The project of the military module "Taipan" (Ukraine)
It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian defense industry, despite the obvious economic and socio-political problems, continues to work on new projects of promising models of weapons and equipment. For example, a few months ago she presented the Viy combat module, intended for installation on various samples of military equipment. The new product "Taipan" has the same goals as a slightly older development, as well as some features of the design. At the same time, a number of ideas and solutions were applied, which led to significant differences both in terms of design and in terms of combat capabilities.
It is reported that the authors of the new project are the specialists of the state enterprise “Spetstechnoexport”. This organization was responsible for the overall coordination of work and the implementation of some of the main parts of the project. In addition, Kiev and Zhytomyr armored factories were involved in the development. The specific role of these enterprises was not clarified, but, obviously, their experience in building armored vehicles could be useful in the framework of a new project. To date, the project "Taipan" brought to the stage of assembly of demonstration models and prototypes.
Information about the new combat module, as well as the first photos of the development were published in mid-September. The official “premiere demonstration” of the combat module of a new type took place later - during the ADEX-2016 exhibition, held in Azerbaijan at the end of last month. In one of the pavilions of the exhibition there was an armored car "Leopard" of Ukrainian assembly, equipped with a new type of module. In addition, the armored car AZCAN, which is the result of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Canada, was shown at the open air fairground. The Taipan module was also installed on the roof of this car. As follows from the available materials, both armored cars received the same weapon systems, differing only in color.
Published information about the Taipan project speaks about the desire of the authors of the design to create a truly modern remote-controlled combat module, the capabilities of which would allow competing with many foreign models of its class. At the same time, some features of the Ukrainian module indicate technical and technological limitations that could not be circumvented. Nevertheless, the result of the work was the emergence of the original weapons system, which is of particular interest, at least from a technical point of view.
According to the general architecture, the Taipan system is a typical representative of its class of equipment. A relatively large complex-shaped case is used, inside which all the main units are placed. The module is equipped with a rocking artillery unit, a block of opto-electronic equipment, means of ammunition, etc. In the official reports on the development, special attention is paid to the latest fire control system, which should significantly increase combat effectiveness.
"Taipan" received a body of unusual polygonal shape. Probably, this form of the body was the result of a search for means to further increase the level of protection. Placing sheets at a large angle allows for some degree of improvement in protection, as well as an increase in the likelihood of rebounding when firing from a small weapons. At the same time, there is no exact data on the booking of the module, although data on the weight indicators of the entire system suggest that it received only bulletproof protection.
Directly on the chase of the car body of the carrier is set the horizontal bottom of the module with pointing drives. The bottom sheets of the forehead, sides and stern are attached to the bottom. A characteristic feature of the Taipan module is the division of the forehead, sides and sheets into two parts: the lower parts are installed with a significant collapse outward, and the internal parts are mounted with an inclination inward. Such an aggregate of complex shape has a frontal block of small width, in the center of which is a window for the withdrawal of weapons. Sideways to the frontal parts attached cheekbones, also performing the functions of the front of the board. The aft part of the hull is similarly formed. On top of the product is covered with a polygonal horizontal roof of relatively small size.
The central opening of the hull forehead is designed for installation of a rocking artillery unit. It is proposed to mount armament and a block of optical-electronic equipment on vertical-drive drives. It is noteworthy that all external units of the module are only in the frontal window. The hull has no other protruding elements or openings, with the exception of a few service hatches.
Inside the case, as follows from the available data, is placed a set of equipment necessary for the operation of weapons. First of all, it is boxes for ammunition. From some official reports about the project, it may follow that inside the case several boxes can be placed for transporting ammunition of different types. Also, part of the volume should be given under the installation of drives horizontal and vertical guidance.
When creating the project "Taipan" special attention was paid to guidance systems. As a unique feature of this development, the authors of the project indicate the use of valve electric motors and backlash-free planetary gearboxes. It is reported that such equipment provides accurate guidance of weapons to the target both at high and at ultra-low speeds of movement of the module or weapon. Control over the operation of electric motors is carried out by the existing fire control system, which also provides two-plane weapon stabilization.
For objective reasons, Ukrainian industry is not able to create and produce artillery systems of a number of required types. Because of this, the Taipan project authors were forced to do the same as their colleagues who created the Wii module. An existing gun with acceptable characteristics was chosen as a weapon for a promising module. The armament of the "Taipan" was the GSH-23L double-barreled automatic gun, created several decades ago and originally intended for use on aviation technique. Interestingly, in its official press release, the company "Spetstekhnoexport" does not indicate the type of use of weapons, and also calls it a "double-barreled machine gun." It is hardly worth focusing on the reasons for such a description of the project.
Recall aircraft gun GSH-23 was created in the early fifties, but numerous difficulties required lengthy refinement, because of what it was put into service only in the mid-sixties. The gun uses a shot 23х115 mm with shells for various purposes. A characteristic feature of the instrument is the use of two barrels and the automation of the Gast system. Powder gases of one of the barrels when fired provide recharging the second. When firing a second barrel, the first one is recharged. This automation allows you to show the rate of fire at the level of 3 thousand shots per minute. A gun with the letter “L” differs from the basic version by the presence of localizers that discharge powder gases. The length of this product is 1537 mm, weight - 51 kg.
When used as part of the Taipan combat module, the GSH-23L cannon is proposed to be mounted on a rocking installation connected with vertical guidance drives. Receiver gun at the same time located inside the housing, and the barrel unit is displayed outside. To avoid accidental damage, the trunks, with the exception of the muzzle brakes, are covered with a polygonal casing. To improve cooling, the casing has perforations. The dimensions of the casing are chosen in such a way as not to interfere with the movement of the barrels when firing. In addition, the direct interaction of the housing and the powder gases flowing from the muzzle brake holes is excluded.
According to the developer, when equipping the Taipan module with a double-barreled 23-mm automatic cannon, effective shooting is possible up to a distance of up to 1,8 km. It is possible to change the type of ammunition used in accordance with the parameters of the attacked target.
In the official press release from the company-developer the possibility of creating new modifications of the module with different weapons is mentioned. Unlike the basic version, this technique can receive machine guns caliber 7,62 or 12,7 mm, as well as 30-mm automatic grenade launcher. Fire characteristics and ammunition in such cases change according to the type of weapon.
Directly above the arms are the mounts for the installation of optical-electronic equipment necessary for searching for targets and pointing weapons. On the demonstrated model of the combat module, all such devices are mounted inside a common rectangular case, on the front wall of which there are three lenses of different sizes. There is a video camera and thermal imager, as well as a laser range finder. The video signal from the day and night cameras, as well as data from the rangefinder are issued to the operator control panel.
One of the main innovations of the Taipan project is the original fire control system, designed to solve a wide range of tasks and thereby increase the combat effectiveness of the module. Declared the possibility of determining the weather conditions, the relative position of the combat vehicle and the target, as well as other parameters on the basis of which the corrections for firing are calculated. At the expense of the LMS, direct weapon guidance, selection of used ammunition, observation of the terrain, etc. are provided. It also provides for the possibility of automatic maintenance of the target specified by the operator.
OMS has several main modes of operation. Depending on the situation and the task, you can use simple and stable observation, manual and automatic tracking of the target, as well as the illumination of the object using a laser range finder. The latter mode allows the combat vehicle with the Taipan module to ensure the use of precision weapons. It is assumed that such a set of modes will maximize the range of tasks to be solved.
As a power source for the combat module, it is proposed to use the vehicle’s onboard systems. At the same time there is also its own rechargeable battery, the capacity of which, allegedly, lasts for three hours of continuous operation.
Control over the work of "Taipan" is carried out with the help of a remote control with controls and a monitor installed at the operator’s workplace. It is possible to control the combat module from a remote control. To do this, all necessary devices can be removed on the 500 m from the module. The elements of the complex are connected using fiber optic cable.
The dimensions of the combat module have not yet been specified. At the same time, the minimum possible mass of the system is named. Depending on the configuration and other factors, "Taipan" weighs at least 350 kg.
According to the developers, the project of the remotely controlled combat module "Taipan" was created only by the Ukrainian industry. In particular, electronic systems and software for them, as indicated in the press release of the company Spetstechnoexport, were created by Ukraine.
It is assumed that the system "Taipan" can be offered to foreign buyers. At the same time, on the international market, this development, according to the authors, can have some success and even compete with modern foreign models of systems of similar purpose. Moreover, there are already some orders. Not yet named buyers showed interest in the new module, which led to the emergence of orders with a total value of about 2 million US dollars.
Perspective combat module "Taipan", developed by the Ukrainian defense industry, is of great interest from the point of view of equipment and technology. According to official data, the authors of the project managed to solve a number of critical tasks, which led to the emergence of certain combat capabilities. The main advantage of the new model in this case is the fire control system, which has several modes of operation and can improve the effectiveness of the combat use of weapons. In addition, the advantage can be considered the possibility of adapting the design of the module for the use of various weapons. This allows the customer to get a system with weapons that best meet their requirements.
Nevertheless, as always happens with new developments, "Taipan" is not without flaws. The first to be struck by the absence of machine gun weapons. The module received only a double-barreled automatic gun, which seriously limits its combat capabilities. Because of this, the crew of the carrier vehicle will be forced to use small-caliber artillery against unprotected equipment or enemy manpower, whose power is excessive for such purposes. At the same time, the module operator will have to put up with the excessive consumption of 23-mm shells.
Another disadvantage of the proposed complex is associated with the type of weapon selected. It is hardly worth disputing the fact that the GS-23L aircraft gun is a powerful and effective weapon, however, to achieve maximum performance it should be used in the original role. The installation of such weapons on ground-based equipment entails a lot of problems. First of all, it is necessary to note the unsuitability of the instrument for such use. Aircraft cannons are designed in accordance with other operational requirements. In particular, the gun is subject to increased contamination, which can lead to failures during firing. It is simply impossible to get rid of this drawback without cardinal processing of the structure.
It should also recognize the redundancy of fire performance. The GSH-23L is capable of making more than 3 thousand shots per minute - about 25 shots from each barrel per second. For aviation, such parameters are important, however, in the case of ground-based equipment, excessive rate of fire only leads to unacceptably high and inappropriate use of ammunition. This, in turn, requires increasing ammunition boxes or introducing queue length limits into control systems. Thus, the problem of excessive rate of fire can be solved, but it requires additional efforts, the need for which may be the subject of a separate dispute.
In addition to technical problems, the Taipan project may face production and economic ones. At present, Ukraine has a very limited industrial potential, which can negatively affect the rates of production of weapons and equipment. In addition, one of the main elements of a promising combat module is an aircraft gun, the production of which Ukraine does not have. Thus, a number of objective factors can slow down the release of new modules, even upon receipt of contracts for their supply. Delaying production or even disrupting the deadlines are unlikely to contribute to the appearance of new orders.
The project of a promising combat module, not so long ago presented by the Ukrainian industry, is of particular interest. According to official information about this development, it used a number of new equipment, which allows to significantly increase combat effectiveness in comparison with other similar complexes. Nevertheless, the reality of the full-fledged and mass batch production of Taipan modules is still associated with serious doubts. The specific situation in the country seriously limits the possibilities of industry, hindering the deployment of production.
Certain difficulties of a production nature led to the installation of an automatic gun on the module, which is far from being the best suitable for ground equipment. The characteristic disadvantages associated with the wrong choice of weapons, can further hit the real prospects of the project.
According to published data, the Taipan combat module has already become the subject of a contract for the supply of mass-produced items. However, due to the existing situation and the characteristics of promising technology, the appearance of a contract may be the last success of the project. Too many objective factors of various kinds "oppose" against him. Therefore, while the project “Taipan” is better seen as an interesting development, showing the desire of some enterprises to master new ideas, as well as to enter the international market. The real prospects of the new project are still a big question.
On the materials of the sites:
- Ryabov Kirill
- "Ukroboronprom" / Ukroboronprom.com.ua, Strangernn.livejournal.com
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