VLADIMIR, May 30. /TASS/. Glass makers in Gus Khrustalny, Russia’s glass industry center established back in the middle of the 18th century 250 kilometers east of Moscow, have delivered an experimental set of glass sheets for the prototype of a VIP limousine, being developed for the country’s top officials under a project codenamed Cortege.
The armored glass is exceptionally hard, light and transparent, the CEO of the Magistral group of companies, Mikhail Maksyukov, has told TASS.
"The first set of glass sheets has been made and delivered to the automotive industry research institute NAMI in Moscow. We look forward to the moment we see it used in the first products," Maksyukov said.
The glass factory in Gus Khrustalny provided the first set of six glasses that took one year to develop. Once the set has been tested and its parameters adjusted, the manufacturers will be ready to start serial production.
"The armored glass is to meet exceptionally tight security and transparency requirements. We managed to achieve high optical and strength parameters and at the same time keep the product very light, which is essential to the limo’s maneuverability," Maksyukov said.
As Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said earlier, the first batch of the VIP limousines under the Cortege project will be provided at the end of 2017. The first 200-250 vehicles will be made at NAMI. Later, car manufacturer Sollers may take over.
Cortege is a project for building a family of limousines for top officials - both business class and off-road vehicles. By the middle of 2014 the Industry and Trade Ministry selected Sollers as the manufacturer of all Cortege vehicles - an off-road vehicle, a minibus, a sedan and a limousine. Sollers will be working in cooperation with Rostech and Rosavto. Budget investments into the Cortege project 12.4 billion rubles (some $190 million) will be extended over four years.
The group of companies Magistral has been in business since 1992. It provides armored glass for the Defense Ministry, cash collectors’ vans, and limousines. In 2017 it produced about 6,000 square meters of armored glass. About 20% of the amount was exported to the Middle East, Japan and Europe.