Military Review

Su-25 get a second life, becoming Su-25CM

Su-25 get a second life, becoming Su-25CM

In the summer of last year, the transfer of aircraft repair plants of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to JSC United Aircraft Building Corporation (JSC UAC) began. The main goal was the transition to a new scheme of relations between the military department and industry, when the customer pays for the good condition of equipment, and not for the amount of work done. Ultimately, this should ensure the high level of combat readiness of the Air Force, increase the level of continuous service, and shorten the repair period.

6–8 months have passed since the day the repair plants were transferred to UAC. The deadline is short, but the first results should already appear. To find out what these results are, the “NVO” correspondent went to Kubinka near Moscow to OJSC “121 aviation repair factory. " It’s better to see it yourself once ...


OJSC "121 Aviation Repair Plant" is the largest enterprise for the repair and modernization of aircraft and aircraft engines of front-line aviation, one of the leaders in the field of aircraft repair. Su-25 aircraft are being repaired with upgrades to the Su-25CM variant. In essence, a new aircraft of the next generation is being created, even the center-wing partly overlaps. At the same time, it is cheaper than the new one produced at the aviation plant.

- When our plant was attached to JSC UAC, there was some wariness. Nevertheless, production and repair are, as they say, two big differences, ”says Valery Lisivets, first deputy managing director and technical director of 121 ARZ. - Their volumes and ours are also a huge difference in prices. Do not overtighten repair to yourself? Will we develop our capacities like our own? But no negative sharp changes happened. On the other hand, we entered UAC on a par with RAC MiG OJSC, Sukhoi Company OJSC and other important enterprises. Turned out with them in the same pot. Previously, for example, we had to apply for the coordination of technical solutions or for the supply of spare parts to the same RSK MiG. But DGC first of all did for itself, and we were strangers. And now the departmental barriers are gone. We felt this immediately, at the primary stage. If before you had to travel ten times to coordinate something, now this bureaucratic process has disappeared completely. We are at least next to Moscow - an hour on the train, and what were the plants in Krasnodar or the Far East? This is a business trip, which could stretch for weeks. And now even a special order has been issued by Mikhail Pogosyan, President of JSC UAC, that we are supplied at the same level as all other enterprises of the corporation.

And yet, what gave the union - the state defense order for 2014 year increased by 10 – 15%. Naturally, these are jobs and additional cash. However, it is not easy to recruit additional workers and engineering staff now ...

The plant repairs aircraft around the world, but so far it only upgrades the machines of the Russian Air Force. Su-25 comes here from all over the country. A lot of aircraft from the CIS countries. In addition, units of blocks and power plants are being repaired. Factory workers are proud that after their repair there was not a single emergency case. And for almost 70 years, they overhauled more than 4 thousand aircraft and more than 16 thousand aircraft engines.

121 ARZ entered the Federal Target Program of Army Rearmament for 2012 – 2020. In this regard, the company will receive allocations in the amount of 1,050 billion rubles. on the modernization of production. It should be noted that the renewal of production assets is a permanent process. Of the newly installed innovations are robotic complexes: detonation spraying “Plakart-D2” and plasma deposition of coatings - Р-1000 of the German company KUKA.

"Plakart" literally shells the internal surfaces of the parts with fine powder, which adheres tightly to the metal. The P-1000 robot works differently. It heats the powder to the plasma state and carefully sprays onto the surface. The table on which the part is installed can rotate in eight planes, depending on the program. You can watch the process only through a very dark glass. Still, the plasma jet seems extremely bright.

It is clear that such robots are not cheap, but worth it. The fact is that the gap between the blades of the turbine of the engine and the housing should be minimal. But foreign objects get into this gap. It's not even about birds. A powerful engine sucks up small pieces of concrete from the runway. To prevent this damage to the shoulder blades, a special abrasive coating (compaction) is applied to the inner surfaces. It is softer than the material of the blades. Therefore, the scratch remains on it, and not on the blade, and the engine continues to work properly. Over time, the coating wears off, the gap increases and the engine power begins to decrease. Replacement is required.

In order not to purchase new parts when repairing the first category, it is necessary to restore the seal, to re-create the optimal gap between the blades and the housings. A small detail - the nozzle unit AI-9В produced by Motor Sich, a Zaporizhia-based enterprise, is sold for about $ 10 thousand. It has to be bought only because of the sealing internal surface. It is much cheaper to remove the sandblasting residues, apply a new coating and bore to the size corresponding to the technical conditions. It turns out many times cheaper.


A new robotic and programmable technology can reduce not only the time to restore parts, but also the cost of repairs. Therefore, the process of upgrading equipment at the "121 ARZ" is constantly and continuously. Only what is needed is bought, but with the prospect of long-term operation, so as not to stand idle. However, each machine has a resource, time to develop accuracy indicators. And at some point the question arises: does it make sense to repair it? Repair is an expensive pleasure. The machine on 30 – 40% will be updated. And on the market there is already a new generation of equipment, with higher performance. It is easier to buy a new machining center, and sell the old one at residual value.

Such high precision metal processing, as in the aviation industry, is not required, for example, auto repair center. So many are proposing to purchase such second-hand machines. “Therefore,” says Valery Lisivets, “we are selling equipment that is no longer satisfied by some parameters, and we are buying new things for ourselves. This is a common scheme in the global business. ”

A new machine is bought, as they say, with training. It is installed in place, the staff is trained and is allowed to work. Actually, primary education is one of the most acute problems of Russian industry. Previously, they were engaged in vocational schools. But in 1990, almost all of them were eliminated. Now we need workers who know the computer, understand the physics of complex methods of special types of welding and heat treatment, read the assembly drawings ...

Frames decide everything. This slogan has now acquired a new sound - alarming. Workers, engineers, technologists are sorely lacking. The country was filled with low-qualified lawyers, economists and managers. In production, they are not needed. 121 ARZ, like most enterprises in the Russian industry, is forced to solve a personnel problem on its own. Virtually the entire plant is learning, as technology is improving, new technologies and materials are emerging, it is necessary to master the repair of new types of aircraft.

Valery Lisivets says: “There is a training program. We recruit children of our workers to study in universities on a contractual basis at the expense of the enterprise. We invite graduates of specialized universities. According to the decision of the labor collective council, the first 3 – 6 months are paid to young specialists in addition to the salary of 4 thousand rubles. During this time, it becomes clear whether the young engineer is able to develop further. Then he is assigned a category with an appropriate salary. Plus premium. If necessary, a place in the dormitory is provided, the factory takes over part of the payment.

There is a constant work on the training and retraining of personnel, people are retraining in MAI and other specialized universities. Issues of personnel policy in the company pays great attention, since it is impossible to find ready-made professionals. Technical training is conducted for all categories of employees, including managers.

There is a mentoring system - training young workers. Mentors, of course, receive a certain reward. This year they concluded an agreement with the Egoryevsk Civil Aviation Technical School. We have our own training base, because technical training runs all the time, and teachers will be from technical school.

Unfortunately, we cannot, for example, accept qualified workers from Ukraine, the law does not allow. Violation of legislation leads to a large fine. And workers are needed, because this year the state defense order increased by 10 – 15%, next year also, and then we will have to say “Stop!”. And this is not only ours, this is a big problem on a nationwide scale. Every year, students take 20 – 30 to practice. But we have an average salary of 34 thousand rubles, young people prefer to settle in Moscow. Those who are in love with aviation come to us, whose parents work here. And those who come from other cities, having specialized education. As well as former military with engineering education. "


When checking the unit connect all aircraft systems and a huge number of sensors. Photo courtesy of the press service of JSC "121 ARZ"

When checking the unit connect all aircraft systems and a huge number of sensors. Photo courtesy of the press service of JSC "121 ARZ"
The path of the aircraft and its units to the new post-repair life begins with a general fault detection workshop. Here, a complete disassembly of everything is done, micro-dimensions are removed, and details are assigned. Then the parts go to the appropriate workshops: blades - to the blade shop, units - to the aggregate. Repaired parts are returned for assembly. In addition to the assembly of all types of engine is balancing the assembly. This is called a screed. Modern balancing machines print a "check" with all the parameters. The human factor recorded by hand is excluded completely. To make a mistake, the more deliberately something the machine will not allow to forge.

1-th workshop. Here is the assembly of aircraft, fine-tuning and then transfer to the station ground tests. The foreman of the assembly and finishing section of the aircraft of workshop No. 1, Evgeny Avdeev, is very young. Here since 2006, before that he worked as an aircraft engineer - a civilian specialist in a military unit. I ask: did he feel any changes after the transfer of the plant to JSC UAC?

- We felt: by loading, by expanding the range of aircraft - they began to make MiG-29, the planned Su-27 aircraft. And in terms of volumes, you yourself can see in the workshop, there is a load, people work. And the salary had a positive effect. You see, a lot of young people are an indicator that young people do not run somewhere for a long ruble, but are quite satisfied here. And working in our company is considered prestigious.

- Costumes as regularly issued? - I really wonder, is it a breech or own clothing of a master? Very much the suit is good. In general, the workers' costumes of the assemblers somehow do not fit in with the dirty word “overalls”.

- According to the collective agreement - once a year, - smiles Eugene. - This is an aviation suit. And in these suits our pilots used to fly. All this is fully provided by the plant.

- How much time is needed to disassemble and assemble the aircraft?

- The repair cycle from disassembly to the finished assembly, depending on the condition and type of aircraft is up to 9 months. Then the plane is transferred to the line unit.

When asked about the military acceptance, which was reduced during the recent army reforms, Yevgeny Avdeev replies:

- Military acceptance, of course, is. And she is fair. She and the whole aircraft accepts, and separately nodes, aggregates. Our military acceptance was not reduced, on the contrary, it is only expanded along with an increase in the production plan. Its number depends on the Ministry of Defense, as they decide there will be so many military representatives.

9-th workshop repair units of the aircraft and engine. When the unit enters the shop, it is met by a deep entrance control. We must not allow the production of units that do not comply with technical specifications. Places of input control are located at the site of fault detection. First, the control is visual. Women in white coats and white gloves, almost silk, are armed with powerful loops on turning supports. I saw such things only once - in the shop for sorting diamonds coming from the field.

Different "chemistry" - adhesives, soils, mastics and the like pass the entrance control for compliance in the central factory laboratory. As well as various plastic products.

In the area of ​​fault detection, the obtained units and components are disassembled, each detail is carefully inspected and checked for defects and compliance with the drawing dimensions. Doing it mostly women. Immediately evident, with great production experience. Each half of the table is occupied by the parts of the units in special trays, and the other half - by various calibers, micrometers and other precise measuring tools.

The requirements for each part are very strict in terms of purity and accuracy of processing. Tolerances - higher than 1 class of accuracy. Here, precision pairs are used, in which the accuracy is 1 micron, that is, a thousandth of a millimeter. Accordingly, the accuracy of surface treatment is 13 – 14 class, there is no higher. Therefore, the metal shines like a polished mirror. The actual data of measurements are recorded in passports and stitched into a thick “biography” - “repair work” of the unit.

The unit is assembled and undergoes a full test of the test and acceptance test program. Parameters that are characteristic of a product are checked. If there are no deviations, the units are preserved and sent to the destination shop.

Stands for testing units are designed in such a way that each unit works in conjunction with the others, which are directly used when the engine is running or on an aircraft. But they are called technological. There is a complete imitation of work on the engine so that the parameters are clearly consistent. During the tests, it is removed ten times more parameters than during normal checks at aerodromes. Here the characteristics and indicators declared by the manufacturer are finally checked for compliance. The purpose of this whole labor-intensive process is confidence in the unit’s complete reliability that it will not fail during the flight even in the most extreme modes of operation.

The assembled engine is sent, as you might guess, to the tests. Sergey Antonov, head of the aviation engine test station, represents his production unit. All such stations in the aircraft repair factories of the country were built according to the standard design. And this is no exception. Four boxes for testing different types of engines.

Crane-beam installs the engine on the stocks, the frame of which has a certain degree of freedom, is not fixed tightly. An air intake shaft provides the engine with adequate air flow. The roof over the shaft is movable - you can see the sky. A device is installed in front of the engine that simulates the air intake of an aircraft. And in front of him - a protective design with a grid that prevents various foreign objects from getting into the engine. It is not for nothing that a warning is written in large red letters over the doors to the box: before entering, make sure that there are no foreign objects in the pockets. Hats, gloves, nuts and wrenches - everything that is not firmly fixed, sucks a powerful engine.

All systems are connected to the engine: fuel, oil, air, hydraulic. Full simulation of installation on the plane. Also joined by various sensors and instruments that take a lot more parameters than the instruments of the aircraft. Two walls of dials and recorders in the adjacent control room reflect the engine performance.

However, in one of the walls the computer is already integrated, and the liquid crystal displays reflect all the parameters simultaneously, no need to run from the dial to the recorder. All indicators are recorded on a hard drive in the "figure". But they decided not to dismantle the old analog system. She continues to work. Duplication is a doubling of the reliability of information removed from the engine.

Four video cameras were taken on another screen, recording is also being made. Earlier in the process of testing a special worker watched the engine through a window with a thick glass. He looks now. An experienced person can feel before the devices, when something went wrong.

The engine has an air intake on one side and a nozzle on the opposite side, from which a powerful jet of hot gases strikes an impenetrably black mouth of the ejection shaft. To cool them, it draws in additional air, then all the gases go out through the noise suppression system - there are large pipes with a baffle, covered with mineral wool and iron. When the engine is driven in all possible modes from idle to afterburner, the noise level does not exceed the allowable one. What's on the territory of the plant, what's in the next control room. But here the stream of white-hot flame blinds, as they say, is not childish.

I wondered if failures occur during testing. Of course they do. Precisely because they occur here, on trial, there are no emergency situations after the engine is installed on the aircraft.

The engine run-in at the stand is sent to the packing area. Here the commission examines it, after which it is packed in a special container and sent to the customer. Or in the assembly shop - on the plane.

Having walked through the 121 ARZ workshops, I endured a persistent feeling that half of the plant is repairing, and the other half is testing, testing, testing, monitoring. Perhaps this is absolutely correct. The pilot, getting into the plane, received after the overhaul and modernization, must be one hundred percent sure that the car will not let him down. Reliability is guaranteed by an honest working word and a complete, comprehensive set of checks and tests.


On the factory territory historical the building, which in 1941 during the defense of Moscow housed the headquarters of the 5th army of artillery lieutenant general Leonid Govorov. And on May 9, as in previous years, plant workers and families together with the administration of the rural settlement of Nikolskoye held a festive rally, and then all went to the memorial complex to commemorate the heroes who defended Moscow and brought Victory.

Is there a museum at the factory? The question is not out of idle curiosity. Where there is a museum, traditions are preserved, there is a younger generation to which they are transferred, working pride in their work, support in the past and a look into the future. Previously, in all enterprises, in research institutes, design bureaus had their own small museums, sometimes just a single room. In heavy 1990-e, usually, they began to decline and devastation. As a rule, the authorities appropriated historical values ​​that were not on balance - awards, banners, documents, and artwork. The room was given for commercial purposes. Most of these enterprises have disappeared altogether or have a miserable existence.

At 121 ARZ in 2002, a real museum was created. Indeed, the result is impressive. The history of aviation, the country and the factory appear as a whole. Young specialists, workers, school classes, and guests of the enterprise are brought here. It is here that a meeting room with aviation clearance is equipped: with a runway behind the “windshield”, a control knob, and airplane seats.

The curator of the museum, an employee of the plant with nearly forty years of experience, Ivan Pavlovich Snezhko is always ready to conduct a great informative excursion, to tell about each exhibit. In addition to the museum there is a solid collection of airplanes and helicopters in the open air. Here in the days of open doors is full of boys. On such days, factory workers bring their children to workplaces to show what important work parents do, forge, figuratively speaking, the sword of the Motherland.

I am constantly confronted with the fact that people live by the representations of past years. So much has it fallen into the consciousness that many are still convinced - in the defense industry of devastation, underfunding, nothing new is being done. Unscrupulous politicians and journalists persistently repeat this. And I visited another enterprise of the Russian aviation industry and once again made sure that the industry is booming, it works with full load and develops, provides the Russian Air Force with the latest and most reliable technology.

121 ARZ is considered one of the best, if not the best aircraft repair plant in the industry. But the effectiveness of the enterprise does not depend on financing or proximity to Moscow. It depends on the competence of management, on the creative enthusiasm of workers, engineers, technologists. Here I met people who "get sick" of aviation, love their job and try to do it perfectly.

And one more thing. The decision to transfer aircraft repair factories to JSC UAC was absolutely correct. For the first six months of work in the state corporation system they breathed new life into them. The state defense order increased, departmental barriers were eliminated, and uninterrupted supply of spare parts began. If at the beginning of the journey, the serviceability of the Air Force's fleet was about 40%, then at the end of 2013, the figure rose to 50%, and this year it should rise to 65%. The production is being expanded and modernized. Mastered the repair of new types of products. But in general, it reduces the time needed to repair aviation equipment, increases the reliability of combat aircraft and strengthens the defense of Russia.
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  1. Wiruz
    Wiruz 21 May 2014 08: 25
    This is all, of course, great, but I would like to see the Su-39 in the sky.
  2. Dezinto
    Dezinto 21 May 2014 08: 29

    Friends of Russia are the army, navy, and we forget to say, of course, aviation. That's how many friends we have))
    1. Tektor
      Tektor 21 May 2014 11: 49
      The air fleet is also a fleet ... winked
  3. Duke
    Duke 21 May 2014 08: 31
    Quote: Wiruz
    This is all, of course, great, but I would like to see the Su-39 in the sky.

    Not all at once, modernization is also good. Especially with military acceptance.
    1. inkass_98
      inkass_98 21 May 2014 10: 26
      Quote: Duke
      Not all at once

      So, conversations about him have been going on for 20 years, and still nothing. It’s time to get born.
  4. Denis
    Denis 21 May 2014 08: 41
    Maybe the truth is worth it. The new ones need avionics and offal, but I have not heard about its glider
    Enough to remember about all modifications of the MiG-21
    Especially faster and cheaper
  5. understudy
    understudy 21 May 2014 09: 04
    Taking into account the date of birth, this is far from the "second life" of the aircraft. But a noble machine, a plowman of war.
    1. VAF
      VAF 21 May 2014 16: 28
      Quote: Understudy
      plowman of war.

      This is so, +! That's just ... a very "specific" war, or rather a war with a "specific" enemy ... who, it seems, and next to your base, due to its "flawed" "well" cannot hit.
  6. Dragon-y
    Dragon-y 21 May 2014 09: 27
    It is URGENT to restore the system of training specialists - in return for the release of nedoyuristov and nedomemenedzherov ...
  7. Good cat
    Good cat 21 May 2014 09: 36
    The reduced military acceptance has already begun to be restored by leaps and bounds, everyone is called back. just not everyone goes, break-not build
  8. chunga-changa
    chunga-changa 21 May 2014 10: 11
    Excellent article.
  9. max702
    max702 21 May 2014 11: 48
    Cars would be made with such quality .. I really think the price will be then ..
  10. navodchik
    navodchik 21 May 2014 12: 12
    Thanks a lot to the author for the article. Very informative and written with "soul".
  11. zoknyay82
    zoknyay82 21 May 2014 14: 06
    How do you want to be optimistic ...
  12. aud13
    aud13 21 May 2014 17: 16
    I was surprised by the phrase - that they do not take workers from Ukraine, such as it seems, as the law does not allow.
    Strange somehow, we get the engine from Motor Sich, including for combat helicopters and aircraft. The Ukrainians still serve strategic missiles "Voevoda", but an experienced engineer or worker cannot be hired. Something is wrong here!
    It is clear that secrecy and so on must be present, but whether such a restriction does more harm than good. Especially now, given the fact that now in Russia it will be necessary to restore the production of many products that were still purchased in Ukraine.
  13. Zomanus
    Zomanus 22 May 2014 05: 10
    Of course, the salary level is interesting. At a minimum, a salary should allow you to rent housing and not live starving at the same time. And so a very interesting article.
  14. Bene valete
    Bene valete 22 May 2014 17: 21
    Modernization of the Rook is a great idea, the plane is well tested in battles!
    The forcemeat is modern and will serve another 20 years!
    Americans won’t stuff their A-10 Thunderbolt, and aircraft for more than 30 years ..!)))