The "Platform-O" [Programma 0razvitiya = Development Program] experimental Special Wheeled Chassis and Tractor (SKShT) was created by KAMAZ for the new RS-26 Rubezh / Avangard Road Mobile ICBM, the replacement for the Topol-M and Yars missile systems. As recently as August 2018, this new transporter was clearly not ready for prime time, and debugging this buggy may delay deployment of the new RS-26 ICBM.
At present, the mobile complexes Topol-M and Yars use Belarusian multi-axle chassis manufactured by the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant [MZKT]. The external similarity is due to the split cabs, which is the only possible layout of the chassis, designed for a long rocket. The external similarity is enhanced by the same dimensionality of the tires in the KamAZ and MZKT chassis (1600x600x685 mm). It was expected that the full transition to the new high-modular chassis platform will occur within the next 10 years.
The chassis of KAMAZ-78504 type have the same configuration and frame structure, mounting seats for fastening special installations, practically the same distance from the rear wall of the engine compartment to the front dimension of the target load, the same base, the same value of the rear overhang parameters from the chassis of the type MZKT-7930. The declared total mass is higher for KAMAZ, although the speed parameters are not known. It is clear why, so that without problems for the developers of the target load to replace the chassis type MZKT-7930 of various modifications on the chassis of the KAMAZ-78504 type. To the family of chassis on the OCD "Platform are":
- K7850 with a wheel arrangement of 16x16 with a load capacity of 85 tons
- K78504 - a truck tractor with a wheel formula 8x8 for towing trailed systems with a mass of 90-165 tons and a ballast tractor with a wheel formula 8x8 for towing trailer systems weighing up to 75 tons
- K78509 with the wheel formula 12x12 with carrying capacity of 50 tons
All machines were created by the mind and hands of the employees of PJSC "KAMAZ" and JSC "Special Car Factory /[Special Vehicles Company]" with the participation of wide cooperation of Russian enterprises. JSC "Zavod specialovykh car" (ZSA), a subdivision of Remdizel, is a team of about 500 people, including manufacturing specialists, technologists, designers and engineers. ZSA was established in 2013. The purpose of establishing ZSA was precisely to have a separate company with a new approach to developing new models and implementing new technologies.
As is well known, ZSA, located in Naberezhnye Chelny, is responsible for the production of a wide range of special products, including armored cars of the Typhoon family, armored vehicles of the Vystrel family, and also assembles the experimental chassis within the OCD "Platform". The greatest mystery was shrouded in works on the last topic, which is known that, in accordance with the assignment of the Russian Defense Ministry, work has been carried out since 2010 on the creation of a "highly mobile modular platform" for various purposes of three types intended to replace the wheeled platforms of the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant in the Armed Forces of Russia (MZKT).
JSC "Remdizel", the KAMAZ engine repair plant, was established in 1978 as part of the KAMAZ association. In the autumn of 2015 the Russian company Remdizel, a subdivision of KAMAZ, had problems during the state tests of technology samples developed for the Strategic Missile Forces. It was impossible to physically conduct the whole volume of tests before the end of 2016 on the "Platform-O". And this meant another shift to a later date for bringing the number of newest models of the Strategic Missile Forces equipment up to 100%, that is, not for 2022, and on the 2023 or even later. The factory knows about the criticism of their activities.
Yakov Karpov, CEO of the Special Vehicles Company (ZSA) facility part of JSC “Remdizel”, was interviewed by Andrey Frolov: "There has been a lot of negative emoting and unfounded accusations in the press leveled at Platforma. In our own work with the MoD, however, there are no real emotions – but there is a mutual understanding that this is the first project of its kind for both of us: for them as the customer who draws up technical requirements, and for us as the contractor. This is a unique program for the Russian machine-building industry. The customer has asked for something that has never been done before. A family of chassis has now been developed, incorporating a whole number of innovative solutions that provide an advantage over the competition. Frankly, I cannot name a single competing product in the same class, so this is a truly unique family of special hardware.
"Looking several years back at our early designs, it is clear that our competencies have improved significantly. We have made a lot of progress in terms of the level of technology, qualified R&D personnel and technicians, the testing methodology, software, etc. At present, this product is undergoing state trials, and we are already developing vehicles for specific customers based on that design. We are even already making deliveries, although they remain small for the time being. In other words, we are very close to securing orders from other companies for this product, for use in their own R&D programs. We continue to develop this product, and we believe it has a lot of potential. Our customers are well aware of this. There has been sustained interest from the MoD, including several branches of the armed forces, and this interest will not wane. We must stoke it up by eliminating the teething problems, which are clearly still present."
In 2015, the relations between OJSC TMZ and PJSC KAMAZ developed dynamically. The uniform type and technical characteristics of the new generation of TMZ-880 engines had been agreed. In the R & D plans, starting in 2016, the development of a new generation engine for the KAMAZ-7850 Engines TMZ 880 series will be equipped with basic parts made from special cast iron, a new cylinder-piston group with improved characteristics of surface finish, an adjustable turbocharger with increased efficiency, electronic fuel management system. The engine can be used as a base for creating a family of dual-purpose engines, and in terms of its technical characteristics and consumer qualities will correspond to the world level of diesel engines.
The vehicles created within the framework of the "Platform-O" design are recommended by the results of the state tests to be accepted for supply to the Russian army. The order on this can be signed already in October 2018, advisor to the general director of PJSC KamAZ, the project manager of Platform-O, former chief of the Main Automobile Armored Directorate of the Defense Ministry Vladislav Polonsky, said on 06 September 2018. "After the successful completion of the state tests of the family of highly mobile modular platforms (VMP), an order is being prepared to supply them to our armed forces." I think that this order can be signed in October," Polonsky said.
He specified that five samples developed by PJSC "KamAZ" will be supplied for supply in accordance with the tactical and technical task of the Ministry of Defense and manufactured at the site of Remdiesel JSC: three chassis of the VMP with a carrying capacity of 25, 50 and 85 tons with wheel formulas 8x8, 12x12 and 16x16, as well as heavy saddle and ballast tractors with wheel formulas 8x8 for transportation of heavy equipment in the structure of road trains with a gross weight up to 165 tons and towing of trailed systems and aircraft up to 400 tons.
"As demanded by the government customer, the unification within the family of domestic VMPs, made according to the scheme of electric transmission "motor-wheel", is 86%. This high level of novelty of technical solutions, like this class of machines with a carrying capacity of up to 85 tons, in the world is still generally does not exist," said the adviser to the general director.
Polonsky added that the prototypes of the VMP and heavy tractors had successfully passed all kinds of tests, including the ability to withstand the impact of the damaging factors of a nuclear explosion. "Certainly, some shortcomings were revealed during the state tests, there are remarks, but they do not influence the adoption of these unique machines for supply." In accordance with the plan of measures, the VMP will have to make certain improvements and improvements to the design, all this will be promptly done, "assured Project Manager. "Remdizel" expects that the platform will be in demand not only in the Strategic Missile Forces, but also in the military communications, the Land Forces, the Navy. The capabilities of the tractor on the "Platform-O" were demonstrated at the exhibition "Army-2018" within the framework of the dynamic display.
In 2008, KAMAZ won a tender of the Ministry of Defense to conduct a research work "Platform" on the creation of special wheeled chassis and wheeled tractors (SKShT). The task was to fully ensure the technological independence of the Russian strategic nuclear forces, since mobile ground-based missile systems are now mounted on the chassis of the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant.
Already in 2010, the R & D progressed into the development work (R & D) "Platform-O". Within its framework, several samples were created, information on four of them was publicly presented in late May 2013. Thus, in the "Type of Military Automotive Equipment for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for 2011-2020" (approved by the order of the Minister of Defense of November 26, 2012), in particular, it is stated that within the framework of the OC "Platform-O" a special wheeled chassis of 85 t (KAMAZ-7850), wheel formula 16x16; special wheeled chassis with the carrying capacity of 60 tons ("KAMAZ-78509"), wheel formula 12x12; saddle tractor for a semi-trailer weighing 90 tons ("KAMAZ-78504"), wheel formula 8x8; ballast tractor for a trailer weighing 75 tons (aircraft at the airport - 400 tons, "KAMAZ-78508"), wheel formula 8x8. Even the layman could easily guess that centipedes "KAMAZ-7850" and "KAMAZ-78509" are most likely intended for installation of launchers, and tractors can be used for towing weapons and military equipment.
This chassis does not have clutch, gearbox, transfer box, drive shafts, differentials, which seriously reduces its weight. "Platform-O" is equipped with electric motors for each wheel, so for each of them, depending on the conditions of motion, exactly the torque that is needed is delivered. Special diesel-electric drive is used for tractors of this class for the first time. The lack of a complex transmission means there is no clutch, gearbox, transfer box, drive shafts, differentials, which seriously reduces the weight of the chassis. Secondly, the electric motors develop the maximum torque as soon as they are powered. Thirdly, such a scheme allows all wheels of the chassis to rotate at different speeds and even in different directions. Fourth, it is possible to use the braking energy recovery system. Fifthly, facilitates active traffic safety - any algorithms of the ABS type are programmed in the control unit and can act on each wheel individually.
From the report of the representative of KAMAZ at the Innovation Day of the Defense Ministry, which took place on October 5, 2015, it followed that the developer was ready to abandon the use of the innovative electromechanical transmission (EMT) and switch to traditional, mechanical, and no motor wheels.
Some believed there were more shortcomings in the KAMAZ scheme than advantages, and some of them can not be eliminated so far. For example, a blow when traveling at high speed (and the Defense Ministry constantly requires "speeding up", as the enemy develops weapons of destruction) in a terrain on which there are obstacles, can cause contact of the windings of the motor of the motor-wheel, which will cause the node to fail (to get the largest power, the gap between the rotor and the stator should be done as little as possible). Electric transmission can fly and at low temperatures (if it is necessary to disconnect the equipment for masking, after a while the moisture condenses on the windings of electric motors, and when power is applied, a shortage may occur). Also among the shortcomings of large radiation in the infrared spectrum.
Almost simultaneously with the launch of the "Platform" research project, the Russian developer of missiles, the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering (MIT) has already worked with the MZKT on the design of the chassis (MZKT-79291, wheel formula 12x12) under the APU of the prospective PGRK RS-26 (Rubezh). This six-axle chassis was first publicly shown on July 3, 2013 at the parade in honor of Independence Day in Minsk.
Apparently, the Russian leadership was nervous about such a fundamental dependence on the obstinate Alexander Lukashenko , who has repeatedly made it clear that he is not going to be a boy running errands for the Kremlin. Moscow has been trying to buy MZKT from Belarusians for 5 years now, but all is unsuccessful. Last summer, Batka put him at an unacceptable price - $ 3 billion, whereas, according to experts, for $ 2 billion, you can build a new plant. However, this problem is unlikely to be resolved, since the question arises: where to get specialists? Minsk has been growing them for more than half a century.
Director of the Center for the Analysis of the World Trade Igor Korotchenko and does believe that there is no need to make a Russian alternative to MZKT products. "I think we do not need to change the Belarusian chassis to Russian ones," he told BUSINESS Online. - Reliable cooperation with Belarus has been established, the entire system of technical support, the basing of the PGRK is based on MZKT products, therefore ... But everything in the hands of the Defense Ministry - he needs an alternative or not. The Strategic Missile Forces are fully satisfied with the chassis that MZKT gives."
In 2015, the Belarusian president Lukashenko declared that Russia was not capable of producing super-weight trucks. "We are afraid that Russia will build 'centipede monsters' and use them to transport nuclear warheads. If they now have enough gray matter and money, what they are lacking, let them build it!".
The new Russian K-7850 16×16 special wheeled platform, which boasts of unconventional technical solutions, such as electromechanical transmission (EMT) and all-wheel steering, was demonstrated for the first time to the public at the Army-2018 forum, that held in the Moscow region from 21 to 26 August 2018. During the demonstration, there was a failure in the onboard electronics of the new chassis, which led to the fact that a number of wheels turned in the opposite direction.
According to Russian media reports, the KamAZ-7850 encountered problems with almost all pairs of wheels. Specifically, initially when the car was going straight, suddenly two pairs of wheels in the middle suddenly turned to the left causing the car to lose control and have to stop.The representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense and forum organizers declined to comment on the mechanical trouble of new K-7850 missile carrier.
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