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.
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.
Manufacturing Bumar-Labedy - Poland
Production 50 Units
India; Malaysia; Poland
- Support / Special Purpose |
23.29 ft (7.1 m)
10.73 ft (3.27 m)
6.89 ft (2.1 m)
35 tons (31,500 kg; 69,446 lb)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the WZT-2 (T-55) production model)
1 x V-55A 12-cylinder water-cooled, diesel-fueled engine developing 580 horsepower driving a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the WZT-2 (T-55) production model)
31 mph (50 kph)
292 miles (470 km)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the WZT-2 (T-55) production model; Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 12.7mm DShK Model 1938/46 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) for anti-aircraft / anti-infantry coverage.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the WZT-2 (T-55) production model)
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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