Nikolay Alekseevich Kucherenko was a Soviet design engineer, one of the creators of the T–34 tank, winner of three Stalin Prizes. He was born in Lozovaya, the Kharkov region, in the family of a locomotive engineer. After finishing school, he entered the Kharkov Institute of Transport Engineers. During the summer holidays he worked as a carpenter, caster, blacksmith, turner, stoker, assistant locomotive engineer. After graduating from the Institute, from March 1, 1931, he worked as a draftsman-designer at the Kharkov Locomotive Plant (In 1936, tank production at the KhPZ received the name “Plant N 183”). In the same year Nikolay Kucherenko went to work in the tank design group. In 1934-1937 he was the deputy head of the design bureau, in 1938-1939 – head of KB-100, in 1939-1940 – Deputy head of KB-520, in 1940-1947 – head of KB-520, deputy Chief designer of plant N 183, evacuated in 1941 to Nizhny Tagil and recreated on the basis of Uralvagonzavod. N.A. Kucherenko participated in the improvement of the organization of production of the domestic serial tank T-24, in the development of light wheeled tracked tanks BT-2 (1931), BT-5 (1932), BT-7 (1934) and BT-7M (1938). Together with Mikhail Koshkin and Alexander Morozov, he participated in the creation of experimental tanks A-20, A-32 and serial medium tank T-34, put into service on December 19, 1939. During the Great Patriotic War and after it N.A. Kucherenko worked at the Ural Plant N 183 in Nizhny Tagil as the head of the KB-520, deputy chief designer of the plant (1941-1947), supervised the modernization of the T-34 tank, participated in the development of the T-44 tank and a number of other prototypes. In 1947-1949 he was the chief designer of the main directorate of the Ministry of Transport Engineering of the USSR. In 1949-1952 he worked as the chief engineer of Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil. In 1952-1969 he was in a managerial position: Head of the Main Department of Tank Production of the Ministry of Transport Engineering of the USSR, which was later transformed into the Committee of Defence Industry, and then into the Ministry of Defence Industry. He was the chairman of the State Examination Commission at Moscow Higher Technical School named after N.E. Bauman, the editor-in-chief of the journal “Bulletin of the Tank Industry”. In the 1960s, under the direct supervision of N.A. Kucherenko, a self-propelled trolley was constructed, which later served to create the “lunokhod”.
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