The MT-55A is an armoured vehicle-launched bridge
Armoured vehicle-launched bridge
An armoured vehicle-launched bridge is a combat support vehicle, sometimes regarded as a subtype of combat engineering vehicle, designed to assist militaries in rapidly deploying tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles across rivers. The AVLB is usually a tracked vehicle converted from a tank...

 (AVLB) tank, manufactured by TS Martin in Slovakia. The AVLB is based on a T-55A
The T-54 and T-55 tanks were a series of main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of...

 medium tank
Medium tank
Medium tank was a classification of tanks; the medium being intermediate in size and weight and armament between heavy tanks and light tanks.The medium tank concept has been eclipsed by the main battle tank.-History:...

 chassis, with the turret detached and replaced by a special bridge launching equipment.

The MT-55A was produced for the armies of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 - including the Soviet Army
Soviet Army
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

 -, as well as for export clients.

Design and development

The MT-55A was designed and produced by TS Martin from 1962 (the former Czechoslovakia was one of the countries that build the T-54/55 series under licence). The development phase ended in 1967 after which 5 pre-series vehicles were build. Series production started in 1969.

The transformed T-55A chassis differs only by the arrangement of the compartments in the hull. The bridge tank is proposed for an easy and swift crossing of antitank barriers (trenches) and other obstacles with the purpose of facilitating the passage of mechanised and tank units.

The bridge initiating equipment is controlled by a system of hydraulic cylinders; the allocation of hydraulic oil can be controlled both manually by mechanical levers and automatically. The pressure of the liquid is provided by high-pressure piston pumps motorized by the tank engine
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion...

. All mechanisms of the MT-55A used for laying and recovering of the bridge can be controlled by the crew from the inside of the tank, with hatch covers closed.

To begin the launching process, the vehicle stops short of the gap; then, the bridge swings ahead and down while its two sections open like scissors. The MT-55A span is 18 meters long and can hold up loads up to 50 tons. Later the MT-55A was modified with gap measuring mechanism and infrared equipment for bridge laying at darkness.

Of the MT-55A, a total of 1,762 were produced between 1969 and 1983, including 183 export versions MT-55KS (from 1971) and 301 hulls for East Germany's BLG-60 programme.


  • MT-55 - Pre-series model, equipped with the bridge of the MT-34
    The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II...

     bridge-layer. In Western sources, this model is often erroneously referred to as the MT-55L with "long" bridge.
  • MT-55A - Standard model, as described.
  • MT-55KS (Kapitalstické Státy) - Export model for "capitalist" non-Warsaw Pact countries. Based on the T-55
    The T-54 and T-55 tanks were a series of main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of...

     both otherwise similar.
  • PM-55 (Přepravník Mostu) - Wheeled version, based on a Tatra 813 "Kolos" 8x8 truck.
  • BLG-60 - East German/Polish variant.
  • BLG-67 - Romanian variant.


  • Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     - MT-55KS
  • Belarus
    Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

     - MT-55A
  • the Czech Republic - MT-55A
  • Georgia
    Georgia (country)
    Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

     - MT-55A
  • India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     - MT-55KS, known as Bridgle Laying Tank MT-55
  • Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     - MT-55KS
  • Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    : Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were able to capture some small number of MT-55KSs from their Arab
    Arab world
    The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

     counterparts and used by the IDF with some small modifications. Most of these were captured on the Southern front (Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula) of Six day war.
  • North Korea
    North Korea
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

  • Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

     - MT-55A
  • Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

     - MT-55A, known as MTU-55
  • Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

     - MT-55A
  • Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

     - MT-55A
  • Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

  • Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

     - In 2000 Sri Lanka Army brought eight MT-55As from Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

     along with 40 T-55AM2 tanks, 16 VT-55 recovery vehicles, three mobile workshop vehicles, and 12 Tatra T815
    Tatra T815
    Tatra T815 is a truck family, produced by Czech company Tatra. It uses the traditional tatra concept of rigid backbone tube and swinging half-axles giving independent suspension. The vehicles are available in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 10x8, 10x10, 12x8 and 12x12 variants. There are both air-cooled and...

     tank transporters and several RM-70
    The RM-70 multiple rocket launcher is a Czechoslovak army version and the heavier variant of the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, providing enhanced performance over its parent artillery system that was introduced in 1971 .- Overview :RM-70 was developed in Czechoslovakia as a successor for...

     122 mm multiple rocket launchers. - MT-55KS
  • Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

     - MT-55A

See also

  • Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    : Panzerschnellbrücke 2, based on the Leopard 2 MBT.
  • Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    : MTU-72 AVLB
    The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is developed directly from Obyekt-172, and shares parallel features with the T-64A...

    , based on the T-72 MBT.
  • M60A1 AVLB
    M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB)
    The M60 AVLB is an armored vehicle based on the M60 Patton main battle tank chassis used for the launching and retrieval of a scissors-type bridge...

    , based on the M60 MBT
  • BLG-60, based on T-55

External links

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