How to take a tank over a 500 meter wide river (PHOTOS)

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
Want to take your heavily armed tank armada to the bad guys’ front door but a giant river is in your way? No problem! Just get some Russian engineering crews to build “floating ferries” and in half an hour you can carry even 40-ton metal “monsters” across with ease!

Russian and CIS officers spent the whole of August fighting at the 2019 Army Games to be named the best engineering team. The winning team’s officers received promotions, as well as the most privileged and well-paid missions in their respective countries and on foreign soil. 

One of the main goals of the competition was to bring fully armed light and heavy armour vehicles across an area of the Oka river that’s 500 meters wide. 

The tournament consisted of a number of stages. At first, engineers had to scout out unknown terrain, find a safe spot without mines (or alternatively, demine the area - that was up to them), and then cross over the river with their infantry unit and armoured vehicles.

Teams used such engineering machines as the BAT-2 bulldozer (to demine areas), PTS-2 floating transporters, PMM-2  ferries and Russia’s latest floating bridge - the PP-2005M.

The pontoon bridge consists of links that "slide" from the truck into the water, where they independently open. This “ferry” is able to withstand even 40-ton vehicles with artillery guns and complete ammo kits.

Such bridges don’t have to cross over the whole river - from one shore to another - as they are able to float on a river independently.

Yet, the Russian military doesn’t always need engineer squads to cross over rivers and lakes. There’s a number of machines that can “swim over” water obstacles. For example, Russian paratroopers use these types of war vehicles for operations deep inside enemy lines. 

These are well-known BMDs (“Boyevaya Mashina Desanta”, lit. “Combat Vehicle of the Airborne”, a series of Soviet/Russian airborne infantry fighting vehicles) as well as the upcoming short-range air defense missile system code named “Ptitselov”. This will be the first ever air defense system that can destroy missiles and enemy aviation at a radius of ten kilometers, even on its way down from the skies. 

Follow the link to find out how it will change the warfare deep inside the enemy territory and what to expect from the Russian army in the coming years. 

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