By 1985, an intensive research and development program to create a family of what is known to be the Vityaz two-unit CTVs had been completed. This family includes:
? two-unit transport vehicles DT-10, DT-20 and DT-30, with a load-carrying capacity of 10, 20 and 30 tons, respectively;
? two-unit amphibious transporters DT-10P, DT-20P and DT-30P with similar specifications as the regular transporters.
Currently, Vityaz CTVs are in use throughout the whole territory of Russia, as well as in the harsh regions of the Arctic and Antarctica. They are an invaluable part of the transport services for prominent companies such as Gazprom JSC, Rosneftegazstroi, Rosneftegaz JSC, etc. They serve as primary transport vehicles for the personnel who service the extensive oil and gas pipelines throughout Russia, for geologists and scientists who research the dangerous, faraway destinations of Antartica and the Arctic regions. The construction and service industries are also benefiting from the advantages of these vehicles. The DT-30K crane, the DT-30E excavator, refuelling vehicles, mobile workshops, mobile oil refineries, passenger transporters, firefighting vehicles, etc. are mounted on Vityaz chassis. These vehicles are in demand not only in Russia, but throughout the countries of the Middle East and Asia, as well as in North and South America.
Years of operation of these vehicles have proved their reliability and robust design. The vehicle-s design primarily features an unconventional pattern of four active track envelopes providing for large surface contact with the ground for greater stability. In addition to this feature, these ATVs ensures the so called -kinematic method- for turning the articulated tracked vehicle through the -forced folding- of its units. The kinematic method of turn provides a positive tracking force for all tracks during linear movement and while making turns. A combination of the kinematic method of turn and a powerful multifuel engine, along with a hydromechanical transmission, unique track and suspension system with wide band tracks, road wheels with rubber pads, and vertical hydraulic cylinders which allow the two vehicle units to move vertically in relation to each other, make the articulated vehicles with a maximum weight of up to 60 tons more capable in terms of their swamp-, moving sand- loose soil- and snow-going capacity, than any type of single-unit swamp- and snow-going vehicle.
As the two units can be turned relative to each other in the vertical and horizontal planes via hydraulic cylinders or, conversely, can be fixed, the two-unit vehicle can negotiate short (equal to the length of one unit) sections of difficult terrain and such obstacles as ditches and walls and come out of water onto an unprepared bank, ice, or peat.
Owing to their unique design, the Vityaz family of ATVs are capable of operating in conditions impossible for other all-terrain vehicles, for example:
? amphibious return to a mother ship;
? off-road movement with one unit disabled or without one, or even without both tracks of one of the units;
? negotiating ditches and clefts up to 4.0 m wide.
? unloading of a ship offshore if it cannot come close to waterfront (i.e. in the Arctics and Antarctica regions, or in flooded regions, etc.); negotiating waterways in severe ice conditions;
? operation in mountains up to an altitude of 4,000 m.
The DT-10P and DT-30P ATVs are widely used by Russian troops deployed in challenging environmental regions, on islands (for transporting army elements, ammunition, equipment, FOLs and installation of weapon systems). These vehicles are also used by various industries in regions with poor access roads and climatic conditions. They are used to transport various cargoes; deploy digging, forest-working, power, and firefighting equipment; deploy mobile polyclinics and bakeries; transport cranes, excavators, water tanks, etc.; make amphibious unloading of cargoes; tow ships; heave off ships and barges; as well as perform prospecting work on shallow areas of shelf zones.
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