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WZT ARV (Series)

Armored Recovery Vehicle

The Polish WZT represented a line of Armored Recovery Vehicles first built atop the chassis of the Soviet T-55 Main Battle Tank and progressively updated from then on - culminating in a modern version based on the PT-91 MBT.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 8/7/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1970
Manufacturer(s): Bumar-Labedy - Poland
Production: 50
Capabilities: Engineering; Support/Special Purpose;
Crew: 3
Length: 23.29 ft (7.1 m)
Width: 10.73 ft (3.27 m)
Height: 6.89 ft (2.1 m)
Weight: 35 tons (31,500 kg); 69,446 lb
Power: 1 x V-55A 12-cylinder water-cooled, diesel-fueled engine developing 580 horsepower driving a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Speed: 31 mph (50 kph)
Range: 292 miles (470 km)
Operators: India; Malaysia; Poland
Like other countries under the sphere of Soviet influence during the Cold War (1947-1991), Poland benefitted (at least militarily) from its relationship with a superpower. From this relationship came access to various weapon designs running the gamut of small arms and aircraft to vehicles and combat tanks. As such, with access to the Soviet line of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) like the T-55 and T-72 series, the Polish Army went on to adopt their Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) forms based on these original Soviet designs. The Soviet BTS-1, based on the T-54 MBT, was purchased by Poland in the latter part of the 1960s. This experience ultimately led the country to invest in a series of similar vehicles under the "Woz Zabezpieczenia Technicznego" (literally "Armored Recovery Vehicle") name, or abbreviated to "WZT".

Beyond the Soviet-inspired ARVs, the series was expanded to include ARVs based on the local Polish PT-91 "Twardy" MBT hull, itself based on the Soviet T-72M1. The series has since encompassed the WZT-1, WZT-2, WZT-3, WZT-3M and WZT-4 built upon the respective hulls of the T-55, T-55A, T-72M, PT-91 and PT-91M tanks. The WZT-1 was in service until 1978. The WZT-4 was developed for the Malaysian Army.

The Polish Army no longer relies on the older WZT ARV series forms though some existing hulls are used for other battlefield roles. It maintains some twenty-nine WZT-3M models as a standard ARV to operate alongside its standard MBT, the Twardy.


1 x 12.7mm DShK Model 1938/46 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) for anti-aircraft / anti-infantry coverage.


Variants / Models

• WZT - Base Series Designation
• WZT-1 - Version built from T-55 MBT
• WZT-2 - Version built from T-55A MBT
• WZT-3 - Version built from T-72M MBT
• WZT-3M - Version built from PT-91 MBT
• WZT-4 - Version built from PT-91M MBT for export to Malaysia.
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