On the eve of the 75 anniversary of the start of the enterprise, Vyacheslav KHALITOV, Deputy General Director of the Scientific and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod for special equipment, answered the questions from the correspondents of the magazine National Defense.
- Vyacheslav Gilfanovich, what events do you consider to be significant in stories Uralvagonzavod?
- Of course, a long list of such landmark events opens the release of the first heavy cars in the autumn of 1936. After all, initially the main purpose of the new plant was precisely to manufacture purely peaceful products - railway rolling stock. The Ural Carriage Works is the brainchild of the first five-year plans that put our country on a par with the largest industrial powers of the world.
Vyacheslav Gilfanovich KHALITOV - Deputy General Director of JSC "RPC" Uralvagonzavod "for special equipment.
However, after five years, the company had to put on an overcoat. In 1941, eleven industrial enterprises were evacuated to Nizhny Tagil from the western regions of the USSR. With their participation, UVZ redesigned to tank the plant, which in the same year began to produce products for the needs of the front. In a very short time, Nizhny Tagil turned into a "tank city". Without exaggeration, it was a labor feat of workers, engineers and office workers. Already in 1941, for the first time in the world, a tank conveyor was launched, from which more than 25 thousand legendary T-34 tanks descended before the end of the war. They fought near Stalingrad, on the Kursk Bulge, liberated Vienna and Prague, thousands of other large and small cities in our country and abroad, stormed Berlin. Every second T-34 tank, which took part in the hostilities of the Great Patriotic War, was assembled in Nizhny Tagil. This formidable military maneuverable vehicle is deservedly recognized as the best tank of the Second World War. And the contribution of Uralvagonzavod to the great Victory is, without a doubt, weight.
By the way, during the war years, UVZ was engaged not only in the mass production of tanks. In his workshops forged and armored hull for "flying tanks" - the famous Il-2 attack aircraft. The plant also produced bombs.
After the war, Uralvagonzavod became a diversified enterprise. The plant resumed the production of railway rolling stock. 19 March 1946. The first heavy duty platform rolled out of the factory gates. In 1947, gondola cars began to be produced, and in 1948, covered wagons. I note that the resumption of car production occurred at a qualitatively new level. It was based on advanced military technology, mastered during the war. This allowed Uralvagonzavod to start the manufacture of complex railway equipment - isothermal tanks based on vacuum-powder insulation. They were intended to transport liquid oxygen. Our company has developed dozens of modifications of isothermal railway and stationary tanks, which are widely used in various sectors of the economy.
T-90 tanks are among the best in the world.
Battle machine support tanks "Terminator".
In the shops of Uralvagonzavod, construction and agricultural equipment was assembled, in which in the post-war years there was an acute need. The plant also participated in the implementation of orders for the then-emerging space industry.
At the same time, Uralvagonzavod continued to be one of the pillars of the country's military-industrial complex. The Cold War forced us to seriously strengthen military power. Already in 1954, the medium tank T-54 went into series, and with 1958, the production of the T-55 and its numerous modifications began. For its time, these were outstanding combat vehicles. Back in the years of the Great Patriotic War, the designers of the plant №183, as Uralvagonzavod was then designated, based on the T-34 created the T-44 tank with a unique layout. Due to the transverse installation of the engine and transmission, it was possible to significantly reduce the length and height of the car, as well as to shift the tower to the middle of the hull, thereby unloading the front rollers. The same scheme was applied on T-54 / 55. On the new tank, we strengthened the booking and installed an 100-mm caliber gun. Low silhouette and a rounded tower contributed to increased security. These tanks came not only in parts of the Soviet Army, but also in other countries. They are still in service in the armies of a number of states. The corporation's enterprises continue to receive applications from foreign customers for upgrading machines of the T-54 / 55 family.
T-34 tanks can often be seen now. They became monuments to the feat of Soviet soldiers and home front workers.
Uralvagonzavod, on its own initiative, created the medium tank T-62, which began to enter the army from 1961. He received an 115-mm smooth-bore semi-automatic cannon with ammunition from 40 armor-piercing sub-caliber, cumulative and high-explosive fragmentation projectiles.
And, of course, the development and mass production of the main tank T-72 “Ural”, the most mass tank of the second post-war generation, became the landmark for Uralvagonzavod. It was put into service in 1973, and since then has been the main striking force of the Ground Forces of the USSR and Russia, as well as the armies of many other states. I will not talk about it in detail, as the readers of the magazine “National Defense” certainly know this machine well.
- The contribution of Uralvagonzavod to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War is difficult to overestimate. The merit of the enterprise is great in strengthening the country's defense in the post-war years. What does the UVZ offer today to the Armed Forces?
- If we talk about tanks manufactured by the head office of the corporation in Nizhny Tagil, these are various modifications of the T-90 rocket-gun tank, which, according to many domestic and foreign experts, is one of the best modern armored vehicles. Work does not stop on promising machines.
One of the new products is the Terminator Tank Support Combat Vehicle (BMPT). Our designers are constantly engaged in its improvement.
Armored Demining Machine BMR-3M.
Engineering vehicle lamination IMR-3.
When the Uralvagonzavod Research and Production Corporation was established in 2007, the holding included many industrial enterprises, research institutes, and design bureaus of the Russian military-industrial complex, which significantly expanded the product line. One cannot help recalling Uraltransmash, where the 152-mm self-propelled guns Msta-S are produced, or Plant No. 9 - a developer and manufacturer of artillery systems for the Ground Forces, and a Special Design Bureau of Transport Engineering - the developer of the T-80 tank with a gas turbine engine. Nizhny Novgorod "Petrel" is engaged in the creation of tools for the Navy fleet and army mortars, the Omsk Design Bureau of Transport Engineering is known for the TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system, and the Rubtsov branch is known for the BRM-3K commander’s combat reconnaissance vehicles and mobile reconnaissance points equipped with modern means of collecting, processing and transmitting information. This list can be continued for a long time.
Not everything depends on the corporation. The Ministry of Defense is still continuing the process of shaping the future appearance of the Armed Forces of Russia and debugging the mechanism of interaction with industry. So, this year, the UVZ received a contract from the Ministry of Defense only for the modernization of T-72 tanks.
Mobile drilling platforms are produced for the needs of the oil and gas complex.
- At the upcoming exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, the modernized tank T-90С will be demonstrated. What are its differences from the tanks of this family of earlier models?
- The main direction of modernization is a new tower, which is equipped with advanced fire control system, automatic loader and gun, as well as additional remote-controlled machine-gun armament and protection. Particular attention is paid to improving the commander’s tactical control of a tank and subunit, searching for targets and controlling the main armament fire in all types of combat is equally effective day and night. The software and hardware complex gives the commander the most complete picture of the battle. The tank's controllability has been significantly improved due to the introduction of automatic gear shifting and a turn drive from the steering wheel. Installed a more powerful main engine. There is an additional power unit, which will provide power supply to the tank in the parking lot. At the same time, the dimensions of the vehicle did not increase, and it continues to remain in the 50 class t in terms of mass, surpassing all other modern tanks in this indicator. We are confident that the upgraded T-90С will be appreciated by domestic and foreign specialists.
- Uralvagonzavod is the leading supplier of armored vehicles to the world market. What do you think are the prospects for an enterprise in this business sector?
- Indeed, UVZ today - the leader in the export of armored vehicles. And this is not by chance. By maneuverability and firepower
T-90C exceeds foreign samples. And at the price it is more affordable than its competitors. However, we do not rest on our laurels, but constantly improve our machines. The upgraded T-90С tank, about which you asked, is an example. Increased its security, speed and maneuverability. Combat capabilities have also been expanded through the introduction of modern means of observation, detection, information processing, management and communications. The upgraded T-90С by the sum of qualities surpasses the now existing main battle tanks. And we are sure that it will attract foreign customers.
A large export potential is available in the Terminator tank support vehicle. When this car is demonstrated at international arms exhibitions, it invariably turns on to be the top lists of popular exhibits. Foreign military delegations also come to the testing ground of the Nizhny Tagil Metal Testing Institute in order to see the work of the Terminator in action.
The production of railway rolling stock is one of the priorities of the civil sector of Uralvagonzavod.
Uralvagonzavod road construction equipment is in steady demand.
Potential foreign customers are also interested in the heavy flamethrower system TOC-1A, the armored repair and recovery vehicle BREM-1, the armored demining machine BMR-3M, the engineering barrier machine IMR-3 and other military equipment of the corporation.
- Volumes of civil production of Uralvagonzavod exceed the military component. What is the range of civilian products today?
- One of your colleagues once said that Uralvagonzavod is an “industrial masterpiece,” meaning that the Nizhny Tagil enterprise is the largest industrial enterprise in the world. After the formation of the corporation, it became an industrial masterpiece in the square. Design offices and plants included in the association are capable of creating and producing the most diverse engineering products. In total, enterprises of the corporation produce about two hundred types of products for various purposes. But still there are priorities. This is still the issue of rolling stock for railways. Last year we commissioned a southern span of the paint shop in Nizhny Tagil - production at the highest modern level. Road construction equipment is in great demand. Production volumes of oil and gas equipment, including mobile drilling platforms, are expanding. City trams, which are produced by Uraltransmash, are also a very promising business, since the country's tram fleet is outdated and requires replacement.
- Did the management of Uralvagonzavod have a desire to leave the military business and completely reorient the production to produce more predictable on the market of civilian products?
- I do not agree with you that the civilian sector is “more predictable.” Very unexpected turns happen in it, including unpleasant ones. But the way out of peak situations largely depends on the quality of management, on the qualifications of engineers, designers and workers, that is, on the employees themselves. And here, indeed, there is more clarity than in cases where the enterprise depends on misunderstanding or worse - whims.
But this is all theory. In fact, we, first of all, understand our responsibility for ensuring the country's defense capability. And, secondly, the corporation itself was created in order to preserve and develop the research and production potential to create promising complexes of armored and artillery weapons, rationalize defense production and increase the competitiveness of products.
- Uralvagonzavod today is not just a large engineering plant, but a research and production corporation, which unites more than twenty enterprises of a different profile. How do you build relationships between the individual links of this complex machine? How do they interact with each other?
- Today we can already say that the holding has taken place. Its integrated structure of a diversified machine-building complex has been created, in which high technologies of the defense industry act as locomotives for the development of the civil sector. On the other hand, innovative developments of a civil profile feed military projects.
However, it’s too early to say that a corporation acts as a well-tuned machine. Many enterprises belonging to the holding, for a number of reasons, are not yet in sync. Therefore, the mechanism and structure of the corporation require improvement. What we are working on.
In conclusion of our conversation, I would like to note that the 75 anniversary of the UVZ practically coincides with the 90 anniversary of the Russian tank construction. So let me congratulate tank builders, soldiers of armored forces, industry veterans and the Armed Forces on this glorious date and assure them that Uralvagonzavod will not let you down!