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Main Automotive-Armored Tank Directorate (GABTU)

The Main Automotive-Armored Tank Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation (Russian: Glavnoye Avtobronetankovoye Upravleniye MO RF, abbr. GABTU) is designed for construction planning, system development Tank Technical and autotechnical the Armed Forces (RDF and ATO). GABTU is the main customer and supplier of automotive (AT) and armored (AFV) technology in troops, the organization of TTO and the ATO, as well as to determine the military-technical policy in the field of development, operation, maintenance armored vehicles and military vehicles (armored vehicles, BAT) and its implementation of the established order in the Armed Forces.

Main Tank-Automotive Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation intended to plan improvement of system Tank Technical and autotechnical security in the Armed Forces, the organization Tank Technical and autotechnical security, identification and implementation of military-technical policy in the field of development, operation, maintenance and disposal of armored vehicles, automotive art.

The main objectives of GABTU are:

  • TTO plan to improve the system and the ATO;
  • TTO organization and ATO;
  • identification and implementation of the established order in the Armed Forces of the military-technical policy in the field of armored vehicles and BAT, development, operation and maintenance;
  • implementation of measures in the field of military and military-technical cooperation between Russia and foreign states within its jurisdiction;
  • planning and support of the Armed Forces armored vehicles, BAT and other material means to consolidate the nomenclature;
  • planning of armored vehicles and BAT.

The Main Tank Directorate or GBTU was assigned direct responsibility for everything connected with the production, delivery, and maintenance of armored vehicles. Its representatives at the plants are responsible for monitoring vehicle manufacture, their quality, and for monitoring established system for shipping tanks to the troops. The main centers of armor industry was Kharkiv (tanks T-54, T-64, T-80UD, bronetyagachi MT-LB), Nizhny Tagil (tanks T-55, T-62, T-72), Kurgan ( infantry vehicles) and Arzamas (armored vehicles).

It led the history of the mechanization and motorisation of the Red Army, established in 1929. In 1934 it was converted to the Avtobronetank. Commander 1st Rank Innocent A. Khalepsky was head of mechanization and motorisation of the Red Army (Novemmber 1929 - April 1934.) and the chief of the Red Army Tank-Automotive Management (April 1934-April 1936).

Heading ABTU Red Army, IA Khalepsky during this period played a significant role in the creation of armored forces and implementation of the order to design and manufacture advanced by the time the armored vehicles. There were put on the mass production the first domestic tank MC-1, put into service in 1927. On the instructions of control designed tanks T-26, BT-2. In the thirties, they and their modifications were the main tanks.

In November 1937 Khalepsky was arrested. During the investigation there were named more than 100 persons involved to participate in the military-fascist conspiracy. Convicted July 29, 1938 by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR to the supreme penalty and on the same day he was shot. Rehabilitated September 8, 1956 by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR.

On November 3 1929, Armored management was created by the Office of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army, on the basis of the automobile department of the Military-Technical Department of the Red Army, the Department of mechanical traction Artillery Directorate of the Red Army and Inspection of Armor. The leadership was simultaneously the head of the mechanized forces of the Red Army and was directly subordinate to the People's Commissar for Military and Naval SSSR Affairs Office, entrusted management of formation, mobilization, military and technical training, training and mechanized forces of the Red Army service, as well as all matters of motorization and transport units of the Red Army, their special procurement and specialized training of their personnel. On November 22 1934 it was renamed the Tank-Automotive Management.

On December 7 1942, the Main Tank-Automotive Directorate of the Red Army was reorganized into two main controls: General Directorate of formation and combat training of armored and mechanized forces of the Red Army. On 07 December 1942 Main armored management of the Red Army was created by top automotive control of the Red Army (GAU CA). The tasks related to the organization of supply, maintenance, repair of motor vehicles and preparation of cadres of the Red Army were isolated from the Main Armored Directorate of the Red Army and handed over to the Main Road Management.

The tasks related to the organization of the supply, maintenance and repair of tractors and training for them was isolated from the Main Armored Directorate of the Red Army and handed over to the General Directorate of the Red Army artillery commander and the Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army. In 1953 it was transformed into the Office of the Chief of Armored Forces. In November 1960, the Office of the Chief of armored forces was reorganized Office of the Chief of armored forces. In mid-1980 it was transformed into the Main Armored Management.

In January 1943, Autotractor was formed by Main Motor Control (GAC) of the Red Army. In January 1946, Main Automotive Control of the Red Army was reorganized in the Automotive Control of the Armed Forces of the USSR. In 1949, on the basis of Automobile and Tractor Management [GAU] was formed Autotractor Main Office (GAVTU). In 1953, the Main Autotractor Management was reorganized into Autotractor Management (AVTU) USSR Ministry of Defense. In 1961, the Automobile and Tractor Management USSR Ministry of Defense was transformed into the Central Management Autotractor (TSAVTA) USSR Ministry of Defense. In December 1982, the Central Management Autotractor USSR Ministry of Defense was renamed the Main Motor Control (GLAVTU) USSR Ministry of Defense.

In connection with the reorganization of the management team in ABTU armored and mechanized forces of the Red Army, in 1943, Avtobronetank was divided into main armored management (HBTU) and the main motor control (GLAVTU), but in 1995 these were combined into a single GABTU. It was subordinated to the Chief of Logistics of the Armed Forces - Deputy Defence Minister of Russia.

In 1936, a secret Russian armored vehicle testing facility was established at Kubinka, a large site approximately 60 kms west of Moscow. Over the years, this facility has been used for the testing of both new armored vehicle designs intended for the Russian Army, as well as captured war trophies dating back to World War II. Since this facility is also the home of the Russian Scientific Research Institute for Armored Vehicle Technology (NIIBT), most of the attention directed at Kubinka focused on former Soviet and Russian armored vehicles.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the armored vehicle collection housed and maintained at Kubinkas Military Historical Museum of Armored Vehicles and Weaponry (officially established in 1972), was first revealed to the public. Since then, the museum has gradually become more accessible to Russian citizens and visiting foreigners. The armored vehicle collection is primarily housed in nine large buildings or sheds that resemble open-bay maintenance facilities, without the large bay doors. Each building contains approximately 30 well-maintained vehicles parked side-by-side. Among the armored vehicles from 13 different foreign countries, the most impressive is the complete collection of German armored vehicles from World War II, unique in that it includes the sole surviving German Maus heavy tank. The Russians managed to combine the two damaged prototypes, along with parts of six other partially-completed vehicles, to build the Maus currently on display at Kubinka.



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