Military Review

How was created the last Soviet tank "Boxer" / "Hammer" (object 477). Part of 2 Armament, Mobility, Protection


Prototypes manufactured in 1987 tank “Boxer” in comparison with the T-64 looked more impressive. The tank was about 0,3 m higher, a powerful cannon above the tower and a tall body with combined armor inspired some respect for him. In appearance, it was more formidable in comparison with the tanks of the previous generation.

The constant increase in the performance characteristics and the installation of more powerful weapons inevitably led to an increase in the mass of the tank. With a given mass of 50 tons, it was exceeded by several tons and this required serious measures to reduce it. The designs of the units of the tank, guns, engine systems, suspension and protection were revised.

In addition, the construction of some units had to introduce titanium, from which the undercarriage balancers were made, the structural elements inside the tank, the elements of dynamic protection, the sheets of the frontal protection package of the tank. This allowed to significantly reduce the weight and practically fit into the specified requirements.


The tank was characterized by a high level of protection with a minimum number of weakened zones and the use of all the achievements for that period. Reservations of the tank hull nose assembly had a modular structure, its envelope was over 1 m along the projectile. Much attention was paid to the protection of the sides and roof of the tower, it was combined: for example, the protection of the sides had a multi-barrier structure, and the hatches of the crew were powerful multi-layer protection.

All developed variants of active protection were considered - “Drozd”, “Arena”, “Rain” and “Shater”. No concrete results were achieved on any of them, and it was decided at the OCD stage not to equip tanks with active protection and enter it as it was developed.

Nevertheless, the commissions headed by General Varennikov, the future member of the State Emergency Committee, decided to demonstrate active protection of the “Thrush” in action. For more effect, the shot was OFS, the system intercepted it, the projectile exploded and some of the fragments went in the direction of the commission. The colonel standing next to Varennikov was seriously injured. Surprisingly, the general behaved in cold blood and ordered not to investigate this incident, although there were a lot of violations during this show.

A variant of electromagnetic protection was considered, the work on which was carried out at VNIstal. After reviewing the state of work, it became clear that in the near future it would not be possible to realize it, since there were no acceptable energy-intensive energy storage devices, and existing in size were comparable to a tank.

Power point

The power plant of the tank was based on a diesel engine. Initially, a variant of the four-stroke 12-cylinder engine 12CHN developed in HKBD was considered, but given that it existed only at the level of experimental samples and was not brought, it was abandoned.

The bet was made on the already existing two-stroke engine based on 6TDF with 1200 hp power, with the possibility of bringing the power to 1500 hp. This engine was installed on a prototype and tested. The cooling system was ejection, one sample was with a fan cooling system. During the tests, deficiencies in engine start-up and cooling were revealed, which were gradually eliminated. On tests, a tank with such a mass developed a speed of 63 km / h. In addition to the main engine for the tank, an auxiliary diesel power unit was developed, mounted on a nadgusenichnaya shelf.

Information disseminated on the Internet that the tanker "Boxer" provided for the power plant on the basis of the CCD, and the more such a sample of the tank was made, pure conjecture. In the course of work, this question has never even been raised, since in the middle of the 80-s epic of pushing the GTE onto the tank it was already over and the diesel T-80UD was adopted as the main tank.


At the beginning of development, several options for running were considered. As a result of detailed studies, we stopped on the suspension, which was based on the rubberized “Leningrad” suspension developed on the T-80UD. It lost about two tons of the T-64 undercarriage in mass, but under those loads and engine power it was dangerous to go for the “light” undercarriage option and further work was based on sufficiently developed nodes of this undercarriage.

The information that samples of the Boxer tank were made on the basis of the T-64 chassis is also not true. There were no such samples, individual tank systems could be worked out on the old chassis, but this had nothing to do with working out the suspension.

Armament complex

In connection with the increasing demands on the firepower of the tank, the armament complex was repeatedly changed. At the stage of developing the concept of the tank, the 125 mm gun was adopted as the main armament, the additional machine gun is the twin machine gun 7,62 mm and the auxiliary weapon machine gun 12,7 mm.

At the stage of R & D, the customer placed increased demands on the tank's firepower and the gun was replaced with a more powerful 130mm. In the process of repeated discussions of the caliber of the cannon to the end of the R & D, the question arose of further increasing the caliber of the cannon. Two factors played here: the increased security of the potential enemy’s tanks and the need to install powerful rocket weapons.

At a meeting of the NTS, when discussing the caliber of the 140 mm or 152 mm cannon, General Litvinenko, the head of the GRAU, proved that the 152 mm caliber is much more efficient, besides, it makes it possible to use the reserve of Krasnopole of the same caliber. As a result, it was decided to install a 152 mm caliber gun, they began to develop it in Perm specifically for the Boxer tank and never returned to this issue, although this decision led to a lot of problems with the tank.

In accordance with the requirements of the military, all the ammunition to the cannon to 40 shots must be placed in an automated ammunition. In the development process, various variants of both separate and unitary loading ammunition were considered. At the first stages, the shot was separately loaded and serious problems arose when placing the ammunition in the turret to the right of the gun.

In one of the variants, VNIITM offered a shot with a crank loader, a package of gunpowder was pulled out of the square sleeve and loaded into the cannon chamber. This option was too exotic and was abandoned.

In the final version, due to increased requirements for armor penetration and problems with placing ammunition in an automated combat pack, a version of a unitary shot of length 1,8 m was adopted and the layout of the tank was changed.

The choice of the shot variant and the automated loading scheme fundamentally influenced one of the defining characteristics of the tank - the time of preparation and production of the shot. With separate loading, this time was increased due to double dismounting of the projectile and the liner (this was decided only for T-64 in one stroke).

In this regard, the scheme of automated loading of the gun during the development process has changed three times in principle. With such a caliber and the amount of ammunition it was difficult to place them in limited volumes of the tank.

In the first variant, at the stage of the R & D with a separate loading shot for a tape-type automatic loader in the turret to the right of the gun, too small a volume was allocated, the kinematics of the mechanisms were very complex and already faced with the problem of unreliable mechanisms.

In the second variant, at the OCD stage with a caliber of 152 guns mm and a separate loading shot, the main part of the ammunition set was placed in the tank hull compartment in two conveyor belts (32), and the expendable portion (8) in the belt aft feed conveyor.

When spending ammunition in the tower produced their replenishment of the body. With this design, again, there was a very complex kinematics of mechanisms and there were big problems when transferring ammunition from the hull to the turret, especially when the tank was moving. In this design was double filing of the projectile and shells.

As a result, such a scheme had to be abandoned and transferred to unitary ammunition with the placement of the main ammunition in the case in two drums of 12 pieces and consumable 10 pieces placed in the tower. This design allowed us to significantly simplify the automatic loader and ensure the minimum time (4) for the preparation and production of the shot, since there was no double discharging of the projectile and the sleeve. Placing the ammunition in isolated drums also protected it from ignition if a tank was damaged.

At the end of 80-x, due to increased requirements to combat lightly armored and airborne targets, it was decided to reinforce the tank’s additional weapons, and instead of a 12,7 mm machine gun, an 30 mm HSHNNXX gun was installed. It was installed to the right of the main cannon on the roof of the tower with an independent drive vertically and horizontally connected to the tower.

The sighting system for the Boxer tank was developed taking into account the tank layout adopted, was multichannel and provided all-day and all-weather firing with artillery shells and guided missiles. A multi-channel sight with optical, television, thermal imaging channels, a laser range finder and a laser missile guidance channel was developed for the gunner.

The commander installed a panoramic sight with optical, television channels and a laser rangefinder. The thermal imaging channel could not be implemented in the gunner's sight. It was decided to install a separate thermal sight with image output to the gunner and the commander. On the basis of the television channel, an automatic machine for capturing and tracking the target was developed on the basis of the Shkval aviation complex.

The complex provided complete duplication in the firing of the gunner and commander, the commander could not fire only a guided missile. In case of failure of the sighting system for firing from a cannon and a machine gun in emergency mode on the gun was installed a simple optical sight-doubler.

At the first stage, the guided missile was developed in two versions - with radio command and laser guidance, later it was refused from the radio command guidance missile. To ensure the firing of a rocket in the conditions of dusty noise interference, a CO2 laser was developed. The further development of guided weapons was assumed using a rocket with a homing head, by analogy with the "Krasnopol" self-propelled guns and ensuring firing according to the "fired-forgotten" principle.

The 3-x mm range radar was developed for this tank based on the work on the Arguzin theme, but because of the complexity and low efficiency in detecting targets, the work was stopped.

By its characteristics, the sighting system made it possible to obtain a significant separation from the existing generation of domestic and foreign tanks and ensured the effective range of 2700 - 2900 m artillery shells and the destruction of targets with a guided missile with a probability of 0,9 at 5000 m.

The implementation of the sighting system should not cause any special problems, since the technical reserve for all elements of the complex, except for the CO2 laser and the radar, existed at that time. The Central Design Bureau of the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant, which had previously been well known for its irresponsibility in setting up sighting systems for tanks, was designated the lead on this complex.

For the Boxer tank, the activities of this company played a tragic role, the deadlines for performing all the work were constantly disrupted and the tests of the tank were postponed for years. Without the sights of the tank could not be, everyone understood this, but no action was taken. The sighting system was never fully implemented and the tank began to undergo a preliminary test cycle without an sighting system.

Продолжение следует ...
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  1. Theodore
    Theodore 21 August 2018 06: 05
    Died at birth .............
    1. Cat
      Cat 21 August 2018 06: 30
      Not that the tank died at birth ....
      The problem in another Malyshev design bureau wanted to repeat the revolution in tank construction of Koshkin and Malyshev!
      In this connection, for 22 years the mountain has not even given birth to a mouse. Although I think that if the Union did not disintegrate, then object 299 and Boxer / Hammer met at the test sites. And it is not yet known who won, a gold (titanium) fish from Kharkov or a "concept" from Leningrad?
      By the way, impoverished Russia in the 90s made a bet on the deep modernization of the T-72 (T-90), and not the revolutionary Rev.299.
      Sincerely, Kitty!
  2. Cat
    Cat 21 August 2018 06: 48
    Especially for the respected Andrei (Operator)!
    In the first part, we argued about memoirs and their values.
    Another example is already from a respected Author who has repeatedly said that Boxer / Hammer is a purely Kharkov development! And even directly denied the borrowing of technical solutions from Kirovchan and UVZ.
    At the beginning of development, several chassis options were considered. As a result of detailed studies, we nevertheless settled on the undercarriage, which was based on the rubberized “Leningrad” undercarriage worked out on the T-80UD.

    No comments!
    I think in the third part, the author respected by me, will dwell in detail on the Perm cannon and why there were problems with it!
    Sincerely, Kitty!
    1. Operator
      Operator 21 August 2018 16: 30
      The fact is that at the time of the decision to use the elements of the T-80 chassis for the Boxer / Hammer, they had already been produced in Kharkov for the diesel version of the T-80UD produced at the local plant.
      1. Cat
        Cat 21 August 2018 19: 25
        Yes, really since 1979! lol
        Dear Andrey, do not tell my claws !!!
        It may make sense to see how long the serial production of the T-80U and its counterpart in Kharkov, the T-80UD, began.
        1. Operator
          Operator 21 August 2018 20: 19
          You inattentively read the articles that you are commenting on - the decision to apply chassis elements from the T-80UD on the Boxer / Hammer was made in the late 1980s, and this tank has been worked out in Kharkov since 1976, in 1985 it was adopted by an interdepartmental commission and serially produced since 1987.
  3. andrewkor
    andrewkor 21 August 2018 07: 27
    Dear Author, has firmly registered for VO with his memoirs, they don’t see him anywhere else. But it’s still interesting to hear the cry of the soul!
  4. Engineer
    Engineer 21 August 2018 08: 47
    Everyone who wants to have read "The Last Breakthrough of Soviet Tank Builders" for a long time, so for the hundredth time to publish articles of the same type with the thought "we are all about ..." is bad manners.
    1. Cat
      Cat 21 August 2018 12: 57
      Let it be on the other hand! This we have read, and how many readers the first time we heard about the project only yesterday?
      Perhaps any memoir source is never superfluous. By the way, there are already differences in the author's memoirs. Viktor Nikolaevich (Curiors) paid attention to this yesterday.
  5. prodi
    prodi 21 August 2018 10: 06
    I can’t even imagine three drums of 10-12 152mm unitary shells and AZ between them
    1. Operator
      Operator 21 August 2018 16: 37
      This is how the Boxer / Hammer housed 32 unitary 152-mm BOPS

      The stupid residents of Nizhny Tagil could not repeat this layout in a shed on tracks with a 125-mm separate loading BOPS called "Armata".
      1. prodi
        prodi 21 August 2018 18: 08
        this is understandable only as a first approximation, perhaps it can even be implemented, but not in the usual dimensions of the tank.
        Let it be a 1200 mm long projectile .. A drum for 12 152 mm shells is a cylinder about 1000 mm in diameter, so the main drum for 10 shells must be about 1500 mm in diameter to overlap both front ones and so that the driver has at least some then living space in width (about a meter). All these drums need to be twisted with something, and if the main part is also part of the shutter, then you need at least half a meter to return it. Plus, the mechanism, most likely, the projectile is pushed backwards from the front drums to the main one (apparently two). Plus, you need to somehow manually insert these unitaries into the drums
        1. Operator
          Operator 21 August 2018 18: 30
          This is realized in the dimensions of the "Boxer / Hammer" with a unitary length of 1,8 meters - see the picture.
        2. tank-master
          tank-master 21 August 2018 20: 07
          What manual loading ... everything is automated ... even loading shots and then using a winch outside the tank.
          1. prodi
            prodi 22 August 2018 07: 03
            it is difficult to comment, if only because in the photo (type) of the "Boxer" the place of the mechanic drive is shifted to the left, i.e. there is no adherence to the considered scheme
      2. svp67
        svp67 22 August 2018 11: 45
        Quote: Operator
        This is how the Boxer / Hammer housed 32 unitary 152-mm BOPS

        And the article talks about 40, who is not accurate?
        1. Operator
          Operator 22 August 2018 20: 52
          The article deals with two twelve-shot reels in the control compartment and one ten-shot reels in the fighting compartment - a total of 34 shots.

          I'm not accurate, of course (called numbers from memory).
  6. Bad thing
    Bad thing 21 August 2018 10: 25
    Commission led by General Varennikov, future member of the Emergency Committee
    It is very important?
    For the Boxer tank, the activities of this company played a tragic role, the deadlines for all the work were constantly disrupted, and the tank’s tests were postponed for years. There could be no tank sights, everyone understood this, but no measures were taken.
    The author, and what measures should be taken? It is not easy to create this and achieve reliable operation, but did technology allow it then?
    1. tank-master
      tank-master 21 August 2018 13: 27
      Actually, the Army General Varennikov was the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces of the USSR and I had the honor to serve under his command, but I called all ordinary soldiers granddaughters, but the moss could be torn off by officers well ... if there were omissions in the service.

      So he was, as it were, the main customer of the tank.
      1. Bad thing
        Bad thing 22 August 2018 09: 29
        I also have a very warm attitude towards Glavky, I was severe, but fair. I specifically singled out a phrase about the Emergency Committee, an article about technology, why drag in politics?
  7. svp67
    svp67 21 August 2018 12: 10
    since in the mid-80s the epic of pushing a gas turbine engine to a tank had already ended and the diesel T-80UD was adopted as the main tank.
    And it was only in Kharkov, Leningrad and Omsk that they both produced and continued to produce the T-80 with a gas turbine engine, they did little to modernize the gas turbine engine ...
    1. Cat
      Cat 21 August 2018 12: 46
      The culmination of the T-80U was the Omsk "Black Eagle" with a 7-roller undercarriage and an automatic loader placed in the aft niche.
      1. tank-master
        tank-master 21 August 2018 13: 28
        Not the climax, but the display of a running layout ... which did not even meet Soviet requirements for armor and protection, as well as for ensuring the survival of the crew.
      2. svp67
        svp67 22 August 2018 05: 58
        Quote: Kotischa
        The culmination of the T-80U was the Omsk "Black Eagle" with a 7-roller undercarriage and an automatic loader placed in the aft niche.

        The culmination is not only "Eagle", but also "Bars" T-80U-M1
        And if you look closely, you can see that three T-2018s went into firing at Army-80, in various degrees of modernization, although the title says T-90
        My webpage
  8. Curious
    Curious 21 August 2018 13: 35
    Remember where the first part began?
    "I was one of the project leaders from the beginning of the tank concept in 1979 until the work was stopped in the early 1990s."
    Here the reader hung his ears in anticipation of "new details that eluded Istpart" of the design of Soviet armored vehicles. But instead, "one of the project leaders" "quite sensibly, albeit monotonously" retold the content of Internet publications, long known to everyone, even Wikipedia.
    Compare this with the recollections of real "project managers", the same Morozov, Yakovlev, Korolev. To paraphrase a well-known anecdote - which site, such are the memoirs.
    1. Operator
      Operator 21 August 2018 16: 48
      The article largely repeats the earlier publication of the author, but puts unambiguous points in the Internet discussions about the "Boxer / Hammer" project of the last 10 years.

      You, as a person far from tank themes, are not given to understand the meaning of this article.
    2. Nikolai
      Nikolai 21 August 2018 19: 36
      Quote: Curious
      Remember where the first part began?
      "I was one of the project leaders from the beginning of the tank concept in 1979 until the work was stopped in the early 1990s."

      I, too, was seduced ... and here is a free retelling of Morozov's diaries ... smile
      1. tank-master
        tank-master 21 August 2018 20: 08
        Morozov died in 1979 ... and already had nothing to do with this project.
      2. Curious
        Curious 21 August 2018 21: 29
        Yes, he then retells his diaries, but with different intonations.
  9. tank-master
    tank-master 21 August 2018 13: 36
    Thanks to the author for the article.
    I had to work by the end of the 90s on the continuation of this project, but already under the code "Nota" .... I will say easier it was work for budget money, but no further than CD. Although the developments for this project were implemented in the T-84 and BM "Oplot", including 1200hp. engine, auxiliary power unit (APU), panorama, albeit with reduced periscope.

    But there were studies on the basis of which a tank comparable to Armata could be developed .. for example, the Ministry of Defense was 39 shells in an uninhabited tower, plus 6 in the zaman, the so-called first shots ..
    But these developments were frozen in 2007 after a secret order by Yushchenko began preparations for a war with Russia.

    Kharkov designers refused further work, in other words, blotted out the topic.
  10. Operator
    Operator 21 August 2018 17: 07
    Quote: tank-master
    6 in Zaman. Kharkov designers refused further work, in other words, blotted out the topic

    In 1992, Kharkiv designers at least lost competent task managers from the GABTU of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, so Kharkiv residents missed the transition to the unmanned fighting compartment, implemented in the Nizhny Tagil "Armata".

    At the moment "Armata" is the most promising platform for the installation of two drum magazines with unitary BOPSs in the unmanned compartment and one in the aft niche of the tower. In this case, drum magazines can be made of multilayer

    1. tank-master
      tank-master 21 August 2018 23: 26
      Armata is a crude tank .. simply put electric tank .... there is no food and all of it is out of combat.
      1. Operator
        Operator 21 August 2018 23: 44
        "Armata" is not just crude, it will most likely remain a platform for developing innovative solutions.

        In any case, no country in the world has such an object except Russia.
      2. Dzungar
        Dzungar 22 August 2018 05: 45
        And tell me which tank is NOT an electric tank right now ...? Which tank now without power (power) can fight ...? I mean - a modern tank ....
        1. tank-master
          tank-master 23 August 2018 11: 23
          T-62 and T-55 .. but even on the T-90 it’s difficult but you can fight without power, at least shooting from a place is possible.
          1. Bad_gr
            Bad_gr 23 August 2018 12: 11
            Quote: tank-master
            T-62 and T-55 .. but even on the T-90 it’s difficult but you can fight without power,

            I wound up the T-62 and drove it to the landfill, while there were no batteries in the tank at all. Turned on air, there were no problems with this. As for the rest, I will not say, not my profile.
          2. philosopher
            philosopher 23 August 2018 20: 54
            If there is no voltage in the tank on the battlefield (for whatever reason), it must be abandoned immediately, and not manually turned the barrel aiming flywheels and shove the projectile from the machine gun in an awkward position. After all, you will have time to make a maximum of one shot (and then, will you hit?), And then immediately "cover". After 70 years, such tricks will no longer work.
  11. The comment was deleted.
  12. t7310
    t7310 26 August 2018 14: 02
    about. 477 note
    1. prodi
      prodi 26 August 2018 15: 56
      Thank you, it’s more intelligent than the article itself, but anyway, the project doesn’t seem feasible even with 1300 mm shells