The weekly MIC weekly in issue 14, 15, 16 published materials indicating the threat of losing domestic production of special wheeled chassis and wheel tractors (SKShT) for the Russian Defense Ministry. In October, the Ministry of Defense closed 2008, the Voshchina-2 ROC was closed, and the Bryansk Automobile Plant (BAZ) continued to work on improving the SKSHT at its own expense. Successful completion of the said OCD would be for BAZ the last chance for rebirth, but this did not happen.
The state tests of the chassis and tractor units created under the Voshchina-1 R & D project have not yet begun, while the head developers of the weapons and military vehicle command for BAZ have set up requirements for the finalization of the chassis and tractor units for specific models of the complexes. Work on expanding the use of BAZ chassis and tractors was carried out in parallel with the development of the Voshchina-1 ROC. And almost all the “heads” required SKSHs with a carrying capacity of at least 20 tons, and in the TTZ on the ROC Voshchina-1, the carrying capacity was set to no more than 18. Nevertheless, the plant has decided to increase its capacity.
For a number of promising complexes and systems, wider SKSHs were required - at least three meters (instead of the 1 meter width, implemented in the Voshchina-2,75 SKShT). The requirement for overall width is due to the peculiarities of mounting and ensuring the lateral stability of the placed weapons and military equipment, especially if the center of mass of the final product is high.
It was also necessary to develop a number of systems and nodes of the SKShT themselves. The latter was not done due to the underfunding of the ROC “Voshchina-1”, in particular, the hydromechanical transmission (GMF).
At BAZ we thought about the development of a new family of chassis and tractor units, and at the turn of the century, the plant first talked about a new job called “Voshchina-2”. Among the problems was the lack of modern tires with a carrying capacity of six tons. Also considered the development of hydropneumatic suspension. But even then it became clear that without state support many issues could not be solved, especially since in this case it was about creating a family of chassis and tractors only for the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation.
Due to the fact that the work of subcontractors on the development of automotive components (tires, GMF) differed significantly in terms of time, BAZ proposed to conduct the Voshchina-2 design and development work in two stages. On the first, implement the requirements for increasing the overall width and carrying capacity, install the horsepower 500 engine and work out the design of the transmission and suspension units. At the second stage, install an 600 – 650 engine with horsepower, an automatic transmission or transmission module, an on-board information management system (BIUS), and other units and complexes. 24 May 2005, Chief of Armaments of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation - Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army Alexei Moskovsky approved the decision No. Р-19-2005, in which there was a mention of the ROC "Voshchina-2" within GWV-2015.
As a result, the customer refused the first stage, which was proposed by the plant, and immediately decided to proceed to the second. The state contract was concluded only in May 2007.
Work on the new SKSHT family was already in full swing, but, as in the case with the design and development project Voshchina-1, problems arose again with funding. The author has no explanation for what reasons the plant received less than a quarter of the amount specified in the state contract 80 million rubles. Of the related R & D, it was possible to fully implement only one related to the control system.
The personnel changes in the leadership of GABTU had a negative impact on the development of all domestic military vehicles (BAT). In October 2008, the head of the GABTU, Lieutenant General Nikolai Ershov, by his decision, stopped all funding for the Voshchina-2 design and development work and all related work. Without work on tires and GMP, the implementation of the main OCD lost its meaning. In addition, the customer demanded to return the balance of untapped funds. The design and development work “Voshchina-2” was suspended during the development phase of the design documentation (a technical project was developed).
Problems arose in connection with the apparent intention of the leadership of GABTU to concentrate all the development and production of BAT on one plant. Thus, in the 2008 year, the Defense Ministry refused to procure the BAZ-6403 truck tractor developed at BAZ on its own initiative and adopted in the same year to supply the Russian Armed Forces, but KAMAZ-65225 truck tractor did not pass the state tests and was not accepted for supply The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In the process of testing revealed comments.
17 December 2008 of the year at an international conference held by ASM-Holding, the acting head of the 21 th Research Institute of the Russian Defense Ministry, Colonel Tarasov, reported that KAMAZ promised to make its own tractors and heavy duty chassis (from 25 tons and above) to replace SKShT from MWTP. Later, the author became aware that 120 million rubles had already been allocated to KAMAZ for work on this topic (R & D “Platform”).
The acting chief of 21, the Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, motivated the financing of Voshchina-2 design and development projects by the development of dual-use equipment and, therefore, such equipment should not be created at the expense of state funds. And the customer will buy competitive equipment at its discretion. This answer was given in front of a large audience. Many are still wondering: why in general the topic of SKShT sounded publicly in December of 2008? Probably, there was already no possibility to conceal the facts, especially as a month earlier, on November 19 of 2008, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation at which representatives of the industry (and BAZ including) expressed aloud everything they thought about stopping R & D. Unfortunately, the public was not informed about that meeting.
Statements that the customer would buy competitive equipment at his own discretion became fashionable after the appointment in April 2007 of the position of chief of armaments — Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Makarov, later — Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation — First Deputy Minister of Defense. Although any specialist associated with IWT is clear: no serious work can be carried out without government funding.
The Voshchina-2 R & D project was initiated not at all because the new chassis and tractors are urgently needed by enterprises in the economic sector. If the military needs SKSHT, which can move on complete off-road with the highest possible average speed (the current requirements - at least 40 – 45 kilometers per hour), while ensuring the safety of the payload and protection from various means of reconnaissance and destruction, etc. while fulfilling many other tactical and technical requirements, civilian customers do not need much of this.
Even OJSC KAMAZ, possessing substantially large resources, could not (or did not want) to carry out work on military-made SKSH at its own expense with the subsequent supply of finished equipment to the customer. Those involved were already aware of the fact that KAMAZ for OCR would request once in 20, or even more than was allocated for the Platform research and development project. And about how much extra money is yet to be spent on the organization of mass production, the initiates were afraid to even speak in the presence of media representatives. Perhaps it was the search for funds for the work of KAMAZ that became the true reason for the collapse of both the VRC “Voshchina-2” and many other works.
So, at the end of 2008, BAZ again and for the umpteenth time found itself in a difficult position. Successful conducting of the ROC “Voshchina-2” would be for BAZ the last chance for the revival and occupation of a worthy place among the enterprises of the military-industrial complex.
The most typical example of incompetence is the fate of the Pantsir-S ZRPK. In August 2008 of the year in the process of state tests, the modules of the complex with the KAMAZ-6560 chassis were re-mounted on the BAZ-6909-019 chassis. In September-October, firing from a combat vehicle (BM) mounted on the BAZ-6909-019 chassis was successfully completed. According to all the agreed documents, it was planned to supply the Pantsir-С1 complex for export to the Middle East on the KAMAZ-6560 chassis, and to the Russian Armed Forces - the Pantsir-S complex on the BAZ-6909 chassis. According to experts who participated in the re-assembly of the BM equipment of the complex and carrying out road tests and firing on the Kapustin Yar and Ashuluk testing grounds, the BM on the BAZ-6909-019 chassis has higher speeds, dynamics, maneuverability and smoothness. Why the Pantsir-S did not go to the series on the chassis BAZ-6909-019, it is not so difficult to guess.
Fortunately, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation did not dare to close a number of works on advanced air defense systems and complexes. The head developers who were guided by domestic equipment, needed wide chassis and tractors, and they had to be created. At BAZ, they involuntarily recalled the initial plans and the designers, on their own initiative, set about implementing the first stage of development of the wide SKShTs, which for convenience called “Voshchina-1,5” (this code was not officially assigned to the family and not used in documents). In the summer of 2009, the BAZ-6403.01 tractor was already being developed.
According to the results of work with potential customers, the principal need to increase the overall width of the SKSHT was revealed in order to ensure the placement, including by re-installing IWT from the chassis and MZKT tractors on the BAZ, of various means of the Triumphator-M ZRS.
10 June 2011 of the year BAZ-6403.01 was shown to the Minister of Defense, military specialists, industry representatives and the press in Bronnitsy near Moscow. Unfortunately, few have paid attention to the novelty that BAZ represented. Judging by the further development of events, that memorable demonstration did not bring much useful - the former Minister of Defense hardly understood anything at all from what he saw and heard, since BAZ was forced to conduct type tests of a new tractor, including at NIITS AT 3 Central Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, at its own expense. According to the information available to the author, in the future this tractor remained unclaimed for use as part of weapons and military equipment or for towing heavy armored vehicles, although it was repeatedly shown to various military leaders and officials, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (in September 2011 during the exercises in Chebarkul, it was BAZ-6403.01 that pulled stuck cross-country vehicles of domestic production from the mud).
As part of further work on the “Voshchin-1”, the development and production of other models of upgraded SKShTs with increased overall width can be carried out and for use as part of IWT systems and complexes. Steps are being taken to interest the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation with promising technology. So, 1 February 2013 of the year on the website of the military department appeared information about the visit of the Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu to the main command of the Army. The Minister was shown mockups of promising weapons and military equipment for the military equipment. In one of the photos in the foreground, you could see the BAZ chassis, and this is a wide Voshchina-1,5. This chassis is proposed to be used for the installation of various weapons and military equipment, including for the SPU OTRK "Iskander" and promising OTRK.
To an uninitiated reader, it will seem that everything at BAZ is good: the plant supplies within the framework of the state defense order and its increase is expected in the coming years. At present, the main indicators of the technical level and TTX of the chassis and tractors of the Voshchina-1 family meet modern and promising (up to 2020 of the year) requirements and provide installation, transportation and combat use of serial and modernized VVT complexes, complete replacement of base chassis of the KrAZ type ( produced in Ukraine), as well as SKShT of the type MAZ-543, MZKT-7930 (manufactured by the Republic of Belarus) both during the overhaul and during the serial production of weapons and military equipment samples.
But this is today's day. After all, even the most sophisticated equipment has limits for its modernization and at the BAZ it is necessary to create a new family of SKShT for military purposes.
The suspension of the ROC “Voshchina-2” was performed on the basis of the decision of the general customer. The very wording “suspension of work” does not exclude their renewal. Separate solutions developed within the framework of the development work "Voshchina-2" have already been implemented or are being implemented in the structure of SKShT. The engineering potential of the enterprise, which is still preserved, is ready for the implementation of most of the R & D projects and R & D projects known at the BAZ; however, time is running out, and these plans are not practical.
The question is very acute. There is a lot of talk about the fact that industrial enterprises should initiate development, but such developments at BAZ already exist, including in metal (for example, in May 2011, the prototype BAZ-69096-013 chassis with 10X10.1 wheel formula was made). However, it has repeatedly been confronted at the BAZ with the fact that, in the future, promising samples remain unclaimed by the Russian Defense Ministry and the head developers, with whom the TTZ is pre-agreed. If the plant invests heavily in the development of a new military family, will it be in demand by the Russian Defense Ministry? Especially in the current conditions, when other enterprises are already developing promising families of multipurpose vehicles and SKShT, which in their performance characteristics (load capacity, increased overall width, security, independent suspension) partially correspond to the BAZhSHT? The Bryansk Automobile Plant is not afraid of competition, but, as previous experience has shown, the best performance characteristics of equipment models do not always result: in 2008 – 2012, decisions were more often made on the basis of other considerations. Therefore, either the continuation of the Voshchina-2 OCR with the correction of the TTZ, or the opening of a new OCD, within the framework of which it is necessary to create a certain scientific and technical reserve for the future, can be the most optimal. But in the current situation, the owner of the plant does not plan to conduct work without state financing.
Today at BAZ, they are increasingly thinking: will the state need the plant in its current capacity in three years? In five years? According to the information available to the author, the owner of the plant is already considering even such a fantastic option as the complete re-profiling of production, the termination of the release of military equipment after the fulfillment of all contracts concluded in the framework of the state defense order.