Trekol to Create Arctic Off-Roaders for Russian Military

Rubric: Russia, Industry, Future

After the Arctic expedition, the Russian Defense ministry confirmed the possible use of the Trekol-made rovers in the polar conditions. The military will form technical and tactical specifications for them, and then the manufacturer will create "the Arctic" vehicles, the defense ministry’s insider aware of the results of the off-roaders’ trials during the trip to the Kotelny island told Mil.Today.

Held in February, the trip of special-purpose vehicles from Tiksi to Novosibirsk Islands involving two rovers Trekol-39294 on extra-low pressure tires helped the military "to form tactical requirements for this kind of military hardware, and the manufacturer – to start their production", said the interviewee well aware of the expedition results. "Remarkable is the fact that during the production cycle we used the public and private partnership scheme", he added.

Another result of the Trekol rovers’ trial was formation of the snow-and-swamp convoy for transportation of materials and equipment. Also, the military assessed the capability of the doughnut-tyred rovers "to perform special missions in reconnaissance of routes, estimating of trafficability of ice passages using special equipment, trial navigation and protection of the convoy", says the expedition report. It was Trekol vehicles that led the convoy.

Based in the Moscow region, the research and production company Trekol has been participating in the Russian military expeditions testing prototype vehicles in extreme conditions since 2014.
The company is ready to produce 40 vehicles per month and customize them, e.g. manufacture a fiberglass body of any shape, the Trekol’s spokesman told Mil.Today.
According to the company’s quality assurance manager Igor Varentsov, the trials were attended by the two Trekol-39294 rovers. One of them is a fully batch-produced model, another one was adopted for the military. Both vehicles had covered almost 2,500 km without failures, added the company’s representative.

Trekol rovers at the Russian military’s Arctic trial 2017

Both vehicles are equipped with serial tyres made by the company; one had 1350*700-533 tyres, another one – 1300*600-533. Varentsov said the tyres had behaved normally. If operated appropriately, they can cover up to 30,000 km.

According to the company’s spokesman, the rovers attended the trial are powered with Korean diesel engines (Huyndai D4BF and D4BH). These aggregates are based on the Japanese diesel motor 4D56. There are no alternatives for the Korean engine in Russia. "Unfortunately, domestic manufacturers do not produce the engines we need, while other foreign analogs don’t have such excellent price-and-quality combination as D4B has", complained the Trekol representative.
Lack of Russian-made diesel engines for such vehicles "may negatively affect the potential procurement of the Trekol rovers", a source in the Russian defense ministry’s tank-automotive directorate shared with Mil.Today.
According to Artem Momot, the Trekol representative in the expedition, the vehicles were inspected by military engineers before the trial. By the defense ministry’s requirement, they mounted additional equipment on each rover, in particular, special batteries, a winch and special communication facilities. By the way, one of the vehicles was equipped with a prototype system to measure ice thickness on the Laptev Sea.

Igor Varentsov added that the defense agency had carried out some top-secret tests on the Trekol off-roaders. There are no final results so far, thus it is premature to talk about procurements, said the defense-related interviewee of Mil.Today. The expedition’s results are only being summarized now. Upon their analysis, the military "will update their requirements for the snow and swamp-going vehicles, testing and research techniques, as well as specify organizational concepts of the expedition", concluded the speaker.

Earlier on, the Arctic trials were effectively passed by the tracked two-section rovers GAZ-3344-20 produced by the Zavolzhsky Crawler Vehicle Plant. The Russian military will conclude a contract for 100 such vehicles in this year.

Trekol-39294 is a flagship model of the company, a three-axis all-wheel-drive show and swamp-going vehicle with tubeless tyres and fiberglass body. Cargo capacity is 700 kg, unladen weight is 2.8 tons, road clearance is 490 mm. These rovers are powered by either gasoline injector-type engines ZMZ-4062.10/ZMZ-40905.10 or Korean diesel engines Hyundai D4BF/D4BH. The vehicle with Russian engine costs 3 mln rubles, with Korean one – 3.5 mln.