Uralvagonzavod to start giving tours

According to Sputnik news.com, the Russian tank building plant Uralvagonzavod will be opening up part of their facility for military tourism.  Uralvagonzavod, located at Nizhny Tagil in the Ural Mountains, is the builder of the T-90 MBT and the new Armata T-14.  According to the Sputnik new.com article:

uralvagonzavod_building-e1406836865487The tour will also include a visit to the Museum of Armored Vehicles, which features more than a thousand exhibits, from the T-34 to the T-90, as well as samples of armor, shells, and other individual components of the plant’s production, plus rare books, other literature and paintings. Visitors, the press release says, will be able to get a look at some of the vehicles on display both inside and out.

The final stage of the tour will feature a demonstration of the T-90 main battle tank on the move, along with a master class from the vehicle’s commander. Moreover, program organizers promise a working lunch in the plant’s workers’ canteen, plus a soldier’s lunch of porridge out in the field.

The ‘Voyentur’ (‘Military Tour’) program is scheduled to begin operations later this year, the company promises.

Full article here.


Moscow Times Editorial on Putin and UralVagonZavod tank factory

5565-08-pu_fireThe Moscow Times has published an editorial piece pointing out political connections between Russian President Putin and the UralVagonZavod tank factory.  In particular, it claims that tank production in Russia has been based more on Putin’s desire to secure his political base than on the actual defense needs of Russia.  Interestingly, the article also makes some claims regarding Russia’s highly touted new Armata tank, stating that the vehicle will not be produced in significant quantities until 2018.  The editorial states that “In an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov lamented: “We miscalculated on the Armata … The money allocated for that project turned out to be too little to produce the necessary quantity.”  The piece further states that “UralVagonZavod specialized machinery director Vyacheslav Khalitov has announced that the factory will produce only two dozen or so new tanks. They will make an appearance in the Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9 and then return to the factory to complete production by year’s end.”  The full article can be read here.

Russia’s Armata too expensive?

armata_large_1_largeThe Motley Fool financial news has published another article on the Russian Armata tank.  This article asks the question of whether or not the new Armata tank is something that Russia can currently afford to purchase.  According to the article, there has been disagreements over the cost of the vehicle between Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MinOboron) and UralVagonZavod (UVZ), the military contractor responsible for building Armata.  Russia has invested 15 billion rubles ($239 million) in developing the Armata tank, and budgeted 39 billion ($622 million) more. However, MinOboron is demanding UVZ both complete its design and lower its price. According to UVZ, mass production is key to reducing the unit price of the Armata. The tank is expected to be complete and ready for mass production this year.