Malyshev Factory

Kharkiv Factory of Transportation Machine-building of Malychev
State-owned company
Industry Arms industry, machines
Founded 1945 (initially in 1895)
Headquarters Kharkiv, Ukraine
Products Tanks, locomotives, ship parts
Owner State of Ukraine
Parent Ukroboronprom[1]

The Malyshev Factory (Ukrainian: Zavod imeni V.O. Malysheva, Завод імені В.О. Малишева), formerly the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory (KhPZ), is a state-owned manufacturer of heavy equipment in Kharkiv, Ukraine. It was named after the Soviet politician Vyacheslav Malyshev. The factory is part of the State Concern UkrOboronProm (Ukrainian Defense Industry).

It produces diesel engines, farm machinery, coal mining, sugar refining, and wind farm equipment, but is best known for its production of Soviet tanks, including the BT tank series of fast tanks, the famous T-34 of the Second World War, the Cold War T-64 and T-80, and their modern Ukrainian successor, the T-84. The factory is closely associated with the Morozov Design Bureau (KMDB), designer of military armoured fighting vehicles and the Kharkiv Engine Design Bureau (KEDB)[2] for engines. During 1958 it constructed "Kharkovchanka", an off-road vehicle which reached the South Pole the following year.

At its height during the Soviet era, the factory employed 60,000 of Kharkiv's 1.5 million inhabitants.[1] Early 2015 5,000 people worked at the factory.[1]


The factory was renamed several times. English-language sources variously refer to it as factory, plant, or works, from the Russian, and now Ukrainian translation of the word zavod (works).



The Kharkiv Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) built about 20% of the Russian Empire's railway engines. After the Russian Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet government in Ukraine, the factory was put to work designing and building tractors and, after 1927, tanks. The Leningrad's Bolshevik Factory and the Kharkiv's KhPZ in 1929 became the first two Soviet tank factories to be modernized with German assistance under the Treaty of Rapallo, 1922.

Tank production

A tank design bureau was established in the factory in 1928, one of several which would be responsible for some of the most successful tanks ever built, and eventually become the Morozov Design Bureau. The KhPZ designed and produced twenty-five T-24 tanks, then nearly eight thousand BT fast tanks. It also built a handful of multi-turreted T-35 tanks.

Shortly before the German invasion of the Soviet Union the KhPZ started series production of the T-34, the most-produced and arguably the best tank of World War II. Series production began in June 1940 in Kharkiv, and later in the Stalingrad Tractor Plant and Krasnoye Sormovo Shipbuilding Plant. In 1941, due to German advances, the factory and design shops were evacuated to the Ural mountains;[1] the plant was merged with Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil into one enterprise called Ural Tank Plant No. 183.

When Ukraine was recaptured, it began production of the new T-44 tank in 1945, and the first prototypes of the T-54. After the war was over, the design bureau and factory gradually transferred all operations back to Kharkiv.[1] The "No. 183" designation was left in Nizhny Tagil, while in Kharkiv the factory merged into Factory No. 75, a previously existing plant known for its T-34 diesel engines. T-54 production was started in the Urals and Kharkiv in 1947–48, and the move ended with the 1951 re-establishment of the Design Bureau, now called KB-60M, in Kharkiv. In 1957, the Factory No. 75 was renamed Malyshev Plant, and next year it took up production of T-55, the most-produced tank ever. The bureau also designed OT-54 and TO-55 flame-thrower tanks, for production at the Omsk Transport Machine Construction Plant. In 1967, T-64 tank production began here, as well as in the Kirov Plant and in the Uralvagonzavod. The T-80 tank, with a high performance gas turbine engine was produced beginning in 1983, followed in 1985 by a more conventional diesel model, T-80UD.

Finished tanks were assembled in several plants, but Soviet industrial planning prevented any region from being able to establish independent arms production. Components and sub-assemblies were produced in different factories, the Malyshev Factory specializing in engines and transmissions.

In independent Ukraine

The Malyshev factory's million-square-metre facility produced 800 tanks in 1991, but underwent difficult times after the breakup of the Soviet Union, producing only 46 tanks until 1996, when a $650 M contract was signed to supply 320 T-80UD tanks to Pakistan.[3] Fulfilling the contract was difficult — the distributed nature of Soviet military industry forced reliance on Russian factories for parts, and Russian political interference forced the development of local capabilities, resulting in the T-84 tank design.[4]

Like many Ukrainian industries, Malyshev was not allowed to negotiate contracts directly with foreign governments, but had to rely on Ukrspetsexport, a government arms-trading company. Although Malyshev was denied exporter status in July 1999, it was given this status by decree of President Leonid Kuchma in November of that year, a move seen to be an election gift to the Kharkiv Oblast (province). Malyshev joined as the leader of thirty-four companies to form an export consortium called Ukrainian Armored Vehicles.

Malyshev has demonstrated main battle tanks to Turkey, Greece, and Malaysia, and has entered into a contract to supply engines for Chinese-made Al-Khalid tanks for Pakistan. In September 2000, a deal was signed to modernize Soviet-made tanks and armoured personnel carries for the United Arab Emirates. The Malyshev factory also manufactures parts for Bizon, a Polish producer of agricultural combines.

In April 2009, the Malyshev Factory signed a contract to upgrade 29 T-64B [Т-64Б] tanks to T-64BM "Bulat" [Т-64БМ "Булат"] standard, for the Ukrainian Army for 200 million hryvnia ($25.1 million). Ten upgraded tanks were delivered in 2010, and 19 planned to be delivered in 2011. The T-64B tanks being upgraded were originally produced at Kharkiv in 1980.[5][6]

In 2012 the Malyshev Factory had a sizable tank scrapping operation.[7]

Since the outbreak of the War in Donbass the factory’s main focus became supplying new and rehabilitated tanks to the Ukrainian Army.[1]

On 22 July 2014 the factory was used as a transfer point in returning the bodies from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash to their home countries.[8]



Locomotive production existed in 1897 through 1969. Until the invasion of Soviet Union by Germany in 1941, the factory was producing steam locomotives which were produced on several factories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. After the war and rebuilding of the factory in 1947, it was producing diesel locomotives until 1969.

Tracked vehicles

Soviet expedition in Antarctica with Kharkovchanka

Specialized in tank building, the factory also was manufacturing artillery tractors, while initially as agricultural tractors.


Cutaway 2D100 engine

Notable diesel engines from Kharkov include the 1472 kW 2D100 (used in the TE3 locomotive) and the 2208 kW 10D100 (used in the TE10 locomotive). Both were 10 cylinder opposed piston two-stroke diesel engines of the 1950s.[9] Another engine in this series, the 12 cylinder 9D100 was less successful and was not widely used.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tank factory workers decry war that pits Ukrainian against Ukrainian, Al Jazeera America (27 February 2015)
  2. "Харьковское конструкторское бюро по двигателестроению (ХКБД) (Kharkiv Engine Design Bureau building (KEDB))". Status quo. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014.
  3. Zaloga, Steven J. (2011). T-80 Standard Tank: The Soviet Army's Last Armored Champion. Osprey Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-299-58354-2.
  4. "T-80UD Main Battle Tank – A Pakistani Perspective". DFI (Indian Defence and Security Analysis). 4 January 2013. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013.
  5. "Украинская армия получила десять модернизированных Т-64". Week News (WK News). 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 7 November 2010.
  6. "Main Characteristics of the Upgraded BM Bulat Battle Tank". Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2004.
  7. John Reed (5 June 2012). "Soviet Tanks As Far As The Eye Can See". Defense Tech. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  8. Andrew Higgins (22 July 2014). "Bodies of Crash Victims Safely Moved Out of Combat Area". New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  9. Heywood, A.J.; Button, I.D.C. (1995). Soviet Locomotive Types. Malmo: Frank Stenvalls Forlag. pp. 12, 45, 55, 57. ISBN 9172661321.


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Coordinates: 49°58′N 36°17′E / 49.97°N 36.28°E / 49.97; 36.28

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