The Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT) supplies the eight-axle special wheel chassis (SKS) for the Strategic Rocket Forces of the RF Armed Forces of the Russian Federation MZKT-79221. Since 4 November 2005, they have been mass-produced for Topol-M and Yars mobile ground-based missile systems (PGRK), which today and for the medium term constitute the core of the ground-based SNF.
The fleet of military vehicles of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation has a special type of vehicles - special wheeled chassis and wheeled tractors (SKShT). The need for their development was caused by the development of large-sized mobile weapons and military equipment (IWT), primarily missile systems for the current SV, Strategic Missile Forces, IWRC. The creation of SKSHT in the USSR began in the middle of the 50-s. In the future, Soviet designers firmly held the leading position. In the Soviet Union, four specialized teams existed simultaneously: the Special Design Bureau (SKB) of the Likhachev Plant in Moscow, SKB-1 and special production of the Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ), Kurgan Wheel Tractor Plant (KZKT) and Bryansk Automobile Plant (BAZ). They mainly met the needs of the Armed Forces.
In the first half of 80-ies, the task was to increase the production of chassis for missile systems, so the creation of a BAZ backup in the city of Orsk, Orenburg region, began in full swing. The research work in the field of SKSHT was carried out at the Research Automotive and Automotive Institute (NAMI) and 21-m Research and Testing Institute (NIII) of the USSR Ministry of Defense. With the beginning of perestroika, many projects that have already begun have been curtailed.
Chassis for "Topol"
Veterans of the rocket forces and industry sometimes talk about the Topol PGRK, episodes unknown to the general public. One of them concerns the middle of 60's - 70's. At that time, they were actively engaged in the creation of new mobile complexes with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). A number of historians have noted that a kind of confrontation between the two schools - KZKT and MAZ SKB-1 has taken shape. Both teams offered their designs to the military, but in the end the Minsk group won, which was not unexpected.
Objectively, the design team in Minsk was more experienced and stronger. It is impossible to document the veterans' stories, as some of the information is contained in restricted documents, many of which could have been destroyed. However, if the development and production of special-purpose semi-axle wheeled chassis were then transferred to Kurgan at 70's, at the initial stage of development, Topol PGRK could be avoided in Russia today.
So, already in 1976, the first prototype of the SKS MAZ-7912 with the wheel formula 14x12 was manufactured in Minsk. The prototype was tested and in 1977-m model was put on mass production. The fact that in a short time we managed to create a new chassis was not accidental: SKB-1 MAZ had experience in the development and production of five- and six-axle SKSH MAZ-547, MAZ-547А, MAZ-547Б, MAZ-547В for launchers and transport transshipment units PGRK “Temp-2С”, “Pioneer”, “Pioneer-UTTH”. The first complex was removed from combat duty and quickly eliminated in 1985 – 1986. The official version is that the USSR fulfilled international obligations under the SALT-2 Treaty of 1979. In fact, the treaty did not enter into force due to the US refusal to ratify. The latter were destroyed by the Treaty between the USSR and the USA on the elimination of medium and shorter-range missiles.
During the operation of the MAZ-7912 chassis, shortcomings were revealed, which were eliminated in the next model SKS - MAZ-7917 (wheel formula 14x12), the first sample was made in the 1984 year, and the next one was launched into the series.
PGRK "Topol" put on combat duty in several stages. 23 July 1985 of the year - in Yoshkar-Ola rocket compound with a stationary command post. 28 April 1987 - in Tagil missile compound with a mobile command center (PKP) "Barrier". 27 May 1988 - in the Irkutsk missile compound with the advanced control panel "Granit". December 30 1988 of the year - in Teykovsky missile compound with an automated command and control system of the new generation. "Topol" and today forms the basis of the mobile grouping of the Strategic Missile Forces. He is the most massive PGRK. The maximum number of missiles on alert was 369. According to other data, the Topol PGRK grouping reached a maximum in the 1997 year, when 386 autonomous launchers were deployed.
Instead of tank motors
9 February 1987 of the year was issued Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 173-45, on the basis of which the creation of the Albatross combat missile system began. Mine and mobile (ground and railway) variants with a single universal rocket were envisaged. However, due to the inability to meet the basic requirements for all variants of basing and had to meet the specified deadlines, the work had to be adjusted.
9 September 1989 of the year issued a decision of the State Commission of the USSR Council of Ministers on military-industrial issues (MIC USSR CM) No. 323 on the start of the development of new complexes - mine and ground. The Moscow Institute of Heating Engineering again became the lead developer of the PGRK, as well as the Temp-2С and Topol complexes. The title of the topic is “Universal”. The development of the stationary mine complex was entrusted to Yuzhnoye Design Bureau from Dnepropetrovsk. Both complexes were supposed to be equipped with a universal rocket.
For the installation of the APS of the advanced PGRK, the existing seven-axle all-wheel-drive chassis of the MAZ-7917 did not suit the customer’s requirements. In the SKB-1 of MAZ, work on the new chassis began in the fourth quarter of 1986 as part of the “squeeze” theme of the future development plan for the 1986 – 1990 years. Designing new SKSH went in two directions - the chassis MAZ-7922 and MAZ-7923. A prototype of the first chassis with a wheel formula 16x16 produced 15 June 1990-th. A diesel engine of automobile type YMZ-8401.10-04 with horsepower 650 power was applied. In the USSR, 1960 – 1980 lacked powerful automotive-type engines, so tank engines were installed on the SKSHT. They were equipped with serial chassis and tractors manufactured by MAZ and KZKT, as well as a number of BAZ models. The use of tank engines dramatically reduced the life of power units and led to a large increase in fuel and lubricant consumption. In connection with the inclusion of tank power plants in the restrictive list and the lack of engines of the required power level in the same years, the four-axle armored personnel carriers of the Gorky Automobile Plant and the SKShT of the Bryansk Automobile Plant were forced to install two engines. This scheme had serious drawbacks.
In December, the 1989 of the MoD opened the Astrolog OCR, under which it was supposed to create an MAZ-7930 chassis with a tonnage of 22 and a tractor to replace the outdated SKSHT of the MAZ-543 and Oplot families. The MAZ-543А and MAZ-543М chassis were used, for example, as part of control panels, combat duty support machines, mobile diesel power stations, for the installation of other technical equipment included in the Topol PGRK. A prototype model of the new MAZ-79301 chassis with the wheel formula 8x8 was made in the 1991 year.
By the decision of the military industrial complex under the USSR CM from 29 December 1990, MAZ was entrusted with the creation, testing and putting into production of the SKS MAZ-79221 with the wheel formula 16x16. Veterans of the automotive service is called the chassis "Universal".
7 February 1991 was established by order of the general director of the BelavtoMAZ Production Association Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant. In the same year, a prototype of the MAZ-7923 chassis appeared with the wheel formula 16x16, the GTD-1250A gas turbine engine with 1250 horsepower and electric motor-wheels. The overall dimensions were similar to those of the MAZ-7922 chassis.
At the same time, the Yaroslavl Motor Plant (YAMZ) was developing a family of automotive-type engines (YMZ-847 with 800 hp for 16x16 chassis and YMZ-846 with 500 hp for 8X8 chassis and tractors 1991X847), which were equipped with 846 engine for XNUMX XNUMX and YMZ-XNUMX engines. tank engines. In XNUMX, the production of the first prototypes, YMZ-XNUMX and YMZ-XNUMX, began in Yaroslavl.
Work on the creation of powerful automotive-type engines was crowned with success. However, part of the problems was not completely solved, therefore not all “military” engine systems are now introduced into mass production.
At the end of 1991, the former Byelorussian SSR became an independent state - the Republic of Belarus (RB). Prior to this, 27 July 1990 was adopted by the Declaration of State Sovereignty, 19 September 1991-th BSSR was renamed. In fact, in the midst of promising OCD, funding for work was suspended. The topic "squeezing" was closed. Chassis MAZ-7923 did not even have time to experience.
The first president of the Republic of Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, demanded payment for all SKSHT MAZ in a freely convertible currency. First of all, Volgograd TsKB Titan (the developer of ground-based equipment of missile systems) and PO Barricades (the manufacturer of the equipment) suffered. The cooperation ties of enterprises were broken. The head of the Main Automobile Directorate (GLAVTU) of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Colonel General Nikolai Zazulin and his subordinates had to solve a task that the military had never done: buy out the Minsk chassis and transfer them to the factories. The corresponding order of the government of the Russian Federation was adopted on February 15 1993 of the year. On its basis, a direct contract was concluded between GLAVTU and MZKT. Today it is fashionable to blame the generals for doing business. But in that situation it was not a question of such earnings. If emergency measures had not been taken, Russia could have lost an entire class of weapons and military equipment, which is critically important for domestic strategic nuclear forces.
In March, 1992 was decided to develop a new, fully Russian ICBM. Prospective missile system received the cipher "Topol-M". In April, by decision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the CIS and the Ministry of Industry of Russia, the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau was freed from the functions of the lead developer of a universal rocket. The decree of the President of the Russian Federation from 27 February 1993 of the year gave an official start to the development of a new complex.
It was necessary to determine where in Russia to make SKSh for PGRK. Today, practically in all publications of the Belarusian press about the reasons for the failed transfer of production of the chassis to Kurgan (on KZKT) indicates the low level of qualification of Russian designers. In fact, it is not. The reasons were completely different, and few people remember them today.
By that time, at the enterprises of the Russian Federation, including the defense ones, there were elections of leaders. Not everywhere new directors were competent organizers of production. Often the victory was won by those who could only speak beautifully at rallies and meetings, or led an undercover struggle. This significantly weakened the staff of the defense industry. Nine defense ministries also ceased to exist. The management of defense enterprises was violated, the leaders of many defense factories were at a loss as they were accustomed to working on orders from above, and no one gave any commands.
According to privatization plans
The military specialists of GlavTU, GBTU, GRAU, and other ordering departments of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, who were trained and were able to act in critical situations, did a great job of saving the profile industry. Naturally, the first thing the representatives of GLAVT visited KZKT, which was created as an understudy of the special production of MAZ. This plant also previously mass-produced products for special purposes - GAZ-49B (armored personnel carrier BTR-60P and its modifications). At the end of 80-s in Kurgan, a fourth-generation SKShT family was developed, in the design of which engines of the YMZ-840 automobile type and hydromechanical transmissions were used. But the management of the plant has already had personnel changes that negatively affected the enterprise as a whole.
Nevertheless, the first talk of the officers of the Main Directorate was reassured - the plant’s management was ready to consider putting the production gear for the PGRK, and in general, the CPCC left a favorable impression on the military specialists. The company worked, moreover - in Kurgan, at the end of 80-s, a newly constructed building was prepared for launch for the production of armored wheeled vehicles (BTR-80 armored personnel carriers). In the first half of 90's, this mechanized production with the new equipment installed, although partially disassembled, could still be reanimated.
Experienced engineers and skilled workers, a fairly strong design bureau, remained at the plant. It was possible to prepare graduates of the local polytechnic institute for work at the plant and in the design bureau, in time to transfer the experience to the new generation of engineers and designers. In other words, it would not have required huge financial investments in order to transfer the production of semi-axial SKSh from Minsk to Kurgan. There were also all the possibilities for completing the ROC started in Minsk on the chassis for the Topol-M PGRK. It was decided to prepare a draft government decree on the establishment in Kurgan of production of SKSh for PGRK. While the military was preparing a draft resolution and coordinated it with all interested departments, departments and organizations in accordance with the privatization plan approved by the resolution of the Kurgan Regional State Property Management Committee No. 86 of February 12 of 1993, the state enterprise KZKT was transformed into Rusich OJSC - Kurgan Plant of wheeled tractors named after DM Karbyshev (abbreviated name “Rusich” - KZKT).
The first call
Further developments have become like a spy detective. New owners have changed the strategic direction of the enterprise. At about that time, a representative of a foreign company appeared in Kurgan and offered the management of the plant a profitable business. All foreigners produced by KZKT chassis and tractors were supposed to buy supposedly for certain projects in the oil and gas sector. Perhaps that is why the KZKT have already begun to prepare equipment for the national economy.
When the military from Moscow came to Kurgan again and brought the documents on the chassis for the PGRK for final approval, the meeting on the part of the plant managers was more than cool. Representatives of the head office were informed that work on the subject of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation was unprofitable, since all production facilities would be loaded with orders from oilmen.
30 November 1993 of the year Zazulin in his report “On the main directions of development of military motor vehicles up to 2000 of the year and for the future” at the Military Council of the Ground Forces mentioned the CCWT with the following words: “In order to develop the Kurgan plant, it will take more than a decade and huge investments”.
The result of the ill-considered actions of the leadership of the CCWT was not slow. A small order for the chassis and tractors from the Russian Defense Ministry dropped to a minimum (mainly deliveries of spare parts for the equipment available to the troops), a huge amount of unsold goods for civilian customers accumulated on the territory of KZKT, and the foreigner who had promised large orders suddenly disappeared.
At the beginning of the 90-x in the oil and gas industries there has been a decline, the majority of Russian oil companies have worked intermittently: oil production fell, reserves declined. In 1994, production at KZKT stood idle for several months due to the lack of orders. To develop complex fields, oilmen needed new equipment, but they needed money to acquire it. Loans were found abroad, but these were the so-called linked loans, which prompted the oil industry to acquire foreign-made equipment. According to a number of specialists, imported chassis supplied with equipment in Russian conditions proved not to be from the best side. And the management of the plant for the payment of salaries had to take loans at high interest rates and pay for these idle times with these funds. In 1995, KZKT was no longer able to return the loans taken, external management was introduced at the plant, management was changed at the enterprise.
Collapse of KZKT
By the end of 90, the situation on the CCWT began to improve, relations with the military were restored. 23 December 1999 of the year contract No. 545 was concluded with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (including 93603) “Development and substantiation of directions for the creation of a promising family of special wheeled chassis and tractors for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation”, the Pipupar code. This work was carried out in conjunction with the 21-m NIII MO RF. Funding came at the expense of the federal budget. The directions for creating a promising SKShT family at Rusich OJSC - KZKT were developed and substantiated. In the development of the Polupar R & D, the layout studies of the new tractor with the 8x8 wheel formula and the car-type 850 engine of horsepower were carried out. New equipment was developed for the national economy, production began to grow: 1999 units of manufactured equipment were shipped in 135, 188 units were shipped in the next year, 2001, including 205 units of four-axle tractors of various modifications, in 108.
The prospects for a seemingly revived enterprise immediately attracted the attention of financial speculators. A continuous change of shareholders, the redistribution of shareholdings, the struggle of various groups for influence over the plant began. Some firms that became shareholders of the plant had an incomprehensible historysince they were founded recently. Among them were foreign companies. In particular, Bishopsgate UK Investment Limited, which owned the 21,5 percentage of the shares of KZKT, is registered in the UK. The result is sad: although the rise in the oil industry began in 1998, and in 2002 there was a turning point for the better in the gas industry of Russia, the share of KZKT products on the market began to decline sharply from 2002, production volumes dropped significantly.
The plant gradually began to get into debt again, arrears appeared. The main activity of the plant was not particularly interesting for the shareholders, therefore no active measures were taken to develop and put into production a new SKShT family. According to open sources, the company's policy in the field of scientific and technological development in the first quarter of 2005, was reduced to the creation of modifications (refinement for a specific consumer) of previously designed machines. New research and development has ceased.
In the period of relatively rapid economic development of the domestic economy - in 2005 – 2007, KZKT could not find markets for its products, the series did not go down into a series of chassis and tractor units, and it was impossible to implement outdated equipment in quantities more than 60 and chassis trucks per year. what the factory marketers knew well.
But even the minimum required by the market quantity on KZKT was no longer produced, moreover - production was sharply reduced. So, in 2003, the 32 chassis and tractor were manufactured, in 2004, the entire 26 chassis and tractors were manufactured. Having been deprived of orders from oilmen, who continued to be the only consumers of the plant’s products, and not finding customers in other sectors of the economy, KZKT found itself in a difficult situation that numerous reorganizations could not fix.
The definition of the Arbitration Court of the Kurgan Region from 7 in October 2005 of the year in the case of А34-1399 / 2005 is an enterprise declared insolvent (bankrupt). The sale of property and real estate began, including for offices of small commercial structures and objects of trade. Today OJSC Rusich - KZKT is no longer among the existing enterprises, the plant is officially liquidated.
Several years ago, the Main Automobile and Tank Directorate of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation already realized that KZKT was unable to fulfill the state defense order. If all conceived by military specialists began to do two decades ago, now our country would have its own production of eight-axle chassis for APU PGRK Topol-M and Yars, and the plant in Kurgan would continue to exist and develop. For military tracked vehicles, it was possible to carry out similar work on the transfer of production from the Minsk Tractor Plant to the territory of Russia in the 90-s - a domestic enterprise received orders.
The supply of chassis for modern strategic armament complexes still depends on the political situation between the allied states. MZKT, which produces chassis for Russia's strategic nuclear forces, is today a foreign enterprise. KamAZ in 2008 began developing similar chassis without any experience. The Bryansk Automobile Plant, which 55 was created years ago to launch a missile landing gear, may be left without orders. What happens if KamAZ fails, and the BAZ is redeployed?