Unified platforms for armored vehicles. A modest present and a great future


Proposed BBM FCS project. In the center is the base chassis. US Department of Defense Slide


The unification of armored combat vehicles on the chassis and other components can significantly simplify and reduce the cost of operation, and also ensures the growth of basic technical characteristics. The highest results of this kind can be obtained when developing unified families on a common basis. However, so far such ideas have received only limited distribution and are far from always fully realized.

Combat vehicle complex


The idea of ​​BBM families based on common components appeared long ago and developed over a long time. For example, in the Russian Bulletin of Armored Vehicles in 1991, the concept of a “front-line combat vehicle complex” (KBMPK) was described. She proposed the construction of five armored vehicles with a common chassis and different functions.

KBMPK included a tank with all the characteristic features and capabilities, a heavy and well-protected infantry fighting vehicle, a fire support vehicle, a self-propelled anti-aircraft defense complex, as well as a reconnaissance and control vehicle. They should be based on common components and have similar mobility and protection characteristics that ensure efficient work at the forefront.

Also, at different times and in different countries, other KBMPC options or similar concepts were proposed. All such projects had a common feature: it was proposed to build the equipment on a common base chassis, which initially takes into account the requirements for specialized samples.


Experienced self-propelled gun XM1203. Photo US Army

However, the implementation of such ideas in practice proved to be quite complicated. Even now in operation and at the development stage, there are only a few such families of technology. However, not all of them provide for the construction of a full range of BBM of the main classes. First of all, this is due to the technical complexity and high cost of such projects. In addition, you need to remember the requirements and needs of the armies.

American attempt


The idea of ​​a complex of unified BMPKs has been worked out in the USA for several decades. In the XNUMXs, it was implemented as part of the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Part of the latter was the Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV) project, during which a whole family of armored vehicles for various purposes was created.

The MGV was based on a universal tracked chassis. Due to the specifics of the application, it had a front-engine layout, which allowed freeing up volumes in the center and rear of the hull. It was proposed to use the available free compartments for the placement of weapons, landing, special equipment, etc.

On such a chassis, it was proposed to build nine different combat and auxiliary armored vehicles. The XM1201 project included the construction of a combat reconnaissance vehicle with advanced surveillance tools and a small-caliber gun. Product XM1202 was to become a new version of the main tank. On the chassis built self-propelled guns XM1203 with a gun caliber 155 mm. There was also a project for the XM1204 self-propelled mortar. The simplest component of the KBMPK FCS / MGV was to be the XM1206 armored personnel carrier. On the same chassis, it was planned to build the command post vehicle XM1209, repair and recovery XM1206, as well as sanitary XM1207 and XM1208.


MBT T-14 on the Armata platform. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The most successful in practical terms was the project of self-propelled guns XM1203. During the FCS program, eight prototypes of this type were used, which were used in the tests. Other BBM families did not leave the testing stage of individual units.

Despite the obvious positive qualities, the FCS program was criticized. The reason for this was the complexity and excessive technical courage, as well as the associated high cost. In 2009, after much debate, the program was closed. Subsequently, another attempt was made to create a new BBM family for the US Army, but it also failed. As a result, the US military still has to use a large fleet of vehicles of different ages and with limited unification between samples of different classes.

Russian successes


The concept of KBMPK has been studied in our country for quite a long time and by now it has even reached practical implementation. Moreover, several unified platforms for various purposes with different characteristics were created at once. At the same time, the Armata platform is the most versatile, allowing you to build a wide range of armored vehicles, from tanks to auxiliary vehicles.

The development of “Almaty” began at the turn of the last decades and was carried out by the forces of NPK Uralvagonzavod. The aim of the project was to create a unified platform of a heavy class, suitable for use as a basis for a tank, self-propelled guns, heavy infantry fighting vehicles, etc. By the middle of the decade, the first samples of new equipment were built, and on May 9, 2015, their first public demonstration took place.


One of the options TBMP T-15 "Armata". Wikimedia Commons Photos

The platform is made in the form of a caterpillar chassis of a classic tank layout with an engine capacity of 1500 hp. The power plant and chassis use some new components. An interesting feature of the project is the possibility of "reversal" of the chassis. So, the T-14 tank, the T-16 BREM and other samples are built on the chassis in its original form, and the T-15 TBMP uses an “inverted” platform with a front-mounted power unit.

To date, the main tank T-14, TBMP T-15 (in several configurations), BREM T-16 and ACS 2C35 “Coalition-SV” have been developed, built and tested on the Armata platform. The appearance of a fire support combat vehicle, a heavy flamethrower system, engineering equipment, etc. is expected. In the future, the Armata platform should become the basis for the armored forces, which makes special demands on the composition of the family at its base.

To date, the main work on some versions of "Almaty" has been completed. In mid-2018, the first contract for the supply of T-14 and BMP T-15 tanks appeared. In the near future, new models are expected to appear on a unified platform - later they will also go into series.

Transition link


Also in the world, other KBMPKs are being developed on a unified basis, but these projects may be of less interest. Due to various restrictions, these projects provide for a reduced family composition, not including samples of some basic classes.


BRM family Ajax. UK Defense Photo

For example, General Dynamics, in the interests of the British Army, is developing the Ajax family of armored vehicles. It is proposed to build an armored personnel carrier and infantry fighting vehicles, BRM, KShM, BREM and other models on a universal tracked chassis. At the same time, restrictions on dimensions and weight did not allow introducing large-caliber carriers into the family weapons - MBT or self-propelled guns. The most powerful weapons of the Ajax are small-caliber guns and guided missiles.

It should be noted that this approach to creating the Ajax family is mainly related to customer requirements. The British army wants to radically renew the fleet of light and medium armored infantry fighting vehicles, but so far does not plan such a modernization of tank units. Existing MBT Challenger 2 will remain in operation, although they will undergo modernization, and other equipment will be replaced.

Of particular interest in the context of the KBMPC is the Israeli Carmel program, which currently involves all the country's major defense enterprises. The goal of this program is to create promising BBMs of different classes with a number of fundamentally new features. The issues of automation of the main processes, reducing the load on the crew while reducing it, the introduction of unmanned systems, etc.

At the moment, several prototypes of different shapes have been built and are being tested under the Carmel program. In the future, full-fledged armored vehicles should appear on new platforms with all promising instruments and capabilities.

Unified platforms for armored vehicles. A modest present and a great future
A possible version of the future BBM Carmel. Drawing Army.fresh.co.il

As part of the Carmel project, BRM and BMP are being created on the basis of a unified chassis. Heavier vehicles will probably not go into this line. While the niche of the MBT is closed by the Merkava family of vehicles, and its timely modernization allows us to continue the service. With a view to the distant future, another tank project is being developed.

Benefits and Challenges


It is easy to notice that the idea of ​​families of armored combat vehicles on a common basis in the form of a unified chassis is quite popular, but not all such proposals reach practical implementation. Such results are directly related to several factors of various kinds.

First of all, the wishes and requirements of the customer affect the prospects of the idea of ​​KBMPK. Not all armies now see the need for the creation and putting into service of entire BBM families. Among other things, the customer’s opinion can be determined by the complexity and high cost of developing and manufacturing such equipment. However, even having an order does not guarantee a positive outcome. A vivid example of this is the American FCS program - it was launched, brought to the test of experimental equipment, but was eventually closed.

However, the failure of some projects does not cancel the development of others, which also show the desired results. Obviously, leading countries will continue to develop unified platforms, and over time, samples of this kind will take their place in the army. The first such examples are expected in the near future.
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  1. Vladimir_2U 26 December 2019 18: 18 New
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    All the same, the seven-wheeled chassis for a heavy BMP is too much, and for self-propelled guns too.
    1. Elturisto 26 December 2019 18: 46 New
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      These are most likely Potemkin villages. Nothing is heard about the engine and transmission.
    2. ProkletyiPirat 26 December 2019 18: 49 New
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      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      All the same, the seven-wheeled chassis for a heavy BMP is too much, and for self-propelled guns too.

      In fact, this is a complete nonsense and an old mistake of engineers, because the more supports the better, when the supports are more each support can be made softer at the maximum clearance, due to which the suspension will work out the terrain better, and this improves cross-country ability (better dynamic mass distribution) and improves firing accuracy on the go (less body vibrations).
      1. Vladimir_2U 27 December 2019 03: 46 New
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        Quote: ProkletyiPirat
        In fact, this is complete nonsense and an old mistake of engineers, because the more supports the better
        Oh, and the engineers do not even know! Mstu with the Coalition on the six-wheeled chassis is deployed, here are the fools! Okay TBMP, or BMP-T, there is a lot of mass associated with powerful armoring, but the 48-ton Coalition of six ice rinks somehow suffices.
    3. 30hgsa 26 December 2019 18: 59 New
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      Someone's bust? The tank’s reserved volume is less and accordingly the weight will always be less than that of a similarly protected BMP, and if the tank needs seven rollers, with its scanty reserved volumes, then the BMP will definitely be needed. For reference, even the BMP-1 has a longer body than the T-72 :)) For self-propelled guns, the longer the base, the better the longitudinal vibrations are damped.
      1. Vladimir_2U 27 December 2019 03: 33 New
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        Quote: 30hgsa
        The tank’s reserved volume is less and accordingly the mass will always be less than that of a similarly protected BMP
        Only in the case of equivalent weapons, even 125 mm with ammunition cover that in volume, that in weight and at least 100 mm of medium, or even high ballistics, like a bull sheep. And on the Armata infantry fighting vehicle, the “remote” modules are at most 57 mm, as far as I know. But the volume due to the height is certainly larger. So the mass is about the same, according to open sources. And if you throw off the infernal beak, then you can definitely save a couple of tons.
        "For reference, even the BMP-1 has a longer body" Maybe because the BMP-1 floating created, not?
      2. Vladimir_2U 27 December 2019 03: 51 New
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        Quote: 30hgsa
        For self-propelled guns, the longer the base, the better the longitudinal vibrations are damped.

        It is possible to ensure a long base due to the longitudinal spacing of the rollers, this is clearly visible on the Acacia, and the front rollers are scattered along the length on the Coalition, because the self-propelled guns have powerful armor for the forehead and it’s unnecessary to press the rollers.
        1. Saxahorse 28 December 2019 19: 49 New
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          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          A long base can also be provided due to the longitudinal separation of the rollers

          Maybe you can, why? The problem is not the number of rollers but the total length of the track. After all, the harp does not bend in half, the length sharply worsens understeer and reduces reliability.
          1. Vladimir_2U 29 December 2019 03: 03 New
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            Who knows why? Engineers always toss themselves with some garbage, maybe to reduce weight, maybe to save money, a secret. )))
  2. Doctor 26 December 2019 18: 54 New
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    This concept is as old as armored vehicles in general. Of course, it’s tempting to put one engine on everything from the tank to the BRDM. But this is irrational. On the contrary, any war shows that the standard armor is not ready for new threats. There is a surge in design thought, the number of models is growing by leaps and bounds, unification between them is often minimal, in one battle niche there are 2-3 models. In conditions of war, the factor of cheapness and manufacturability is constantly prevailing over all this.
    1. 30hgsa 26 December 2019 19: 05 New
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      Yeah - yeah. That is why all countries in all wars throughout the war used basically one chassis, only modifying it. The USSR had the T-34 base as the most massive base for tanks and self-propelled guns throughout the war. And increased the reservation at the same base. The Fritz - Pzkfw-4 became a mass base for everything and his armor was increased from 30 mm to 80 mm. The mattresses have all of their tanks in bulk and priests with vulverines - based on the M3 / M4. So it’s precisely the wars that show that during the war the change of base is unpromising, and an increase in the number of models of armored vehicles (such as the Fritz switched to panthers and tigers, or rather tried) leads to a decrease in production volumes and, as a consequence, a drop in the number of equipment in the troops, and the new models themselves to bring to mind ten years have.

      So the idea of ​​creating a single base is just from the war. When the base of the T-34 is both a tank (T-34) and self-propelled guns (Su-122) and PTSAU (Su-85), they even intended to put the anti-aircraft guns in front of the war (37 mm). And all sorts of new models such as T-34M, T-43, T-44 - remain on the sidelines.
      1. Doctor 26 December 2019 21: 32 New
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        The Fritz - Pzkfw-4 became a mass base for everything and his armor was increased from 30 mm to 80 mm .... When the T-34 base is both a tank (T-34) and self-propelled guns (Su-122) and PTSAU ( Su-85) and even the anti-aircraft guns were going to put the truth before the war (37 mm).


        Strengthening of old models had technological limits, otherwise the Tigers and Ferdinand would not have appeared. Tank destroyers based on a tank are precisely a factor of manufacturability and low cost (abandonment of a tower), while increasing firepower. It would be something like T-55 in the series, PTSAU would not be needed.
        Therefore, now you need to be able to look into the future. Will the tank stay or not? If the BMP in its capabilities is already like a tank. SPGs tracked or wheeled? What to carry l / s, armored truck or armored personnel carrier with a 57 mm gun. Here are the questions.
      2. DWG1905 26 December 2019 22: 10 New
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        The T-34M remained on the sidelines because it did not have time, the latest drawings were developed in July 1941, but were never approved. The principal difference from the T-34 is the torsion bar suspension. A more rational case with flat sides, an expanded shoulder strap of the tower. If he had been a base for another six months. But the T-43 did not go because there was no special increase in performance characteristics, and the restructuring of production would cause a failure in the volume of the series. But a tower with an 85 mm cannon completely pumped itself from the T-43 to the T-34-85.
      3. Saxahorse 26 December 2019 23: 01 New
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        Quote: 30hgsa
        The USSR had the T-34 base as the most massive base for tanks and self-propelled guns throughout the war. And increased the reservation at the same base.

        A good example, along with the disadvantages of unification. It is well known that the SAU-100, for example, based on the T-34, was cramped, poorly balanced, with poor UGN and had a bunch of problems due to a serious overweight on the front. For example, half the resource of the front rollers and the tendency to cling to any tree with a gun. But it had common units with the tank, which greatly simplified the launch of production.

        The solution is good as a temporary one, in wartime it will go, but in peacetime there are no reasons to put up with the disadvantages of unification, there is time to launch more specialized models.
        1. Vladimir_2U 27 December 2019 05: 11 New
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          Quote: Saxahorse
          A good example, along with the disadvantages of unification. It is well known that the SAU-100, for example, based on the T-34, was cramped, poorly balanced
          Here the unification is too close, it’s not even a unification, but a modification! An example of unification is the Su-101, and armor and weight distribution, everything is in order, with the same suspension, engine and more.
        2. demiurg 27 December 2019 16: 40 New
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          Oh how. SU-100 unsuccessful tank destroyer. Tell the Czechs and the Jews.
          Of all the variety of cars of the Second World War, only the Hatzer and SU-100 survived to 70 years.
  3. Doliva63 26 December 2019 20: 27 New
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    Unification is good, but within reasonable limits. In my opinion, in the current reality, the unification of the tank and infantry fighting vehicles is complete nonsense. In the future, when the line between them will be forced to blur, it is possible, but far from that. I remember how the UVZ “shoved through” a really unnecessary Terminator, and here on the site the near-war people supported it hotly. Where is that Terminator? There will also be "platforms". UVZ cuts money as it can. Business, as they say, is nothing personal.
    1. ProkletyiPirat 26 December 2019 22: 42 New
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      Quote: Doliva63
      Unification is good, but within reasonable limits. In my opinion, in the current reality, the unification of the tank and infantry fighting vehicles is complete nonsense.

      I think it's not nonsense, just create a platform и call platform these are two big differences.
      Now how are they doing? take tankThe (large) engine and transmission are assembled into a single unit and called it "platform" and shove forward into MBT \ BMP \ BTR \ MRAP \ ..., and then when the hemorrhoids begin they go into the bushes.
      So the platform will not work, behind all really existing platforms there are mountains of analytics where not only "what? And why?" but "why so, and not like that" and you can’t hide all this analytics under the heading "secretly", and since you and I don’t see all these mountains, then there are none, and if there is no analytics, you get garbage in lean oil .
    2. Per se. 27 December 2019 07: 53 New
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      Quote: Doliva63
      In my opinion, in the current reality, the unification of the tank and infantry fighting vehicles is complete nonsense.
      I would here, Valentine, supplemented. In my opinion, complete nonsense, this is a heavy BMP. Let me explain why I think so. First, one cannot add anything to the detriment of one another. If a heavy armored personnel carrier has a transport function with increased infantry protection, a tower with additional weapons in an infantry fighting vehicle will inevitably require an increase in volume, weight, cost, or other sacrifice for such additional universalization. Secondly, even the heaviest infantry fighting vehicle, with infantry inside, will be a potential "mass grave" if it gets near tanks, its defeat is the risk of losing the entire landing. Without an amphibious assault that was already dismounted, a heavy infantry fighting vehicle as a specialized fire support vehicle would be weaker than an infantry fighting vehicle.

      So, it turns out that a heavy BMP will be worse than a heavy armored personnel carrier in transport specialization, and worse than a BMP in fire support. Why then is it needed? Only as a "police tank" against partisans and terrorists, and even then, how to look. Now, if you look at the topic differently, speaking of a single tank base, the operation of vehicles in one bundle. Here it is possible to single out heavy armored personnel carriers for assault groups and BMPTs to support their tanks. This will be the tandem scheme of the “heavy infantry fighting vehicle”, where the BMPT will have specialized fire support, which will be able to work near or even in front of its tanks, if necessary, in various types of combat, and heavy armored personnel carriers to follow. Here, a decrease in the number of paratroopers in a heavy armored personnel carrier will be a plus, which will make it possible to increase the comfort of deployment without increasing the volume, to maintain or increase armor protection, and to reduce the loss of landing when an armored personnel carrier is hit by infantry. With a smaller number of troops per heavy APC, naturally, more vehicles will be needed, but, I emphasize, here we are talking about the assault group, designed to work in conjunction with tanks. This does not negate the concept of a classic wheeled or tracked APC for transporting infantry and infantry fighting vehicles as a maneuverable and versatile vehicle.

      Speaking about platforms, I agree that creating a “platform” on an expensive and complex base is not just “cutting money,” it’s an adventure and sabotage. A platform can only be a well-proven base, already mastered by industry, technologically advanced and relatively cheap, but not the base of an expensive and complex tank that has not even passed the full test cycle, has not been adopted. How can development be developed on such a basis? It turns out you can. According to V.V. Putin, they spent 64 billion only on research and development and experimental development ala platforms from Armat, not counting the crude parade series for a show on Red Square. For comparison, 195 (T-95) were spared 700 million to fine-tune the almost finished object, and we would have had the best tank in the world (according to Colonel General Mayev), ten years ago. Such things are in the current bourgeoisie.
      1. Doliva63 29 December 2019 18: 45 New
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        Quote: Per se.
        Quote: Doliva63
        In my opinion, in the current reality, the unification of the tank and infantry fighting vehicles is complete nonsense.
        I would here, Valentine, supplemented. In my opinion, complete nonsense, this is a heavy BMP. Let me explain why I think so. First, one cannot add anything to the detriment of one another. If a heavy armored personnel carrier has a transport function with increased infantry protection, a tower with additional weapons in an infantry fighting vehicle will inevitably require an increase in volume, weight, cost, or other sacrifice for such additional universalization. Secondly, even the heaviest infantry fighting vehicle, with infantry inside, will be a potential "mass grave" if it gets near tanks, its defeat is the risk of losing the entire landing. Without an amphibious assault that was already dismounted, a heavy infantry fighting vehicle as a specialized fire support vehicle would be weaker than an infantry fighting vehicle.

        So, it turns out that a heavy BMP will be worse than a heavy armored personnel carrier in transport specialization, and worse than a BMP in fire support. Why then is it needed? Only as a "police tank" against partisans and terrorists, and even then, how to look. Now, if you look at the topic differently, speaking of a single tank base, the operation of vehicles in one bundle. Here it is possible to single out heavy armored personnel carriers for assault groups and BMPTs to support their tanks. This will be the tandem scheme of the “heavy infantry fighting vehicle”, where the BMPT will have specialized fire support, which will be able to work near or even in front of its tanks, if necessary, in various types of combat, and heavy armored personnel carriers to follow. Here, a decrease in the number of paratroopers in a heavy armored personnel carrier will be a plus, which will make it possible to increase the comfort of deployment without increasing the volume, to maintain or increase armor protection, and to reduce the loss of landing when an armored personnel carrier is hit by infantry. With a smaller number of troops per heavy APC, naturally, more vehicles will be needed, but, I emphasize, here we are talking about the assault group, designed to work in conjunction with tanks. This does not negate the concept of a classic wheeled or tracked APC for transporting infantry and infantry fighting vehicles as a maneuverable and versatile vehicle.

        Speaking about platforms, I agree that creating a “platform” on an expensive and complex base is not just “cutting money,” it’s an adventure and sabotage. A platform can only be a well-proven base, already mastered by industry, technologically advanced and relatively cheap, but not the base of an expensive and complex tank that has not even passed the full test cycle, has not been adopted. How can development be developed on such a basis? It turns out you can. According to V.V. Putin, they spent 64 billion only on research and development and experimental development ala platforms from Armat, not counting the crude parade series for a show on Red Square. For comparison, 195 (T-95) were spared 700 million to fine-tune the almost finished object, and we would have had the best tank in the world (according to Colonel General Mayev), ten years ago. Such things are in the current bourgeoisie.

        I agree with you drinks
  4. 75 Sergey 26 December 2019 22: 00 New
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    Some kind of nonsense, not even NATO does everything, but how can you hide a horse and a trembling doe in a cart?
    Communication systems - yes, fire control systems - maybe, but the hardware is completely different
    Hull - completely different for BMP and tank
    The engine - completely different power indicators and displacement, although if the typesetting is not divided, there are two to 12 cylinders differing only in the number of cylinders, but even the cooling pump must be different on them
    Transmission - gear ratios and dimensions only based on the power of the engine, weight and tasks performed, even when using hydrostatic or electric.
    1. lucul 26 December 2019 22: 19 New
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      Some kind of nonsense, not even NATO does everything, but how can you hide a horse and a trembling doe in a cart?

      Yes, all to the fact that all this can be collected at one factory. And without unification, 2 plants will be needed, one under the tank, the other under the BMP.
      1. Saxahorse 26 December 2019 23: 07 New
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        Quote: lucul
        And without unification, 2 plants will be needed, one under the tank, the other under the BMP

        Of course, two. And that is a plus. Because universal equipment costs several times more than a specialized line.
      2. 75 Sergey 26 December 2019 23: 25 New
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        But the performance of the equipment is finite, here either - or.
        Yes, and one plant, in principle, is easier to disable than several.
        It is interesting how many factories remain in Russia, and this is the first factor in the war of attrition, many industrial plants have been destroyed and continue to be destroyed, and in terms of mobilization everything is terribly bad.
  5. Saxahorse 26 December 2019 23: 13 New
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    The article is curious, thanks to the author for an interesting topic!

    Unification has both pros and cons. The reduction in the total cost of operation is understandable, but excessive unification always leads to a noticeable decrease in product parameters. From a BMP does not work out a good tank and vice versa. Above, I gave an example of the T-34-85 and SU-100 based on it. Good tank and frank ersatz self-propelled guns.

    In fact, you probably need to look for a balance, use common aggregates wherever possible, but not to allow a decrease in performance characteristics for the sake of unification. Unification is not an end in itself.
    1. Vladimir_2U 27 December 2019 05: 13 New
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      Quote: Saxahorse
      In fact, you probably need to look for a balance, use common aggregates wherever possible
      This is unification.
      Quote: Saxahorse
      excessive unification
      And this is excessiveness, it means extreme, but you should not go to extremes, I agree with you.
  6. Graz 27 December 2019 02: 26 New
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    The unification of armored combat vehicles on the chassis and other components can significantly simplify and reduce the cost of operation
    ______________________
    yes cheaper. but this absolutely does not mean that it’s better on x-cams. rather, on the contrary, a specialized car is always better than a universal chassis.
    and so it is necessary to look at the priorities of what is needed more at the moment and in the near future. Well, for money, sometimes it’s better to build 2 medium quality samples for the same money than one that exceeds each of the average separately, but loses the total power of 2