Tank Tracks To Ukraine

The Museum has collaborated with William Cook Defence Ltd, to reverse engineer a number of Soviet-era vehicles tracks to send to Ukraine.

Cook Defence received an urgent request from the Ministry of Defence to provide tracks to support the Ukrainian fleet of Soviet era vehicles and turned to the Museum for support.

Using incomplete Soviet-era drawings, specimen track links from Ukraine, then the inspection of vehicles, manuals and the loan of track specimens from the Tank Museum, Cook reverse-engineered the tracks and drive sprockets for MTLB, BMP, and T72 vehicles.

Tank Museum Curator David Willey said, ‘The Tank Museum’s collections are used for many purposes. The Museum tells the story of the Royal Armoured Corps story to the public, teaching soldiers, and helping ‘corporate memory’ on the subject is also a core function. When we can help industry and our allies, of course we should. We are very pleased to hear the reproduced track is now arriving in Ukraine’.

An example of the new T72 track link ex East German Army T72.
An example of the new T72 track link has been gifted to the Museum and can be seen here in front of the Museums ex East German Army T72.

Major challenges to the project included the development of new steel alloys to match the original Russian specifications, and re-designing forged and welded components as castings to suit the new manufacturing process.

Cook Defence Systems can trace its history as the manufacturer of tracks for British armoured fighting vehicles back to 1941. They develop and make a range of tracks in the UK, including the track for the Challenger 2 tank.

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