Interview with the designer of the Armata T-14

Oleg Sienko: “Armata” handmade in three times cheaper than the “Abrams”

General Director of “Uralvagonzavod” Oleg Sienko said in an interview with RIA Novosti on the main goals and problems of mechanical engineers of the country and became famous on the platform “Armata”.

The latest Russian tanks “Armata”, first demonstrated at the Victory parade may 9, 2015, has made an unprecedented splash in our country and in the world. Foreign experts and journalists immediately declared that the Russians were far ahead in tank construction and is now the number one task for them to catch up, or even overtake Russia.

Indeed, if in the field of military aviation the palm in the world is firmly in the US who first created the fifth generation fighter F-22 and then F-35, in the field of tank development, Russia has become a trendsetter in the twenty-first century T-14 “Armata”.

The credit for this belongs to the designers and workers of the concern “Uralvagonzavod” (UVZ) that created this armored marvel.

On the eve of the Congress of the Union of machine builders of Russia, the head of the relevant edition of the MIA “Russia today” Sergey Safronov met with the General Director of “Uralvagonzavod” Oleg Sienko, who spoke about the main challenges and problems of mechanical engineers of the country and, of course, about a famous platform “Armata”.

Oleg Viktorovich, let’s start with the Congress of machine-builders. What are the main tasks set for myself today the Union?

— Today we are in a difficult period of time, and the activities of the Union of machine builders of Russia very popular and effective. Work has been done, of course, most, including at the legislative level. In the Parliament there were over 120 of legislative initiatives, 73 of which were embodied in the laws signed by the President. The most important event was the adoption of the law on industrial policy, which could take from 90-ies. This is important because we have to work within the rules.Engineering is probably the most advanced sector of the Russian economy, which collected all the best engineering and design personnel, basic power, potential, primarily the defence industry, which is the generator of economy and engineering.

The main issues that we will raise at the Congress, with the support of industry. We have a program update engineering facilities, especially those in the defence industry, there is a rearmament program. Through these programs we actively cooperate with the Ministry of defence, engaged in R & d, make the foundations for the future. But to all this is to realize that you need serious retooling. It is important the support of the Ministry of industry and trade. Because we manufacture products with a huge number of components.It’s tens and even hundreds of enterprises involved in cooperation of the first, second, third levels. How this work will be organised, will depend on our success.

Penalties are much in the way?

— The sanctions, of course, interfere. Will not hide it. But they both hinder and help, but also make you stronger, because we check ourselves: can we survive in these conditions or not. For example, the devaluation of the ruble is helping us, because we have export the competitive environment inside the Russian manufacturers. Foreign manufacturers on the criterion “price-quality” began to sink and to yield. And we ourselves were tightened.

The main problem in terms of sanctions is technical re-equipment of enterprises. Indeed, many foreign companies refuse to give us equipment and technologies. However, according to the program of import substitution in the machine tool industry, which took the Ministry of industry and trade made a lot. Offers a lot of businesses that are actively working to revive the Russian machine tool industry. We need cutting-edge products, and this requires new equipment. But we leave the situation, and I hope that by 2020 we will solve this problem, if not sooner.

Oleg Viktorovich, you are a professional athlete in the past, for which speed is not an abstract concept. And the speed for the tank important?

— Mobility is one of the major elements of its protection and security. After all, improving not only tanks, but also the means of their defeat. Therefore, it is important to change position, maneuver, breakthrough. But the speed is certainly not the number one in the tank, this is not “Formula-1”, although it is extremely important to protect them against destruction.

What is the speed of the “Armata”?

— “Armata” is today the weakest powerplant, however, we already exceed the stated rate. Personally, I clocked the car up to 80 miles per hour when the engine of 1,350 horsepower.

How much power will a standard engine is “Armata”?

— In the base case should be the engine power of 1500 horsepower.

Or 1800?

— We have created the engine, the lower limit power of which starts with 1350 horsepower. But, for example, the engine that was on the T-90 and T-90MS, has been increased from 540 to 1130 horsepower. The regular engine “Armata” has parameters: 1350-1500-1800 horsepower. Here forcing the engine designed for the future, but we believe that the more boost the engine, the less it resource. We believe that the most important thing is reliability.

Staff cannon at “Armat” caliber 125 mm. However, you stated about the possibility of installing guns caliber 152 mm. In the end, how many will be built on the one and the other guns?

— Everything depends on the Ministry of defense. Will supply anything. We used to do some groundwork for the future, and we have a lot of developments that we proactively do, of course, in coordination with the military in order for the future shape of the army. But they have a budget that determines the possibility of financing research and development projects. We also proactively made tanks T-90MS, fire trucks, “Terminator-2”.

125 cannon cannon high-power. We hope that soon this gun will be a new munition. By its potential, it is 30% more perfect previous. For example, the internal doping of the channel of the trunk allows you to increase the number of shots without replacing for repair.

When we can expect the emergence of a new munition for it?

— Its development is long time are tested. I hope that in the nearest future it will appear. In order to obtain the designation, you need the most important thing — shooting ammunition.

As tested “Armata”?

— We created a brand new car, each element of which is new. When experiencing more than 50 tons, then each node should have a large margin of safety. It’s not a car. This machine breaks through walls, jumps from a springboard, from which the car is just broken. During the tests revealed some issues on certain components that need to be improved, but overall the balance is reached.

For example, we are faced with the problem of steel, which made various gears. There are things that were not taken into account, for example resonance phenomena, with which we never in the tank is not encountered, because this machine is heavier than the previous one. Need time to finalize. The main thing — reliability.

How long is the test?

— All depends on the customer, i.e. the Ministry of defense. We are ready to begin to fulfill the order, though today, everything depends on the series (number). Although the process of creating additional capacity will go next year to close the entire production cycle, we can start right now the production of certain parties. Tests on our internal test site are held daily. In the near future start shooting until the existing munition. In principle, all the characteristics that were laid in the car, have already been implemented.If not work quite minor things.

—  Will the “Armata” go into production in 2017?

— It is possible. But I want to stress that this machine is not for conscripts, and for the professionals that will absorb all the possibilities of this machine. Next year we plan to show in the dynamics at the arms exhibition in Nizhny Tagil. There we will show its capabilities in the dynamics and in shooting.

This year she will participate in the parade?

— Of course.

Now issue of “Armat” continues at the plant?

— No, we have executed the order of the Ministry of defence for the construction of the first batch of 20 cars. Waiting for new.

How many of the defense Ministry procured machines can be a speech?

— On this occasion, the government adopted a resolution, approved by the President. The number — 2300 tanks.

During what time?

— Adjusted time lag, of course, will be. It is clear now. For the production of “Armata” people need to be taught five or six years that we, in principle, do. It is handmade, there’s no robot to rivet.

In the future the pipeline to replace the work?

— I’m not sure.

In the West as well?

— They, in General, while engaged in the modernization of the old models, but also in manual. The same American “Abrams” will be modernized in the seventh-eighth time.

Some experts say that “Armata” all good, except the price. How would you comment on their statements?

— T-72Б3 which supply the Russian army in six to seven times cheaper than foreign analogues. The t-90 made for our army is five times cheaper than we sell it on the foreign market. “Armata” is now worth three times cheaper than the “Abrams”, “Leopard” or “Leclerc”. Exactly three times. His potential is much higher. But I’m not going to say how much it will cost otmachivanija on the world market. At the same time the T-72 and T-90 in its survivability, combat potential is higher than the tanks produced by other countries, oddly enough.We have conducted many tests in various climatic conditions, know the capabilities of our competitors. We believe that the ratio of “price-quality” we the best.

The frame of a shell hitting the T-90 in Syria flew all the screens. The tank wrecked and the crew safe and sound leaving the car. This effect is armour or armor?

— It’s both together.

Is there anything in your plans to make a tank robotic (unmanned)?

— We are moving forward, and we already have the experience of creating a robotic fire truck on the basis of the T-72. Therefore, in the case of receipt of the order, implement quickly. By and large even those cars that drove through red square, can be done unmanned, i.e. robots. Unmanned “Armata” — this is the car of the future, we have no doubt. Sure we do, and the military.

Do you plan weapons “Armata” unmanned aerial vehicle?

— The use of the drone is supposed to be a heavy IFV T-15 on the platform “Armata”. This is a must-have item in tactical. Without the eye to move within the column is extremely difficult, so the drone is provided there and we will actively implement. The question of which vehicle we take. This is to the Ministry of defense, which is testing domestic drones, what we say, such and put. But it certainly would be.

Whether on the platform “Armata” created a new combat vehicle of tank support “Terminator 3”, while the Russian army isn’t buying any “Terminator 1” or “Terminator 2”?

Will. And on the “Armata” too. We have a concept of the development of cars based on the platform “Armata”. It consists of 28 units of advanced weapons. They should be integrated on a single platform: for air defense, heavy armoured vehicles. Then there will be one kit, one set of spare parts (spare tools and accessories — EDS) to quickly change certain components and units.

Why did not buy?

— There is the concept of a budget. We feel that it is constantly cut. As funds become available from the military, so they will start buying. Get all the local wars which were in North Africa in recent years, as well as in Syria. What is the advantage of fighters? They are mobile, converted the jeep into a platform for machine guns or anti-aircraft guns and romp in the desert. What can resist them? Only the heavy machinery, the twin gun. We want to put on a new platform ship gun caliber 57 mm with a range of 16 kilometers. Against such a machine the rebels have nothing to do.Yes, they are expensive, but how effective they are. Therefore, we believe that there are prospects.

Development of export activities of your concern?

— We evaluate potential portfolio of orders at the level of $ 6 billion. Active negotiations are being held not only on the tanks, but the flamethrower system TOS-1A, artillery. In addition, we need to focus on service centres. Understanding there — that should all be exactly the manufacturer.

The most important thing for consumers is service. Worldwide remains a huge number of armored machinery of times of the USSR. We hope that our portfolio will allow these centers to create. Experience like this is already there — in India under license produced T-90S. On tanks, of course, negotiations are actively underway, and with not one but several countries. Any contracts close to signing, others are under negotiation. We are ready to satisfy the desire of every customer in the shortest possible time.

How many tanks produces Uralvagonzavod in day, month, year?

Daily, that’s for sure. Today we occupy 70 percent of the world market of tank. I mean like the tanks made in Russia and in the world under our license. For several years we keep the first place and don’t want to concede.

Development of the project “Atom” after it left the French?

He is very actively developed with the UAE on the platform Enigma. Under normal circumstances, we will be able already this year to go on firing trials.

Of course, we are very sorry that because of sanctions the project was rolled with France, where the SP has moved forward dramatically. But we didn’t stop, and now they do put the combat module with 57-mm cannon on a tracked car. Under the same project we are working on setting up a JV with Kazakhstan, which has a new import license platform.

What project did the French?

— We had no platform, and we needed a modern floating platform with a rear access ramp and landing. Now we even have the ammunition ready to fire all confirmed features. This armor-piercing, high explosive, high explosive, to counter UAV and infantry. Our young engineers are connected.

Think they’re in 2017 will give a new chassis, which will be released for testing, and it will surely be better, for example, with the circuit of the motor-wheel, and this is a huge power reserve, independent movement of the wheels. It will be a new wheeled APC.

Project two-link Arctic BTR does not require cooperation with the West. How is the work progressing in this area?

— Test and at the end of this year will end. Developed the concept of its armament, involving such companies as concern “Almaz-Antey”, CBI, and others. He held a private screening for the defence Ministry. Will be releasing machines weighing 2 to 30 tons. So they can choose any weapons — from machine gun modules that are already on “Thunderbird” to launch rocket systems (MLRS) and anti-aircraft systems s-300. The machine will float, to move on snow cover of different depth, on hummocks.

Stauffenberg was Right!

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