THE TROOPS WILL TEST THE NEWEST “PONTOON” BOATS

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THE TROOPS WILL TEST THE NEWEST
THE TROOPS WILL TEST THE NEWEST "PONTOON" BOATS

Dmitry Litovkin

Izvestia, August 30, 2016, p. 3

In the course of crossing of the Don River by tank and mechanized infantry units planned in the program of Caucasus-2016 exercises the Defense Ministry plans to test unique towing motor boat BMK intended for towing of ferryboats and reconnaissance of water areas during arrangement of bridges and ferry lines.

THE ARMY WILL RECEIVE MODERN EQUIPMENT FOR CROSSING OF WATER OBSTACLES

In the course of crossing of the Don River by tank and mechanized infantry units planned in the program of Caucasus-2016 exercises the Defense Ministry plans to test unique towing motor boat BMK intended for towing of ferryboats and reconnaissance of water areas during arrangement of bridges and ferry lines.

The Defense Ministry reports that a pontoon bridge with length of 600 meters will be arranged in the framework of the upcoming exercises at Prudboy training range near Volgograd. Through this bridge armament and hardware will be able to cross the Don River from the move. This maneuver should be supported by two newest pontoon boats of BML family developed by the Volzhsky shipbuilding and ship repair plant (VSSZ) and KAMPO company. The military did not order such hardware to the industry for more than 20 years.

Representatives of the Defense Ministry explain that the new towing motor boats provide for connection of sections of the pontoon bridges. The peculiarity of the boats is in transport mobility (the boat should be fitted to dimensions and should be carried on the chassis of KamAZ truck), big thrust to weight ratio with minimal weight and draft, which enables the boat to maneuver in conditions of shallow water and broken ice.

Externally BMK reminds an ordinary motor boat with a two-seat cabin mounted on it. Having length of less than 8 meters and weight slightly more bigger than 3.5 tons, the towing boat can tow for 11 hours and afterwards hold in one place sections of a pontoon bridge and can transport four people and a small cargo. It is necessary to say that preliminary tests of the boat have already been conducted and Caucasus exercises should demonstrate how BMK would behave in a real combat situation.

Spokesperson for KAMPO Ulyana Zakharova said that BMK was intended as means to provide power for all types of pontoon systems being in service with combat engineers: both general-purpose PMP, PMP-M, PP-91, PP-2005 and special ones PPS-84. According to its technical characteristics, it can substitute any BMK of the previous generations.

The specialist explained:

– The task of creation of the new boat became especially important with regard to renovation of hardware of combat engineers going on now, for example, equipment of military units with modern means for crossing of water obstacles. In the course of preliminary tests we checked unloading of the boat from a pontoon automobile on water and its loading on an automotive, various operations of the boat on water both in a single mode and during towing of a ferryboat by the towing boat (by various methods and with various loads including T-80 tank). The tests were conducted in daytime and at night. According to representative of VSSZ Pavel Glukhov, requirements stated for BMK by combat engineers were difficult to observe in many aspects.

Glukhov reported:

– It was necessary to fit the preset dimensions and weight, to ensure the necessary draft and speed with significant thrust characteristics. First of all, we managed to do this due to use of a thin material in the hull, sophisticated shape and limited volume of compartments. We had to struggle for every gram of weight with preserving of strength of the construction.

According to commander of combat engineers Lieutenant General Yury Stavitsky, only lately combat engineers renovated the fleet seriously with promising models of engineering equipment, hardware and personal outfits.

Stavitsky said:

– These are bridge laying machines, pontoon fleets, portable mine clearing means, robotic observation systems for engineering reconnaissance and disarming of explosion-hazardous items, sawmill, automotive cranes and many other models that are not mentioned in modern reported about use of military hardware.



 

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