotos

$57,679

D, A

2 tons

11.9 tons

**

9

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

MT-LB CPV

$77,695

D, A

1.3 tons

12.6 tons

2+6

10

Passive IR (D, C), WL/IR Searchlight

Shielded

SR MT-LB-R

$583,058

D, A

500 kg

12.6 tons

2+3

12

Passive IR (D, C), WL/IR Searchlight

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

MT-LB/WEM Lotos

136/95

33/20/3

450

100

Stnd

T3

HF6  HS3  HR2

MT-LB/WAT

131/91

32/19/3

450

104

CiH

T3

TF4  TS3  TR2  HF6  HS3  HR2

MT-LB-23M Krak

127/88

31/18/3

450

107

Trtd

T3

TF2  TS2  TR2  HF6  HS3  HR2*

Opal I

139/97

34/20/3

450

128

Stnd

T3

HF6  HS3  HR2

Opal II

155/109

38/22/4

520

159

Stnd

T3

HF6  HS3  HR2

MT-LB CPV/SR MT-LB-R

128/89

31/19/3

450

106

Stnd

T3

HF6  HS3  HR2

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

MT-LB (PKT)/MT-LB CPV/SR MT-LB-R

None

None

PKT (C)

2500x7.62mm

MT-LB (DShK)

None

None

DShK (C)

1500x12.7mm

MT-LB/WAT

None

None

KPVT, PKT, 2xAT-3 ATGM Launchers

500x14.5mm, 2000x7.62mm, 4xAT-3 ATGMs

MT-LB-23M Krak

+2

Basic

23mm ZU-23 autocannon, PKT, PKT (C)

300x23mm, 2000x7.62mm

Opal I/II

None

None

NSVT (C)

1500x12.7mm

WEM Lotos

None

None

PKM (C)

1500x7.62mm

*The turret is open and has AV0.

**See Notes for seating arrangements.