GAZ Tigr is a Russian high-mobility light armoured vehicle. Credit: Mike1979 Russia/ Wikipedia.
A GAZ-2975 Tigr multi-role military vehicle conveys Russian Army vehicles. Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin/ Wikipedia.
GAZ-233034 SPM-1 multi-role armoured police vehicle is designed for the police and law enforcement agencies. Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/ Wikimedia Commons.

The GAZ-2330 Tigr is a 4×4 multi-role, all-terrain light armoured vehicle manufactured by Russia’s Military Industrial Company (VPK), a part of GAZ Group. The vehicle is primarily operated by the Russian Defence Ministry and Ministry of the Interior forces.

The vehicles are deployed by the rapid-reaction teams and special forces for conducting escort missions, patrols and counter-terrorist operations.

The first Tigr prototype vehicles were unveiled in 2002 and production commenced in 2004. The vehicles are manufactured at the Arzamas Machine-Building Enterprise, a part of VPK, in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region.

The initial orders were received from the Russian Defence Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior. The vehicle is being offered primarily for police and defence customers in Russia.

China received 100 SPM-2E Tigr vehicles in 2008. Other countries intending to purchase Tigr vehicles include Brazil and customers in the Middle East.

In October 2012, the Russian Ministry of the Interior (MVD) signed an agreement with Nicaragua to supply an unspecified number of Tigr vehicles.

GAZ-2330 Tigr was deployed by the Russian soldiers during the Crimean conflict between Russia and Ukraine in 2014.

Currently, the vehicle is also in operation with the armed forces including those of Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Mongolia, Slovakia, Uruguay and Uzbekistan.

GAZ Tigr variants

The Tigr is produced in a wide range of variants for a number of applications. GAZ-2975 is the military variant of the GAZ-2330 Tigr, and the GAZ-233001 is an unarmoured version developed for the civilian market.

GAZ-233034 and GAZ-233036 SPM-2 are multi-role armoured police vehicles designed for the police and law enforcement agencies. The SPM-2 offers a NATO STANAG 4569 level 2 ballistic protection.

Other variants include GAZ-233014-0000186 and GAZ-233014-0000184 armoured personnel carriers, MK-BLA-01 UAV carrier, Kornet-EM multi-purpose missile system, Tigr Scout vehicle and Tigr-M (AMN-233114) mobile electronic warfare vehicle.

Tigr design

The GAZ Tigr incorporates a conventional layout with an engine forward, a crew cab in the middle and a troop section at the rear. The vehicle resembles the US-made HMMWV. The modular design of the Tigr allows the conversion of base vehicles into passenger, armoured and cargo platforms. The vehicle can be configured to meet various mission requirements of the customers.

The vehicle has a length of 5.16m, a width of 2.2m and a height of 2m. It has a weight of 5.3t, which can increase up to 7.8t with the addition of a heavy armour set. The armour set increases the ballistic protection of the vehicle.

It can carry a payload of 1,500kg. The standard version of the Tigr vehicle accommodates a driver and 11 passengers. Other variants are equipped with seating for four to nine occupants.

Tigr-M update details

The Tigr-M multipurpose vehicle equipped with the Arbalet-DM remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) was unveiled in 2016, and became operational within the Russian armed forces in 2017.

The Arbalet-DM RCWS serves the purpose of evacuating populated areas while enabling the operator to oversee the situation without risk. They have been used by the Russian armed forces during the conflict in Ukraine to transport infantry and carry cargo.

A version of the Tigr-M vehicle was equipped with an open turntable placed on the top of the hull.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has purchased several Tigr-M vehicles with Arbalet RCWS for Russian airborne troops since 2017. They are designed to enhance the combat effectiveness and agility of reconnaissance teams. They are used by the troops for tactical and fire training.

In August 2023, the Russian Ministry of Defence ordered a batch of GAZ Tigr-M vehicles with additional armour. GAZ Tigr-M armoured vehicles can accommodate two crew members and seven landing troops. The vehicles will provide support in patrolling, firing, infantry transportation, reconnaissance and escorting convoys.

Arbalet-DM remote-controlled weapons station details

The Arbalet-DM RCWS is capable of being mounted on wheeled and tracked vehicles, surface ships and fixed guard posts. It is either armed with a 12.7-mm KORD heavy machine gun or loaded with 150 rounds of ammunition or a 7.62-mm PKTM machine gun carrying 250 rounds of ammunition.

The Arbalet RCWS possesses advanced target detection and tracking capabilities, whether it is stationary or in motion. It is equipped with an electro-optic reconnaissance system and 902B Tucza smoke grenade launchers. Its optical cameras can identify objects up to 2.5km away, while its infrared cameras have a range of up to 1.5km. Additionally, the sighting system of the weapon station is enhanced with a laser rangefinder.

Armaments and self-protection of GAZ-2330

The standard Tigr vehicle can be armed with a 7.62mm/12.7mm machine gun or 30mm automatic grenade launcher. The armament is mounted on the top of the roof.

The armoured variant of Tigr is equipped with armour plates, spall liners and bulletproof glass windows. The vehicle is available in two protection levels. The armour protects the crew and occupants from small arms fire, artillery shell splinters and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The armoured variant is 700kg heavier than the standard Tigr vehicle.

The Tigr-M’s design features several improvements to enhance its operating characteristics, reliability, ergonomics, and bullet and mine protection.


The GAZ Tigr base variant is powered by a Cummins B205 20 diesel engine coupled to either GAZ JSC 5-speed mechanical or Allison LCT-1000 automatic transmission. The engine provides a maximum on-road speed of 140km/h. A pre-heater ensures the engine starts during cold weather. The engine compartment is equipped with an automatic fire suppression system.

Other engine options available for the vehicle are: Cummins B-180 5.9l, 180hp; Cummins B-214 5.9l, 215hp or GAZ-562 3.2l, with a 197hp turbocharged diesel engine.


The Tigr is equipped with a full-time all-wheel drive. The independent torsion-bar crossbar-type suspension consists of hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers and stabilisers. The KI-115 AM tyres are fitted with an automatic tyre inflation system. The system allows the driver to adjust tyre pressure according to terrain conditions.

The vehicle has demonstrated excellent cross-country mobility on difficult sand dunes. It has high operating capability in desert climates with ambient temperatures of up to +50°C. The vehicle can negotiate departure angles of 52° and can ford a water depth of 1.2m.