Both authors, not owning the real characteristics of mass tanks, tried to identify the best car. However, it is unacceptable to compare the “Merkava”, intended for conducting combat operations in the conditions of the Middle East theater of war (Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel), with the “Abrams” and “Leopard” that were created and modernized in time to counter the Soviet tank armadas in the NATO theater of operations in Europe.
The tank "Merkava" maintained firing from a tank gun within the limits of safe maneuvering corners ± 30 deg. During the fighting in Lebanon in 1982, several Merkavs were hit, but the crews were not injured. The Syrian T-72 tanks in this war, during the shelling, burned well and were put out of action due to the detonation of projectiles in the automatic loader. In the "Merkava" the main part of the shells placed in the aft, which significantly excluded the defeat of the tank due to the detonation of ammunition.
The main focus when creating the Merkava was the protection of the crew. Let's try to trace how this problem was solved during the creation of the Merkava.
PROTECTION OF "MERKAVY" UNDER JUSTIFIED DOUBT
Special mention should be made of the criteria for the loss of tanks (“NVO” No. 28, 2017). Imagine a wording that experts will not use: “It can be assumed that losses are the best criterion for a tank’s quality.” It is useful to recall the article “Protection of a tank - an anachronism or a vital necessity?” (“Military parade”, September, 2002) article of the general director of NIIstali, Doctor of Technical Sciences Valery Grigoryan, which notes that in modern conditions of superiority of the damaging effect of anti-tank weapons it is impossible to provide reliable armor protection due to the tank's own protection (dynamic protection, armor, active protection complex). It is necessary to create group and collective protection, in which quality can be used short-range and medium-range air defense systems.
A serious misconception of the author is that the criterion of loss determines the quality of tanks. The criterion for the quality of tanks associated with the impact of the enemy are survivability, noise immunity and secrecy. It is somehow difficult to detect in the criterion of defeat the entire valid set of parameters determining the quality of tanks, which can be assessed using the “Methods for analyzing the survivability of armored objects when firing various anti-tank weapons” created by VNIITransmash (“NVO” No. 30, 2017). But this technique requires the availability of professional skills possessed by employees with special education.
According to the author, the tank "Merkava" has protection, the parameters of which were questionable. If he had carefully considered the tactical and technical requirements (TTT) for the protection of the Merkava, he would find that the defeat of the tank also depends on the conditions of its combat use. "Merkava" was created in accordance with the specific TTT of the Israeli army, and therefore inferior to other tanks on other battlefields. The tactical doctrine of the Israeli army preferred to use the Merkava from shelters with a high degree of crew survival in defensive operations. The criterion for the loss of tanks as a quality criterion is disorienting the ordinary reader and is not an achievement in the field of assessing the protection of armored vehicles and the effectiveness of anti-tank weapons.
An unacceptable mistake of another author (“NVO” No. 33, 2017) is that he listed the Merkava tank without proof in the Forbes magazine’s list of comparison tanks of Russia, Germany, USA, China and France. This could happen only because of the author's ignorance of the TTT, according to which the Merkava tank was created. Forbes magazine perfectly imagined that the "Merkava" is intended for battles in the conditions of the desert and hot climate. For this reason, the Merkava was not included by Forbes in the comparison list of the main tanks of the countries mentioned.
The author reduces the assessment principle to the most “simple”: “we compare the technical characteristics of machines, protection systems and weapons, the cost of their production, the effectiveness of combat use, the demand on the world arms market, the aggregate of these data can determine the best machine”. However, the "effectiveness of combat use" is absent, and most of the combat characteristics presented by the author do not correspond to real samples. So, for example, the author notes, “that the tank is very heavy, its weight reaches 70 T, the armor“ Merkava ”, whose thickness is equivalent to 750 mm, is not effective, it will not stand against modern armor-piercing-caliber projectiles”. These characteristics are not true. Thus, the Merkava Mk1 (Mk2) combat mass is 56 (60) t, and the Mk3 mass is 61 t.
He goes on to say: “In the battle, the Merkava do not show themselves from the best side, this is also due to the poor training of Israeli tank crews, but mainly because of the technical shortcomings of the tanks themselves. It is known that the Russian Kornet anti-tank systems are terrifying Israeli tankers. ” The following text was presented: “In Iraq, in the current war, jihadists have managed to incite Abrams from RPG-7, and this is already ridiculous. The poorly armed Yemeni guerrillas are the Hussites and they managed to destroy around the Abrams 20 tanks.
In this case, it should be noted that most tanks have a side, the thickness of the armored plate is about 80 mm. And the armor penetration of RPG-7 grenades is equal to 750 mm. Do not save the board from breaking through neither the screens nor the dynamic protection. In this situation, tanks must be accompanied to combat the grenade throwers. Therefore, it is unacceptable to use tanks without special accompaniment.
HOW MANY ISRAELI'S TANKING COMMUNITIES DIE AND WRONG IN THE 1973 WAR OF THE YEAR
By the number of weapons before the start of the Arab-Israeli war 1973, the advantage was on the side of Syria and Egypt. By the beginning of the war there were 415 thousand people, 1700 tanks, 690 aircraft in the Armed Forces of Israel. The Egyptian Armed Forces consisted of 833 thousand people, 2200 tanks, 690 aircraft, 190 helicopters, and Syrian - 332 thousand people, 1350 tanks, 321 combat aircraft. These data are presented in the book “Basic Battle Tanks”, edited by B. Safonov, Head of the Department of the Military Academy of Armored Forces, together with a team of authors. It is appropriate to recall that in the newspaper "Pravda Rossii"
(No. 20, 2001) published: "During the Arab-Israeli war in 1973, with the help of the Malyutka ATGM, almost the entire Israeli tank fleet was destroyed - on the order of 800 vehicles." The author of these lines is the chief, the general designer of the KBM, the Hero of Socialist Labor, the laureate of the Leninist and State Prizes, S.P. Invincible. It is important to note the unfair assessment of the destruction of the Israeli tank fleet, since it was 1700, not 800 machines. But Invincible does not mention that the Israelis created an electronic device that provides for the undermining of the Malyutka combat unit when approaching the target. In other words, the device installed on Israeli tanks forced the explosive device of the warhead to operate prematurely at some distance from the body of the armored vehicle, which ensured its non-impact. MSC staff took a long time to eliminate this shortcoming.
A. Sergievsky’s article “How to prevent war” (“Aerospace Defense”, No. 1, 2004) reviewed military actions on the Syrian-Israeli front. The author notes: “By the beginning of the attack of the Syrian troops, the Israeli system of fire and obstacles in front of the front edge and in the depths had not been opened. The engineering preparation of the offensive was not carried out properly. The troop advance routes were not prepared. The measures to overcome their own minefields and Israel were not thought out in detail. ” The war began on October 6 1973. For the first 1,5 days, the Syrian army missed 600 tanks. October 7 due to heavy losses the command of the Syrian army makes a decision: to suspend the offensive. Syrian units retreated in separate groups, and then began to flee with the abandonment of equipment and weapons. The Israelis were able to resist the Syrians swift tank counterattacks. October 16 active hostilities on the Syrian-Israeli front stopped. One of the main reasons for the unsuccessful hostilities for Syria was poor troop control. But victory in the 1973 war of the year went to Israel at a high price.
By the end of the war, about two-thirds of the Israeli tank crews were put out of action - 5100 killed and wounded (Chris Bishop, Armored Vehicles in Battle - Omega CJSC, Moscow, 1998). This number of tankers corresponds to the defeat of Israeli tanks 1275 for 10 days of active hostilities in the conditions of the Arab-Israeli war of 1973. The main problem for a small state was casualties. Each tanker trained for a long time to get the proper level of training. The reason for the disruption of the Israeli crews is the use of old, poorly protected tanks: the American "Shermans" and M-48, the French AMX-13, the British "Centurions" and the Syrian
T-55. Production of T-55 tanks took place at the Omsk tank factory. Then delivered to the Egyptian army. These tanks were captured in large numbers by the Israeli armed forces after the unsuccessful attack of the Egyptian army at Sinai in 1967, and of these, they formed a tank brigade, which took part in the 1973 war of the year.
Israel conducted a deep modernization of the T-55 tanks, on which the 105-mm rifled gun was installed instead of the Soviet 100-mm D-10T. In addition, a new fire control system was installed on the T-55, and the best innovation was the installation of an air conditioner, which was badly needed in the desert. What was the armor protection of the tank T-55? The frontal armor of the turret had a thickness of 203 mm, onboard - 150 mm. The upper frontal armored plate of the body had a thickness of 97 mm and the angle of inclination was 58 degrees. Lower body armor plate - 99 mm. The thickness of the side plates - 79 mm.
INFLUENCE OF THE HUMAN FACTOR ON THE MERKAVY CONNECTION
In the early days of the 1973 war, there were serious concerns that such losses could happen again. Therefore, the survival of the crew on the battlefield was the main requirement for the Israeli tank. Firepower, mobility and armor protection are the main parameters determining the effectiveness of the tank on the battlefield. But the Israeli tank builders, starting to develop a new tank, identified armored protection in the first place. This decision is based on the experience of Israel’s participation in four wars (since 1947), in which armored vehicles played an important role. In order to create a psychological base that would help increase the crew’s combat capability, it was much better to prepare tank crews to enter the battle, fully relying on the tank’s good armor protection, and not on the speed achieved to the detriment of security. Thus, it is probably the human factor that had the greatest influence on the layout of the Israeli tank.
The creation in Israel of a new tank "Merkava" (the so-called biblical war chariots) refers to the 1969 year, when Israel was faced with a refusal to purchase English tanks "Chieftain". In this case, the US was the only country that was ready to sell its tanks to Israel. But the government of Israel believed that dependence on one supplier was highly undesirable. Under these conditions, the most appropriate was the decision to produce a tank with minimal assistance from foreign countries. This situation was consistent with a political decision to create a national defense industry in Israel.
- The maximum possible degree of survival of the crew;
- the maximum possible reduction of the frontal silhouette of the tower and the reduction of its volume by placing partly in the tank hull;
- the creation of maximum comfort for the crew (spacious fighting compartment, convenient location of control devices, etc.) for the possibility of maneuvering and effective firing for a longer period of time;
- the possibility of using the tank as a command vehicle, as well as, if necessary, for the transportation of infantry and the transportation of cargo to advanced positions;
- maximum use of units and mechanisms of combat vehicles, which are in service with the Israeli army, in order to reduce the cost of production, repair and maintenance of the tank.
The supply of Merkava Mk1 tanks to the troops began with 1977.
Protection of the crew of the tank "Merkava" in accordance with the TTT was provided through the following measures. Frontal protection of the hull was carried out by the front engine and transmission. At the same time, the engine, transmission and systems providing them are combined into one power unit with a mass of 4000 kg. Frontal booking of the Merkava Corps is an exploded design consisting of three armor plates, placed one after the other and interconnected not closely but with a gap. At the same time in the cavity between the first and second armored plates placed a special filler and fuel tank. In turn, between the second and third armored plates installed power unit. The tactical requirements of the Israeli army preferred in defensive operations to use tanks from shelters, which increases the possibility of defeating the tower, so the frontal projection of the tower is greatly reduced in height and width. One of the measures to improve crew survival is the location of the doors in the stern, facilitating the crew’s quick exit from the wrecked tank. A large amount of combat compartment, providing increased comfort for crew accommodation, reduced its fatigue. The position of the fighting compartment made it possible to use almost the entire aft compartment to accommodate large ammunition stored in non-combustible containers. High efficiency BPS M111, which at a distance of 2 km punched armor 170 mm thick, located at an angle 60 degrees from the vertical to the upper frontal part of the body. Tank "Merkava" was used in battles in Lebanon, where it easily dealt with the Syrian T-72 tanks with the help of BPS M111.
The existing non-professional estimates of frontal protection of the Merkava, firstly, do not reflect the use of the power unit (engine and transmission) in its composition, and, secondly, do not establish its armor resistance. In this case, the thickness of the equivalent armor plate 750 mm thick is used as an erroneous estimate. This is a blunder. In this case, the armor resistance of the frontal protection of the Merkavy case will be for the BNP 900 mm, and for the AF-TOR, 1100 mm. In other words, BPS with 900 mm armor penetration will not break through the frontal protection of the Merkava case.
The allegation that the Kornet ATGM is terrifying Israeli tankers can be clarified after checking armor resistance by shooting at the frontal protection of the Merkava tank hull Мк4 or by equivalent, imitating the contribution of the power unit and the fuel tank to the armor.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF ISRAELI NAVIGATION TROOPS
When choosing the main armament of the tank "Merkava" MK 1, Israeli experts preferred the 105-mm gun, for which the M111 armor-piercing piercing shells with a tungsten-nickel core with a diameter of 32 mm were developed (the shell was adopted in Germany). The plumage of this projectile, in contrast to the plumage of similar types of projectiles, is made not of aluminum, but of steel. This allows you to make the plumage smaller thickness, which leads to a significant decrease in dispersion and loss of speed. However, as a result of the modernization of the Merkava tanks, the Мk 2, 3, and 4 have an 120-mm cannon, developed in Germany.
BPS M111 to the 105-mm gun (Table 1) deserves special attention. It is known that comparative tests of frontal armor of hulls and turrets of domestic tanks were carried out by domestic BPS 3BM22 to 125-mm tank gun. Here came the next embarrassment. As a result of the delivery of the M48А3 tank with BPS M111 to the Soviet Union, it became possible to test the armor resistance of our T-72 tanks. The results were stunning - the multi-layered armor of the upper frontal part (LDA) of the hull was pierced with an 105-mm M111 projectile at a distance of 2 km. At the same time, the domestic 3BM22 projectile did not break through this WLD. What is the multi-layered armor VLD hull of the tank T-72? The export version of the T-72M had a three-layer frontal protection of the hull, consisting of two armor plates (thickness - 60 and 50 mm), between which glass fiber textolite was placed (thickness - 105 mm). The angle of this three-layer "cake" was 68 degrees from vertical to WLD.
BPS 3BM22 was adopted in 1976 year and was used to test the armor resistance of the protection of Soviet tanks during state tests. But BPS 3BM22 did not break through not only the VLD of the T-72 tank, but also the T-80 and T-90 tanks. At the same time, 3BM22 was not an analogue of developed foreign armor-piercing projectiles. There is a trick - state tests were carried out with the help of the BPS, which did not break through the weak defense structures of Soviet tanks.
The design of the Israeli 105-mm BPS M111 testified to the implementation of advanced technical solutions: the increase in armor penetration of BPS when interacting with multilayer barriers was achieved through the use of heavy alloy material in the manufacture of the projectile body; the propeller master device adopted a coil wrapping its “body” along a considerable length in order to avoid projectile deformation in the barrel due to enormous overloads during acceleration; damping device consisting of a ballistic tip (material - aluminum alloy), inside which are placed three heavy alloy cylinders providing minimal shock-wave loads in the shell of the projectile, which protects it from deformation during armor penetration (fig. 1); the pointed shape of the ballistic tip at the standard projectile speeds ensured the overcoming of the built-in dynamic protection of Soviet tanks without detonation of explosives.
Tests conducted in 38 NII MO, did not serve as a serious warning to the Ministry of Defense and the leadership of the defense industry to improve the quality of models of weapons produced armored vehicles.
BPS 3BM22 and М111 were put into service in 1976 year. Of particular note is the damping device, which the designers of our BPS did not think of. The design of the master BPS device in motion in the barrel used in the M111 projectile was only mastered by Soviet specialists in 1991 in the 3BM48 Lead product.
Today, in the conditions of the advanced level of anti-tank weapons, the layout of the Merkava tank Мk4 ensures a high survival rate of the crew. No other methods of layout of modern tanks can not withstand a frontal shelling of the Merkava with armor-piercing sub-caliber shells with 900 mm armor penetration and ATGM warheads with 1100 mm armor penetration.
As a bolt from the blue, the article 20 of September of this year appeared. in one of the famous Moscow newspapers. Finally, after 2 of the year, the taxpayer learned that “a couple of years ago, our largest partner, India, expressed displeasure with the T-90С tank. The air conditioner fails, which in tropical climates often deprives the crew of combat capability. Claims were also made to the power plant: in an environment of high dustiness and high mountains, it often fails. Moreover, the Indian military said that the T-90C is inferior in its tactical and technical data to the Al-Khalid tank made in China and Pakistan. And as a conclusion: in Delhi, they thought about the development of domestic tank building ”.
The article also notes that today the Chinese tank MVT-3000 is a serious competitor to Russian tanks. It is equipped with a 125-mm cannon, similar to the Soviet 2А46 cannon, which was put into service in the 1971 year. The Russian T-90A, T-90C and T-72B3 tanks are armed with an 2A46М-5 gun, created in 2005 year and significantly superior to 2A46 in accuracy and reliability. But the author of the article did not understand that these guns do not have modern armor-piercing sub-caliber shells.
But before that there were only positive assessments of our tank builders. It is known that in battle it is important to control the troops. It is time to establish management in the field of tank building.