Double barrel on tracks: anti-aircraft tank T-90

From the first days of World War II, our ground forces fully felt the impact of the two main strike components of the German Wehrmacht - aviation и tanks. And faced with an obvious shortage of means to combat these opponents.

Double barrel on tracks: anti-aircraft tank T-90

But if for anti-tank weapons we had quite suitable for design efficiency and production, the main issue was the resumption of their release (mistakenly stopped before the war) in sufficient numbers, then the air defense of the troops, especially in tactical depth, was in a more distressed state. The main means of dealing with a low-altitude air enemy — small-caliber automatic anti-aircraft guns were clearly not enough. There were two reasons for this - the later adoption of the main army MDW - 37-mm guns 61-K arr. 1939 g. (25-mm MWP. 1940 g. Appeared even later and before 1943, so plainly and was not deployed release). And slow, and anti-aircraft guns - the most complex type of mobile artillery, the development of production. The situation was aggravated by the problem of mass evacuation of industry, which led to a disruption of cooperative relations of suppliers, the cessation of production for a certain period and a slow increase in output at new locations of enterprises.

Another component of the fight against assault aircraft and dive bomber - the main air opponents of the troops in the frontline zone, were anti-aircraft machine guns. And the complexity of the period left the designers at this stage the possibility of using only small arms. Moreover, the production base of machine guns was in a somewhat better position than that of the producers of artillery systems.

By this time, there were only two of the machine guns in service and production, the Maxim and the DShK. Aviation ShVAK and ShKAS were not counted - aircraft builders demanded them (although there were developments that used these systems, some of which were used in “handicraft” performance in combat defensive actions).

For the "maxim" already existed anti-aircraft machine gun installations (ZPU), created in versions - single, paired and quad installation. The latter, the 1931 model, had sufficient fire density in the range of distances up to 1500 m. But by that time the insufficient power of the rifle cartridge had already become clear when acting on modern air targets. In addition, the installation weighed about half a ton and was very cumbersome. To increase mobility they were mounted on trucks. But even in this form, they were suitable only for air defense of near rear stationary objects - airfields, headquarters, transportation hubs and warehousing points. And in no case - in the advanced combat orders of the troops due to the limited patency of the base chassis and the absolute insecurity of the calculations.

The only alternative was DShK. At this point, it was mainly produced for naval pedestal installations. A natural solution to many issues related to its operation and methods of combat use in the army air defense system was the placement of the DShK on a protected self-propelled base. At the same time, the possibility of creating multi-barreled installations was facilitated and the problems of increasing the transportable ammunition were simplified.

At this time, the only possible bases for the creation of such systems could only be tracked chassis. Their basic models — in the form of tanks — were produced by the enterprises of two people's commissariats — the NKTP (People's Commissariat of the Tank Industry) and the NKSM (People's Commissariat of Medium Machine-Building). Of course, the chance of using the chassis of the KV and T-34 tank families in their “original” form was completely eliminated due to the immense need for them in the front. Therefore, despite a number of fundamental flaws, it was necessary to rely only on the light tanks produced.

Machines of this class were made by the enterprises of both People's Commissars and therefore the Panzer Directorate of the Main Armored Directorate of the Red Army issued the tactical and technical requirements (TTT) for developers of both departments in 1942. For their implementation in the second half of 1942, the plants developed and manufactured three samples of self-propelled units based on light tanks in production. They submitted their bids - Plant N 37 NKTP - in two versions - based on the T-60 and T-70 chassis and GAS - based on the T-70М.

In today's categories, these machines belong to self-propelled anti-aircraft machine-gun installations, but at that time they were called tanks, and so they remained in stories.

Of the three options, the T-90 tank was the most successful GAS proposal, currently almost unknown to most interested readers.

His design at the Gorky Order of Lenin Automobile Plant them. V.M. Molotov began immediately after receiving the TTT from BTU - in September, 1942, defining the main task of the defense of mechanized columns. The leading designer of OKB OGK GAZ for the car was Maklakov. The direct management of the design work was carried out by the deputy chief designer of the plant N.A. Astrov with the general leadership of the director of the plant I.K. Loskutov (in October he was recalled to work at the People's Commissariat of power plants and was replaced by chief engineer AM Livshits), chief engineer KV Vlasov (appointed instead of Livshits) and chief designer A.A. Liphart A representative of the BTU engineer-captain Vasilevsky participated in all stages of the creation, with which all deviations from the TTT and their changes were directly coordinated and clarified.

From the serial T-70M developed T-90 differed only in the fighting compartment - the tower. A high degree of continuity with the base machine allowed in just two months to complete the project and make a tank in metal. In November, 1942, the machine entered the preliminary tests. Their program was coordinated with the senior military representative of GABTU KA at GAZ engineer-lieutenant colonel Okunev and provided for testing only the newly developed elements - the turret and armament, since the base tank T-70М was already tested before.

The main issues were: the ability to conduct aimed fire at air and ground targets, the reliability of automatic weapons operation in the entire range of firing angles, the effect of firing and marches on the stability of the alignment of target lines, the operation of guidance mechanisms and ease of maintenance.

Determination of the combat and operational characteristics of the new machine was carried out in the period from 12 to 18 in November 1942 in the daytime and at night on the grounds of the two divisions of the Red Army. It included: mileage (to assess the influence of movement factors on armaments) and shooting. Ground, masked and unmasked targets were shot precisely during the day. Night shooting with illuminated sight scales were performed on fires. Due to the absence of real target targets, anti-aircraft fires were carried out only in the evaluation mode of barrage fire without aim and only during the day. A total of about 800 shots were fired, half of which were ground targets. Around 70 fired at a continuous change in the angle of elevation of the machine gun. Of the total number of shots fired, about half were made in the mode of simultaneous firing from both machine guns, the rest were separated right and left with an equal number for each.

The mileage test was 55 kilometers over rough terrain weapons and the tower and another 400 kilometers with fixation on hiking stoppers.

The test results showed the correctness of the chosen technical solutions. Guidance in both planes did not cause difficulties and ensured the stated speeds of movement of the weapon when aiming, tracking the targets and transferring them. There were no complaints about the work of machine guns in all modes. The placement of the arrow was considered satisfactory. Due to the constructive primitiveness of the collimator sight, which does not have a lead-in mechanism, the aiming was carried out visually on the trail of tracer bullets. The lack of braking of the turning mechanism allowed the possibility of skipping when hovering and this issue required further work. Efforts on the flywheels of the lifting and turning mechanisms did not bore the gunner, but the pedal descents with cable wiring turned out to be hard and they were proposed to be kept as duplicates by introducing an electric release. Replacing the stores did not cause any difficulties, noted only the lack of protection of their necks from dust in the installation. Yes, even interfered with the installation of the radio station.

Other comments were presented by a number of minor, and, of course, resolved issues without difficulty.

GAZ management and representatives of the GABTU who participated in the tests concluded that it would be expedient to build an experimental T-90 batch of 20 pieces to carry out military tests and confirm the basic suitability of the vehicle for adoption by the Red Army. The results of the work carried out a report with his submission to the People's Commissar NKSP and the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense Fedorenko.

But, as mentioned earlier, by this time the machines of the N 37 NKTP plant had already been created and it became possible to carry out comparative tests, as later they began to call the interdepartmental tests of three samples. In December, 1942 were all presented to the customer, but only two tanks were allowed to be tested - the T-90 and T-70 "anti-aircraft". The second sample of the N 37 plant, the T-60 ".Zenithic", was not tested due to improper installation of an anti-aircraft collimator sight and inconvenient positioning of weapons in the turret.

According to the main tactical and technical characteristics, the two remaining machines differed slightly: T-90 had a larger ammunition load - 16 stores on 480 shots, against 12 stores on 360 shots from T-70 "anti-aircraft". The latter had slightly more than the maximum declination angle of the weapon - -7 °, but the T-90 has less height of the line of fire - 1605 mm versus 1642 mm for T-70 "anti-aircraft".

Their comparative tests were carried out in the period from 5 to 12 December 1942. This time the program provided 50-kilometer mileage, including 12 km with unlocked weapons and shooting in the amount of 1125 shots from both machine guns at various targets.

Test results: T-90 withstood them, demonstrating the full ability to conduct aimed fire at the ground and air enemy, while the T-70 "anti-aircraft" showed the impossibility of firing at the same targets due to insufficient balance of the swinging part of the weapon. The most significant for the T-90 was the proposal to work out an increase in the portable ammunition to 1000 shots. The main conclusion of the Commission for the comparative tests coincided with the results of the preliminary November - a tank, after the elimination of deficiencies (and they were not fundamentally important), can be recommended for adoption.

But the course and experience of the fighting of the Red Army, the stabilization of the industrial base for the production of armaments and the change of views on the type of armored vehicles required as a result of combat use, reasonably brought about a way out. Resolutions to discontinue production - first T-70 (T-70М) tanks, and then new T-80 tanks. It deprived

T-90 cloudless prospects for the provision of a chassis. The way out was the possibility of switching to the Su-76 chassis, but soon the TTT was changed to a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. Machine-gun armament in the composition, as provided for TTN 1942, was clearly not enough to justify the production of even such an inexpensive machine.

Design Description T-90

The main difference from the serial T-70M was only the new tower itself, the installation of weapons and the placement of ammunition in it. When designing, it was possible to install it on the T-80 chassis and with minor alterations (this was implemented during the overhaul) - on the T-60. Due to the chassis identity, this article omits the typical construction elements of the T-70M tank and for more informativeness, only the description of the new development - the actual T-90 combat compartment is given.

Due to the inability to use the standard tower from the T-70M, it had to be re-created using the existing experience and production base. Therefore, the design turned out to be quite similar - in the form of an octahedral truncated pyramid and was formed from sheets of rolled armor with a thickness equal to that applied on T-70М and joined by welding. Unlike the tank turret, where the angle of the sheets was 23 °, it was increased on the T-90. The roof was missing, which was caused by the need to provide free visual observation of aerial targets. To protect it from dust and weather, it was replaced by a folding canvas awning, which, however, as tests showed, did not fully cope with this task and required further work.

Machine guns were mounted on a machine without shock absorbers (a similar method of installing weapons was previously used on the T-40 tank) and defended by swinging L-shaped armor.

Aiming at the target was carried out with mechanical manual drives - the commander rotated the pointing flywheel in azimuth with his left hand, and the angle of rotation with his right hand.

Sights - separate. For shooting at air targets, the installation was completed with a K-8T collimator sight. Aiming at ground targets was carried out with a TMFP telescopic sight. For ease of use of the sights, the commander's seat (mounted on a rotating floor) was made quick-adjusting with the help of a pedal.

The control of the trigger mechanisms of machine guns is pedal, with the possibility of firing only the right machine gun or both at the same time.

The arming and reloading of the weapon was done manually and also in two ways: at elevation angles up to + 20 ° - with a special swing arm, at large angles - directly with a platoon of machine-gun arms.

Power weapons - shop, in accordance with the filed by the BTU for this machine guns. In this case, they were staffed with non-upgraded regular stores - on 30 cartridges (the capacity of the upgraded - 42 cartridge).

To collect the spent cartridges to the right of the commander, on the rotating floor of the fighting compartment there was a box-collection into which they were diverted with the help of cloth flexible sleeves of the sleeve catchers.

On the right, on the rotating floor, the transceiver station 9Р was also installed. Such an arrangement, when tested, was recognized unsuccessful - the portable radio hampered the commander and it was recommended to use other radio stations, such as RB or 12RP.

Internal communication between crew members - light-signaling - from the commander to the driver.

The fulfillment by one person (commander) of the functions of the loader, the gunner, the gunner, and the radio operator, naturally, overloaded him and reduced the effectiveness of combat work while increasing fatigue. This problem faced all the designers of light tanks with a crew of two people. And according to the results of preliminary tests, in its conclusion the Commission recommended the introduction of a third crew member (subject to transfer to the base with an extended tower shoulder strap of the T-80 tank, where it was implemented in practice).

In the same conclusion, it was recommended to switch to 14,5-mm machine guns to increase the capabilities of the struggle not only with the enemy air, but also with tanks. But such machine guns at that period existed only in prototypes, and even then not always suitable for installation in armored vehicles. An expedient design - the KPV machine gun appeared only in 1944, and to date has been successfully completing a number of portable and portable anti-aircraft systems and is the main weapon of almost all

in service with domestic wheeled armored vehicles of the main purpose. Thus, it can be considered a record holder of long-lived among the samples adopted during the Great Patriotic War.

Machine gun DShK for a long time was used for self-defense of most tanks and self-propelled artillery. In a portable version of an anti-aircraft machine, it proved to be an effective means of air defense in specific semi-partisan conditions of warfare in a number of military conflicts in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan.

Work carried out in parallel to create gun ZSU continued in the USSR until the end of the war and eventually led to the emergence of anti-aircraft self-propelled units ZU-37, created at the plant N 40 NKSM. Until May 1945, they were released 12 pieces - four installations in February, March and April. But at this stage, and they were experienced and were intended only for military trials in combat conditions.

Of the self-propelled anti-aircraft machine gun systems, the American M16 with four M12,7HB 2-mm machine guns on the chassis of the M3 semi-tracked armored vehicle received the greatest popularity during the Second World War.

Performance characteristics of the tank T-90

Combat weight - 9300 kg
Loading weight (no crew, fuel, ammunition and water) - 8640 kg
Full length 4285 mm
Full width - 2420 mm
Overall height - 1925 mm
Track - 2120 mm
Clearance - 300 mm
Ground pressure kg / sq. cm:
- without immersion - 0,63
- with immersion on 100 mm - 0,49

Maximum speeds on various gears:
- in first gear - 7 km / h
- in second gear - 15 km / h
- in third gear - 26 km / h
- in fourth gear - 45 km / h
- reverse - 5 km / h
Average speed:
- on the highway - 30 km / h
- by dirt road - 24 km / h
Angle of rise - 34 hail.
Maximum lateral roll - 35 hail.
Overcoming pit width - 1,8 m
Height of the overcome wall - 0,65 m
Wade depth - up to 0,9 m
Power density - 15,0 hp / t
Fuel tank capacity (2 tank but 220 l) - L 440
Power reserve (approximate):
- on the highway - 330 km
- by dirt road - 250 km

- two 12,7-mm machine-guns of SHDT in a twin installation
- one PPSh submachine gun with three magazines for 213 cartridges
- 12 hand grenades
Angle horizontal fire - 360 hail.
Declination angle - -6 degrees
Elevation angle - + 85 deg.
The ranges of the angles of the sights:
- K-8T - + 20-85 hail.
- TMFP - -6 + 25 grad.

Reservation of a riveted-welded hull and tower (booking thickness / angle of inclination):
- side sheets - 15 mm / 90 deg.
- Nasal top sheet - 35 mm / 60 deg.
- Nasal frontal sheet - 45 mm / 30 deg.
- aft bottom sheet - 25 mm / 45 deg.
- stern roof - 15 mm / 70 deg.
- housing roof - 10 mm / 0
- front part - 15 mm
- middle part - 10 mm
- aft - mm xnumx
- tower walls - 35 mm / 30 deg.
Power unit: - two six-cylinder carburetor engines connected in a single line by an elastic clutch - maximum power of each engine - 70 hp at 3400 rpm
Note: the project provided the ability to install and engines with a capacity of 85 l. with.

Electrical equipment:
- single wire
- voltage - 12 V
- one generator GT-500 with power 350 W
- two simultaneous start starters
- two 3-STE-112 rechargeable batteries

- double-clutch dry
- friction disc material - steel with riveted asbestos-bakelite linings
- side clutches - multidisk, dry with steel discs
- brakes - of belt type with copper-asbestos fabric of ferrodo type riveted on steel tape
- main gear - a pair of bevel gears - side gear - a pair of cylindrical gears

- Leading asterisks - front location
- the number of links in both tracks - 160 pcs.
- material of tracks - cast manganese steel
- the number of supporting rollers - 6 pcs.
- diameter and width of the roller - 250 x 126 mm
- suspension type of track rollers - independent torsion bar
- number of track rollers - 10 pcs.
- diameter and width of the support roller and the sloth - 515 x 130 mm
- design of the caterpillar tensioning mechanism - rotation of the sloth crank by a removable lever
- road wheels and sloths have rubber busbars
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

1 comment
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Kibb
    1 2012 June
    It's a shame that such a technique in our troops was only in the form of M17
    Late, little, and patency is not tank.
    This is not Wunderwaffe, but how much it affects the course of hostilities
    1. +6
      1 2012 June
      Will I really agree?

      Started: 1943
      Year of first prototype: 1944
      ZSU was built in series in 1945, but did not participate in hostilities
      1. Kibb
        1 2012 June
        If we add that before the end of the war only about 70 pieces were released, then the picture is very sad
  2. borisst64
    1 2012 June
    DShK is power, still in service!
  3. +3
    1 2012 June
    Yes, with our army’s anti-aircraft weapons, there was no one to defend them, but the T-34 with two cannons in a standard tower with a guidance horizon of 75-80 degrees would be nice.
    1. 0
      March 4 2013
      digging up
  4. Karmin
    1 2012 June
    In vain, of course, they did not launch the T-90 in a series. This ZSU is not super, but without it there were no mobile air defense at all and created all the conditions for the use of Ju.87G
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. The comment was deleted.
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. The comment was deleted.

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"