Interview with the Executive Director of PJSC “Kurgan Machine-Building Plant” Peter Tyukov
In the fifth issue of Arms Export magazine, an interview was published with Pyotr Tyukov, Executive Director of Kurgan Machine-Building Plant, PJSC, "We are ready to supply the necessary amount of equipment to the troops." Our blog cites its text.
Pyotr Aleksandrovich Tyukov was born in 1976. In 1998 he graduated from Moscow State University of Food Production, in 2000 - from the Finance Academy under the Government of Russia. In 2007 he graduated from Moscow State University. Lomonosov under the MBA program. He worked for 10 years at VTB, then at OJSC Concern Aviapriborostroenie OJSC, Aviation Electronics and Communication Systems JSC. Since 2018 - Director of RT - Kurganmashzavod JSC, since June 2018 - Executive Director of Kurganmashzavod PJSC.
What is the current state of the enterprise?
The situation at the plant stabilized after the change of the management team in June last year. The funds allocated by Rostec State Corporation ensured a rhythmic supply of components and materials necessary for the production, payment of taxes to budgets of all levels, debts for consumed energy resources were repaid, wages were paid on time. The transaction in February 2019 on the acquisition of shares in PJSC Kurganmashzavod by the High Precision Complexes holding, which is part of the Rostec state corporation, finally strengthened the position of the enterprise. Bankruptcy cases of Kurganmashzavod PJSC have been discontinued. According to the results of fiscal year 2018, Kurganmashzavod PJSC made a profit for the first time since 2014, ending the year with a positive financial result. In January, in the framework of fulfilling the obligations of the collective agreement, the company indexed wages to all categories of employees.
We can say that the plant passed a certain turning point. If earlier the enterprise was private and its shareholders had its own vision of development prospects, now it is located in the state corporation Rostec, the holding company is JSC NPO High Precision Complexes, the plant clearly understands its specialization in the priority execution of the state defense order.
With enterprises that are part of the High-Precision Complexes holding, for example, JSC Design Bureau of Instrument Making (KBP JSC, Tula), Kovrov Electromechanical Plant, Saratov Aggregate, PJSC Kurganmashzavod has long been cooperating and has good historical ties. It is planned that the Kurgan plant will have the opportunity to upgrade its products and build up its very important export potential. It is no secret that Kurganmashzavod PJSC is interested in export contracts, since they are the most profitable.
The plant is large, operating, it retained all the best manufacturing traditions created during the Soviet Union, and it is able to fulfill a large volume of orders.
Since 2019, KBP JSC has become the lead contractor of the state defense order for our products, Kurganmashzavod PJSC acts as a co-executor, which will allow us to fulfill three-year contracts and develop, and advanced financing from KBP JSC will allow us to pre-purchase scarce positions in cooperation.
As noted above, the plant is located in the state corporation Rostec. The download program is clear. It will allow the enterprise to use production capacities and labor collective. We assured the staff that there would be no social upheaval and downsizing. Most importantly, people should stop worrying and begin to fulfill the tasks assigned to them. This is an improvement in product quality, and an increase in production efficiency, and a reduction in the loss of working time.
Today PJSC “Kurganmashzavod” is ready to supply the necessary amount of equipment to the troops.
Does the portfolio already contain three-year contracts?
We are currently implementing the three-year contracts that were concluded earlier. Several export contracts are on the way. As part of the contractual obligations, we fixed the overhaul of the BMP-3. In addition, we are ready to consider the possibility of overhauling the BMP-2, if it is economically feasible.
Our main task is to provide PJSC Kurganmashzavod with a production volume that allows us to maintain and develop the team, fixed assets, and contribute to their renewal.
How can you characterize the situation on the Volgograd site of the Kurganmashzavod?
The Tractor Plants Concern positioned the Volgograd Tractor Plant (VGTZ) as a site for the production of both civilian and military equipment. In 2015, the BMD-4M assembly was transferred to the territory of VGTZ as a separate subdivision of Kurganmashzavod PJSC. In the same year, the production of agricultural tractors was discontinued.
Since the armament program for 2018–2027. the purchase volumes of armored vehicles for the needs of the Airborne Forces have been significantly reduced; it is becoming inexpedient to continue the remote assembly of the BMD-4M PJSC Kurganmashzavod. And at the same time, one cannot allow the loss of competencies concentrated in Volgograd: design support of serial production of the necessary Russian army of military equipment, implementation of existing and promising development work in the interests of the Airborne Forces and Ground Forces. To maintain this design potential, it is planned to form a branch of SKBM JSC in Volgograd, and transfer all the designers to its staff.
Today, the possibility of creating an industrial park on the territory of the Volgograd Tractor Plant for the development of an industrial site for the production of civilian products and a wide range of agricultural machinery is being considered.
In light of the fact that the Kurgan Machine-Building Plant has become a state-owned enterprise, can the company participate in the federal target program for the modernization of defense industry enterprises?
As an enterprise that is part of the state corporation Rostec, Kurganmashzavod plans to participate in the program of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia aimed at the technical re-equipment of defense industry enterprises.
But does the federal target program provide for co-financing?
Yes, the enterprise will fulfill the state defense order, work in the direction of military-technical cooperation, ship civilian products, make a profit, and these funds will be used to co-finance the modernization program. In addition, we are counting on the support of the High Precision Complexes holding company, KBP JSC will join in, we will master it together, we will meet the conditions for co-financing.
What are the priorities of modernization?
First of all, equipment. The main assets of the enterprise are worn out, the machine park was only partially updated, so we will purchase new machines and high-precision complexes of both Russian and foreign production.
Is the Kurganmashzavod included in the State armament program for the period up to 2027 for main products?
Of course. We have a clear understanding of loading for the entire duration of the program.
As you know, the BT-3F tracked armored personnel carrier, which is largely unified with the BMP-3, interested foreign customers. Does the company carry out preparatory work for its mass production?
Indeed, we have obtained a very good product in demand in the export market. The machine is understandable to us, and there should not be any production problems with it. The plant is capable of producing BT-3F in the right amount.
On your site at Army-2019 there was a sample of the Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank gun (SPTP). Is it possible to say that this is a product of PJSC Kurganmashzavod, or is SPTP a product of VgTZ?
Volgograd site is our subsidiary. In 2015, part of the designers and engineers from Kurgan left for Volgograd in order to develop production, as well as create new types of equipment for the airborne forces. We are in close cooperation. We conduct video conferences to solve current operational and technical issues. This is our common product, which combines technologies applicable to both the Ground Forces and the Airborne Forces.
What can be said about the prospects of "Sprut"?
The idea of modernization "Sprut-SD" is based on the unification of the machine by elements and units with BMD-4M and BMP-3 (power plant, chassis units, etc.). PJSC “Kurganmashzavod” also took an active part in the creation of prototypes. What will be the fate of the product, will depend on the results of state tests. But his export potential is undoubtedly high.
Given the possible purchase of a modernized special-purpose vehicle for the needs of the Russian Airborne Forces after 2021, it is possible that Kurganmashzavod PJSC will directly manufacture serial prototypes.
This machine has an armament complex corresponding to the main T-90 tank. It is interesting to the airborne troops presenting special requirements for military equipment, and, most likely, it will be in demand by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Although we, as developers and manufacturers of the prototype, count on the fact that it also has great export prospects. First of all, because it is floating. The result was a light tank with great firepower. For countries with the presence of water barriers, it has advantages over other types of armored vehicles. In addition, it is landing. And this is a big plus in the eyes of foreign customers.
The Octopus may be of interest to the Russian Marines as a means of reinforcing the seizure of naval bridgeheads. And this will be the next stage in the development of SPTP, given the modernization of the Octopus on the basis of BMP-3. In a new look, it can be offered for export, and we are actively working with Rosoboronexport in this direction.
How do you assess the prospects of the BMP-3? Is it planned for further modernization?
The chief designer of this machine - Alexander Aleksandrovich Blagonravov believes that the BMP-3 is a reference product in terms of the chassis. It can be improved in terms of the fighting compartment. And we, together with the High Precision Complexes holding and Rostec state corporation, expect to launch and implement such programs in the near future. If it is possible to integrate the famous Tula anti-tank complex Kornet into the combat compartment, the combat power in terms of defeating the armored vehicles will increase significantly. And in this direction, the BMP-3 has a very great potential.
As for the BMP-3F, so far this machine has been exported only. By the way, a new export contract is currently signed. If we talk about the prospect of deliveries of BMP-3F for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, now we have begun some work to promote it as a light tank for replacing amphibious tanks PT-76 in marine units. It is too early to talk about certain results.
It is known that now the Marine Corps are re-equipping with BTR-82 armored personnel carriers, which replace the old amphibious equipment, the same PT-76. But this does not take into account how much the combat effectiveness of units is deteriorating. After all, the concept of using these machines is completely different. So, BMP-3F has a number of advantages over BTR-82. First of all, this is an armament complex, including a 100-mm gun, capable of firing ATGMs and high-explosive fragmentation shells "Cherry", and a 30-mm automatic cannon. In addition, the machine has a unique mobility and cross, allowing you to get out of the water on an unprepared coast. Wheeled vehicles, such as the BTR-82, have less security and can operate very limited in such conditions. Moreover, in the case of total destruction of road infrastructure, the use of wheeled vehicles will be almost impossible.
Is there a demand for BMP-3 chassis from third-party manufacturers of military equipment?
JSC Special Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (SKBM) is constantly conducting research and development work in this area: there are a lot of orders for the BMP-3 chassis for the creation of reconnaissance vehicles, for the Russian army missile defense forces, command vehicles, and others.
What is the proportion of BMP-3 and chassis based on them?
The BMP-3 chassis for the Chrysanthem-S ATGMs is ordered annually, which is about 10% of the total output. In addition to the BMP-3 chassis, they also order the BTR-MDM chassis as a base for accommodating various equipment.
Does the enterprise have “feedback” from BMP-3 operators, primarily in terms of operational experience in combat conditions?
From the very beginning of BMP-3 shipments, such a relationship with operating organizations exists. It is worth saying that thanks to the supply of these mashi to the UAE since the early 1990s. it was possible to identify many of the "childhood diseases" of this machine, which manifested themselves when it fell into local (not paradise) climatic conditions. Thanks to this, the BMP-3 is today one of the most reliable vehicles in its class.
After the resumption of purchases of BMP-3s for the needs of the Russian Ministry of Defense since 2006, the equipment has been operated quite intensively, however, it has not taken part in real hostilities (in the same Syria). Since most of the cars produced in recent years are under warranty, the company monitors their operation. Moreover, in those districts where the cars are located, our permanent representatives are present, through whom relevant information is promptly received.
Is the company working on launching a series of modernized versions of the BMP-3 Dragun?
There is no potential customer for the Dragun machine today, although when designing it, they were guided by the wishes of a number of foreign consumers who want to have the same efficient and reliable machine as the BMP-3, but with the front location of the engine-transmission compartment and the landing through the stern cars through a convenient ramp. The machine may, of course, be of interest to the Russian Ministry of Defense as an option for deep modernization of the BMP-3. In the future, we plan to interact with the Ministry of Defense to clarify the tactical and technical requirements for such a machine. Moreover, we tried to preserve the familiar weapons complex (guns of 100 mm and 30 mm caliber), while applying a fundamentally new control system that allows the use of a combat module in a remotely controlled version.
What is the situation with the release of the BMD-4M?
It should be noted that the design documentation for the modernized BMD-4M was created precisely in Kurgan and in 2015 was transferred to Volgograd. This was due to the need to unload the capacities of Kurganmashzavod PJSC, since at that time there was a large production program. Today, as I said above, the issue of returning the BMD-4M assembly to Kurgan is being worked out. We hope that our main base models - BMP-3 and BMD-4M will continue to serve the rearmament of the Russian army.
Does Kurganmashzavod see interest in the BMP-2 theme?
Despite the fact that the BMP-2 for the plant is yesterday, since the production of these machines stopped in the early 2000s, the plant is ready to carry out major repairs with the modernization of the BMP-2, and in case of receipt of the order to resume their production. In the interests of the Russian army, such work can be carried out quite intensively in close cooperation with KBP JSC.
At one time, it was decided that overhaul with the modernization of BMP-2 of KBP JSC will be carried out at armored repair plants (BTRZ), but this happened even before the transfer of Kurganmashzavod PJSC to Rostec and High-Precision Complexes. We are ready to consider the issue of returning to the plant orders for the overhaul and modernization of the BMP-2 to the Berezhok level. This issue is being actively discussed together with Tula specialists.
Do you fulfill export orders related to BMP-2?
Foreign customers are also interested in this topic, but to date, no contracts have been concluded under the MTC for the modernization of the BMP-2. By the way, in the direction of modernization of the “two” we are working in close cooperation with KBP JSC: our Tula partner is ready to modernize the combat compartment (armament control system, including a thermal imager, installation of the Kornet anti-tank system, etc.), and Kurganmashzavod PJSC in terms of chassis modernization (installation of a high-power diesel engine, improved suspension and chassis elements, a hitch of additional protection equipment with buoyancy).
If we talk about the maintenance of previously exported BMP-2 and BMP-3, then it is carried out in accordance with existing obligations. Moreover, if BMP-2 refers mainly to the supply of spare parts, then BMP-3, in addition to spare parts, we send our specialists to provide technical assistance in operation, maintenance and repair, and to provide training services for foreign specialists.
Is there a major overhaul of the BMP-3?
Kurganmashzavod PJSC in 2015–2016 already fulfilled the state contract for the overhaul of the BMP-3 with modernization, when the operational capabilities of the equipment released in the late 1980s and early 1990s were brought to the state of new machines that corresponded to the current design documentation. In particular, on the weapon control system (sights, ballistic computer, weapon stabilizer, automatic target tracking, etc.) and communications. Since this year, the overhaul with the modernization of the BMP-3 at the enterprise has been resumed.
On export BMP-3 repair and modernization underway?
If we talk about the modernization of BMP-3 from foreign customers, then the plant in 2017 completed work in the UAE. It was a big contract. The customer’s cars were equipped with an air-conditioning unit and an electronic assistant for the driver and the operator-gunner (the work was done in cooperation with JSC NPO Elektromashina, Chelyabinsk), an automatic ATG loading system and a smoke removal system from a fighting compartment of its own design, as well as an automatic tracking machine were installed goals (development of JSC Scientific-Design Bureau of Computing Systems from Taganrog).
The carried out modernization by a foreign customer was rated as quite effective. In the future, the continuation of such work is possible. There are other promising areas of modernization, for example, further improvement of the sighting system in terms of equipping the commander’s position with a thermal imaging panoramic observation device, and others.
Does the plant plan to participate in the program for the modernization of infantry fighting vehicles BMP-1 on the topic "Basurmanin"?
The company is already participating in such work as a co-executor. We made sets of spare parts for a pilot batch of products. Accordingly, when there will be a serial contract, Kurganmashzavod can not do without.
What is the current BMP situation on the Kurganets-25 chassis?
OCD on the subject “Kurganets” continues.
Did you keep in touch with the Rubtsov branch of JSC Uralvagonzavod Scientific Industrial Corporation for the production of vehicles based on the BMP-3?
Cooperation with the Rubtsov branch of Uralvagonzavod does not stop. There are components that we buy from them, and, in turn, we supply them with spare parts for the overhaul of the BMP-2 and vehicles based on it. At the same time, as far as we know, the production of machines based on BMP-3 (the same BRM-3) is not currently carried out there.
How relevant is the topic of development and installation of your transmissions to the chassis of other manufacturers for you?
The plant has a project to create transmissions for a wide range of machines, since the company has perhaps the deepest competencies in this area in Russia. This is a promising strategic project. Starting in 2020, we will deal with it closely, count, evaluate the market. And then we proceed to its implementation.
In addition to transmissions, what other civic trends are developing at the enterprise?
Today, the priority task of the labor collective of Kurganmashzavod PJSC is to fulfill the state defense order. In the past two years, civilian production has received little attention. The main forces were aimed at fulfilling the state defense order and at the survival of the plant under debt conditions.
Now we have outlined for ourselves a strategic program for developing the direction of civilian products. Monthly, projects are protected according to the nomenclature that was previously produced by the plant, we review it at current prices, volumes, and market conditions.
By 2025, the Kurganmashzavod intends to produce civilian products in the total production volume of up to 50%. So far, the "citizen" is about 5%. For example, next year we plan to double the casting figures at the expense of third-party customers. Our foundry both in the region and in the federal district has worked well, we hope to consolidate these positions.
What can Kurganmashzavod interest consumers with?
Let's say our transport vehicle TM-140 has very good potential. It is necessary to directly reach consumers, pay less attention to intermediaries, participate in tenders in order for TM-140 to promote the market of the north of the Tyumen region. In the near future we want to create a two-link machine in order to increase the load capacity of the product. In Russia, we have practically no competitors in this field. Our machines are of undeniable quality and reliability.
For more than 25 years, Kurganmashzavod PJSC has been producing mini loaders with the MKSM skid steer with a loading capacity of 800 and 1000 kg with various functional attachments. The machine is well known to consumers, over all years 13 thousand products have been produced, which proves its relevance, reliability, versatility and operational efficiency. This is a technique for industry, construction, utilities and roads and many other industries. Today, a deep modernization of samples is carried out to the requirements of consumers.
Who provides after-sales service for equipment already delivered?
Bye dealers. But now, even among dealers, certifications will be held so that work is carried out under the control of the manufacturer. This is necessary in order to build relationships only with reliable partners.
Your showrooms will not be?
While the plant is not ready to invest in such a volume of money in the civilian direction. This is a matter of the future.