YA-12 – light artillery tractor, which were developed by NATI designers and launched at the Yaroslavskiy Avtomobilniy Zavod YaAZ – Yaroslav Automobile Plant. Firstly was developed YA-11 tractor but Gorkovskiy Avtomobilniy Zavod GAZ – Gorky Automobile Plant could not produced the required quantity of engines for the YA-11 and production had to be stopped.
In 1943 Soviet Union had received large quantities of the U.S. made GMC-4-71 4-cylinder 2-stroke 110hp engine under Lend Lease Contract. The availability of these engines allowed for a renewed production of YA-11 design under the new designation YA-12.
The serial production of YA-12 started in August of 1943 and till the end of 1943 were produced 285 tractors, till the end of war – 1666. In 1945 Red Army had in the inventory 1270 YA-12 tractors.
YA-12 tractors were used for tugging of such guns as 100-mm field guns BS-3, 122-mm corps guns A-19, 122-mm howitzers M-30, 152-mm howitzers ML-20 and 203-mm heavy howitzers B-4.
YA-12 artillery tractors were in service of Soviet Army and Czechoslovak Army till the middle of 50’s years.