It is in MBT Karrar for the first time in Iranian tank building that the lowest silhouette is clearly visible in combination with high rates of equivalent durability of the turret from BOPS and the enemy's CS in front projection. Airborne armor plates of the hull in the area of logistics and mechanized feed niche with ammunition layed latticed PEC
Partially resolving the issue of strategic importance associated with countering the threat posed by the tactical strike aviation The Israeli Air Force and the “Arabian coalition” by purchasing 4 divisions of the Russian S-300PMU-2 air defense systems and launching the serial production of modern Bavar-373 air defense systems, Iran was seriously concerned about the combat potential of its ground forces, which, due to the rapid obsolescence of the tank fleet at For decades, they were in a difficult situation, and did not at all correspond to the status of a regional superpower. Until 1997, the armed forces of Iran Iran was very "motley" tank the composition represented by such machines as: British “Chieftain Mk-2 / 3P / 5P” in the amount of 100 units, Soviet T-72S (T-72M1M) in the amount of 480 units, 168 American M47 / 48 “Patton II / III ”And 150 more modern M60A1.
Standing in the defense of MBT "Chieftain Mk.2" NE of Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. In the event of a sudden artillery strike or other combat action by the Iraqi army, the tanker rollers are covered with sandbags, so-called improvised armor, protecting the undercarriage from splinter damage and cumulative impact
About 300 Iranian T-72C was put into service as a result of the large-unit assembly of the Russian T-72C tank sets to the 2000 year. Almost all of the above machines were significantly inferior in terms of armor and perfect fire control system tanks, armed with the neighboring Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Thus, in the first quarter of 1997, the first batch of Ukrainian T-80UDs entered the armament of the Pakistani NE in the framework of the 96 contract for the purchase of 320 machines. This tank was superior to all of the above Iranian tanks. Equivalent frontal projection armor resistance from BOPS was: for the tower - 850-900 mm with safe maneuvering angles ± 10º and about 680-700 mm with ± 35º corners; on the case - about 600 mm when using DZ "Kontakt-5".
The welded turret of the T-80UD tank ("478BE-1 object"), taking into account the VDZ "Kontakt-5", has equivalent resistance from BOPS about 960 — 1050 mm in frontal area, while T-72С with “Kontakt-1” has only 400 mm. The fact is that the filler (container with special armoring) of the T-72C turret is represented by sand cores, which are more intended to provide protection against cumulative projectiles, the resistance from the CS reaches 490 mm. In the towers of Pakistani T-80UD, a completely different type of filler is used (cellular blocks with steel plates filled with polymer), which provides much better protection against BOPS and resistance against CS - 1100 mm using dynamic protection. Even the Iranian T-1С equipped with DZ “Kontakt-72” had a resistance from the KS - 750-800 mm towers, because of which the Pakistani T-80UD continued to surpass the Iranian “Urals”. Even then, Tehran radically did not arrange such a negative contrast in the field of tank building.
The first installments of T-80UD "Birch", delivered to Pakistan, had an index "Object 478B" (in the photo). The cars were assembled at the end of the 80's. and had a cast tower of the old sample with cellular special reservations or metal-ceramic package. Equivalent resistance of this turret from armor-piercing projectiles with course attack angles of ± 35 degrees ranged from 720 to 950 mm (using DZ "Contact-5"). At the same time, the cast version of the tower had a serious drawback - the steel physical envelope in the embrasure area barely reached 350 mm. Pakistan received 145 tanks of this modification and another 175 units. modification "Object 478BE-1" with welded rolled tower
On tests in the hot desert climate of Pakistan, the T-XNUMHUD, equipped with a powerful and durable 80-powerful diesel engine 1000TD-6, proved to be much better than the Chinese "Type 1-IIAP", equipped with a 85L12150BW diesel engine with 7 L. diesel power. In comparison with the diesel engines of the previous 730TDF modification, the new 5TD-6 has received new pipe-to-pipe exhaust manifolds, as well as improved pistons with high-quality running-in and wear-resistant coatings
The information about the successful course of the Pakistani-Chinese project MBT Al-Khalid, which started in August of 1991, added fuel to the fire. The project took place with the full support of the Chinese side: the company Norinco developed a prototype of the future of Al-Khalid, which received the index Type-90II. The car was equipped with a new angular welded turret with inclined front armor plates, resembling the frontal projection of the M1A1 "Abrams". In the central part of these armor plates, special hatches are visible for containers with special booking (filler), i.e. the Chinese took into account the experience of both shtatovskoy and Soviet tank design schools. Equivalent resistance of the frontal armor plate of the tower ranged from 620 to 750 mm from BOPS without DZ (and 700 - 850 with DZ).
In the future, developments on the tank "Type-90II" were used in the design of the Chinese MBT "Type-96" and "Type-98". The advanced at that time fire control system, which is a slightly simplified analogue of the French ICONE TIS installed on the Leclerc AMX-56 MBT, was part of the avionics avionics. After the commencement of the licensed mass production of Al-Khalid by the powers of Heavy Industries Taxila, Pakistan temporarily became one of the most advanced tank-building powers in South and Western Asia, reaching the Israeli level. Around the same time, the first Iranian ambitious project MBT of the new generation “Zulfiqar” was developed. The tanks of this family became a turning point of the Iranian tank building, which eventually came to the Carrar vehicle.
The Al-Khalid MBT is the most mobile main battle tank in service with the armed forces of Pakistan. On the 48-ton car, an even more modern diesel engine from the Kharkov Engine Design Bureau 6TD-2 is installed, its power reaches the HP 1200. Meanwhile, in the 2016 year, during the IDEAS-2016 exhibition, the notorious Ukrspetseksport and the Pakistani company Heavy Industries Taxila signed a contract for the supply of 6TD-3 1500 X engines to Al Khalidov. with. The thrust of the machines will reach 31,25 hp, leaving far behind diesel T-80UD, "Leopard-2А4", "Merkava" and even gas turbine T-80U
As can be seen from the photographs and technical sketches, “Zulfiqar-1”, which entered mass production in 1996, is a complex combination of American tanks M48 “Patton-III” and M60A1, as well as Russian T-72C and Chinese “Type-90II” / 98. The result of the first attempt at creating a new tank by Iranian tank builders was far from ideal, because the sufficiently high base of tanks M48 / 60 and a very high (about 1 m) welded tower of almost rectangular shape were used as a chassis, because of which the overall height of the tank on the roof of the tower reached 2,5 — 2,6 m. A machine with such a huge silhouette is a real dream of the enemy's gunner or anti-tank missile system operator.
The weight of the machine is only 36 tons, which, given such overall dimensions, as well as the presence of the 4 member of the crew - loader, indicates a solid reserved volume and insufficient reservation for some of the onboard projections for the end of the 20th century. Meanwhile, the tower has a frontal projection booking similar to the Chinese Type-98, visually the physical dimensions of the frontal armor plate can be estimated at 600 - 650 mm, which is quite good against the background of low-protected cast towers with sand-filled T-72C. Equivalent durability without DZ can only be slightly inferior to the Israeli MBT "Merkava Mk.2D", the equivalent durability from BOPS in which it reaches 740-760 mm. Some sources claim that the tank has AZ, this is quite logical, since Russian 125-mm guns of type 2А46М are used. As a result, booking "Zulfiqar-1" may exceed the calculated figures. The indicator, as for the first tank of Iranian development, is quite good. At the same time, the driving capabilities of the machine are very mediocre: the 1-cylinder 12-strong diesel is installed on the Zulfikar-780, providing specific power only in 21,7 hp / t. The maximum speed of the highway is about 65 km / h. The SPAT-1200 hydromechanical transmission is similar to that used on the M60.
If we compare “Zulfiqar-1” according to these parameters with the same “Al-Khalid”, a picture unpleasant for the Iranian machine emerges, in which the latter is inferior to the Pakistani in power density by 13% (in “Al-Khalid” it reaches 25 l. s. / t, which is comparable with the best Russian and Western samples). The “Pakistani” has a powerful 1200-strong Ukrainian diesel 6ТD-2.
Zulfikar-1 is equipped with a sufficiently advanced Slovenian-made fire control system Fontona EFCS-3, which also features Iranian captured upgraded T-54 / 55, known as Safir-74. This MSA is equipped with a laser rangefinder with a range of 10 km and an accuracy of ± 5 m, as well as a ballistic computer, which contains a range of several types of tank shells, including BPS, OFS, armor-piercing high-explosive shells, etc. The FCS includes day and night sights with an increase in 10x and 7x, respectively, their viewing sector is 6º. Thanks to the use of EFCS-3, the probability of hitting reaches 80%. But this MSA is significantly inferior, the one that is installed in the Sino-Pakistani Al-Khalid. Thus, the latter includes a low-level panoramic sight of the commander, for which there is not even a hint in the OMS of the Iranian Zulfikar. This does not allow the tank to operate successfully in the urban infrastructure, and also significantly reduces the combat potential during battles in open areas.
The EFCS-3 tank fire control system is the base for most of the main battle tanks of the NE of Iran. An exception is not the average tank "Safir-74" (in the photo), which to this day is a reliable "workhorse" of the Iranian army. These tanks in the number of 500 units were acquired by Iran in the PRC in the middle of the 80-ies. under the symbol "Type-59". Also during the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranian army received 190 trophy T-54 / 55, which was later refined to the level of "Safir-74" and equipped with 1-generation dynamic protection "Contact-1". 80-mm frontal and side armored plates with the “Contact” can only protect from light anti-tank anti-tank weapons (tanks can only be used as support)
The next modification of the tank was the only “transitional” prototype of the “Zulfiqar-2”. This product was equipped with a more advanced and developed low-profile tower and differed more squat body, due to which the height and silhouette of the tank decreased markedly. The chassis of the new version of MBT is already seven-kilowatt, and the power plant is more powerful.
This prototype has become much more agile than its high-volume predecessor and has become a full-fledged starting base for the production of the latest version of the MBT - Zulfiqar-3. The appearance of the new machine has changed significantly compared with the first option. Low-profile tower has a complex welded structure, clearly resembling the tower of the American "Abrams". Frontal armor plates turrets have a corresponding inclination relative to the longitudinal axis of the bore, as well as relative to the normal, which was about 45 degrees. Moreover, this tower has a very interesting design feature in contrast to the "Abrams". On the frontal armor plates (in the mask mask area) there are developed armored plates with 250 dimensions - 300 mm, which makes the front projection resistance of the tank more uniform than on the Abrams, especially in the vulnerable breech area of the gun. The photos from the Iranian Internet clearly show the remoteness of the commander and gunner "Zulfikar-3" from the front plates, which indicates their large size, exceeding 700 — 750 mm. Apparently, the armor of this tank is at the level of the Al Khalid, Mercava Mk.3D and M1A1 tanks.
As for the fire control system, as well as the sighting equipment, we could not surprise us with a fundamentally new “Zulfikar-3”: the commander’s panoramic sight as well as the gunner’s optical-electronic sight (integrated into the OMS Kalina) "Tagil"), there is absolutely no means to account for the thermal bending of the barrel to increase the accuracy of shooting during the battle. The fire control system itself is still the same EFCS-3, which, despite the excellent booking of the tank, will not give it a significant increase in firing accuracy. At the moment, the armed forces of Iranian ground forces are about 100 — 150 MBT “Zulfiqar-1” and up to several dozen “Zulfiqar-3”.
There is a very large technical contrast in the “Troika”: a decent level of armor protection is blocked by the moderate qualities of an aging MSA, as well as low network-centric capabilities. Judging by the absence of various antenna masts for tactical information exchange stations, tanks are not able to conduct full-fledged data exchange during group confrontation in theaters. So, “Zulfiqar-3” can be considered a rather raw machine that needs further modernization of onboard electronic equipment, as well as the installation of modern dynamic protection of tandem type to counter modern anti-tank weapons.
Now we turn to the most obscure and mysterious pages of the “tank stories»Of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which became an additional impetus to the design of the Iran’s most advanced tank, the“ Carrar ”.
HIGHLY PROTECTED WELDED TOWER FROM T-80UD "KHARKOV DESIGN BUREAU FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERING" WAS ALSO USED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF MBT "KARRAR"
At the moment, all in one voice say that the promising Iranian main battle tank "Carrar" is almost a complete copy of our excellent T-90MS "Tagil", and this is true. Meanwhile, if you carefully consider long-forgotten publications on various blogs and forums, you can find very interesting facts that indicate that another interesting example of the Soviet tank construction school, MBT T-XNUMHUD, left its mark on the acclaimed Carrara. Object 80BE-478 ". The car is a Ukrainian version of the T-1 with a diesel engine 80TD, as well as a highly protected welded turret, which we will discuss below.
Thus, according to the short publication of the blogger Andrei_bt for 2012 and 2014, back in 1998, rare photos appeared on the Iranian Internet, in which a hybrid T-tank was captured during one of the military parades in Iran 72AG and T-80UD "Object 478BE-1". A welded turret T-72UD was installed on the chassis of the export Ukrainian T-1000AG with 6-strong diesel 80TD. On the official index of this machine there is no data to this day. The only obvious thing is that this car went to Iran back in 90. The delivery from Ukraine could be carried out secretly, “in one bottle” with consignments of T-80UD sent from 1996 to Pakistan, after which the car or several of its copies were immediately forwarded to Iran. Also, tank sets could be sold, which were later collected by Iranian specialists. Thus, one of the most important visual aids for the design of the future of Carrara, the welded tower, turned out in Iran about 20 years ago. What is this tower?
Its design is similar to a welded turret for the Russian T-90А / С MBT: thick frontal armor plates tilted at an angle 45 ° relative to the canal barrel, that at an exchange angle 0 degrees gives equivalent resistance of 900-950 mm without “Contact-5” and 1050 X - 1120 when using it. About 55% of the size of the frontal armor plates represented by polymeric cellular filler, placed in a niche-container. The container is divided into 2 parts with steel armor-sheet septum about 100 mm thick.
The technology for obtaining armor plates for the tower “Object 478BE-1” uses the method of electroslag remelting (ESR), thanks to which the resistance of armor plates is approximately 1,1-1,15 times higher than that of other welded tower sheets. Moreover, the Ukrainian tower is distinguished by an increased steel dimension in the area of the gunhole embrasure. If the T-90 welded turret in this area is about 550 mm, then the T-80UD turret has the 700 — 720 turret, which even without DZ elements provides protection against American 120-mm armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber projectiles of the M829A1 type. For this reason, the baseless statements of some of our members of the forum and commentators in the form “Russia passed the T-90MS Tagil technology to the Iranians” look very funny, because the similar tower from T-80UD was in the hands of Iranian specialists for two decades.
The photograph shows a prototype of a T-72AG tank with an 6TD-1 engine, as well as a welded turret from the “478BE-1 Object” or a welded-rolled turret from the “478BK Object”, nicknamed “Birch Katana”. “Uralovskaya” base is easy to distinguish on large 750-millimeter road wheels. The presence of the Kharkov 6TD-1 engine is very easily determined by the ejector cooling system developed above the body. The latter allows the tank, without the use of equipment for underwater driving, to overcome water barriers in height 1,8 m.
This scheme clearly illustrates the fundamental differences in the principles of operation of ejector cooling systems for engines of the B-46 / 84 / 92 family (right) and the 6ТD family (left). The disadvantage of the MTO of the 6TD family is the excessive elevation of the ejector compartment above the tank hull, which by 8-10% increases its silhouette, as well as the radar signature. Moreover, 6TD refers to two-stroke diesel engines that have an increased power loss in on-site conditions (especially in a rarefied mountainous atmosphere). The positive moment is more stable work in a hot climate.
The only thing that Iranian metallurgists and tank builders did on their own - reduced the profile of the tower, bringing it up to the level of the T-90MS Tagil tower, made the aft niche of the tower for ammunition and some elements of the automatic loader, and also installed remote sensing elements resembling EDZ "Relikt". It is not yet known what is used as a spetsnapolnitel in containers of frontal armor plates of the Iranian tank “Karrar”: these can be “reflective sheets” and cellular envelope and various polymers.
In addition, each of the materials has its own indicators of resistance to the cores of the BOPS and the cumulative projectiles of the enemy. Considering even the fact that Iranian experts most likely do not use the ESR method in the production of towers for their tanks, the armor resistance of the Carrara tower (taking into account the VDB) significantly exceeds the Israeli Mercava Mk.3 security indicators and reaches 900 - 950 mm at course angle shelling ± 5 degrees. The Iranians copied the tower from T-XNUMHUD and "Tagil" just "test"! Due to this, the silhouette of the tank turned out to be small and the armor-proofness is magnificent, which cannot be said about the protection of the vehicle body, its mobility, as well as its network-centric properties and fire control system. Let's start with the security of the case.
The design and physical dimensions of the welded-rolled tower of the Karrar MBT practically coincide with those of the T-80UD, T-84 towers (in the drawings) and T-90CM
"Carrar" has a body and a chassis T-72С, and therefore the equivalent durability of the upper frontal part without DZ is only about 400 mm from BPS and 450 from KS. Such a detail can be punched even by an old 105-mm armor-piercing projectile such as M833. It is noticeable in the photo that large-sized dynamic protection elements are placed on WLD, which are much thicker than our Contact-1 eDZ and Polish ERAWA-2. This indicates their tandem capabilities, as well as the ability to reduce the breakdown effect of BOPS on 30 — 40%, which is also achieved by the 68-degree angle of inclination of the WLD. This ensures reliable protection against 120-mm BOPS M829A1, which is quite good. More advanced M829A2 / A3 projectiles are likely to knock the Carrar WLD even with dynamic protection.
Equivalent durability of the VLD of the hull of the Carrar tank from sub-caliber armor-piercing shells corresponds to the numbers 550 — 600 mm, while the same indicator for the VLD T-90CM reaches 850 mm. A decent contrast between the security of the tower and the Carrara corps is becoming noticeable, which is far from being in favor of the Iranian machine, because with the appearance of modern ATGM with tandem cumulative warheads in the theater of war, every millimeter of protection equivalent is vital. For this reason alone, “Karrar” cannot be attributed to tanks of the 3 transitional generation, but refers to vehicles only to vehicles of the 3 generation. Moreover, even to meet the 3 generation, the Iranian product needs to be refined on several points at once, in addition to armor protection of the upper front part of the case.
Obviously, the 39-liter multi-fuel diesel engine B-46 with maximum power 780 hp is still responsible for the dynamic qualities of the tank. If we consider that the tank "Carrara" received a new turret with much more armor and a feed module for ammunition, as well as a rather massive built-in DZ of a new generation, its weight increased to about 44 — 46 tons. Consequently, the specific power will be 17-17,75 hp / t with the B-46 engine and 18,3-19,1 hp / t with a more powerful 840-strong diesel B-84-1, which hardly reaches the performance of the heavy British “Challenger” -2. These engines have a fairly low torque margin of just 18%, for a 1000-strong B-92 diesel engine (mounted on a T-90А / С tank) this parameter reaches 25%. That is why the stock of opportunities at the top gear at “Carrara” will be much lower than that of our “Tagil”.
The next item is a tank gun. Iranian gunsmiths are far from the first place in the world for the production technology of modern tank guns, from which we conclude that the gun of the Carrara tank is nothing more than our 2X46M gun of the beginning of the 80-s. The dynamic balance and rigidity of the cantilever part of this tool is much lower than that of modern domestic 2А46М-4 / 5. Standard geometric tolerances are used in the manufacture of the barrel (on 2А46М-5, these tolerances are tightened). Fixing the barrel on the guide of the cradle and trunnions is not so strong in comparison with the versions 2А46М-4 / 5. Because of this, this gun has the worst accuracy on the 20% and a smaller range of real firing on the 50%. Moreover, on the “Carrara” gun, exactly like on the Zulfikar-3 gun, there is no opto-electronic device for metering the trunk bend, and even the fixing point for the CID did not appear directly on the cradle of the gun. All this reinforces our opinion about the far lower accuracy of the Iranian “Attacker” (this is translated as “Karrar”) in comparison with the deeply modernized T-80U, T-72B, T-90А / С, as well as modern Chinese and Western main combat by tanks.
The participants of the Western analytical forums, having seen the cradle of the gun with an extended left fencing and a massive load on the presentation video "Carrara", suggested that this is the most modern modification of the domestic D-81TM cannons - 2А46М-5. The reason for such a decision was the upper scheme, which has become very popular on the Russian Internet. Meanwhile, a similar large fencing with a load, due to the characteristics of the automatic loader, is also used in the earlier version of the gun of all Nizhny Tagil MBTs of the T-72 / 90 families, having an 2-46М index (lower image). It is such a gun installed on the "Carrar". There is no similar fencing for 2А46М-1 and 2А46М-4 guns designed for MBT T-80
From this it follows that the only positive accuracy of the quality of the new Iranian tank is the use of the Tondar guided tank armament complex - copies of our 9K120 Svir or 9K119 Reflex. ATGM “Tondar” is controlled by a laser beam received by the lens in the tail section of the anti-tank projectile, which ensures good noise immunity on the trajectory (semi-automatic mode). The range can reach 4,5 km.
Next comes the tank fire control system. Apparently, the modernized Slovenian SLO EFCS-3 is still used here. At the same time, the modernization touched the display equipment of the commander and the gunner, as well as the integration of the panoramic sight: the widescreen LCD MFIs were used to output combat and navigation information, which indicates the appearance of new digital interfaces in the Karrara control system, apparently developed with the help of Chinese specialists, or purchased from the Middle Kingdom. At the same time, judging by the video presentation of the tank, the panoramic sight module has a very flimsy design. There is a lack of optical-electronic countermeasure complexes and an active defense complex: the vulnerable upper projection of the tank is not protected from the entry of anti-tank missiles from the upper hemisphere. The only protective element of this area is about 25 thin elements of dynamic protection that do not have anti-tandem action, which can protect only from “boots”, and even then at angles of fire at least 70-75 degrees. At the stern of the tower, as well as on thin EDS armored plates, they are completely absent: these areas can be penetrated from RPGs, LNG and even modern 40-mm automatic guns of the type CT40 (CTA International) and L-70 "Bofors" using BPS APFSDS Mk2 (with distance less than 1500 m). On the roof of the tower, standard meteorological sensors of atmospheric parameters and radio station antennas are noticeable.
Based on the aggregate of positive and negative qualities of the Carrar OBT, we conclude that currently Iran has not yet reached such a high technological level of the tank-building segment of the military-industrial complex, which is observed in such countries as Russia, USA, PRC, Western Europe and Israel, and statements by representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Iran on the "breakthrough of tank construction", currently spoken loudly.
But the situation is quite reparable, since the main share of flaws in the car is represented by missing and poorly protected elements of the SLA, which will be fairly easy to integrate (a more reliable panoramic sight module, CID, tactical information exchange terminals, etc.), given that the tank uses modern digital interfaces for displaying information on the commander’s and gunner’s IFIs. As for the level of overall armor protection of the Carrar tank, it can be safely compared with the security of such tanks as Leopard-2A6, М1А1 "Abrams", T-80У, VT-4 (MBT-3000). The only bad thing that takes place is the low resistance of the VLD hull, but it can also be quickly eliminated by increasing the size and using layers with special reservations. The embodiment in the Iranian tank of the T-80UD and T-90CM welded towers could give Karrar the vitality necessary in a modern theater of military operations; MBT "Zulfikar-1" do not possess such abilities.