Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Kartik BLT

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Kartik is an armoured vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB) designed and developed by CVRDE and Research and Development Establishment, Pune. It is a second generation Indian Bridge Layer Tank (BLT), first introduced in 1989.



It features an elongated Vijayanta Tank's hull with seven Bogie wheel stations, the same used for the M-46 Catapult integrated to a hydraulically operated bridge laying system.


The Kartik AVLB uses a scissors style bridge of Eastern European design such as Polish/East German BLG-60. The bridge is folded for carriage and scissored out for usage and is deployed and recovered from the front of the vehicle. The 20 metres (66 ft) long 'KARTIK' 60 Military Load Class (MLC) bridge is 4 m wide thus one of the widest tank bridges in the world.The bridge can accommodate two-lanes traffic of jeeps and one lane traffic of 3 tonners, t-72s and BMPs. It is compact for transportation and fits in a space of 10.5 m length, 3.5 m width and 3.96 m height. To keep it light, RDE-40 Al alloy along with innovative geometry have been used . The use of high pressure hydraulic drives and actuators instead of electro-chemical drives give advantage of reduced weight. The high pressure hydraulic system gives the muscle power to lift the bridge in the folded climbing gradients or descending slopes.

The basic vehicle is powered by indigenously manufactured 6-cylinder, opposed piston, vertical in line, water cooled, two stroke CI engine with uni-flow scavenging coupled to a semiautomatic transmission with 6 forward and 2 reverse speed . suspension is provided by trailing arm type torsion bar with all road wheel stations the vehicle also has secondary torsion bars and double acting telescope shock absorbers in the two front and rear stations. Low ground pressure, adequate power-to-weight ratio improved suspension and final drive result in good mobility of the vehicle.


Air Defense Machine Gun is provided for effective ground and anti aircraft role. Blt crew has been provided with their personal weapons for self-protection.


The multi-span assault bridge with fully decked roadway and foldable deck mechanism has been successfully developed and accepted by Indian army. As of 2003, India has produced 34 Kartik AVLBs


The Canal Embankment ASsault Equipment (CEASE) is a special type of bridging system developed by the Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE(Engrs)), Pune. It is suitable for high bank canals up to 4.5m. as encountered in India's western borders. As of 1998 user assisted technical evaluation of the system has been completed successfully. Six tracked vehicles of CEASE has been developed as variants of Vijayanta.


Kartik BLT Wikipedia

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