ZIL-131: farewell to retirement
Back in 1977, the first attempts were made at ZIL to replace the 131st truck. The military demanded to equip the new product with a ZIL-645 diesel engine, raise the load capacity to 4 tons, and also replace the cabin with the ability to withstand arms mass destruction design. In addition, the army planned to locally armor the cabin of a new truck in the future, so there was no question of any panoramic curved glass. The first prototypes created in 1977 in the onboard version were called ZIL-132 (in some sources - ZIL-136). The main thing here is not to confuse this car with a three-axle floating all-terrain vehicle ZIL-132 of the special design bureau ZIL.
The cab of the new car was angular in shape - it was she who became the prototype for the cars of the next generation. Index 4334 for an on-board vehicle itself appeared in 1981, however, for some reason, the cabin of an experienced truck was returned from ZIL-131. This hybrid received a reinforced frame, finally a diesel V-shaped eight-cylinder 185-horsepower engine, an automatic fan clutch, an automatic pre-heater, an amplifier in the clutch drive, a winch with a wave gear and new radial tires. This car also remained in the category of experimental.
After 8 years, in 1989, the third version of the cab appears on a machine with a long name ZIL-433410. In this version, the cabin was partially unified with the civilian from ZIL-4331, which has been produced in small series since 1986. The new truck could take on board 3,75 tons of payload and was equipped with a multi-fuel diesel 170-horsepower engine. The windshield was now divided into two flat parts, which allowed including mounting bulletproof glass.
In 1994, the front lining was finally unified with civilian trucks and once again the updated truck is called ZIL-433420. In a tank repair version, these machines went into export together with the ordered Indian aircraft. tanks T-90 Also, for foreign buyers, Muscovites have developed another hybrid - ZIL-131D with a 145-horsepower 145T Fayzer diesel engine from Perkins. ZIL-433420 was the best embodiment of the concept of the 131st car, coupled with a diesel engine, which provided the truck with a range of 1300 kilometers.
Army ZIL-4343. Differences from the previous ZML-131 only in the cabin and engine. Source: en.wheelsage.org
ZIL-433420 in the open area No. 1 of the museum of the Ryazan Military Automobile Institute (RVAI). Source: denisovets.ru
Another representative of the many-sided Zilovsky family is ZIL-433410 with a modified tail unit. Pay attention to the windshield - it was this design that was later introduced on Kalam-1 machines. Open area No. 1 of the museum of the Ryazan Military Automobile Institute (RVAI). Source: denisovets.ru
Describing Army history ZIL of the 90s, one can not help but mention another car assembled from units of different models. This is a biaxial ZIL-432730 with a carrying capacity of 2,3-2,4 tons, which was put into small-scale production in 1996. The car was assembled from transmission units and wheels ZIL-131, Minsk diesel (again with a long name) D-245.9 MMZ E2, cabs from 4334 and plumage from the “Bychka”. In the early 2000s, when the army began to feel a shortage of airborne vehicles for the airborne forces, the Moscow Automobile Plant decided to push its hybrid into the framework of the state defense order. But the requirements for airborne descent vehicles are somewhat stricter than for conventional army trucks, they had to go through coping tests. What are they? The truck is attached to a special platform, lifted by 1 meter or more, and then dumped onto concrete. This simulates the hard landing of a parachute system. After such a strong fall, the truck for the Airborne Forces must also make a control run. Naturally, the Zilovites had to strengthen the frame and suspension of the army “Goby”, as well as save money for a test dump.
The whole procedure was carried out by the capital Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Universal" - the Moscow Design and Production Complex. It cost about 8 million rubles. No money was found at the factory workers; coping tests did not take place, which put an end to the future ZIL for the airborne forces. By the way, money appeared in Naberezhnye Chelny for test copying of KamAZ-43501, and then the corresponding contract of the Ministry of Defense appeared. After a fight, the engineers at the Moscow Automobile Plant waved their fists for a long time, assuring that their “Goby” was better than KamAZ in terms of weight and size to replace the GAZ-66. The Nizhny Tagil machine was noticeably larger than the ZIL and the more so the retired Shishigi. The consequence of this was the high windage of the truck, which had to be taken into account when dropping from an airplane. Perhaps this failure was the penultimate attempt of the plant to seize on the rescue defense order. ZIL, which in the best Soviet times provided up to 40% of the army’s needs for wheeled vehicles, step by step moved away from the Russian arms market. The latest attempt to gain a foothold was the Kalam-1 development work, which became a breakthrough in many ways.
According to one version, voiced in the publication “Equipment and Armament: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”, the idea of launching the Kalam-1 OCD came to the Main Armored Directorate under the impression of the American Oshkosh MTVR trucks. These machines came to the place of the M939, which was in many respects an analogue (although heavier) of the domestic ZIL-131 and Ural-4320. And in May 2001, the MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement) “medium tactical replacement vehicle” for the Marine Corps and the Navy appeared in the United States.
Oshkosh MTVR. The machine, the concept of which was oriented by the engineers of the Kalam-1. Naturally, they did not pay attention to the weight and size parameters. Source: en.wikipedia.org
For the United States Army, this car was very modern: a 6-cylinder 11,9-liter Caterpillar C-12 diesel engine (425 hp), an Allison 7-speed automatic transmission with electronic control, and an independent TAK-4 spring-loaded wishbone each wheel travels from 325 to 406 mm, an electronic system for changing tire pressure, automatic adjustment of traction on wheels, ABS, as well as a welded aluminum cabin. At the moment, Oshkosh has delivered more than 10 thousand trucks to the troops, including MTVR Armor Systems equipped with local armoring. The truck range includes both relatively light 4x4 vehicles and huge 8x8 vehicles with a payload of 16,5 tons. Oshkosh MTVR managed to fight in Iraq, where it proved itself very well (obviously, for this reason, it attracted the attention of the Russian military). It is interesting that the GABTU did not plan to create a truck of a similar size - the lightest version of the MK23 pulled 13-plus tons of curb weight. It was rather a job for the Kremenchug Automobile Plant than for the ZIL. Therefore, in the technical requirements for the promising ZIL of the Kalam-1 project, both the carrying capacity and dimensions were seriously reduced relative to the American counterpart.
In 2004, AMO-ZIL developed two cars with long indexes (once again) 4327A1 and 4334A1. The first truck was biaxial and with a carrying capacity of 2,5 tons, and the second with three axles and a payload of 4 tons. Externally, Kalam-1 cars did not practically differ from army trucks of the previous series, unless separate windshields gave a specific purpose in ZIL. However, according to the technical content of the Kalama, they seriously departed from their distant ancestor ZIL-131. The main motto of the developers was: “Modularity and unification!” This can be seen even with the example of motors. On a biaxial ZIL-4327A1, a 4-cylinder YaMZ-534 turbodiesel was installed with a capacity of 173 liters. sec., and for the six-wheeled “Kalam”, two more cylinders of 1,1 liters were added each and a 230-strong YaMZ-536 was already obtained. These engines were developed in Yaroslavl from scratch with the support of the foreign engineering office AVL List, equipped with Bosch Common Rail fuel injection system, charge air cooler (intercooler) and electronics to prevent excessive engine speeds. For the beginning of the XXI century, these engines were quite modern, not only for army operation, but also for the civilian market.
ZIL-4334A1 "Kalam-1". Pay attention to the nodes of the front independent suspension. Source: en.wheelsage.org
Of course, the Kalam-1 family of cars could not dream of any automatic gearbox - in Russia they could not make such units for such equipment. As, however, do not know how to do now. Muscovites installed a mechanical 4327-speed SAAZ-1A5 gearbox on ZIL-136A2, while the senior comrade received a self-developed gearbox ZIL-4334K2 with 6 steps. At the same time, both potential units could “digest” a greater torque than the Yaroslavl engines gave out. This was a backlog for further truck upgrades.
An important difference from the ancient design of ZIL-131 was a permanent all-wheel drive, it was decided to abandon the capricious system of connecting the front axle. The general transmission scheme remained the same with one pass-through bridge in the 6x6 version, but additionally rear axle and interwheel differentials appeared. The track was increased from 1820 mm (ZIL-4334 and predecessors) to 2030 mm, which allowed the track to go on the track off-road with heavier Ural and KamAZ vehicles.
One of the main advantages of "Kalam" was a completely independent suspension of all wheels. This, firstly, seriously improved ride and patency, and, secondly, made it possible to implement the principle of modularity. Now it was relatively painless to “drive” another driving axle to the truck. On machines of the ZIL-131 family, we recall that there was a balanced spring suspension at the rear. It should be noted that ZIL engineers approached the suspension design non-trivially, having installed a composite torsion as an elastic element. It was a rod in a pipe made of high alloy steel. It turned out relatively compact, reliable and durable. By the way, externally, Kalam-1 trucks with an empty body can be distinguished in the photographs by the small “club foot” of the rear wheels, caused by the design features of the independent suspension. The result was an excellent running gear, albeit somewhat overweight: the utilization rate of the mass of the truck decreased. Now, the more lifting KamAZs and the Urals were defeating Moscow Kalamas in this respect. For example, KamAZ-43114 with a curb weight of 9030 kg could take on board 6,09 tons, and ZIL-4334A1 - only 4 tons with a curb weight of 8,53 tons. However, due to a more advanced power unit, the specific fuel consumption was not so significant.
As you can already understand, “Kalam-1” never appeared in the Russian Army in any of the options. After completing the entire cycle of tests of the State Academic Technical University, the military department did not issue an order for this truck, which is largely unique to the domestic industry. Following the latest ZIL army truck, the main production of the Moscow Automobile Plant also died.