Two UBIM multi-purpose armored engineering vehicles based on the T-72B3 tank will arrive for Russian army engineers this year. The assemblies of the armored engineering vehicles has been developed and is being accepted for service instead of the IMR-3M obstacle-clearing engineering vehicle and the BAT-2 tracklayer. The new vehicle is outfitted with a combat module to strike enemy manpower and light armored hardware. The delivery of two UBIM equipment sets to the engineering troops is scheduled for 2023, the general specified. Work is underway to develop the IMR-ShR multi-purpose robotic assault and obstacle-clearing vehicle to bolster Russian troop mobility.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper reported that the new universal combat engineer vehicles is designated “to provide for the troop advance and the fulfillment of engineering work amid enemy fire, in particular, to ensure the advance of assault units in urban and industrial areas and liquidate the consequences of natural and man-made disasters. The Russian defense industry is also developing an MTU-2020 bridge-laying tank to replace outdated models, in addition, it has completed the design work on the ISDM remote minelaying system and the first vehicles have already been delivered to the troops.
The UBIM universal combat engineer vehicle combines the functions of the IMR-3M barrier vehicle and the BAT-2 track-laying vehicle. UBIM is designed to ensure the advancement of troops and the performance of engineering work in the conditions of enemy fire, including in contaminated areas. If necessary, UBIM is able to pull out stuck equipment and evacuate it. The multi-purpose armored engineering vehicle was developed by order of the engineering troops of the Ural Design Bureau of Transport Engineering (UKBTM, part of UVZ) as part of the R&D Robot-3. Deliveries of a new engineering vehicle based on the T-72B3 will begin this year, the troops will receive two sets at once.
The T-72B3 is a recent Russian upgrade of the ageing T-72B tanks. It can be seen as a low-cost alternative to the T-72B2 Rogatka upgrade to keep older T-72B tanks operational. The T-72 is a family of Soviet/Russian main battle tanks that entered production in 1969. About 25,000 T-72 tanks have been built, and refurbishment has enabled many to remain in service for decades. Refurbished and upgraded T-72B3 tanks are fitted with new engine, new gunners sight, new fire control system and have some other improvements. First upgraded T-72B3 tanks were delivered to the Russian Army in 2013. By 2020 a total of 558 tanks were upgraded to the T-72B3 standard.