Military Review

The evolution of tank armor: yesterday, today, tomorrow

32

One of the most important aspects stories world tank building is an eternal competition "shell-armor". Since the appearance of the first heavy military vehicles on the battlefields, work has been ongoing on more and more advanced ammunition for their destruction. Creators tanks they respond by improving the protection of their creations, trying to make them, if not completely invulnerable, then at least as tenacious as possible. What has been done for this in recent years?


In the first decades of the “tank era”, the creators of formidable vehicles followed the simplest path - increasing the thickness and improving the quality of the steel that served as their defense. The armor of those years was a homogeneous sheet. From the then anti-tank shells, it somehow saved (far, by the way, not always), but from the moment the appearance of ammunition of cumulative action, it became clear that the further increase in the thickness of the welded or riveted onto it became a matter of tank survival.

These ammunition, already used during the Second World War both in artillery and for hand-held anti-tank weapons (American Bazooka, German Faustpatron) with a direct explosion, in fact - with a liquid fire, easily burned steel plates, from which the armor-piercing shells of the old the sample bounced off like peas from a wall. Engineers of the appropriate profile quickly enough calculated - with a simple build-up of the armor layer, its weight will reach such values ​​that the tank will not budge any of the naturally occurring engines. Thus began the "era of composites" - the stage of evolution of armor.

The meaning of the “new word” in ensuring the “impenetrability” of tanks was that from now on their “armor” does not consist of homogeneous, albeit the highest quality, steel, but of a number of layers of various materials - from metal to ceramic. Polymers, alloys of tungsten and aluminum, other materials ... To achieve the main goal - the refraction and dispersion of the deadly cumulative jet for the tank and its crew, everything is used. Moreover, the creators of combat vehicles are constantly experimenting with new combinations, trying to find among them the most efficient and least expensive. In addition, for modern tanks, in addition to cumulative shells, missiles and grenades, a new serious threat appeared - the new generation of sub-caliber ammunition. These modern “arrows” (for better stabilization they have plumage) with cores made of tungsten salts or depleted uranium, capable of piercing almost any kind of armor.

That is why the next step in confronting the means of protection and destruction of armored vehicles was the development of a variety of dynamic defense systems. It is in this direction that the most advanced developments are being conducted today. The purpose of such protection, which is not an integral part of booking a tank, but is additionally installed on it, is, again, to minimize the effectiveness of the striking elements of enemy ammunition. It consists of many containers, forming on a combat vehicle which has become familiar in recent years to all the scales. Inside these tanks is an explosive charge.

The first domestic DZ complexes, Contact-1, which entered service with the Soviet Army back in 1985, were designed primarily to withstand cumulative projectiles - when a red-hot stream hit them, they reacted with a “counter-explosion” and the release of striking elements, scattering it and depriving the killer strength. However, this was clearly not enough to protect against sub-caliber ammunition - and soon (in 1988), Contact-5 was already replaced, many times superior to its predecessor in protective properties and served as an obstacle to the sub-caliber threat as well. The effect was achieved due to the installation of armored “caps” on containers from DZ, firing ammunition towards the attacking tank.

However, in some foreign systems of dynamic protection, instead of explosives, certain chemicals and compounds (polyurethane, silicone, etc.) are used that also provide anti-cumulative protection. In addition, electrodynamic and electrochemical protection complexes are used for tanks, in which the same cumulative stream will be destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse that occurs when a “short circuit” occurs when ammunition is hit by a container, or by throwing plates, but again thrown away not explosives, but an electrical impulse. Developments are also being made of “smart” remote sensing systems that can independently determine the degree of danger of an object approaching them and make decisions on responding to or ignoring the threat.

It cannot be said that with a significant gain in terms of the mass-efficiency ratio, the DZ complexes still have significant weight. “Contacts” pulled 1,5 tons, but the third-generation complex that replaced them, “Relic” - already 2,3. Further increase in their capacity can lead developers to the same vicious cycle as before. You will have to pay for greater safety with a loss of maneuverability and speed.

Tomorrow, tank armor, as well as the majority of components of modern weapon systems, lies in the development of technology. Next-generation Russian tanks will have not only a completely new dynamic defense system, capable of assuring developers to save the combat vehicle from any threat, but also the Afghanit active defense system integrated with it, which will at least neutralize some of these threats by fly up.

The future lies in a comprehensive security system for combat vehicles and their crews, in which complex composite armor and dynamic and active defense systems will play a role.
Author:
Photos used:
Wikipedia / DM "Malachite"
32 comments
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  1. lwxx
    lwxx 27 March 2020 07: 48 New
    25
    An article for Zen, but not for VO.
    1. svp67
      svp67 27 March 2020 07: 54 New
      +9
      Quote: lwxx
      An article for Zen, but not for VO.

      And you can’t let her out there so that they don’t laugh ...
      1. Aerodrome
        Aerodrome 27 March 2020 08: 00 New
        +2
        Quote: lwxx
        An article for Zen, but not for VO.

        Quote: svp67
        Quote: lwxx
        An article for Zen, but not for VO.

        And you can’t let her out there so that they don’t laugh ...

        lazily poke buttons ... nothing
      2. Starover_Z
        Starover_Z 27 March 2020 11: 08 New
        +4
        Quote: svp67
        Quote: lwxx
        An article for Zen, but not for VO.

        And you can’t let her out there so that they don’t laugh ...

        That's for sure ! Without combined protection, it will be smashed there in the very first days!
  2. svp67
    svp67 27 March 2020 07: 49 New
    16
    The author has talent, but in vain got into this topic without understanding ...
    in fact - with a stream of liquid fire, steel plates were easily burned,
    Stupidity, which has been repeatedly denied and shown that the armor is PUNCHED, and not burned by the "cumulative pestle" - the metal of the cumulative funnel compressed by the explosion, heated to a gaseous state and directed to one point on the armor.

    That is why the next step in confronting the means of protection and destruction of armored vehicles was the development of a variety of dynamic defense systems.
    This was one and far from the first "step". And initially there was a "spreading" of armor protection, the creation of complex "pies" from multilayer armor, a combination of these "steps"
    However, in some foreign systems of dynamic protection, instead of explosives, certain chemicals and compounds (polyurethane, silicone, others) are also used that also provide anti-cumulative protection.
    There is no dynamic defense without the use of explosives, what the author wrote is already multilayer or combined armor protection
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 27 March 2020 08: 17 New
      +1
      Quote: svp67
      There is no Dynamic Defense without the use of explosives
      Not that I argue, but there is some kind of intumescent DZ, the Germans seem to have no explosives.
      1. svp67
        svp67 27 March 2020 09: 05 New
        +3
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        but there is some kind of intumescent DZ, the Germans seem to have no explosives.

        Dynamic, and therefore dynamic, because it acts "dynamically - actively" by the force of the explosion directed to the movement of the metal plate, and "swelling", as you noticed, is a "passive" reaction,
    2. novel66
      novel66 27 March 2020 09: 37 New
      +7
      burns through the "cumulative pestle" - the metal of the cumulative funnel compressed by the explosion, heated to a gaseous state and directed to one point on the armor

      good theory of hydrodynamic accumulation
    3. Lopatov
      Lopatov 27 March 2020 11: 29 New
      +2
      Quote: svp67
      There is no Dynamic Defense without the use of explosives

      NERA (non-energetic reactive armor)
      1. svp67
        svp67 27 March 2020 11: 39 New
        0
        Quote: Spade
        NERA (non-energetic reactive armor)
        Thank you, live a century and live as much, really without using explosive energy, but using the energy of "swelling" is an interesting solution, and most importantly safe, for those who are nearby, for the same infantry
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 27 March 2020 11: 45 New
          +1
          Quote: svp67
          but using the energy of "swelling"

          Formally, an explosion is also a "swelling"
          1. svp67
            svp67 27 March 2020 11: 47 New
            0
            Quote: Spade
            Formally, an explosion is also a "swelling"

            But very formally, the explosion occurs as a result of an avalanche-like increase in combustion and the formation of gas pressure, and then thermal expansion
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 27 March 2020 07: 53 New
    +1
    The author very incompetently combined under the word ARMOR known species tank protection. I mixed into a bunch not only an alloy of metal with alloying elements and composite elements, but also DZ, and promising developments ... Either the name is not true, or the content is not correct.
    1. maidan.izrailovich
      maidan.izrailovich 27 March 2020 08: 03 New
      -5
      The author very incompetently combined under the word ARMOR ...

      Or maybe you didn’t understand the meaning of the article?
      Let me remind you of one expression. Competition of armor and projectile. In this context, these concepts of "armor" and "projectile" include everything that strikes and protects. From arrows and darts to "Krasnopol", from mammoth skins to modern DZ. It is in this context that the author uses the term "armor".
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 27 March 2020 08: 22 New
        +4
        Armor is a protective layer of material that has a sufficiently high strength, viscosity and other mechanical parameters ...

        Here for you copied. It's just that I, as a tanker, know this word and the above concepts ...
      2. Andrei Nikolaevich
        Andrei Nikolaevich 27 March 2020 08: 50 New
        +2
        Without a diploma from the Institute of Steel and Alloys or a tank university, reading is impossible.
        1. svp67
          svp67 27 March 2020 09: 08 New
          +7
          Quote: Andrey Nikolaevich
          Without a diploma from the Institute of Steel and Alloys or a tank university, reading is impossible.

          It is with them that it is better not to read "THIS" at all, as there is a lot of wrong and you immediately want to argue
  4. kalibr
    kalibr 27 March 2020 08: 00 New
    0
    And it's all? In the "Secrets of the XX century" it is written more interestingly!
  5. itarnmag
    itarnmag 27 March 2020 08: 14 New
    +4
    The cumulative jet does not burn, but pierces the armor
  6. Sarduor
    Sarduor 27 March 2020 08: 16 New
    +6
    Hack, the article will not say anything new.
  7. smaug78
    smaug78 27 March 2020 08: 21 New
    +6
    Article for the magazine "Young Technician"
  8. Amateur
    Amateur 27 March 2020 08: 22 New
    +1
    The wise idea that a more effective means of defense should be used against a weapon, and a more effective weapon against a means of defense, known "from Adam and Eve," also visited the author of the article.
    Muse visited me today, - She sat a bit and left! She had good reasons ... (V. Vysotsky)
  9. Shimoza
    Shimoza 27 March 2020 08: 28 New
    +4
    "... tungsten salt cores ..."
    #hand face
  10. V.I.P.
    V.I.P. 27 March 2020 09: 19 New
    +1
    About KAZ. In Soviet times, KAZ "Drozd" were limited to tanks. They remained in the Baltics during the collapse of the country (the Americans studied them) ... After the collapse of the country, there was an "Arena" which they tried to sell to foreigners. Neither her own army nor a foreign one needed her. Now on hearing "Drozd 2", "Arena-M". "Afghanite". I think they will not be on Russian tanks in the next 20 years (with the exception of ostentatious ceremonies). There are a lot of countries that already put this or that KAZ on their tanks. Moreover, there are KAZ abroad for both light equipment of the Hummer type and for truck cabins.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 27 March 2020 11: 41 New
      +2
      Quote: V.I.P.
      In Soviet times, KAZ "Drozd" were limited to tanks

      T-55 AD


      Quote: V.I.P.
      They remained in the Baltic states during the collapse of the country (the Americans studied them) ...

      In the Caucasus. Were exported mainly to Ukraine (more than 250 pieces).

      From there we got to the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
  11. Maks1995
    Maks1995 27 March 2020 10: 15 New
    +1
    Yes, general reasoning and all ...
  12. Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 27 March 2020 10: 20 New
    -1
    The future belongs to the teletanks. Already, UAVs are firmly gaining a military niche, designing crewless submarines, it is time to switch to crewless tanks. If the tank is without a crew, then it does not need a fighting compartment, that is, it will reduce the size and weight of the tank, and the fact that trained personnel do not die when this tank is shot down is a huge plus, since it’s more difficult, more expensive and longer to train a tanker, than riveting a new tank instead of a burned one. Cadres decide everything. It was not without reason that by the end of the war the Germans experienced a terrible shortage of trained pilots, tank crews and artillerymen, while Germany produced enough tanks, guns and aircraft until March 1945, before the Allied capture of the Ruhr. The peak of German military production reached the autumn of 1944, despite the continuous bombing of German cities.
  13. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 27 March 2020 11: 16 New
    +3
    Pancake! In such cases, they say: "Don't be smart! Show your hand!" "Salts of tungstic acid"! And the fact that "salt of tungstic acid" is not "directly" used, but "derivatives" are used ... for example, tungsten carbide ... The author forgot to say or did not know!? Of course, they are surfing the Internet "terms": "active" armor ... "semi-active" armor ... but usually this means something that makes up armor or is built into the armor! But why did the Author include "Afghanite" in the "armor"? Well, at the same time , did not include the "Curtain? Anti-cumulative grill? Or... In addition, electrodynamic and electrochemical protection complexes are used for tanks, in which the same cumulative stream will be destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse that occurs when a “short circuit” occurs when ammunition is hit by a container, or by throwing plates, but again thrown away not explosives, but an electrical impulse. Developments are also being made of “smart” remote sensing systems, capable of both independently determining the degree of danger of an object approaching them and making decisions on responding to or ignoring the threat. Now this is not! So, maybe it's better to immediately "select-divide", where is "today" and where is "tomorrow"?
  14. Vadim237
    Vadim237 27 March 2020 12: 50 New
    -1
    The most promising material for all armored vehicles is lightweight, durable armor with the highest impact strength and increased resistance to cumulative jets.
  15. Hermit21
    Hermit21 28 March 2020 09: 21 New
    0
    in fact - a stream of liquid fire


    What? Author, read about the physics of the cumulative effect
    1. agond
      agond 28 March 2020 17: 36 New
      0
      In general, it is impossible to make the tank universal reliable protection for all cases against mines, sub-caliber shells and missiles with a cumulative charge, so it would be better to focus on protection from one type of anti-tank weapons, for example, from ATGM systems, that is, somehow shoot them down when approaching, and make armor only from secondary damaging factors
  16. fa2998
    fa2998 31 March 2020 18: 41 New
    0
    Quote: svp67
    Quote: lwxx
    An article for Zen, but not for VO.

    And you can’t let her out there so that they don’t laugh ...

    Yes, they "gave birth" to the article - "a stream of liquid metal", burned "- seriously. hi