Morozov Design Bureau (KhKBM) - Soviet Union
The Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) began its way as a small team of designers of the Kharkiv Locomotive Plant's technical office set up to design a fast tank in 1927.
The history of the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau is closely connected to the history of the Kharkiv Locomotive Plant (KhPZ) - Malyshev Plant. Tanks and prime movers designed and manufactured by these enterprises have always been the core element and pride of the country's armored formations. The vehicles that left these walls played a key role in determining the world's trends in the development of battle tanks.
Over the decades of its history the staff of designers, research workers, technologists and workers of the experimental facilities has designed and put into production many types of fighting vehicles. Within the walls of the Design Bureau more than one generation of talented, highly qualified specialists have been brought up, and the own style of designing has been developed.
The KMDB traces its actual history back to December 1927 when the Kharkiv Locomotive Plant set up what was known as the Tank Design Team formed by several tractor production designers selected for the purpose. The first chief of this team was a young design engineer Ivan N. Aleksenko. One of the first tasks of this team consisted in participation, together with the GKB OAT, in designing a tank designated as 1-12-32, providing the plant with designer documentation, participation in preparing the tank production facilities at the plant. As the scope of design work grew, early in 1928 the director of the plant approved additional eight vacancies to the personnel list of the Tank Design Team.
The Kharkov plant, collocated with the Ural Railway Carriage Factory or “Vagonka,” which was located in Nizhniy Tagil. While the Chelyabinsk plant would call itself “Tankograd” — literally “Tank City” — the Vagonka would go on to become the largest tank factory in the world.
At the Kharkov plant there were three design offices: the design of new models of BT, mass production of mastered machines and diesel. The chiefs of the design bureau were independent and almost did not coordinate anything with each other. Koshkin's predecessor was called the chief of all designers very conditionally. An old engineer, a man not inclined to break well mastered, he stayed away from the search for new ways in tank building.
The T-34 tank was developed at the design office of Plant No. 183 (now the Kharkiv Transport Machine-Building Plant named after V. Malyshev) under the supervision of Mikhail Koshkin, who was appointed chief designer by Sergo Ordzhonikidze with unprecedented rights. In May 1939, prototypes of the BT-20 and A-32 were manufactured. According to the results of their tests, on December 19, 1939, the Defense Committee of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR decided to assign the T-34 name to the A-32 prototype, to adopt it with the condition of refinement.
In the following decades, the design bureau grew to become a state-of-the-art enterprise with the capacity to develop, test and upgrade main battle tanks and their engineer-support derivatives. In the Soviet era, KhKBM was one of the principal developers of battle tanks. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, KhKBM became the leading organization in Ukraine and coordinated the overall effort aimed to build an entire range of armored combat vehicles.
The BT, T-34, T-54, T-64 and T-80 battle tanks and their numerous modifications were developed by this design bureau, headed for 36 years by the outstanding battle tank designer A.A.Morozov. KhKBM supervised the series production of its developments at the state-run Malyshev Plant.
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