MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Russian marine infantry units stationed in the North have started to receive modernized multi-purpose light armored prime movers designated for their operation in the Arctic, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Tuesday.
"Currently, the marine infantry’s northern units are receiving MLBSh prime movers, which come as the serial modernization of the Soviet MTLB vehicles. Moreover, the marine infantry has already started to employ this hardware during drills," the source said.
The first sole types of these vehicles were delivered to the troops in 2015 for operational evaluation but their serial deliveries have started only this year.
The MLBSh prime movers are optimally suited for operations in the Arctic region thanks to their chassis balancing, wide caterpillar tracks and the reliable engine, the source said.
"A modernized prime mover differs from the baseline MTLB by its more powerful Kamaz-740 engine. The organic turret with a 7.62mm PKT machine-gun has been replaced by an open gun mount for a 12.7 mm Kord or NSVT large-caliber machine-gun," the source said, adding that the modernized prime mover undergoes full service maintenance.
Work is under way to look for other areas of modernizing the MTLB model. "This vehicle has proven to be highly efficient in the conditions of a cold climate. It successfully performs the functions of a prime mover and an armored personnel carrier.".