Rečni tenkonosac RTK-401

Would you like to see this vehicle added to the game?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Rečni tenkonosac RTK-401

History and Description

The conflict with the Eastern Bloc in 1948 drastically changed the assessment of the needs of the Yugoslav River Flotilla, which until then consisted of several small boats. Warships of various categories were urgently needed to defend the country against possible aggression from the East. One of the few resources that could be counted on during the isolation of Yugoslavia were sunken ships, so four ex-German Marinefährprahm (MFP) landing crafts were raised from the bottom of the Danube River. The first two ships were taken out in 1949 and 1951, respectively, and handed over to the shipyard in Apatin for reconstruction and rearmament. Around that time, large quantities of ship engines were received from the USA as part of their aid program. Among them, Gray Marine 6-71 diesel engines with 230 HP were selected for the landing crafts’ propulsion. New armament was also obtained from American sources. Each ship received one Bofors 40 mm L/60 gun on the deck in front of the main bridge, and two M2 Browning 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine guns on the starboard and port sides at the ship’s aft. The reconstructed ships were classified as rečni tenkonosac (river tank landing craft) or RTK for short.

Work on the ship RTK-401 began on April 1, 1950, and ended on May 31, 1951. The next ship RTK-402, was reconstructed from November 15, 1951, to December 31, 1952. After the completion of the works, these two RTKs were incorporated into the 2nd Detachment of River Auxiliary Ships in Novi Sad. Following the reorganization in 1954, the unit was renamed the 2nd Detachment of River Assault Ships. As their value was recognized, two more were introduced to the flotilla. RTK-404 and RTK-405, which were reconstructed in shipyards in Belgrade and Novi Sad from April 14, 1960, to December 29, 1961. During their service in the Yugoslav River Flotilla, their armament changed two more times in order to provide sufficient fire support for the infantry during potential wartime river crossings. In the second half of the 1960s, armament modernization was carried out on all four ships. One Zastava M55 20/III mm anti-aircraft gun replaced the Bofors and two Zastava M55 20/I mm anti-aircraft guns replaced the Brownings. Later on, during the last rearmament, at the end of the seventies, Zastava M75 20/IV mm replaced Zastava M55 20/III mm, and two Zastava M71 20/I mm replaced the previous Zastava M55 20/I mm. The new guns were installed on specially designed ship mounts. Additionally, the RTKs received an M63 Plamen 128 mm MLRS, which was placed in front of a Zastava M75 20/IV mm , and two Soviet BP-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launchers positioned in armored turrets on either side of the main bridge. Aside from all this armament, there was room for an MTU-4 launcher with four Strela-2M anti-aircraft missiles. The total combat kit after the last modification included 7,200 20 mm rounds, 960 30 mm grenades, 32 128 mm rockets, and four 9M32M missiles.

All four vessels served in the Yugoslav wars between 1991 and 2000 as part of the Navy of the Army of Yugoslavia and later the Navy of Serbia and Montenegro. They were used to secure bridges on the Danube and transport cargo and people over the river. After the first few engagements with enemy ground units, it quickly became apparent that the bulky MLRS Plamen obscured a good portion of the Zastava M75 20/IV mm front sector of fire. That’s why during a regular overhaul, the positions of the Plamen and the Zastava gun were replaced. This was first done in 1993 on RTK-404, and then on the remaining two ships RTK-401 and RTK-405. However, the same was not carried out on RTK-402 since the ship was worn out and thus decommissioned. During the 1999 NATO bombings, three remaining RTKs were used as static air defense. By the winter season of 1999/2000, the ships had returned to their routine tasks. Regular training, including practice shooting, was carried out until the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. Only in 2004, sixty years after they first entered the Danube and more than fifty years after they first carried the Yugoslav Navy flag, the remaining tank landing crafts were retired from the River Flotilla. They were sold as surplus on the civilian market.

Specifications (RTK-401 final modification)

  • Displacement (empty): 226 t,
  • Length: 46.5 m
  • Width: 6.5 m
  • Height: 2.20 m
  • Draft (bow): 0.80 m
  • Draft (stern): 1.25 m
  • Propulsion: three two-stroke six-cylinder Gray Marine 6-71 diesel engines, 3x 230 hp at 2,100 rpm
  • Speed (downstream): 22 km/h
  • Speed (upstream): 14 km/h
  • Supplies: fuel: 6 t, water: 7.2 t
  • Fuel consumption: 76.5 kg/h
  • Range: 1,120 km at economical speed
  • Crew: 23
  • Carrying capacity: 120 t (three T-55 tanks or four trucks or 240 soldiers)
  • Armament:
    • 1x Zastava M75 20/IV mm (4,800 rounds),
    • 2x Zastava M71 20/I mm (2,400 rounds),
    • 1x M63 Plamen 128 mm MLRS (32 rockets),
    • 2x BP-30 Plamya 30 mm (960 grenades),
    • 1x MTU-4 launcher with four Strela-2M

Troops and vehicles disembarking RTK-402 in Šabac in 1954. The ship has the first configuration of armament consisting of 40 mm Bofors and two 12.7 mm Browning heavy machine guns

The second configuration of armament consisting of One Zastava 20/III mm M55 anti-aircraft gun and two Zastava 20/I mm M55 anti-aircraft guns

The second configuration of armament with added turrets for Soviet BP-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launchers

Close-up of Zastava M55 20/III mm anti-aircraft gun

The third configuration of armament consisting of Zastava M75 20/IV mm, two Zastava M71 20/I mm, and two BP-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launchers. For some reason, this particular ship still has two old Zastava M55 20/I mm guns

RTK-404 with the third configuration of armament. The M63 Plamen MLRS is not present yet

Close-up of Zastava M75 20/IV mm

View of the ship’s aft with two Zastava M71 20/I mm

Close-up of Zastava M71 20/I mm

View of Zastava M71 20/I mm and MTU-4 launcher

Close-up of the turret housing BP-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launcher

RTK anchored near the bridge in Ilok in 1991. The M63 Plamen launcher obscures the front-firing sector of the Zastava M75 20/IV mm gun, which was solved after the war by swapping the positions of those two weapons

Close-up of M63 Plamen MLRS

M63 Plamen MLRS firing 128 mm rockets





Magazine Arsenal:
Десантные корабли и катера Югославии
Marinefährprahm - Wikipedia
PALUBA - Index

1 Like

+1 for Yugoslavia

1 Like

That is really funky and cool, and I’d love to see it in all of its forms. +1 for each configuration.

1 Like