Continuing history becoming tank T-64, it should be noted that this path was thorny with unexpected turns. At the end of 1961, a technical design for object 432 was developed and protected, and in September 1962 the first prototypes of the tank were made. In October 1962, the tank was demonstrated to the leaders of the state in Kubinka. Compared to other tanks, it was seriously different, and despite the mixed reaction of the military, its further development was approved.
Externally, the tank looked very impressive, as an elegantly dressed woman with a pleasant appearance. I was told how, when considering the first versions of the tank, Morozov with his own hand drew a line on the drawing and cut off the protruding ends of the first fuel tanks on the futon shelves. With the words that everything should be beautiful in a tank.
An experimental batch of tanks was made at the Malyshev plant for presentation at state tests. The car was fundamentally new in almost everything and in the process of factory testing revealed a large number of defects and flaws in the engine and its systems, loading mechanism and running gear. For this reason, a number of tactical and technical requirements have not been met.
After working out and refining the design and eliminating the comments, the tank was submitted to state tests in 1963. However, these measures turned out to be insufficient, the TTT was not executed and the tank did not pass the full test cycle and was not accepted for armament.
Despite this, it is decided to launch it in 1964, into serial production according to the documentation of the chief designer. Tanks sent troops to accelerated operation, defects were identified and eliminated. The design was being finalized and in October 1966 of the year it was submitted for repeated state tests. Successfully passed them and in December 1966 of the year was adopted.
Immediately it should be noted that the mass production of the tank began against the will of the military and this naturally did not make them supporters of this machine. In addition, the military opposed the introduction of a fundamentally new machine into the army, since this required serious changes in the technical and organizational support of the tank forces.
In 1964, the T-64 tank went through a deep modernization. It was installed 125 caliber gun mm and modified many of the system of the tank. He successfully passed troop tests and in May 1968 was adopted as a T-64A tank.
It was a new generation tank and very seriously differed from all previous ones.
It turned out to be too new for its time, and any innovation requires effort and time for fine-tuning. The advantages and disadvantages of the T-64 are already detailed and described. But I would like to dwell on some.
His personal impressions of the tank. I was trained in the T-55 tanks and once in practice at the tank repair plant I managed to get into the then secret T-64. I was struck by two points - the gunner's sight and the loading mechanism.
The sight TPD -2 -49 seemed perfect, as far as it differed from a simple sight on the "fifty-fifth" and hit its "not tank" performance and characteristics. At that time I did not know that after years I would have to lead the development of the most sophisticated aiming complexes of a promising tank.
Also struck rammer MOH. Everything worked so quickly that I could not understand how a rigid rod is made of two flexible chains. Much later, I ran into Morozov’s invention, which so easily solved a not simple problem.
The most problematic on the tank were three nodes - the engine, the loading mechanism and chassis. If you look at T-64, T-72 and T-80, then they are precisely in these nodes and differ from each other. Everything else they have is almost the same - the layout, gun, weapons, sights, electronics. It is difficult for a non-specialist to distinguish them.
The T-64 engine caused the most problems and the fine-tuning work lasted a very long time. It was created from scratch, there was no technology, no experience developing such engines. In the process of fine-tuning, there were a lot of problems and for their solution had to involve specialists in metals, ceramics, oils. Conduct research on the dynamics of the piston group and sometimes seek out the necessary solutions by trial and error.
The chief designer of the engine, Charomsky, developed it and obtained acceptable results on prototype engines. In the process of working power 580 HP was not enough and had to develop a new 5TDF engine on the 700 hp With the existing problems, it imposed new ones and many had the impression that it was impossible to bring it.
In addition, Charomsky did not want to tune up the engine, in 1959 he retired and returned to Moscow. Instead, he became the chief designer Golinets, a passionate lover of women, it was no longer the chief designer and a completely different level. Under his leadership, work on the engine seriously slowed down.
When T-1973 was put into service in 72, enraged Moroz, returning from Moscow, blamed Golintsa for failures and very quickly for “moral decay” he was removed from office.
Despite all these problems, the engine was nevertheless brought, and when developing the Boxer tank, a modification of this engine with an 1200l.c capacity was already used. The problems were solved, but the time was gone and the tank could not get on its feet.
There were also completely unexpected problems. As I was told, at the beginning of the military operation of the tank, one unit was deployed in a coniferous forest and after some time the tanks began to fail. It turned out that conifer needles clog the ejection cooling system with all the ensuing consequences. I had to urgently refine the structure and introduce the grids on the roof of the logistics, and return all tanks from the army to the factory and refine it.
Why did the T-72 have a new automatic loader? The choice of the MOH variant was determined by the ammunition. At the beginning of development, it was unitary. As a result, they achieved and made it separate with a partially combustible sleeve and a tray. We have been looking for a variant of its placement in mechanized packing for a long time. At one of the meetings, someone suggested placing it like a bent arm in an elbow. So there was a cabin type MH.
By adopting this option, the emergency evacuation of the driver mechanic was limited. The problem was solved by making a hole in the cabin. But this was possible only with the position of the gun "at the rate." There was also a problem with the trap of the pallet, when it departed at high speed from the gun there were cases of non-trapping of the pallet and the sensor constantly fixing it in the trap was broken, which led to the stopping of the loading process. This problem was also finally resolved.
Under these far-fetched pretexts, the military did not perceive the MOH. On the T-72, it was primitively simple, they threw six shots and put the shells and cartridges on top of each other in the conveyor. The trap did not begin to do. The pallet was just thrown out. And this is despite the fact that the tank should not be depressurized in TTT. For those times, the requirement to conduct combat in the conditions of the use of nuclear weapons was seriously advanced. weapons.
The military closed their eyes to reducing the ammunition from 28 to 22 and depressurizing the tank when firing. The main thing was to prove that the MOH is no good.
Problems with the chassis. Over the years there has been a lot of debate, which is better and which is worse. I can immediately say that the main criterion when choosing the type of chassis on the T-64 was its weight. We should not forget that according to TTT the weight of the tank should not exceed 34 tons and from the very beginning there were problems with the engine, its power was insufficient. Therefore, Morozov, knowing what the patency of a tank means, chose this version of the undercarriage and all the time defended it.
This type of running gear naturally had flaws, they were treated, but the weight requirement was strictly observed. Constantly there was a dilemma between performance and weight, as the adoption of another suspension increased the weight of the tank by two tons. On the T-72 and T-80 went for it, on the T-64 left a lightweight undercarriage. Of course, in such limitations in weight and dimensions it was difficult to achieve satisfaction of all requirements, but the main one believed that this should be tolerated. In his book, Kostenko mentions that Morozov, in communicating with him, agreed that apparently he was wrong, but this is already a property of history.
So there were three types of running: Kharkov, Tagil and Leningrad. Many tests were carried out; according to their results, the Leningrad chassis proved to be the most effective. The KMDB also took it as a basis in its subsequent modifications of the tanks and in the development of the promising "Boxer" tank.
Solving these problems took time, and 11 years passed from the start of the development of the tank to its adoption. During this time there were both supporters and opponents of the development of the tank. The reasons here were technical, organizational and opportunistic. The tank was a new generation and its refinement naturally required considerable effort.
The military, on the one hand, wanted to get a new tank with enhanced characteristics, on the other hand, they were alarmed by the complexity of the tank and the inevitable changes in the structure of the tank forces and the training of tankers. Technical problems were superimposed on this and they delayed the adoption of the tank.
In addition, they were dissatisfied with the launch of the T-64 tank into serial production without the completion of state trials in the 1964 year and believed that they were imposing this tank. The commander of the tank forces, Marshal Poluboyarov and then Marshal Babajanyan, the commanders of the headquarters and the Kubinka training ground, over time, began to lean toward a version of a simpler tank, which they thought was T-72.
The leadership of the defense industry saw what a tremendous amount of work had to be done in organizing the production of this tank. Constant problems with the organization of production, especially the new engine, also did not cause them much enthusiasm. Only the iron will of the “Stalinist people's commissar” Ustinov, who staked on the T-64 as a single tank for the army, forced everyone to accomplish the assigned tasks.
There were also short-term reasons. The launch into serial production of a single tank obligated the UVZ and ZKZ to conduct their developments on this base. Naturally, they did not feel any pleasure from this and, through their lobbyists, among the military, industry and government leaders tried to prevent this and promoted their tank projects.
In August, 1967 of the year issued a decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers to equip the army with new T-64 tanks and develop capacities for their production. The release of this tank was to be carried out at three plants - in Kharkov, Nizhny Tagil and Leningrad. Given the limited capacity for the production of 5TDF engines, its installation in peacetime was envisaged at all factories, and in a special period UVZ was supposed to produce a “backup” version of the T-64 tank based on the existing B-2 engine.
This version of the KMDB tank has developed (object 439). In 1967, tank prototypes were manufactured and tested and tested successfully. Technical documentation for this tank was transferred to UVZ for the organization of mass production.
At the same time, on the LKZ since the beginning of the 60-ies, work was underway to install a gas-turbine engine (tank T-64Т) on the T-64 tank. Samples of such a tank were made and tested. In October 1968, the decision was made to create a T-64 tank with a CCD (object 219). This work was of no interest to anyone, since there was no acceptable turbine.
Regardless of the decisions made at the UVZ and LKZ on the basis of the T-64 tank, work was carried out to create its own versions of the promising tank. At this stage, with the strong support of the military, the UVZ project (172 object) began to lobby, which later became the T-72 tank. As Kostenko wrote in his book, the process of the formation of this tank was long, thorny and wore an almost detective character. It was really a detective story - with fake government documents!
To be continued ...
Why and how did the T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks appear? Part of 2
- Yuri Apukhtin
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- Why and how did the T-64, T-72, T-80 tanks appear? Part of 1