Import substitution in Galich style
Engineering technology for the armed forces attracts constant attention at exhibitions of all levels. The forum "Army-2021" was no exception, one of the important places at which was occupied by the exhibits of the Galich Truck Crane Plant. The company has been manufacturing mobile cranes since 1982 and has managed to achieve considerable success in this rather narrow specialization. In Galich, one of the few in the country has mastered their own production of 100-ton cranes on imported MZKT and Volvo chassis. For such heavy equipment, a five-axle chassis is required, which are not mass-produced in Russia. Truck cranes are also supplied to the armed forces, but in this sector the lion's share is occupied by machines from the Klintsovsky plant. The Galicians adapted to market realities and offered the military a heavy 50-ton crane KS-65713-5M on a four-axle KamAZ-6560. "Klintsy" supply the Russian army with cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 32 tons, so the heavy machine from Galich turned out to be out of competition. KS-65713-5M is handed over to the customer complete with a trailer with seven tons of counterweights. The actual monopolization of the market for army cranes by the Klintsovsky plant forces the Galicians to diversify the production range.
More recently, a universal piling unit (USA-2) was adopted in service, unified in many units with civilian cranes. Moreover, the unit, in which case, may not drive piles into the ground, but lift loads up to 32 tons. This is how the Galicians gracefully entered the fiefdom of the cranes from Klintsy. The unit drives the piles with a diesel hammer with a percussion part of 1,25 or 1,8 tons, mounted on an 18,7-meter pile-mast. By the way, the boom of the mast is made in the form of an ovoid, which complicates production, but greatly facilitates the structure without loss of strength. According to calculations, USA-2 is capable of working with piles weighing up to 5 tons and up to 12 meters long. It is not for nothing that the pile-driving unit is called universal - the kit may include a cradle of the elevator and a drilling rig.
In 2015, the truck crane plant presented to the military a completely non-core unit - a heavy mechanized bridge TMM-3M2. This is a typical example of abandoning imported equipment. For a long time he served in the Soviet and Russian armies and still serves today as TMM-3 on the basis of the Ukrainian KrAZ-255B. Six years ago, the time came for a major overhaul of a part of this fleet, and, for obvious reasons, this is impossible without changing the chassis. After the bridge was transferred to the domestic KamAZ-53501 base, the characteristics did not fundamentally change. Carrying capacity - 60 tons, link length of four bridges - 42 meters, width - 1,5 meters. Due to the fact that the plant in Galich specializes in hydraulic cranes, there are no more mechanical winches and outriggers in TMM-3M2.
Continuing the topic of import substitution, the truck crane plant in Galich at Army-2021 presented a replacement for the Kharkov regimental earth-moving machine PZM-2. The solutions used on the novelty are largely controversial.
Formally, the PZM-2M is only a further modernization of the military tractor from Kharkov T-155K. But in fact, it is not easy to find common features between a novelty and a well-deserved car with fifty years of experience. At the same time, there are units that, after restoration, migrated from the tractor to KamAZ-65224. This is the trencher itself and the dozer blade. Transferring engineering equipment from a tractor chassis to a civilian, albeit off-road, truck was not an easy undertaking. Apparently, the design of the machine did not cope well with the increased loads during digging trenches. The KAMAZ SUV also lacked traction force, which forced the engineers to take a certain risk. For the first time in world practice, they have integrated a crawler hoist to help the shrew during work. The official name is a multifunctional tracked mover. In the development of a largely unique unit, engineers again used the unification with the existing technology. Tank the caterpillars did not fit in terms of mass-dimensional parameters, so it was decided to use spare parts from a skidder. It was possible, of course, to take the tracks from the BMP, but it was the skidders that were at hand. At first glance, a controversial decision - how to replace such typically civilian units in the army? The decision was made in favor of the truck crane plant, which has long-standing ties with skidder manufacturers. It's all about the special crawler cranes KC-59713-14T and KS-59713-32T, which are assembled in Galich on the basis of the TL-5ALM tractors manufactured by Altailesmash. It seems that the truck crane plant has no problems at all with the supply of caterpillar tracks.
The mechanics of the multifunctional tracked mover are straightforward. As soon as the unit copes with the task, the propulsion carriage on hydraulic drives is pulled up half a meter under the "belly" of KamAZ, and the PZM-2M turns into an ordinary truck in terms of maneuverability. Actually, it is precisely in the high maximum speed that the key advantage of the novelty is that in all other parameters it is in no way better than the Kharkov PZM-2. According to Alexander Trofimov, General Director of the Design Bureau for Prospective Developments of the Galich Plant, the earthmoving KamAZ is only a product of the restoration and modernization of old equipment, and not at all an innovation. The tricks with the lifting caterpillar cart were not in vain for the mass of the unit - from the initial 12,8 tons of PZM-2, it rose to 23,5 tons. As the historian of technology Yuri Pasholok rightly asks in his blog: what, then, is the benefit from modernization? Almost a twofold increase in mass, coupled with the complexity of the design, did not affect the efficiency of the earth-moving machine in any way. The possibility of remote control does not count - this newfangled gadget can now be installed on frankly outdated equipment. It's all about the army order. According to the aforementioned general director Alexander Trofimov, the military needed a vehicle that could move freely in a combined arms column. Kharkov tractors are not capable of this for constructive reasons.
The engineers of the truck crane plant suggest using the PZM-2M not only as a purely army earth-moving machine, but also for the needs of civil defense. According to the developers, the working unit is capable of creating wide mineral fire protection strips in the forests, and the earth thrown out by the rotor can also extinguish fires. However, the advertising footage shows that PZM-2M is hardly capable of extinguishing even a small forest fire. To do this, drive the machine directly to the front edge of the fire. The very stream of shattered earth flies in almost all directions, filling the cabin more than the space around it.
The development of the PZM-2M is a typical example of a sober approach to the design of equipment. Cheap and cheerful. On the one hand, this is faster, but on the other hand, it does not allow taking serious evolutionary steps. And the lifting pair of caterpillars is unlikely to be a justified technical breakthrough.