Combat Approved

The military in the Arctic - Part 1. ATVs put to the frozen test in blizzards & ice

Check out just how tough Russia's all-terrain vehicles are! An epic expedition inside the Arctic Circle puts these heavy vehicles through their paces in deep snow and on thin ice. 

The big daddy of the team is the 30-tonne tracked Vityaz DT-30 PM. Swamps, water, snow and sand all prove to be no obstacle for this articulated all-terrain transport ATV, designed to carry its own weight in payload and still keep going in extreme temperatures from a scorching 40 degrees to a bitter minus 50. It’s followed by two smaller siblings – the lighter DT-10 PMs, which provide sleeping quarters, mobile kitchen, storehouse and even a snowmobile garage. Bringing up the rear of this snowbound convoy, another tracked and articulated all-terrain carrier, the GAZ-3344-20. Blazing the trail at the head of the column is a Trecol ATV.

The expedition is set to cover nearly 2,000 kilometres from the Tiksi village in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, all the way to Kotelny Island. The ATVs must start by following the coastline before eventually venturing out onto the untested ice sheets covering the Dmitry Laptev and Sannikov Straits.

The expedition sets off and soon has to deal with a worst-case scenario, which jeopardises the whole mission when the ice collapses and the team battles to save a trailer, loaded with essential supplies, from water that's freezing before their eyes. Tune in to Combat Approved for more on this not-so-smooth start.