About the news of the RAE 2015 exhibition held in Nizhny Tagil, as well as why the demand for Uralvagonzavod’s products is constantly growing in the world and when the active protection system installed on tank T-14 “Armata”, will be able to shoot down armor-piercing-piercing shells, “Military Industrial Courier” was told by Vyacheslav Halitov, deputy director of the UVZ corporation for special equipment.
- Vyacheslav Gilfanovich, what innovations on the Russian Arms Ex showed this year the corporation Uralvagonzavod?
“This year we demonstrated six new models of wheeled and tracked vehicles. Part of the presented products is our latest developments, and the other is the machines on which the deep modernization was carried out. New items are primarily the T-14 tank and the infantry combat vehicle (heavy) T-15 on the Armata platform, as well as the promising Coalition-SV artillery complex. In addition, we presented a DT-3PM two-link tractor - this is a prototype of a future armored personnel carrier designed for combat operations in difficult climatic and geographical conditions. In particular, such vehicles are being created to arm the “Arctic” brigades, which are now being formed by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The next model is a deep modernization of the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier. Basically it was carried out taking into account the requirements of a foreign customer, but at the same time it is also acceptable for the Russian military. Uralvagonzavod also presented a special fire engine made on the basis of the T-72 tank. This is released property of the Ministry of Defense. In order to use it prudently, we remove the towers, and on the chassis we make a unique and very useful fire engine designed to extinguish fire and conduct rescue operations at arsenals and RAV storage bases.
- At the arms exhibition in 2013, in Nizhny Tagil, a closed presentation of the BMPT-72 tank support fighting vehicle took place. At the current exhibition, it is already openly demonstrated in a static exhibition. What are the prospects for this unique car? Do you offer it to overseas buyers?
- Of course, we are actively promoting both the Terminator BMPT and the Terminator-72 BMPT-2 to the external market. After all, this is again, as I said, the rational use of the released property and not only our Ministry of Defense, but also potential foreign customers. The tank support combat vehicle is an extension of the life of the T-72.
Currently, Terminator BMPT purchased Kazakhstan. There are applications - already more than six - on the newest BMPT-72 "Terminator-2". This car is in demand.
Modern wars and military conflicts prove that our Terminator-1 and Terminator-2 are very much needed. Especially, I want to emphasize, during the battles in urbanized areas and in urban environments, when not only high security is required, but also firepower.
True, our customers initially had questions to reduce the crew of the car. Indeed, on the "Terminator-1" the crew consisted of five people, but on the "Terminator-2" we brought it to three.
- How much in the world are samples of armaments and military equipment created or specially upgraded for conducting combat operations in urban conditions in demand? What can a UVZ corporation offer to potential customers?
- In fact, at present, the demand for such products is very large. After all, everyone understands that in modern armed conflicts, battles are mainly fought in settlements. Now, few people are fighting in the open.
On the RAE 2015, we showed an upgraded T-72 tank specifically designed for combat operations in the city. It has a heap, additional screen screens, an active protection complex, etc. We also presented an armored bulldozer, whose armor protects against 30 caliber millimeters shells.
Moreover, our bulldozer can be used both in peacetime - for the tasks of ensuring the daily life of the troops, and in the war period, for example, for making passes on the streets. Our bulldozer can remove barricades, debris, smash walls in buildings, etc. In the armies of many countries around the world, bulldozers, in particular, manufactured by the American company Caterpillar, are also being used to solve such problems.
- This year almost all the teams participating in the Tank Biathlon, which has recently become very popular, performed at T-72B3. UVZ specially modified these machines? Are there requests from foreign customers to upgrade their fleets of T-72 tanks?
- This year, only the T-72B3 tanks mass-produced by Uralvagonzavod, which are not different from those that are now being sent to the Russian army, were presented at the “Tank Biathlon”. But last year, we did offer the T-72B3 tank with enhanced characteristics as an option for the Russian team. In particular, the 1130 engine of horsepower, the commander’s panoramic sight, and the display set for the driver were installed on it. In addition, we have significantly increased certain mobility characteristics.
Currently, the demand for upgrading the already built T-72 tanks, previously delivered to many countries, is very large. And we offer customers various options - from very deep modernization to quite budget options.
Corporation "UVZ" applies the so-called adaptive approach to the customer. If we add up in total, today we offer more than 20 modernization options, ranging from increasing firepower, mobility, security and ending with command controllability for both T-72Б / Б1 and T-72С, which were once exported. We are ready to implement all these options without major changes in the design of the machine.
But it all depends on the customer, who chooses which characteristics are more important to him according to his budget. Someone needs to improve mobility, maneuverability, someone needs to increase firepower, while others emphasize command control. Based on customer requirements, we are conducting an upgrade. UVZ differentiated approach to each client.
- Have any agreements for the supply of your products been reached at RAE 2015?
- On the modernization of T-72 tanks at this exhibition, everything was limited to negotiations with potential customers. At the same time, specific proposals were actually voiced on the upgraded T-90C. These machines are interested in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Together with both countries, we conducted preliminary tests.
Our customers are absolutely right: they first look at the car, study its characteristics and the device, determine whether it meets their requirements. And only after this tests are carried out, and on their territory, on the ground and in those conditions where the tank will be used, in this case - at elevated air temperatures, dust, etc.
Currently, collaboration with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait continues. In fact, it goes constantly. Because there is always demand. From the first Indian contracts of the beginning of 2000-s over the course of 15 years, it not only does not decrease, but, on the contrary, increases. And even more so now, with the advent of new models, such as the modernized T-90С and the multi-purpose Armata platform.
“If we have already started talking about the supply of weapons and military equipment to the countries of the Persian Gulf, could you tell us how the TOS-1 heavy flamethrower systems recently purchased by Iraq have shown themselves? In addition to Iraq and Azerbaijan, are there any other countries that wish to purchase CBT?
- The Iraqi military are satisfied with the delivered TOC, since the system has proven to be very effective. Moreover, we currently have several applications from other countries for the supply of these machines. Definitely: TOC has a very large export future.
I believe that in addition to tanks, only heavy flamethrowing systems are most effective in close combat. At the demonstration performances during the current exhibition everyone could see that the ammunition of missiles launched by TOC hit a very large area. And we say that the probability of destroying the enemy on it is close to one.
The firing range of heavy flamethrower systems is only six kilometers, but this is exactly what is needed to defeat small enemy groups, scattered gangs, etc., which not only move around the terrain, including light armored vehicles, but also are in shelters . Thermobaric ammunition can effectively destroy the enemy no matter where he is hidden.
Currently, TOC consists of two machines: the transport-charging and the launcher itself. We developed a TZM on a wheeled chassis. Therefore, depending on the customer’s wishes, we can offer him several options both on a crawler and a wheeled chassis.
Although, frankly, about the "wheels" can be discussed differently. Still, TOC acts directly on the front edge, where the equipment on the wheeled chassis is not a very good option. I believe that the TZM should be equal to the launcher both in reservation and in mobility.
- As the fighting in Syria and Yemen shows, modern armored vehicles that are not equipped with dynamic defense are vulnerable to anti-tank weapons. Even the American main battle tanks M-1А2 Abrams, which were considered to be well-defended, are being destroyed by an anti-tank missile. What solutions in the field of dynamic protection, as well as the introduction of KAZ offers Uralvagonzavod?
- If you look closely at the machines of different generations - T-72B in its modifications, T-90 and Armata, you will see how far we have advanced in the field of creating and implementing dynamic protection. Remember: we started with "Contact-1", in the army it was also called "turtle". Small "cubes" with plastic, which had to be very hard and long to equip.
Then came the next generation of "Contact", where the plates, which became much larger, began to be installed at different angles. Now on the modernized T-90С we put a dynamic protection of a new generation called “Relic”. But on “Armata” a dynamic protection of a completely different level is established, significantly surpassing even the most modern “Relic”.
Complexes of active protection, as this technology is called - hard-kill, also develop progressively. At first, the task was set for the Arena-type system - to destroy ammunition flying up to the tank at a speed of 750 – 800 meters per second. In fact, it was about an ordinary grenade fired from an RPG, or about an ATGM. Since the speed is not very high, the response of the system to the approach of the object was rather low. And the designers did not need to build in special sensors, as well as develop and increase the system performance.
But now we have set a more difficult task for developers. We said: we need to destroy practically all the ammunition threatening the tank, including armor-piercing sabots flying at very high speed. Now, together with the developers of active protection systems, we are working in this direction and, I want to note, we will solve the tasks set for the destruction of all types of ammunition in the very near future.
Another very important trend for us in the development of KAZ is the protection of the upper hemisphere from modern ATGMs, such as the American Javelin and Israeli Spike.
Until recently, the upper hemisphere was one of the most vulnerable places in tank defense. But our newest active defense complex will ensure the destruction of all ammunition flying up.
- When can we see the newest domestic KAZ and dynamic armor of the new generation? Does the UVZ plan to install them on the tanks of foreign customers?
- As soon as we complete the final development of “Almaty”, then you will see everything. But I want to say at once: these new items will be installed not only on “Armatu”. At present, we have changed the approach and require our main developers to follow the so-called modular principle.
The task is set as follows: to make a construction that we can put on any machine. And we do it. You see: We have already delivered KAZ Arena-E to T-72, although the complex was originally adapted to T-90. We do not need the active protection complex to be somehow original and installed only on a specific machine. On the contrary. We are well aware that the customer needs only an integral approach.
- At the current RAE, it was clearly visible that all the attention of foreign specialists and the military was riveted on the combat vehicles on the Armat platform. If it's not a secret, what exactly in these cars interested the guests of the exhibition?
- To be honest, it is quite difficult for me to speak for foreign specialists and the military. Although judging by the fact that they asked us, I think, first of all, I was surprised by the unconventional approach to the development of tanks. We used to always use the traditional layout of the machine: a manned tower, in which the gunner-operator and commander are located, and a driver-mechanic is located in the chassis. But, as you can see, now at the Armata we have separated the combat module and, through technical vision channels, it is remotely controlled by the crew located in an isolated armored space.
- In many countries of the world they tried to create such tanks, but did not achieve success ...
- History the appearance of the new layout is as follows: as early as the beginning of the 80's, both in the USSR and in the USA, tank builders began to make attempts to create such a machine. The Americans wanted to make their “Abrams” just that way, but they could not. And there are several reasons for this.
At that time, information transmission and remote control technologies were not so developed. There was no possibility of creating vital tools for tanks with such an arrangement of channels of vision, not to mention the "figure", high-performance computers to perform complex calculations. Therefore, the tank builders tried, but it became clear that it was impossible, and the idea was abandoned.
Of course, the next step was the development and creation of the so-called 195 object. He became a kind of transitional model from the Soviet back to the already Russian models. But again, when creating this machine, certain difficulties arose. Not everything was realizable, technologies have not yet reached the desired level.
But now the time has come. The technologies are already run-in, ready for use, and we, using the previously achieved backlog and modern scientific and technological developments, have created Armata.
I just want to clarify: it is wrong to call “Armatu” just a tank. This is a platform on which a large number of specialized machines will be placed. We are planning to create over 20 of various types on the base of “Almaty”, ranging from an anti-aircraft missile system to various artillery systems, heavy flamethrowers, engineering equipment.
The new platform contains an important principle: without seriously changing the design of the product, we can place the power unit both at the stern and on the bow and even in the center of the machine. This allows you to install any weapons and equipment where necessary to the customer.
I will explain. For example, for the convenience of infantry on the BMP T-15 it is necessary that the landing force dismount from the stern. Therefore, the power unit is located in front. And for BREM it is not necessary to have a large troop compartment, providing convenient dismounting of personnel, but it has increased requirements for the placement and operation of units and mechanisms, in particular, a crane and a winch, which, by the way, should be in front of the machine. Therefore, the power unit is better placed in the center of the machine. Using such a layout solution, we can shape the machine for any customer requirements.
- Vyacheslav Gilfanovich, if we are talking about the BMP T-15, now it is armed with only 30-mm cannon and anti-tank missile launchers. Do you plan to switch to more serious weapons, in particular, to the automatic gun presented on the current RAE 57-mm?
- We have long been offering 57-mm cannon for armament of BMP T-15. But the module of weapons, which is now installed on this machine - the customer's requirement.
If you look at history, then traditionally, as, for example, it was during the years of the Great Patriotic War and even then, already during the Cold War, we always beat the enemy by increasing caliber. Recall the legendary T-34. At first he was armed with a 76-mm gun, then 85-mm was supplied. On post-war tanks from 100-mm, we switched to 115-mm on T-62, and then to 125-mm on T-72, T-80 and T-90. Moreover, now we are certainly talking about the 152-mm cannon as a weapon for the Armata T-14.
Therefore, today there is a need to get away from aviation 30 mm and put a 15 mm automatic cannon on the T-57 BMP. She has really serious ammunition, on the basis of which you can create high-precision weaponsuch as guided artillery shells. And the rate of fire at the 57-mm guns is simply colossal.
This is a high-ballistics weapon capable of destroying aerial targets at a distance of up to 16 kilometers. Moreover, the shells can with high efficiency to deal with robots - both ground and air. And this is especially important now, when robotization is an obvious trend in the development of means of warfare. At present, our probable opponent has a large number of different UAVs, which, frankly, are very difficult to hit that of 30-mm caliber, because these are guns with large dispersion. 57-mm automatic gun - the level that we need. This is both accuracy and reliability, ensuring effective destruction of robots.