UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


NK Engines

AO SNTK Dvigateli NK 
Dvigateli NK Joint Stock Company
Dvigately NK of Samara
OAO SNTK "Engines NK"
NK Engines 

443026 Russia, Samara, 
ul. S. Lazo.   
telephone: (8462) 500228. 

In June 1997 engine-makers from Samara and Kazan publicly declared the registration of their long-awaited marriage. The merger, christened "NK Engines" ("Dvigately NK" in Russian), unites the following organizations: Motorostroitel, the Kazan Engine-Building Industrial Association, Kuznetsov's Scientific Industrial Complex of Samara, Metallist-Samara, Samara Machinery-building Design Bureau, AOZT NK Engines of Moscow, Aviamotor Design-Industrial Enterprise of Kazan, ELRoss holding company, Samara Turbine Power Stations and SKD-bank.

Samara Region is among the industrial leaders of the country benefiting from its own diversified economy. Today, the industrial complex of the region comprises 415 large and medium size enterprises and more than 4 thousand small companies. The major producers of the region hold strong positions both in the Russian market and overseas. The industrial complex of the region keeps stable and dynamic growth. The region also benefits from the systematic efforts directed at development of integrated structures in the industrial sector primarily in the defense industry. The Government of the Russian Federation supported the position of the Regional government on the issue of establishing industrial holding called Dvigateli NK (NK engines). A lot of organizational and analytical efforts were paid into the development of integrated backbone structures of aircraft engine producers, avionics and ammunition manufacturers and other companies.

The idea to unite numerous developers and manufacturers of engines located in the Volga region occurred on 1 October 1993, during a business trip of prime-minister Victor Chernomyrdin to Samara. The participants in the proposed union identified themselves on 19 August 1996, when their representatives signed a letter of intent on forming NK Engines.A long process of paper work finally ended on 20 March 1997, when the State Property Committee of the Russian Federation officially registered the merger as the finance-industrial group #40.

In part, the merger was formed to ease mutual payments and barter deals within the Russian industry. The last and probably most powerful argument for the engine-makers to merge was the acute financial crisis they had in 1995. That year the government found itself unable to provide sufficient funding for the Russian Space Agency (RSA) and Defence Ministry. Even after a series of drastic cuts, orders for rocket engines usually came to manufacturers with "state promissory notes" instead of cash. As a result, the manufacturers amassed big debts to power and steam generating stations, suppliers of raw materials and sub-components.

At the press-briefing on 27 June 1997 engine-makers from Samara and Kazan publicly declared the registration of their long-awaited marriage. The merger, christened "NK Engines" ("Dvigately NK" in Russian), unites the following organizations: Motorostroitel, the Kazan Engine-Building Industrial Association, Kuznetsov's Scientific Industrial Complex of Samara, Metallist-Samara, Samara Machinery-building Design Bureau, AOZT NK Engines of Moscow, Aviamotor Design-Industrial Enterprise of Kazan, ELRoss holding company, Samara Turbine Power Stations and SKD-bank.

Public joint stock company, 38 percent of shares in federal ownership. The OKB develops engines for heavy aircraft, the latest development being the NK-93 engine, gas-turbine engines for power engineering, engines for natural gas pumping, ZhRD [liquid-propellant rocket engines] and so on; it is working on engines for passenger aircraft that use hydrogen and natural gas. Work force over 4,500.

By 1998 Samara-based Nikolai Kuznetsov Engines (NK Engines) Finance-Industrial Group continued working on the NK-93, a next-generation powerplant for heavy-weight airliners. This Russian design represents the latest in propfan technology worldwide. The NK-93 uses two eight blade ducted counterrotating propfans in a tractor configuration and is rated at 18,000 kgf (approximately 40,000 lb thrust)

It is aimed for installation on the Il-96M and Tu-204 airliners and a special twin-engine version of the An-70 airlifter. Also, there are plans to create a high-thrust version of the engine for the An-124 Ruslan freighter. The NK-93 lies between turboprops and high-bypass jets, being a ducted-fan engine with a bypass ratio of 16.6:1. Weighing 3650kg, the NK-93 delivers 18t of thrust at take-off mode (or 20t at contingency power mode), and has a cruise fuel consumption of 0.49 kg/kgf/h. The target TBO for the NK-93 is 7500 hours and lifetime until withdrawal 15000 hours.

Aleksadr Ivanov, chief designer with NK Engines, claimed in 1998 that eight engines had amassed over 2000 hours on test rigs. Three engines have been disassembled for inspection and further use as mock-ups, so that NK Engines had five operable powerplants. In addition, two gas-generators were undergoing trials on a special test facility. NK engines had carried out a vast test program on various parts of the engine, using its unique test facilities in Samara. For instance, it completed a series of tests on the gearbox, which was designed to a shaft power of 35000hp. In June 1998, tests began on one of the five operable engines in a special chamber of TsIAM, Baranov's Engine-building Institute of Moscow, to assess altitude performance of the NK93. Enough parts have been manufactured to assemble ten more engines, Ivanov said.

By the end of 1998 it was planned one of these will be installed on an Il-76 flying laboratory for on-wing trials. Funds for NK-93 development were provided from the Federal Budget and NK Engines' own resources. Although not without extensive delays, cash continued to come from the state budget to NK Engines for the work on the NK-93. In 1997, it received Rbs8bn (in 1997 prices) for this project. Ivanov said, however, that some $10m annually was needed to complete tests and certify the engine in the three years time. According to him, the biggest problem needing an engineering solution was the reverse thrust at landing. As with all propfan designs "it also does not require a reverser device, as the thrust can be reversed by simply rotating the fan blades.

In 1999 the NK-93 gas generator core was tested at the Central Institute of Aircraft Motors (CIAM). Results from these tests allowed engineers to create an accurate computer model of a full scale engine. Calculations from this computer model show that cruise specific fuel consumption for the NK-93 will "surpass that of existing Russian and foreign engines by 10 to 12 percent". Reportedly the engine has demonstrated low emission levels and will meet 2004 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for emissions and noise. By 2001 Dvigateli NK group had some 50 NK-33 engines assembled back in the 1970s, and some 50 more had been sold to U.S. Aerojet. At the exhibition Dvigatel'-2002 held in April in Moscow, the Samara NTK 'Dvigateli NK' presented the project of NK-33-1 engine. In 2005, OJSC SNTK im. Kuznetsova launched testing of NK-361, the first cryogenic engine in the world 361 to use liquefied gas and designed for the brand new type of locomotives - gas-turbine locomotives.

In early February 2006 the Russian media reported that the Indian government ordered from Russia a batch of newly built NK-12 engines for the naval Tupolev aircraft. The work will be done by Nikolai Kuznetsov Engines (NK Engines) industrial group. To do so, the industry has to reinstall NK-12 production as it terminated many years ago.

Kuznetsov SNTK, which was supposed to form the core of the Dvigateli-NK holding, was close to bankruptcy, and some of its assets had already been seized by its creditors. Power supplies to the enterprise had been cut off, and employees had not been paid wages for nine months. The government concluded that the "Dvigateli-NK" holding could not survive on its own, and should be folded into the holding that would include the Perm and Samara clusters, Saturn and UMPO. Oboronprom acted as a crisis manager for the Samara cluster of firms. It was able to resolve the most difficult problems facing SNTK: the government allocated 676 million rubles for the financial sanation of the enterprise, covered the wage arrears, revived current project and concluded new contracts with Gazprom.

In 2005, OJSC SNTK im. Kuznetsova launched testing of NK-361, the first cryogenic engine in the world 361 to use liquefied gas and designed for the brand new type of locomotives - gas-turbine locomotives.

About 40% of the gas compressor plants on the territory of the former Soviet Union are equipped with NK engines.

At the session of the Government of the Russian Federation on October 25, 2007 the decisions on the questions under consideration were made. The Ministry of Industry and Energy of Russia, Ministry of Finance of Russia, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Russia have to take necessary actions focused on state support of "N.D. Kuznetsov Samara Research and Technology Center" OJSC, in 2007, including carrying out the commitment of debt restructuring, financial condition inventory according to the procedures prescribed by regulation of the Government of the Russian Federation of October 12, 2007 No. 665, and pre-judicial restructuring by means of granting subsidies to rebuild the paying capacity of this joint-stock company with subsequent restructuring of its assets. The Ministry of Industry and Energy of Russia, Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation, in partnership with the Government of Samara Region, for the purpose of development of military-industrial complex organizations, situated on the territory of Samara Region, are authorized to explore the question of joint participation at these enterprises for the coordinated realization of re-tooling and modernization of defense manufacturing and the release of high-tech products which might have competitive commercial value.

In 1978 chief designers A.A.Tupolev and N.D.Kuznetsov decided to build a Tu-155 experimental aircraft using liquid hydrogen fuel. This aircraft was based on the well-proven Tu-154 passenger aircraft. An experimental engine (NK-88) was constructed for this aircraft on the basis of NK-8-2u production engine. An important feature of Tu-154 was that it had three engines one of which can be changed by an experimental hydrogen engine (the aircraft could reliably fly with two engines using traditional fuel). Design work was accompanied by research and experimental work held in A.N.Tupolev Development Design Bureau, N.D.Kuznetsov Development Design Bureau with scientific and technical background of the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI), Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM), All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials (VIAM), and NPO «CRYOGENMASH».

The former Kuznetsov aircraft engine bureau developed engines for the abandoned N1 lunar launcher. They are now offered commercially. Aerojet markets them in the US. Nikolai D Kuznetsov was General Director until 1994, aged 83. Developed smaller versions of N-1 propulsion units for upper stage applications and some were offered to other countries in the1980s. Now operates test stands for medium to large rocket motors. The marketing responsibility is no longer carried out and Trud has been reapplied to general commercial marketing activities for a variety of aerospace contractors and subcontractors. Some work has been conducted on decommissioning old ICBM silos and missile test stands. Has carried out studies on hybrid rocket motors with mixed solid and liquid propellants.

Although Russia denied that any illegal transfers had taken place, it had taken some tangible steps in response to American concerns - such as the cancellation of a 1997 contract between a Russian missile factory (NPO Trud) and Iran in which rocket engine components were to have been shipped under the guise of gas pipeline compressors. The Russian authorities quite independently without being prompted from outside terminated an Iranian company's attempt to place a suspicious contract for gas compressor unit equipment production with NPO Trud Research and Development Company. A due diligence performed on the contract by the Federal Service for Currency and Export Control unveiled that certain parts of such equipment "might be used in liquid-propellant engines". The contract was rejected. Despite such progress as cooperation with the NPO Trud contract, since issuing an Executive Order in 1998, by 2000 the United States had been forced to sanction 10 Russian entities for continuing to transfer technology for the development of advanced ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, and the Central Intelligence Agency reported that Russian entities continued to provide Iran with assistance.

The most influential designer of rocket engines in the Soviet Union, Valentin Glushko, supported developing engines for the N1 using storable propellants, i.e., those that were suitable for use on ICBMs, which needed to be at a constant ready state. Korolev, on the other hand, believed that super-cooled cryogenic propellants such as liquid oxygen offered better energy characteristics, and would be the best choice for the giant N1 rocket. The two men were unable to agree on this point, and a special commission in 1962 sided with Korolev's recommendation. Because Glushko refused to build cryogenic engines, Korolev was forced to ask an aviation engine designer named Nikolay Kuznetsov to produce engines for the N1. It was a huge gamble for Korolev since Kuznetsov had almost no experience in designing rocket engines.

At the end of 2007, Oboronprom Corporation took over management of Kuznetsov SNTK. Oboronprom came to SNTK as a crisis manager. The first step was to conduct a financial audit. It showed that estimations of the company's debt on the basis of the enterprise's balance sheets at the end of 2007 were not accurate. According to the company's books, SNTK owed 1.7 billion rubles, of which 129 million rubles consisted of wage arrears, and another 700 million rubles in tax arrears. However, this was only part of the story. A more detailed examination showed that SNTK really owed about 2 billion rubles. The extra debts include several promissory notes issued to suppliers and subcontractors that were not included on the books, as well as advances that SNTK received for goods under production.

Thanks to state support delivered through a targeted allocation of funds, Oboronprom paid off the wage and most of the tax arrears owed by the company. Moreover, Oboronprom covered its energy debts, using, in part, funds contributed by Oboronprom. The restructuring of the remaining debts is a separate issue. It is well known that 90% of the debts were overdue. The company was paying over 20% interest on some of its loans, sometimes up to 26%. Oboronprom can now say with confidence that with the assistance of Oboronprom management, all debts owed by SNTK have been restructured. This applies first of all to two large commercial structures: Koversbank and VBRR. First of all, the term of these loans was extended, and the interest rates were reduced to 12% per annum.

Revenues for 2008 will derive mostly from contracts with Gazprom. The sale of each gas pumping unit brings in about 100 million rubles. SNTK already delivered two engines for the Novo-Gryazovetskaya station, and was working on another engine for the Mikunskaya station, and have signed two contracts for the repair of engines at the Bezymianskoy co-generation plant, and for engines for the Samaratransgaz and Volgotransgaz companies. Financing for the flight tests of the NK-93 engine?has been replenished. Oboronprom included a supplementary item to the federal targeted program for civil aviation worth 94 million rubles, meant specifically for the testing of this engine. More funds have been allocated in a separate contract between LII Gromov and SNTK. No firm customer for this engine had been identified as yet. Nevertheless, Ilyushin Finance Corporation has expressed an interest in equipping the Il-96 and possibly the modernized Il-76 with the NK-93.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 10-04-2019 12:10:37 ZULU