Malyshev Factory

The Malyshev Factory (Ukrainian: Завод імені В.О. Малишева, romanizedZavod imeni V.O. Malysheva; abbreviated ЗІМ, ZIM), formerly the Kharkov Locomotive Factory (Харьковский паровозостроительный завод, Khar'kovskiy parovozostroitel'nyy zavod, ХПЗ, 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).

Kharkiv Factory of Transportation Machine-building of Malyshev
TypeState-owned company
IndustryArms industry, machines
Founded1945 (initially in 1895)
ProductsTanks, locomotives, ship parts
OwnerState of Ukraine

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 Kharkov 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]

As of 2015, 5,000 people worked at the factory.[1]


The factory was renamed several times. First originally named in Russian, English-language sources variously refer to it as factory, plant, or works, though now use the Ukrainian translation of the word zavod (works).


  • 1895—Establishment of the Kharkov Locomotive Factory (Russian: Харьковский паровозостроительный завод or KhPZ, Khar'kovskiy parovozostroitel'nyy zavod, ХПЗ / Ukrainian: Харківський паровозобудівний завод, romanizedKharkivskyy parovozobudivnyy zavod)
  • 1923—Production line for Kommunar tractors established
  • 1928—Renamed Kharkiv Komintern Locomotive Factory (Russian: Khar'kovskiy parovozostroitel'nyy zavod imeni Kominterna, Харьковский паровозостроительный завод имени Коминтерна), and the tank design bureau is established
  • 1936—Renamed Factory No. 183 (Zavod No. 183)
  • 1941—Evacuated to Nizhny Tagil in the Urals and merged with the Uralvagonzavod Factory, to form the Ural Tank Factory No. 183
  • 1945—Re-established at Kharkov Diesel Factory No. 75
  • 1957—Renamed Malyshev Plant (Ukrainian: Zavod imeni V.A. Malysheva, Завод імені В.А. Малишева)


The Kharkov 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 productionEdit

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 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 liberated from the Germans, 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.[citation needed] The T-80 tank, with a high performance gas turbine engine was produced beginning in 1983,[citation needed] 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 UkraineEdit

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.[citation needed]

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 ($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.[4][5]

In 2012 the Malyshev Factory had a sizable tank scrapping operation.[6]

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.[7]



Locomotive production was performed from 1897 to 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 vehiclesEdit

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.[8] Another engine in this series, the 12 cylinder 9D100 was less successful and was not widely used.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Tank factory workers decry war that pits Ukrainian against Ukrainian, Al Jazeera America (27 February 2015)
  2. ^ "Харьковское конструкторское бюро по двигателестроению (ХКБД) (Kharkov 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. ^ "Украинская армия получила десять модернизированных Т-64". Week News (WK News). 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 7 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Main Characteristics of the Upgraded BM Bulat Battle Tank". Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2004.
  6. ^ John Reed (5 June 2012). "Soviet Tanks As Far As The Eye Can See". Defense Tech. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  7. ^ Andrew Higgins (22 July 2014). "Bodies of Crash Victims Safely Moved Out of Combat Area". New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  8. ^ Heywood, A.J.; Button, I.D.C. (1995). Soviet Locomotive Types. Malmo: Frank Stenvalls Forlag. pp. 12, 45, 55, 57. ISBN 9172661321.


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 49°58′11″N 36°16′51″E / 49.96972°N 36.28083°E / 49.96972; 36.28083