The first tank with a high-caliber gun was a machine called the KV-2 ("Klim Voroshilov" - the second model).
Heavy tank KV-1 arr. 1941 g. With 76,2-mm gun
It all began like this. As you know, in November 1939, the Soviet-Finnish war broke out. The troops of the Leningrad Military District under the command of K.A. Meretskov immediately came across a powerful system of pillboxes and other fortifications, forming the famous Mannerheim line of defense.
It was decided to send the first experimental heavy QMS tanks (Sergey Mironovich Kirov) and KV (Klim Voroshilov), which were then undergoing tests, to help the troops. Moreover, since the troops did not yet have specialists trained in controlling these machines, they included factory testers into the crew. Looking ahead, we say that the tests in a combat situation were quite successful, and in December the tank was already put into service under the designation KV-1. At the same time, the idea appeared to equip a new car with a powerful gun.
Prototype heavy tank KV-1 arr. 1940
The task to develop a combat vehicle with a more powerful weapon, the design team received in January 1940. Moreover, it was proposed to do this in a short time. Chief Designer Z.Ya. Kotin and plant manager I.M. Zaltsman understood what the "smell" of non-compliance with the orders of Comrade Stalin was. All developers of the new tank were transferred to the barracks position and placed in the plant management. Every evening, the director and chief designer reviewed the drawings that were developed during the day and approved them. We chose a powerful X-NUMX-mm howitzer M-152 as a weapon. From the KV-10 new machine differed by the increased size of the tower. Ammunition consisted of 1 armor-piercing and concrete-breaking shots.
Tank KV-2 arr. 1940
There were many skeptics who claimed that when fired, the tank would tip over, and the undercarriage would not stand. However, the tests showed the complete working capacity of the machines, and four tanks were immediately assembled at the Kirov factory. The task of the government was completed before the deadlines. Continuation of the test was already on the front line. Junior Lieutenant Z.F. Glushak, the commander of the KV-2 tank No.2, recalled: “The obstacles on the Mannerheim line were made thoroughly. But in order to make the passage width 6-8 m, we needed only five shots. The enemy fired at us all the time. When we got out of the fight, we counted 48 dents on the armor, but not a single hole. ”
At the same time, the KV-2 tank was adopted by the Red Army. Among those awarded the Order of Lenin were the chief designer J.J. Kotin, engineer NL. Dukhov, test driver N.A. Varlamov.
Heavy double tank mounted SMK
50 years ago, in 1947, in the design office of the Kirov factory under the leadership of the chief designer J. Ya. Kotin developed the first post-war heavy tank, which received the index EC-7 ("Joseph Stalin" - the seventh model, "the object 260").
The prototype of the tank EC-7 in the yard of the plant, winter 1948 g. By car there are no machine guns in the stern of the turret and anti-aircraft installation
The general management of the design work was entrusted to the deputy chief designer A.S. Yermolaev and the artillery system designers G.N. Rybin and N.V. Chicken As the main armament used 130-mm cannon C-70, which is a modification of the naval gun, adapted to the requirements of a tank gun. This powerful gun was capable of firing a 33,4 kg projectile with an initial speed of 900 m / s.
During 1948, four prototypes of the EC-7 tank were made at the Kirov Plant and conducted their factory tests. Soon the cars were presented for state tests. As a result of a number of identified defects during the tests, mainly due to the imperfection of the power unit, chassis, the machine did not receive the approval of the state commission and work on it was soon ceased.
However, despite the failures in the design and testing of the EC-7 tank, the designers learned a lot by working on this project.
On subsequent models of tanks developed in the design bureau, one could see many components and assemblies tested on the EC-7. But those who were refused, also served, because a negative result is also a result.
In this regard, it is necessary to tell about one more pilot work of the tank builders of the design bureau of the Kirov factory and the scientists of VNIITransmash fifteen years old. In the course of research work on the chassis of the T-80 tank, mass-produced then at the plant, a new turret was designed for the installation of a gun of increased caliber 152 mm. At the same time, the geometry of the aft part of the tower was changed and an additional series of improvements were made. The machine received a cipher - "292 object".
In September 1990 the tank was completely ready, and in 1991 the firing tests of the object began at the Rzhevsky range.
Tank "292 object" based on the T-80 with 152,4-mm gun
All work was carried out under the direction of General Designer N.S. Popov. His deputy, twice State Prize winner A.K. Dziavgo, said: “We have agreed with the director of the Central Research Institute Nikolai Nikolayevich Hudkovysh on the implementation of the idea of developing a six-inch rifled gun, caliber 152,4 mm. We liked this idea not only because it is one of the main calibers of land and naval artillery, and, therefore, in the future highly unified, but also because it made it possible to use a projectile of increased power to fight tanks, helicopters and infantry . But soon it was necessary to correct the intended plan - the supporters of the smooth-bore cannon “won”. However, this only increased the pace of work. ”
An active participant in the development of the leading designer Yu.N. Novikov recently recalled how selflessly worked for the designer board-gunsmiths G.S. Shpagin, A.V. Konokotin and N.N. Solovyov.
The firing tests at the site showed high stability and reliability of all the gun and tank units of the “292 object”. The main thing was to make sure that, despite the previous length of rollback, the guns were preserved and did not exceed the required standards for accelerations and loads at crew workplaces, and, therefore, the idea of installing a gun of increased power in the T-80 tank was vital and not in doubt. However, the lack of funding slowed down further work to improve this unique experience at that time. But the invaluable experience was not lost, the intellectual achievements and findings remained. There is no doubt that this design reserve will be in demand.