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Maker of Russia's Deadliest Tanks to Offer Tours of Its Mysterious Factory

© Sputnik / Sergey Mamontov / Go to the mediabankWorkers of the JSC Uralvagonzavod assemble tanks on the production floor
Workers of the JSC Uralvagonzavod assemble tanks on the production floor - Sputnik International
Uralvagonzavod, the Russian machine-building plant best known for its production of tanks and armored fighting vehicles, including the T-90 MBT and the Armata Universal Combat Platform, is preparing to launch a brand new project: military tourism, a press release on the company's website revealed Monday.

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Guests, the press release says, will be able to visit the territory of the plant, which is ordinarily closed to the general public, allowing them to get acquainted with the military hardware produced by Uralvagonzavod and the history of the plant itself.

Visitors to the plant, located in the city of Nizhny Tagil, in the Ural Mountains, will be able to see the workshops in which the legendary T-34 tank was produced, Lenta.ru explains.

The 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.

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

Uralvagonzavod is one of the largest scientific and industrial complexes in Russia, and one of the largest producers of main battle tanks in the world. The company also produces railroad cars and road construction equipment. Built between 1931-1936, the plant began its operations producing railway cars in the run up to the Second World War. Following the Nazi invasion in 1941, the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory, then the country's largest tank manufacturer, was evacuated to Nizhny Tagil and merged with Uralvagonzavod, which would become the Soviet Union's largest tank producer.

In the postwar period, in addition to railway cars and tanks, the company also produced equipment for the aerospace industry, agriculture, and construction. During the Cold War, the plant developed and produced tanks including the T-54, the T-55, the T-62, the T-72 and the T-90.

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In the early 2000s, the T-90 became the bestselling main battle tank in the world. Last year, on May 9, 2015, at the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War, Russia displayed the plant's brand new Armata universal combat platform, the basis for the T-14 Armata main battle tank, the T-15 Armata heavy infantry fighting vehicle, the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled gun, and several other designs built on the same platform.

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