The diameter of the wheels is 1.75 meters. The vehicle is more than six meters long, 3.2m high, 2.9m wide and weighs 4 tons. (click images to enlarge)
courtesy Burlak-vehicles North Pole 2018, SOURCE
March 22, 2016, position of the Burlak vehicle and their support car in the Ural Mountains in Russia.
courtesy Burlak-vehicles North Pole 2018, SOURCE
A 4-ton vehicle 'swimming'.
courtesy Burlak-vehicles North Pole 2018, SOURCE
New-design Russian Amphibious Vehicles to attempt North Pole return drive

Posted: Mar 25, 2016 02:19 pm EDT


(Correne Coetzer, this article was originally published in the Lab on


Another all-terrain amphibious car has been designed in Russia, this one named, "Burlak". The vehicle's purpose is to drive to the Geographic North Pole and back, but it can also be used for science research in severe conditions in the Arctic.


The idea for this vehicle is the brainchild of Alexey Makarov, who has been inspired by fellow countryman, Vasily Elagin. Elagin was the designer of Yemelya-1 and Yemelya-2 amphibious vehicles that drove from Russia to the North Pole in 2009. These vehicles were left at the Pole. In 2013, Elagin and his team drove Yemelya-3 and Yemelya-4 amphibious vehicles across the Arctic, from Russia to Canada via 90ºN, without any assistance or support. 




Alexey Makarov has included Vasily Elagin in his team. Andrey Ivanov is the photograpgher and cameraman. Sergey Berent and Alexander Myakonkov are the mechanics.




The vehicle is designed according to the concept of Russian amphibious personnel carriers, the BTR-60. It shares some of the components of the BTR-60 and even of a standard Toyota Land Cruiser SUV. But the transmission and transfer case are designed independently, says the website.


The diameter of the wheels is 1.75 meters. The special low pressure tires are produced in China. The vehicle is more than six meters long, 3.2m high, 2.9m wide and weighs 4 tons.


The designers say, Burlak is different from other all-terrain vehicles; the design took into account the operating experience of predecessors and an entirely new car was designed. "This ensures that the trip to the North Pole will be faster and more secure."




The cabin is "a comfortable all-terrain vehicle”, explains the website, with four beds, a kitchen with gas burners for cooking, a sink and a shower. "By adjusting the flow of heat from the engine, you can maintain a comfortable temperature. The interior is lined with insulation and synthetic felt, which retain heat for a long time.”




March 2016: Test on ground, floating ice and water. Heading to the coast of the Kara Sea, Russian Arctic. Endpoint - Baidarata Bay.

A second Burlak will be built after this test drive. 


Latest update on March 22, 2016: "Burlak People drove to the mountain! This is the highest peak of the Urals. Altitude - 1895 meters."


2017: The two vehicles will head to their starting point of the expedition, the polar station on Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago.


March 2018: Russia to North Pole Expedition, and back.




Watch this video on the Trans-Arctic Expedition YouTube to see the Burlak operating.


And this one in the water.



Editor’s note: Apparently they will "break the world record by reaching the North Pole with amphibious vehicles, which will be the first to be capable of driving there in an autonomous mode.” Not sure what the specific world record is what they want to break, because two sets of amphibian vehicles have reached the Pole before. Probably faster time.


Another note: They call their expedition a ‘Trans-Arctic’ Expedition, which could be confusing because, according to the website, they will return to Russia, and not traverse.


Previous Expeditions:


In 2009 two amphibious vehicles, MLAE-2009 Expedition, Yemelya-1 and Yemelya-2, reached the Geographic North Pole in 38 days, on April 26, after traversing 2033 km from Sredniy Island in the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, to 90°N. The vehicles were left at the North Pole.


In 2013 Yemelya-3 and Yemelya-4 were used by the Marine Live-ice Automobile Expedition (MLAE-2013) to go beyond the North Pole to Resolute Bay, Canada, 74°41′N, 094°52′W.  They started driving from the Russian polar station at Golomânnyj (N79° 33') on March 1, where they greeted the border guards. After 37 days they reached the Geographic North Pole on April 6. On April 30 they reached the Canadian mainland. They spent 61 days on the ice and carried on driving to Resolute Bay.





Yemelya Vehicles reached the North Pole (2009)


Russian amphibious cars crossed the Arctic Ocean (2013)


Modified Hybrid Hummers in the Arctic (2016)



Burlak Pages







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