History MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 project began in the mid-nineties, when the Minsk plant of wheeled tractors decided to find buyers in a new region. Designers of the company have begun to study the appearance of promising tractors and other special equipment, adapted to work in difficult conditions of the Middle East. According to the results of the research, some interesting proposals were made concerning certain features of the equipment.
So, for work in a hot climate, the power plant had to be equipped with cooling means of appropriate power. It was found that such units can not be used on the machine without the bonnet layout, traditional for MZKT. For this reason, for the first time in the history of the enterprise, it was decided to build a car with a pronounced hood that accommodates all the necessary devices. Later, taking into account the wishes of the customer, other features of the appearance were identified.
The MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 project in its modern form was launched in 1998, when the Ministry of Defense of the United Arab Emirates announced a tender for the purchase of truck trains-tank carriers. The army wanted a complex consisting of a tractor and trailers capable of carrying the main battle tank AMX-56 Leclerc. An alternative payload was supposed to be two infantry fighting vehicles BMP-3. In addition, it was required to ensure the possibility of transporting crews of vehicles. All of this made special demands on the road train, but several leading automotive companies applied for participation in the program at once.
Shortly after the launch of the competition, tests of several types of machines provided began at landfills in a Middle Eastern country. Together with the Belarusian enterprise MZKT, German, American, Czech, etc. took part in the competition. the company. To carry out comparative tests by the customer in the UAE, an experienced tractor MZKT-74135 set off. The Minsk plant did not have time to develop the required trailers by that time, because of which the tractor was tested together with the semi-trailer of the French company LOHR.
The first tests were completed successfully. MZKT-74135 showed itself well and, in general, satisfied the potential customer. At the same time, the UAE military criticized the size and characteristics of the presented French semi-trailer. Fortunately, by this time the development of its own products with the required characteristics was already launched. As conceived by the designers of the Minsk Plant, together with the new MZKT-74135 tractor, the MZKT-99942 semi-trailer and the MZKT-83721 trailer should be used. The use of two such devices at once made it possible not only to fulfill the requirements of the customer in terms of the quantity and mass of armored vehicles being transported, but also to surpass them.
In 2000, several of the best tankers passed new tests in the UAE. This time the Minsk road train was tested in a complete set and included a pair of new trailers. In terms of technical and operational characteristics of the Belarusian development, at least, not inferior to competitors. However, she had a special advantage in the form of the possibility of transporting two tanks or three less heavy armored vehicles at once. In addition, in the large cabin of the tractor there were places for the crews of the transported vehicles.
According to the test results of 2000, the United Arab Emirates Army decided to purchase MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 road trains. The contract for their supply was supposed to appear in the very near future, but negotiations were delayed. The document was signed only in 2002 year. In accordance with it, in the near future the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant was to build another prototype, modified in accordance with the wishes of the customer. After his tests, it was possible to launch full-scale mass production. Taking into account the second prototype, the order provided for the construction of 40 road trains.
The updated and revised tractor with the old name MZKT-74135 was built and tested in the 2004 year. In fact, a deep modernization was carried out with a complete reworking of the power unit, changing the cab, etc. The main technical characteristics remained at the same level, but a number of parameters were significantly improved.
In both versions, the MZKT-74135 tractor is a four-axle all-wheel drive car bonnet assembly, equipped with a fifth wheel coupling to interact with the standard semi-trailer. At the same time, there were noticeable external and internal differences. In particular, the contours and proportions of the body have changed. The cabin was developed anew, which deprived the tractor of a small resemblance to the previous MZKT brand cars.
MZKT-74135 is built according to the hood layout and is distinguished by large dimensions of the engine compartment. All units are mounted on a rectangular frame, assembled from Z-shaped profiles. In the modern version of the project, the engine is covered with a hood with rounded contours. The front wall of the engine cover has a large grille for the radiator. Behind the engine compartment is a crew cabin with a double row of seats. Behind the cab, in the open area, it is planned to install a winch and a means of transporting a spare wheel. The rear of the chassis serves as the basis for the fifth wheel hitch.
In the first version of the project, a German-made Deutz MWM TBD 234 diesel engine, which developed the HP 788 power, was completed. Used hydromechanical gearbox Alison M6600AR. As part of the modernization of the machine equipped with a diesel engine Daimler Chrysler OM 444LA 796 HP horsepower. The new Alison M6610AR improved automatic transmission with six forward gears and two rear gears is connected to the new engine. From the gearbox, torque is transmitted to the transfer cases, which drive the central gearboxes with cross-axle differentials on each axle.
The pair of front axles of the tractor is equipped with an independent double-lever torsion bar suspension. The rear axles have an independent double-lever suspension with springs. Used wheels with wide tires Michelin 23,5R25XLB TL 188E. The front two axles are made manageable; there is a hydraulic booster in the steering system. The axles are mounted on a frame with different gaps. The distance between the first and second axes is defined in 2,2 m, the second gap is 2,75 m. Between the third and fourth bridges that take on the main load, the total 1,7 is m.
The fifth wheel coupling is located at the height of 2,05 m and is able to take the load up to 26 m. The “saddle” is installed directly above the third axle of the chassis, which allows to obtain an optimal distribution of the load on the ground.
To work with different loads MZKT-74135 tractor is equipped with its own winch. Product ITAG WPH-250-2 is equipped with a two-speed hydraulic drive. The issuance of cables with a length of 100 m is carried out with two drums. The traction force on 200 kN on each drum allows you to tighten on the semi-trailer any equipment.
The tractor is equipped with fiberglass cockpit with an increased number of passenger seats. Initially, the cabin had a characteristic backward-facing glazing, borrowed from the existing special equipment, but then it was replaced with a pair of large glasses. On the sides there are two doors opening in different directions. Access to the cab is facilitated by tall ladders placed in the first cross-axle spacing.
The large dimensions of the cabin made it possible to establish not only places for our own crew, but also seats for passengers - crews of transported vehicles. Seats, if necessary, are transformed into bedrooms. The tractor was originally equipped with air conditioning, but 1998-2000's tests showed its insufficient power. The upgraded car received a more powerful climate system. At ambient temperatures of up to + 55 ° C, no more than + 20 ° C is supported in the cabin.
The tractor has a length of 10,51 m with a width of 3,18 m and a height of 3,95 m. The curb weight reaches 29,9 tons. The total weight taking into account the load on the coupling device is 54,9 tons. At the same time, the two front axles are 12450 tons and the two rear axes are 15 t.
The second element of the unique road train is a semi-trailer MZKT-99942. This product is built on the basis of a frame of box spars associated with the carrier flooring. Also, the platform is equipped with side covers, covering additional equipment. The front part of the semi-trailer platform is curved, which made it possible to increase the effective flooring area and get space for additional cargo, while maintaining full compatibility with the fifth wheel coupling device of the tractor. Under the main platform there are six axles with a pair of wheels on each. In the stern there are hydraulic folding traps.
To increase the autonomy of the semi-trailer is equipped with its own engine, coupled with hydraulic and pneumatic pumps. Hydraulics is responsible for moving the semi-trailer front feet and ladders. The pneumatic system controls tire pressure. Control over the operation of the hydraulic and pneumatic systems is carried out from the control panel in the tractor cab or from the remote device.
The total length of the MZKT-99942 semi-trailer exceeds 18,5 m, width - 3,65 m. Loading height - 1,5 m. The rear flat part of the loading platform has a length of 9,5 m, front slope - 5 m. Equipped product weighs 21 t. which corresponds to the transportation of one Leclerc tank or two BMP-70 vehicles. In this case, the main part of the load falls on the semi-trailer's own wheels, while only 3 t is transferred to the tractor.
The last element of the tank became the trailer MZKT-83721. This product is a four-axle high-capacity trolley transported behind the MZKT-99942 using a tow bar. This trailer has a cargo platform with a length of just over 8 m and a pair of folding ladders in the stern. With it, the auto train can take on an additional tank or combat vehicle.
The total length of the trailer MZKT-83721, excluding the towing device, is 9,26 m, width - 3,65 m. Loading height is reduced to 1485 mm. The curb weight of the trailer is defined in 18 t, the weight of the load is 63 t. The total weight, respectively, reaches 81 t.
The three-component road train-tank carrier MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 is distinguished by the most remarkable size and weight, and also has unique characteristics. The tractor, semi-trailer and trailer assembly has a length of 38,6 m. The curb weight of such a complex is slightly less than 50 tons. The payload is 133 tons. The total weight is about 203 tons.
Driving along the highway, a tanker with a semi-trailer and a load on it can reach speeds of no more than 82 km / h. The maximum speed in the full configuration is limited to 50 km / h. The special design of the undercarriage and its individual elements increase the permeability of the road train. As was shown in the tests of past years, this technique can move not only along the highway, but also along a dirt road. It is also possible to overcome individual off-road sections.
The first prototype of the MZKT-74135, later equipped with the MZKT-9942 semi-trailer, at the beginning of the last decade, was able to show the highest performance and interest the potential customer in the United Arab Emirates army. According to the results of those tests, even if with a noticeable delay, an agreement was signed on the modernization of the existing equipment with its subsequent mass production. In accordance with the first order, the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant produced 40 complexes for ground forces.
In 2007, a new contract for tank vehicles MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 appeared. This time, the UAE requested the delivery of two hundred tractor trucks with semi-trailers and trailers. For several years, such an order has been fully implemented. The supply of a significant number of Belarusian-made special equipment in a known manner affected the mobility of the UAE ground forces. The increased payload of the new road trains allows faster and easier relocation of military equipment, which has a positive effect on the combat capability of the troops.
In 2016, there were references in foreign publications about the new order of the UAE Ministry of Defense, according to which the army will receive a certain amount of special equipment. It was alleged that this time the Republic of Belarus will receive a contract without competition and comparative tests. According to some information, it was again about road trains based on MZKT-74135.
A characteristic feature of the MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 road train and, above all, its basic tractor is developed cooling means that ensure the operation of equipment in the difficult conditions of the Middle East. In this regard, the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant continues to promote its development on the international market. However, as far as we know, only the United Arab Emirates was interested in such equipment. Other states in the region still do not wish to acquire the most interesting samples of equipment with unique characteristics.
A three-tiered road train with the ability to transport two or three combat vehicles could be of interest to other countries, but they are still not in a hurry to conclude contracts. It is possible that they are frightened off by the fitness of ready-made samples for operation in a hot climate, which is excessive for their conditions. However, it cannot be excluded that the Belarusian engineers will be able to recycle their road train in accordance with the requirements of the new customer.
At the moment, the MZKT-74135 + 99942 + 83721 road train is one of the best cars of its class in the world. It shows unique technical and operational characteristics, having a serious impact on the combat capability of the troops. At the same time, this sample of special equipment is not very popular. Over the past years, only one country has ordered it. Such circumstances transfer the Belarusian road train to the category of notable, but not particularly successful developments. Time will show whether he can become the subject of new orders and get rid of such an unpleasant status.
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