Friday 17 June 2022

T-80 Production Woes

 "To the Chief of the Tank Directorate of the GBTU, Engineer-Colonel comrade Afonin


The poorly organized and irresponsible actions of the factory management as well as a lack of responsibility and assistance from the NKTP in the organization of a new tank factory throughout the first half of 1943 led to a drop in the quality and quantity of T-80 tanks produced at factory #40.

A lack of necessary jigs, tools, measuring and cutting instruments, violations of the technological processes or, often, no processes at all, a weak QA department, and complete anarchy in constant change of management (until present time) does not allow organization of production of the components, assemblies, and vehicles to meet the established blueprints and technical requirements in the amount prescribed by the production plan.


Taking all that into account, the People's Commissar of Medium Machinebuilding comrade Akopov gave an order that would result in production of T-80 tanks in sufficient quantity and quality. One would think that the factory management should instantly change its course and mobilize the factory staff to perform their tasks.

As of today, parts that violate the blueprints and technical requirements are still sent to assembly. For instance:

  1. During disassembly and measurement of the first gear, not a single part was found that met blueprint dimensions and technical requirements. The final drive was the same.
  2. Unacceptable parts continue to be sent to the assembly pipeline. Not a single main clutch or final drive has been assembled from parts made at factory #40.
  3. Workshop #7 QA passed gun mantlet #82 and elevation mechanism #23. During assembly of the vehicle both parts were rejected. It was established that the main components deviate from the design.
  4. Assembly is generally done with unlabelled parts.
  5. The main clutch is tested on a test bench that does not meet any established requirements. 
The workshops are being equipped with primary jigs very slowly, as a result of which production lines are flooded with unacceptable parts. The instruments workshop continues to be a limiting factory.
The factory director is concentrated on final delivery, meanwhile production of components is not set up properly.

Any measures taken to improve quality, as a rule, come from Military Acceptance. The Chief Designer, Chief Metallurgist, and Chief Technologist's departments all drag their feet and essentially do nothing to improve the vehicle.

Factory management does not give specific and concrete directions to workshops and limits itself to administration. Orders given by factory management and the Chief Designer are not carried out and their execution is not controlled by factory management. The director interferes in issues of technical policy, thus both undermining the authority of the Chief Designer and leaving factory management without due attention.

Even though the factory had time to prepare jigs for a number of tools and assemblies as well as arrange better cooperation between factories, this was not done due to a lack of tenacity.

Given the above, I ask the Tank Directorate to raise the issue of replacing factory management with stronger and more strong willed personnel that are capable of organizing production in the conditions that have been created.

Senior Military Representative at factory #40, Engineer-Major Slyusarev
Military Representative at the Molotov factory, Engineer-Major Kulikov"

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