Military Review

Soviet "Armata" from the 1970s. Project T-74

45

Render tank T-74 (“Object 450”), source: ussrbase.narod.ru


The famous Soviet tank designer Alexander Morozov, one of the creators of the T-34 medium tank, back in the 1970s, proposed his own project of the main battle tank, which was to surpass the T-64 tank in all its characteristics. Already in those years, the design engineer proposed to equip the future tank with an uninhabited tower and in one of the options considered the possibility of reducing the crew to two people. IN history his project entered as a T-74 tank, or "Object 450". Adjusted for the time and possibilities of industry in the early 1970s, this tank can be safely called the “Armata” of its time.

How Alexander Morozov abandoned the classic layout


The promising main battle tank (MBT) T-74 was designed in Kharkov at the famous Malyshev factory on an initiative basis. The chief designer of the tank was the famous engineer Alexander Aleksandrovich Morozov, who since November 1951 was the chief designer of the Kharkov Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering. It was under his leadership in Kharkov that the T-64 and T-64A were created. Developed in the 1970s, the T-74 was to surpass the main battle tank T-64A in all respects. The chief designer Alexander Morozov made a report on the draft of the new MBT, which initially had the internal designation “Theme 101”, on May 26, 1972. Later, a new project of the Kharkov designer by the Main Armored Directorate (GBTU) was assigned the official index "Object 450".

The main goal of the work of Morozov and his design bureau was to create a tank that in all respects would surpass the machines of the previous generation. It was about improving not only the combat characteristics, but also the production and operational qualities of the new tank compared to the MBT T-64A, as well as foreign models of armored vehicles "XM-803" and "Keiler". XM-803 - an experienced American main battle tank with a 152-mm cannon, developed in the early 1970s; “Keiler” is the German program for creating the main battle tank of the late 1960s, which eventually led to the appearance of the “Leopard 2”.

Soviet "Armata" from the 1970s. Project T-74

Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov

Alexander Morozov imagined the ideology of promising MBT in the following solutions:
- maintaining the weight and dimensions of the MBT at the level of the T-64A2M tank (not heavier than 40 tons);
- improving the working conditions of the tank crew (habitability);
- ensuring high protective properties of the tank;
- duplication of work of crew members so that everyone can replace the other;
- more dense layout;
- increase the combat readiness of the tank in any conditions (storage of ammunition, engine start, battery operation);
- ensuring autonomy during long marches in any climatic conditions, as well as in battle.

Taking into account the ideology set forth and using all the positive experience of tank building that has already been accumulated in the Soviet Union, Morozov proposed creating a fundamentally new combat vehicle. The engineer’s analysis of the work of his colleagues from leading design bureaus specializing in creating tanks, as well as all available information on foreign developments of MBT of those years, showed that while maintaining the classic layout, further improvement of the tactical and technical qualities of the tank is not possible without a significant increase in combat weight and dimensions of MBT, as well as rising costs for the production and operation of the machine. All of the above was disproportionate to the growth of the tactical and technical characteristics of the tank. As an example, Alexander Morozov cited the projects of tanks MBT-70, Keiler, as well as Chieftain, whose combat weight already exceeded 50 tons. Despite the increase in mass and dimensions, the performance characteristics of these combat vehicles increased very moderately. At the same time, there was an increase in the cost and complexity of mass production, as well as the operation of a combat vehicle, problems could arise with the deployment of mass production itself.


Render of the T-74 tank (“Object 450”), source: ussrbase.narod.ru

Together, all this made Morozov abandon the design of the next tank of the classical design. For a new combat vehicle, it was also necessary to search for a new combat configuration, which would not only increase all the tactical and technical characteristics, but would also allow the tank to be kept within the weight and dimensions of the already existing Soviet MBTs.

The alleged design of the T-74


The main drawbacks of the tanks of the classic layout Morozov attributed to the cramped combat compartment, which reminded him of a one-room apartment or the simplest soldier's duffel bag. In this limited space, the crew of the combat vehicle was clamped on all sides by weapons, ammunition, various equipment and parts, wires, and also tanks with fuel. Some of the parts and mechanisms "in transit" passed through the fighting compartment into the engine-transmission. Such an environment was traumatic for the crew and on the march, when everything came into motion and swayed, in battle the risk of fire and explosion hazard increased. In aggregate, noise, smoke, and crowding inside the fighting compartment reduced habitability indicators, which directly affected the crew and the conditions of its combat work.

In the new project of the T-74 tank, the layout was fundamentally different. It was the fighting compartment that underwent a radical change to Morozov. If all classic tanks were, in fact, a combination of a combat and engine-transmission compartment, then Alexander Morozov proposed a design of five airtight and isolated compartments from each other: crew compartment, MTO, ammunition compartment, fuel and weapons. Such a layout, according to the designer, allowed to improve the working conditions of the crew, as well as its protection. At the same time, it was assumed that the increased ammunition and fuel volume would also increase. These improvements were achieved by reducing the frontal silhouette of the tank by 5 percent, and the internal volume by 7,5 percent compared to the T-64A.


Model of the T-74 tank, source: btvt.narod.ru

The gun, ammunition and main components of the tank were completely removed from the fighting compartment, while the crew was located in the body of the combat vehicle. The crew compartment was completely airtight and soundproofed. Removing the main armament into an uninhabited module automatically solved the problem of gas contamination of the fighting compartment. The frontal reservation was more than impressive: 700 mm of armor installed at an angle of 75 degrees. It was believed that this would be enough to protect against ammunition of all calibers and all types. It was also possible to additionally install dynamic protection on the tank, and it was planned to put a mesh screen on the stern, which increases protection against cumulative ammunition. In sum, this could allow us to abandon the use of very complex Shater and Porcupine defense systems on the tank.

The crew of the tank consisted of three people: the driver, the weapons operator and the tank commander. All of them sat in a row shoulder to shoulder in an isolated compartment and were free to talk and communicate with each other. The design of the T-74 tank was supposed to work out the duplication of functions of crew members so that they could replace each other if necessary. Also, designers in Kharkov worked out the option of reducing the crew to only two people. This decision was promising in terms of saving personnel. A regiment of approximately 100 tanks would then require not 300 crew members, but only 200 tankers.

The chassis of the promising tank was completely unified with the chassis of the MBT T-64A, consisting of 6 road wheels, the suspension is torsion bar. This decision was aimed at unifying and simplifying the serial production of the future tank. Designers from Kharkov considered a new gas turbine engine developing a power of up to 1250 hp as a power plant. At the same time, the engine and transmission compartment was also planned to be implemented with the wide use of components and assemblies of the T-64A serial tank, but its volume should be reduced by about 1/5. All this looked good on paper, in fact, the designer did not have a perfect 1000-horsepower engine, which hindered the work on the project.


Model of the T-74 tank, source: btvt.narod.ru

But the main element and the Achilles heel of the tank was a separate uninhabited combat module. On tanks, such a solution was planned to be applied for the first time. A 125-mm smoothbore gun was considered as the main weapon, but the option of installing a promising 130-mm gun was also discussed. The gun was supposed to work together with the loading mechanism, which was also borrowed from the T-64A, ammunition - up to 45 shells. In addition, it was planned to install two 7,62-mm machine guns in an uninhabited tower, and a variant was also worked out with the placement of a 30-mm automatic gun, which was planned to be used as an anti-aircraft gun.

The decision to install an uninhabited tower on the tank required serious coordination of work and the use of advanced optics, a fire control system, on-board equipment, sensors, and electronics. For the 1970s, this was a daunting task. And the set of equipment proposed for installation was impressive: from laser rangefinders and sensors of a laser irradiation warning system to infrared observation devices, a navigation system (a complex of inertial numbering of coordinates) and an on-board information system that would work on the basis of an on-board digital computer manufactured by the Scientific Research Institute Argon ".

The fate of the "Object 450"


We can say that the T-74 project was the last major project of the famous Soviet designer, his swan song. This project was never implemented in metal.

For its time, a tank with an uninhabited tower was too complex, breakthrough, but expensive, it was not possible to realize it with the help of the capabilities of Soviet industry in the 1970s. However, many experts believe that the "Object 450" was the first project with which the history of the creation of a promising Soviet tank began.


Model of the T-74 tank, source: btvt.narod.ru

Despite the fact that the concept of the main battle tank T-74 proposed by Morozov at the time of his presentation combined the most advanced and promising ideas in tank building, it was not possible to put them into practice, and largely because of the futuristic nature of the project. Those technical solutions that were supposed to provide the new main battle tank with an advantage in all basic characteristics over the previous generation combat vehicles did not allow to establish mass mass production and put the tank into service.

In the mid-1970s, many elements of the fire control system of the proposed tank, as well as avionics, could not be implemented by the Soviet industry with a given level of reliability and with the required set of characteristics. In this case, the project "Object 450", of course, is interesting and significant and serves as the first step to the tanks of the new generation. The reserve created by Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov was subsequently used in the development of promising Soviet and then Russian main battle tanks.
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  1. kind
    kind 26 March 2020 18: 09 New
    +2
    Beautiful tank! Although I’m not a tanker, but a 152-mm gun - generally FIRE !!! The idea is not lost!
    1. Insurgent
      Insurgent 26 March 2020 18: 13 New
      +2
      Quote: Good
      152-mm gun - generally FIRE !!!


      As the main weapon was considered 125 mm smoothbore gunBut option was also discussed installation promising 130 mm guns.
    2. Uncle Izya
      Uncle Izya 26 March 2020 19: 17 New
      +1
      What's so beautiful one of the options, armata looks cooler
      1. Kostyar
        Kostyar 26 March 2020 22: 06 New
        +3
        What's so beautiful one of the options, armata looks cooler

        Imagine, critic, the TAZ 2101 only entered the series, with Fiat components, but here such beauty!
        1. grandson of Perun
          grandson of Perun 26 March 2020 22: 33 New
          +2
          Quote: Bone
          TAZ 2101 only entered the series

          Such a car has never existed in nature.
          And the tank was really designed pretty.
          1. Kostyar
            Kostyar 26 March 2020 23: 21 New
            +1
            Oh well....
            Direct seriousness itself ....
            Lada, which VAZ meant ....
            1. cost
              cost 27 March 2020 02: 20 New
              +5
              Dear Sergey, let me supplement your article with a few more illustrations of “Object 450”




              1. Zhan
                Zhan 27 March 2020 11: 00 New
                +1
                Dear Sergey, let me supplement your article with a few more illustrations of “Object 450”

                The last cut is interesting. Front armor plate, what is the space in front of the crew compartment?
                1. cost
                  cost 27 March 2020 11: 07 New
                  0
                  According to the plan of Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov, this is fuel
                  1. Zhan
                    Zhan 27 March 2020 11: 13 New
                    +2
                    Quote: Rich
                    According to the plan of Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov, this is fuel

                    Hmmmm ..... what what what Questions have been added ... smile Please throw me a link to the publication .... smile
                    1. cost
                      cost 27 March 2020 11: 21 New
                      -1
                      https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Т-74
                      https://topwar.ru/18837-obekt-450-tankovaya-revolyuciya-iz-harkova.html
                      https://pikabu.ru/story/proekt_tanka_t74_obekt_450_tankovaya_revolyutsiya_iz_kharkova_5120485
                      https://yandex.ru/video/preview/?filmId=7523382489371855718&parent-reqid=1585296938604807-1616477058365888818100180-vla1-2432&path=wizard&text=танк+Объект+450
                      https://andrei-bt.livejournal.com/195981.html
                      1. Zhan
                        Zhan 27 March 2020 11: 39 New
                        +3
                        hi Thanks ... really very interesting solutions. The car is very interesting. And with modern materials and active protection complexes, it will not cause problems to secure fuel tanks with a front location. So these are the roots of the T-14 ... smile
            2. grandson of Perun
              grandson of Perun 28 March 2020 08: 11 New
              0
              Quote: Bone
              Direct seriousness itself ....

              Actually, only slightly less serious than calling Russia a "rashka".
              All this is intrusively implemented by the same people with the same goals.
        2. Uncle Izya
          Uncle Izya 27 March 2020 07: 36 New
          0
          Armata is the final version so you can change it to infinity
    3. Zhan
      Zhan 27 March 2020 10: 53 New
      0
      Quote: Good
      Beautiful tank! Although I’m not a tanker, but a 152-mm gun - generally FIRE !!! The idea is not lost!

      Yes, the car is very interesting. But it seemed to me that the ammunition layout was not entirely rational. There, the feed conveyor behind the armored partition, the gun is located directly above the operator as a gunner. But how was it supposed to reload in combat conditions?
      After firing each time, put the gun in the loading position? And how did the feed machine work?
      The speed of selection and supply of the necessary ammunition BPS, RP, BC?
    4. Klingon
      Klingon 19 June 2020 16: 52 New
      0
      152 mm were installed on another experimental tank, much later, (T-95) and also planned to be installed on the promising Tank of the "Boxer" project, "Hammer" (object 477 (A) with the LP-83 gun)
  2. WHAT IS
    WHAT IS 26 March 2020 18: 10 New
    +7
    For its time, a tank with an uninhabited tower was too complex, breakthrough, but expensive, it was not possible to realize it using the capabilities of Soviet industry in the 1970s.

    He was ahead of his time, as they say ... It's a pity, it was a very interesting project, a kind of forerunner of "Armata" ...
  3. viktor_ui
    viktor_ui 26 March 2020 18: 13 New
    20
    Morozov was looking forward for half a century ... I imagine that he would TURN an hour in terms of MBT, starting from the point of view of modern technologies and capabilities. Respect to Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov UNIVERSALLY.
    1. Dog
      Dog 26 March 2020 21: 16 New
      +3
      Quote: viktor_ui
      I imagine that he would TURN an hour in terms of MBT, starting from the point of view of modern technologies and capabilities.

      Perhaps something that could be realized only in 2070.
    2. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 27 March 2020 08: 38 New
      0
      Specifically, this project looks too bold and at the same time quite flawed.
      The main drawbacks of the tanks of the classic layout Morozov attributed to the tightness of the fighting compartment, which reminded him of a one-room apartment or the simplest soldier's duffel bag.
      And so the T-64 was created! wink . In general, the render shows a tank with a squeezed uninhabited tower and track rollers like the T-80, on the model there is a frankly gun mount with an open shot supply line, which also clearly requires a certain horizontal position of the gun, and track rollers are 64-person, who can I believe?
  4. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 26 March 2020 18: 30 New
    +7
    Oh, fir-trees! Somehow I came across a printed info with the mention of the T-74! But I didn't pay attention to it ... like: what kind of T-74 !? T-72-we know! T-80-we know! Where did the T-74 come from? In general, he considered it for misinformation ... that's how he "paid" for arrogance! I won't anymore ..... repeat !
  5. svp67
    svp67 26 March 2020 19: 08 New
    +5
    The use of the suspension from the T-64, you can immediately put in the "minus", on the base T-64 the use of a "lightweight chassis" has already led to the fact that there is no way to increase the mass, and here is a promising tank, and the skating rinks are worse in terms of side protection from various projectiles.
  6. Operator
    Operator 26 March 2020 19: 14 New
    +6
    Object 450 has remained a "cartoon" - remote observation and aiming devices appeared only 30 years after the development of the preliminary project.

    In addition, as part of the preliminary project, at least some kind of automatic loader was not offered with the supply of a projectile from a transverse ammunition rack to a gun brought forward. The Kharkov design bureau was not able to estimate its design even on paper. Therefore, a revolving automatic loader was used in Object 477, an experimental Hammer tank, realized in metal.

    The layout of the 450th of five departments was initially unviable: "And there is a hole in the old woman" (C)
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. Bormanxnumx
    Bormanxnumx 26 March 2020 19: 19 New
    +8
    The Americans suspected something) The picture refers to the development of the MGM-166 LOSAT in the mid-80s.
  9. zenion
    zenion 26 March 2020 19: 39 New
    -6
    What is this product related to the current Armata?
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Monar
      Monar 27 March 2020 17: 18 New
      +2
      Concept. Is that not enough for you?
  10. smaug78
    smaug78 26 March 2020 19: 49 New
    -10
    That the T-64 was raw all the time, and the T-74. Thank God that they scored on Morozov
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 26 March 2020 20: 20 New
      12
      Quote: smaug78
      That the T-64 was raw all the time, and the T-74. Thank God that they scored on Morozov

      Not so simple and chocolate!
      For example, the T-44 and T-54 are also Morozov's kids. During the war years, he worked in Nizhny Tagil, so your “scored” struck me as a native Ural and a fan of the T-72 in all its forms.
      1. smaug78
        smaug78 27 March 2020 08: 27 New
        -2
        the conversation is about the T-64, so what's your verbiage ...
  11. ccsr
    ccsr 26 March 2020 20: 07 New
    +3
    Author:
    Yuferev Sergey
    Despite the fact that the concept of the T-74 main battle tank proposed by Morozov at the time of his presentation combined the most advanced and promising ideas in tank building, it was not possible to put them into practice, and in many respects because of the futuristic nature of the project.

    I think the point is not in futurism, but in the banal cost of the tank, which the author himself says:
    For its time, a tank with an uninhabited tower was too complex, breakthrough, but expensive,

    This has happened more than once in the history of our armaments, so when massively equipping troops with any armament, they always look at the cost of the product — this is the law.
    And there is one more nuance - it will be very difficult for two tankers to maintain and repair such a machine in the field, and at least they would have to have a tank school behind them, as well as helicopter crews in army aviation.
    All this combined and put an end to this development - of which I am sure.
    1. Doliva63
      Doliva63 28 March 2020 18: 58 New
      0
      Quote: ccsr
      Author:
      Yuferev Sergey
      Despite the fact that the concept of the T-74 main battle tank proposed by Morozov at the time of his presentation combined the most advanced and promising ideas in tank building, it was not possible to put them into practice, and in many respects because of the futuristic nature of the project.

      I think the point is not in futurism, but in the banal cost of the tank, which the author himself says:
      For its time, a tank with an uninhabited tower was too complex, breakthrough, but expensive,

      This has happened more than once in the history of our armaments, so when massively equipping troops with any armament, they always look at the cost of the product — this is the law.
      And there is one more nuance - it will be very difficult for two tankers to maintain and repair such a machine in the field, and at least they would have to have a tank school behind them, as well as helicopter crews in army aviation.
      All this combined and put an end to this development - of which I am sure.

      Will a 3-person crew do a lot of work "in the field"? Given that one of them still has to constantly monitor the situation. So - not a fact. But that the industry could not give out on-the-mountain needs for such a tank - that's for sure. Or could, with mass production, the price drops sharply. So it was just that Morozov was ahead of the rest of the planet in tank building, not just the Union.
  12. John22
    John22 26 March 2020 20: 30 New
    0
    Morozov, of course, flew from the chassis to the T-64, he thought of it. I would like to know an analysis of their application in the Donbass. What problems were with the chassis in combat conditions. And the T-74 is a concept, thoughts in the ear. Armata is an approximation to that concept. But the main thing is to reduce the silhouette, especially in lateral projection, so far failed. But new technological advances appeared - tank radar, KAZ and unmanned vision. Let's see what happens in the end.
  13. newcomer
    newcomer 26 March 2020 20: 53 New
    +1
    In general, the Kharkov Design Bureau has an extensive list of breakthrough projects that, for one reason or another, have not been implemented. However, like the Urals, but now about Kharkiv. I’ll miss the technical capabilities of the project, many have already said a lot. Only one thing can be added, everything comes into our reality from past projects ahead of their time.
  14. 113262a
    113262a 26 March 2020 21: 52 New
    +4
    The most interesting thing is that rumors about this tank were leaking into the midst of tank officers. He served in the GSVG 83-85 urgent commander about 219r, Our company and platoon were convinced that such machines were tested in Kubinka! Described just such, but with the chassis of the t-80.
    1. Captain Pushkin
      Captain Pushkin 26 March 2020 23: 08 New
      +3
      Quote: 113262
      Our company and platoon officers were convinced that such machines in Kubinka were TESTED! Described just such, but with the chassis of the t-80.

      Pictures of various variations on the T-74 theme in those years were often published in military literature.
      Could somewhere to see the picture and further conjecture.
      1. 113262a
        113262a 27 March 2020 08: 07 New
        0
        Yes, only described in detail. The same 30 mm gun. And according to our technique, for sure, PICTURES were not published. Not in a FOREIGN MILITARY REVIEW, we had all the numbers, nor in any other magazines. Secrecy was in order. It is in the iron!
        1. Captain Pushkin
          Captain Pushkin 27 March 2020 14: 50 New
          0
          Quote: 113262
          Not in a FOREIGN MILITARY REVIEW, we had all the numbers, nor in any other magazines.

          I definitely saw variations in "Equipment and weapons". And I also saw a picture that fully corresponded to the T-74 (more detailed than the American picture), but I can't remember where.
          It is possible that some acquaintance related to the development or testing of tanks told your officers. More truly, the acquaintance of a friend of a former colleague, etc.
          In the past, our military loved to talk with former classmates or casual companions. Especially with a glass of tea.
        2. 113262a
          113262a 27 March 2020 23: 09 New
          0
          At that time, not everyone knew about the t-80b. And it wasn’t anywhere in the pictures. Some in the Union described a TANK WITH A HELICOPTER MOTOR. Straight, some kind of monster! Already in the zeroes I visited Malyshev, where the remnants of luxury were scattered around the plant — marvelous towers — it’s not known why, seven-armored hulls. And on the overgrown sedimentation tank under a decayed tarpaulin, there’s a huge car with a barrel WITHOUT A RECEIVER !. But in a thermal jacket. So I’m thinking, was it Boxer!
  15. iouris
    iouris 26 March 2020 23: 03 New
    +4
    Has anything changed since 1970?
  16. Jurkovs
    Jurkovs 27 March 2020 07: 06 New
    +1
    At the same time, many experts believe that the “Object 450” was the first project with which the history of creating a promising Soviet tank began.

    And if you delve into the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci? Or in the frescoes of Neanderthals?
  17. Engineer
    Engineer 27 March 2020 16: 10 New
    +1
    https://topwar.ru/18837-obekt-450-tankovaya-revolyuciya-iz-harkova.html
    Learn to use the search.
    On the tank, the tank in front of the fighting compartment - all in the corporate identity of Morozov.
  18. Nameless
    Nameless 28 March 2020 01: 05 New
    0
    Armata has nothing to do with the pedigree of the Morozov school - its roots go to the Leningrad project Object 299, and not to Kharkov with its T-64 pedigree.
  19. kugelblitz
    kugelblitz 29 March 2020 14: 21 New
    0
    Tarasenko showed it several years ago. They tortured him for a long time about the machine gun. By the way, unlike the 299, T-95 and T-14, this tank had a direct connection of observation devices. In addition, questions arise about how to charge a gun when turning. The picture is conceptually beautiful, like all Morozov’s works. But in reality, a lot of minuses. In fact, you should not think that the rest of the designers were not far fools, there were prototypes abruptly type 770, and Leningraders immediately came to the capsule, which Morozov does not have. The problem of all his tanks in low survivability on the battlefield, in this pepelats he tried to get away from the weak protection of the side angles, but flew with a gun. The very scheme of the capsule has been worked out almost since the 50s by the way around the world. As a result, this is actually not Armata, but the Hammer of the first option with a huge booking area. There was also a Boxer with a half tower and other HZTM consciousness twists. But for some reason they didn’t come to the scheme of the minimum size of the capsule and the uninhabited tower with the ammunition under it. No, they stubbornly walked towards the Note, with its three drums and the crew between them isolated from each other. By the way, it is still unclear what Kharkiv citizens have done in defense. If with the T-14 it’s more or less clear according to the scheme of the forehead 187, then there are puzzles.
  20. Diviz
    Diviz April 2 2020 10: 28 New
    0
    Put the laser installation instead of the forest.
  21. Advertising spider
    Advertising spider 6 June 2020 12: 03 New
    0
    I still do not understand - how should it charge?