Why and how did the T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks appear? Part of 3
By that time, the documentation for the reserve version of the tank (object 435), which was developed and tested at the KMDB, was transferred to the UVZ. She carefully analyzed, evaluated the comments received during the tests and worked out ways to eliminate them.
The main emphasis was placed on a simplified version of the tank and the use of existing or used components and systems to the maximum during a failed attempt to modernize the T-62. It looked like work aviation designers Tupolev and Myasishchev. The first created aircraft, relying on his own groundwork and the experience of competitors, and the second created everything from scratch and did not always achieve success.
Considering the problems of the T-64 on the engine, the MV and the chassis, the exhaust engine B-45 with the power 730 hp was installed. with fan cooling system, automatic loader with conveyor ammunition and more powerful undercarriage. The comments on the T-64 were taken into account, the design was often simplified to a limit with a lowering of the tank performance characteristics and higher reliability was provided.
The first samples were created by remaking the T-64, then they began to make their prototypes and prototypes. Changes to the T-64 documentation were prohibited. There was a case with me at the beginning of 70-x, then a letter came from UVZ asking to fix the detected error in the drawing. My boss forbade me to do this with the words: "We will solve this issue ourselves."
The military supported this work, up to two dozen tanks were manufactured, factory and military tests were conducted. Thus, the “172 object” tank appeared not as a new tank, but as a mobilization variant of the T-64.
As a result, there appeared two diversified tanks developed by TTT for the T-64 tank. In accordance with the directive documents, T-64 batch production should be organized in three plants, and T-72 did not fit into this. On this issue in the leadership of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Defense, the Central Committee and the military industrial complex there are two groups.
Higher party and state leadership and ministers supported T-64, and the leaders below in the GBTU, the military-industrial complex and the Central Committee relied on T-72. Mostly, the undercover struggle of these two groups was resolved in unexpected ways, creating problems for many decades.
In pursuance of the resolution on serial production of T-64, a resolution was prepared on the creation of production facilities for this. This decision was prepared by the military-industrial complex officer Kostenko.
I had to meet with him several times behind the Kremlin wall in the development of the tanker "Boxer", and he always tried to delve deeply into the question under consideration.
Kostenko was a member of a group of people who advocated the idea of serialization of the T-72 tank. In his book, Tanks (Memories and Reflections), he describes this episode in detail.
This group has set a goal in the prepared document, distorting its essence, and indirectly to carry out a decision on the serial production of T-72. We give the word Kostenko:
Thus, a group of like-minded people gradually formed, in which each acted within the limits of his personal abilities and official powers, while not advertising the “172 object”. ”
They chose the time of its signing, when their opponents went on vacation: Ustinov (secretary of the CPSU Central Committee), Zverev (minister of the defense industry). Dmitriev (deputy head of the department of defense industry of the Central Committee of the CPSU) and Kuzmin (head of the department of armament of ground forces of the military-industrial complex). As noted by Kostenko, “the absence of top officials was of particular importance in the situation with the draft decree.”
They forged a government document in such a way that:
He particularly admires how beautifully they did everything:
So in May 1970 of the year appeared the decree "On measures to create capacity for the production of T-64A tanks", and in fact on the preparation of serial production of the T-72 tank. Through the efforts of a number of high-ranking officials and the military, a decision was made that ran counter to the general tank-building line approved by the government to create a single T-64 tank. This document, contrary to the interests of the state, made it possible to launch into production two practically identical tanks.
In 1972, the installation batch of T-72 tanks was launched, factory and military tests were conducted, and in August 1973, the tank was adopted. This was the first not entirely clean blow to Morozov, which did not allow him to realize the idea of creating a single tank.
In parallel with the work on equipping the T-64 tank with the B-45 engine at the LKZ, work was done on installing the GTD-3L tank with the 800 hp power on this tank. GTDs were installed on converted T-64. Tests showed that the suspension with a significant change in dynamic loads does not withstand, and LKZ began to develop and test their version of the suspension.
As a result of the conducted test cycle, the principal possibility of creating a tank with a gas turbine engine was proved. According to the results of these works, in June 1969 of the year a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers on the creation of a gas turbine power plant for the T-64 tank was issued. The organization of the serial production of the T-64 tank with a CCD was envisaged at the LKZ.
In 1972, comparative troop tests of three T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks are conducted. Tests showed approximately equal characteristics of the tanks, but the decision on their future fate was not taken.
By the middle of the 70, the epic with the T-72 began to subside, but another one was unfolding, with the gas-turbine T-80. With the appointment of Ustinov as Minister of Defense, the positions of Romanov and Ryabov in the political elite of the country are strengthened, and with their support, the tank begins to be forced through the GTE.
At this time, the efforts of the KMDB were focused on the creation of the fighting compartment of the T-64B tank with a fundamentally new Ob fire control system and the Cobra guided weapons complex, which made it possible to get a serious lead over other firepower tanks.
Considering that T-80 seriously lagged behind T-64B in all parameters, it was decided to seriously “strengthen” it in a very original way. During factory tests of the T-64B (I was a participant in these tests), the turret is removed from one tank and placed on the T-80 hull, and all the other tests pass two different tanks, T-64B and T-80B.
According to the results of tests in 1976, two tanks are accepted for service. So, in addition to the already crushed T-72 gets a start in life and T-80B, so even with the most perfect at that time weapons complex. This was the second blow to Morozov, after which he retired.
Realizing that with three tanks "you can’t live like this anymore," Ustinov organizes the most powerful troop tests of three tanks, as they were called, "cockroach races" in 1976. According to their results, T-64 and T-80 were approximately equal, and T-72 lagged behind them. I repeatedly read the test report; I was surprised by the unreasonable dissenting opinion of Venediktov that T-72 deserves a better mark.
According to the test results at the very top, the decision is made to promote the T-80 in the same original way. We decided to make one of the two tanks T-64B and T-80B. In December 1976, the decision of the MIC to create a single improved tank T-80U. The head of the tank LKZ, develops a body with a GTE power 1200 HP, and the KMDB - fighting compartment with a new weapon system. This tank was planned to be put into mass production in Leningrad, Omsk and Kharkov.
Works on the 6TD engine in Kharkov were practically banned, and a decree of the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers launched the construction of a plant in Kharkov for the production of a new CCD for T-80U. The construction of the plant without elaborated documentation for the CCD was an adventure. The plant was practically built, they began to order the most complicated equipment, it was worth the inconceivable money. As a result, the GTE was never developed, everything was thrown to the wind, and no one answered for the senseless use of funds.
Joint development of LKZ and KKBM tank T-80U on the basis of the existing GTE hp 1000. and the new sighting system "Irtysh" with laser-controlled armament "Reflex" was successfully completed, and after testing in December 1984, the tank was put into service.
After the death of Ustinov in 1984 and the withdrawal from the political Olympus of Romanov, who promoted the idea of a gas turbine tank, priorities began to change dramatically. Everyone suddenly saw the light: there is no point in promoting a tank with a problematic gas turbine engine in the presence of an 6TD engine of the same power!
Back in 1976, on the basis of 6TD horsepower 1000. A modernization project for the T-64B tank (476 object) was developed, but it was postponed, as T-80U was ordered to do. The problems that started with the CCD forced in June 1981 of the year to decide on the development of the T-80U tank with the 6TD engine. This is the “476 object” from the “Leningrad” chassis.
Tests of this tank were successfully conducted on the Kubinka. In September, the T-1985UD tank with the 80TD engine 6 hp is put into service on 1000 of the year. (478 object). Almost ten years later, they returned to a two-stroke engine tank!
At this long-term saga of the advancement of the tank with GTE came to the finish. It turned out that for this there are no technical prerequisites. The T-80UD tank was mass-produced in Kharkov; in total, about 700 tanks were launched. As the head of the GBTU Potapov recalled, a draft decree on the phased transition of all plants to the production of T-XNUMHUD was prepared and approved, but the Union collapsed and the tank turned out to be abroad.
T-80UD and T-72 tanks unexpectedly had to prove their advantages in other conditions. In 1996-1999, Ukraine delivered 320 T-80UD tanks to Pakistan, and its main rival, India, operated T-72 tanks. Reviews in these countries about the tanks were not in favor of the latter.
In conclusion, it should be noted that if in the period 1968 — 1973. There was a keen competition of T-64 and T-72 tanks, then in 1975 — 1985. - T-64 and T-80. It so happened that after 1973, the T-72 faded into the background. All new developments somehow bypassed the side of the UVZ, on the modification of these tanks was introduced mainly what has already been tested on the T-64 and T-80. Why it happened, I do not quite understand, but it was the case.
By many estimates, the T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks and their modifications are tanks of the same generation, approximately with equal TTX. They are equipped with the same weapons, but are disunited according to the conditions of production and operation. You can find out for a long time which of them is better, but there is no doubt that Morozov laid down their concept.
Decades have passed, and disputes about this generation of tanks have not abated. In these disputes, we sometimes cross the line where objectivity ends. Therefore, all of us, especially my colleagues from Nizhny Tagil, need a more balanced, objective approach to tank estimates. I also allowed myself sometimes harsh judgments, not always objective. It does not do us honor. We did a common thing, we have something to be proud of!
With all the costs of the formation of these tanks, they, of course, had to be developed, manufactured and tested. According to test results, to make objective and honest conclusions and leave in serial production one, as it was foreseen. But the leaders of the state, industry and the military did not have the courage to stop and make decisions in the interests of the state and the army.
It has long been time to create a new generation of tanks, taking into account the experience of creating the previous generation of tanks and the unfinished project to create a promising tank "Boxer". Now the project of the Armata tank is reaching the finish line, and there is something to discuss, but so far there is little information.
The purpose of this article was not to study the characteristics of tanks, it has long been done. The focus was on the process of creating this generation of tanks and the circumstances affecting the adoption of fateful decisions. I wanted to show how difficult and ambiguous was the formation of tanks: after all, their progress was influenced not only by technical characteristics, but also by other considerations far from technology.
- Yuri Apukhtin
- Why and how did the T-64, T-72, T-80 tanks appear? Part of 1
Why and how did the T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks appear? Part of 2
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