The Lviv Armored Plant, part of Ukraine’s state-owned UkrOboronProm (UOP), has upgraded and delivered an improved version of the BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to a 26 November UOP statement.
The new ARV is based on the hull of a T-54 or T-55 tank and retains the large snorkel carried on the roof of the vehicle that makes the original BTS-4 so distinctive. However, it has been upgraded through the addition of a hydraulic crane, dozer blade, a pair of winches, and a new engine.
The upgraded BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicle based on a T-55 hull. (UkrOboronProm)
UOP said the upgraded crane, installed at the front left of the hull, has a lift capacity of 12 tonnes. This enables the vehicle to lift and dismantle armoured vehicle components such as engines, turrets, and transmissions. There appears to be a small space on the roof of the vehicle, beneath the snorkel, to carry a spare engine or other components, as ARVs are often required to do.
A traction winch with 200 m of cable and a payload of 100 tonnes is installed, and the main winch is supported by an additional winch, which is used to help issue the main winch’s cable, UOP explained. It is understood that the winch can only be used over the rear of the vehicle, as was the case for the original BTS-4. However, a large dozer blade installed at the front of the hull gives the vehicle the ability to clear debris and other obstacles to vehicle recovery, which was not available on the original.