Votkinsk Machine Building Plant

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Votkinsk Machine Building Plant
Joint-stock company
Industry Defense
Founded 1759
Headquarters Votkinsk, Russia
Products Ballistic missiles, Submarine-launched ballistic missiles
Parent Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology[1]
Website vzavod.ru

Votkinsk Machine Building Plant (Russian: Воткинский завод) is a machine and ballistic missile production enterprise based in Votkinsk, Russia. Its production includes the RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile, Russia's most recent ICBM development, as well as the submarine-launched Bulava SLBM.

Incorporated as a Federal State Unitary Enterprise until 2010, it is now an open joint-stock company.

The company has two separate facilities: a final assembly plant located some 12 kilometers outside of Votkinsk where missiles are assembled, and the main plant, located in downtown Votkinsk, where missile components as well as civil and consumer goods are produced.[2]

History[edit]

The plant from its foundation until 1917[edit]

Construction of the plant was caused by the depletion of forests near then existing mining enterprises in the Urals (mid-18th century). Fetching of firewood from afar increased the cost of iron industry. This situation could be resolved by the displacement of ore processing to those areas, where forests remained untouched. For the same reason, another plant was built in this region (Izhevsk ironworks) between 1760 and 1763.

The area was chosen for construction of Votkinsk ironworks owing to its vicinity to the major waterway (the Kama River that flows 15-20 kilometers from the present-day city of Votkinsk). The following considerations have also played a role in the choice: the presence of forests, which were the main source of fuel in this industry then, as well as geographical proximity to mining companies. Between 1754 and 1763, totally 42 private factories were built, which belonged to the gentry of the Russian Empire (including Count P.I. Shuvalov, Count M.E. Vorontsov).

In 1763, after Shuvalov's death (1762), Votkinsk and Izhevsk ironworks passed over to the State for repayment of Shuvalovs' debts, and have been state enterprises ever since.

Subsequently, in the 18th-20th centuries, the plant produced anchors, railway equipment, ships, excavators, gold mining drags, various weapons. For example, starting from 1773, the plant began to produce steel anchors for the domestic fleet, according to the decree of Empress Catherine II. In the first half of the 19th century, the plant made for at least 62 percent of total anchor production in Russia.

Votkinsk ironworks was one of the most progressive at the time. Among the events of great importance for the development of global industry was the launch (in 1811) of cast steel production using a completely new method of Badaev, who was a self-taught talented metallurgist. This high-quality tool steel was used for the manufacturing of various tools (metal cutting, medical, stamps).

A valuable way to acknowledge the professional skills of the Votkinsk artisans was a production order issued in 1858 for manufacturing and assembly the spire's frame for the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

In 1871, the plant launched the output of open hearth furnaces. In this regard, the plant was the second in Russia and the first in the Urals.

Moreover, the plant produced armor steel for the needs of the domestic fleet.

In the 1840s, under the supervision of Ilya Petrovich Tchaikovsky, the enterprise was reprofiled from purely metallurgical to machine-building. So, in 1847, the production of ships was started, and since 1868 steam locomotive began to be produced here. It is particularly remarkable that the plant was situated on the shores of a small shallow river and it wasn't connected to the country's railway network. Therefore, steamships and other vessels had to be produced prior to spring floods. For this purpose, a special dam was built on the enterprise territory in order to set up a small-scale accumulative pond. In the spring, melt waters filled the pond and flooded the shipyard area. This enabled new vessels to float to the surface. Then they opened dam gates and steamships could be run downstream the river Votka to the river Siwa, and from there to the Kama river. In total, the enterprise built about 400 vessels of various types.

In the same way, during spring floods, steam locomotives were sent from the enterprise. They were placed on special barges running downstream the rivers Votka (ru), Siva and Kama up to the nearest railway station. This situation lasted until 1916, when the plant was connected to the country’s railway system. In total, the enterprise built 631 wide gage steam locomotives of different series.

At the end of the 19th century, due to construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the plant started the output of steelwork elements for railway bridges. In terms of overall length of built railway bridges, the Votkinsk plant had taken the first place in Russia by 1915.

Gradually, steam locomotive building came out on top, among the enterprise’s priority activities, accounting for about 40% of productive capacities.

From 1917 until 1957[edit]

During the Russian Civil War, the plant was repeatedly plundered by all the warring parties, as a result of which it essentially ceased to operate and was preserved in 1922.

On 9 September 1925, the plant was re-opened as a manufacturer of agricultural equipment.

From 1930 to 1937, the plant was administered by the All-union association of the heavy industry and started to produce high-performance steam diggers and gold mining drags.

On 1 January 1938, the plant was handed over to the People's Commissariat of Defence Industry of the USSR and became an ordnance factory. On March 11, 1938, it was renamed to the plant № 235.

From the outset of the Great Patriotic War in 1941, the plant started to produce the 45 mm antitank cannon M1937 53-K, and in 1943 launched the manufacture of the 76 mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3) was mastered.

In the early postwar period and until 1957, the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant produced 100 mm air defense gun KS-19, 57 mm anti-tank gun M1943 (ZiS-2) and other military equipment, as well as deployed civilian production (traction engines for agriculture, narrow-gauge locomotives and tower cranes).

Missile production (from 1957 to the present time)[edit]

In 1957, the enterprise was crossed over to release of ballistic missiles by resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers of the USSR. In 1958, the plant delivered first short-range attack missiles 8A61 developed by the Design Bureau-1 with a liquid-fueled engine and with a range of 150 km, adopted in July 1955.

Also, the plant produced a nuclear modification of 8A61 called 8К11, and starting from 1960, its successor was released - tactical missiles 8K14 developed by the Design Bureau-385 with a range of up to 300 km. This rocket was mass-produced for over 25 years and used by the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for more than 30 years.

In 1962, by resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant started to master the production of more powerful tactical missiles 9M76, being a part of the mobile theatre ballistic missile TR-1 Temp. The first serial missiles were launched in 1966.

"TR-1 Temp" became a first missile system with a solid-fuelled piloted ballistic rocket adopted by the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Subsequently, however, those missiles were terminated in accordance to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the USA and the USSR from 8 December 1987.

In 1974, the plant began to produce intercontinental missiles 15ZH42 for the mobile intercontinental ballistic missile complex SS-16 Sinner, in 1975 - the intermediate-range ballistic missiles 15ZH45 for the complex SS-20 Saber, in 1976 - the short-range attack missiles 9M714 for the complex OTR-23 Oka, and in 1989 - the tactical missiles 9M79-1 fot[clarification needed] the complex OTR-21 Tochka.

In 1998, the plant launched the production of one of the most recent intercontinental ballistic missiles "RT-2PM2 Topol-M".

In 2006, the plant started mass production of the missiles "9K720 Iskander" (its NATO reporting name is SS-26 Stone).

Production[edit]

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin touring the Votkinsk plant on 21 March 2011 with a Topol-M ICBM in the background

The company's products include R-11/SS-1B Scud-A and B SRBMs; RT-21M/SS-20 Saber and SS-23 Spider IRBMs; RT-21 (SS-16 Sinner), RT-2PM (SS-25 Sickle) and RT-2UTTH Topol-M (SS-27) ICBMs. It also manufactures oil and gas equipment, refrigeration equipment, metal-cutting equipment, castings, forgings, stampings and domestic electric appliances.[3]

Votkinsk was also responsible for the production of the Cold War era SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missile and many other well-known designs by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology.

Missiles[edit]

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meeting employees of the Votkinsk Plant

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Список аффилированных лиц". E-Disclosure.ru. Retrieved 28 April 2017. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Russian Defense Business Directory". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  3. ^ "Votkinsk Votkinsk Plant State Production Association (Russian Federation)". Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2009-05-19. [dead link]

External links[edit]