“Ram” versus “Dragon”. Why the Soviet Army did not receive a 152 mm anti-tank self-propelled gun


Experienced "Object 120" in the museum, tower and building close-up. Wikimedia Commons Photos


In 1957, work began in our country to create several promising armored vehicles designed to combat tanks the enemy. "Topic number 9", set by the resolution of the Council of Ministers, provided for the creation of a self-propelled anti-tank gun with the code "Taran". The result of this project was the appearance of self-propelled guns "Object 120" or SU-152, the work on which was stopped at the stage of factory tests.

Anti-tank "Taran"


The development of the product “120” was carried out in SKB Uralmashzavod under the leadership of G.S. Efimova. The gun was ordered SKB-172, headed by M.Yu. Tsirulnikov. Other enterprises were involved in the project. In 1958, they determined the final look of the future self-propelled guns, after which the development of a technical project began. In 1959-60. assembly of experimental guns and self-propelled guns was carried out.

“Object 120” was completed on the basis of the existing self-propelled gun SU-152P with the replacement of part of key units. The chassis with the armored body of the front-engine layout and the caterpillar undercarriage has survived. In the aft part of the hull there was a fighting compartment, made on the basis of a full-swing turret. Reservation of the car consisted of rolled and cast parts up to 30 mm thick, providing protection from 57-mm shells.

The power unit included a V-105-V diesel engine with a capacity of 480 hp. With the help of a mechanical two-line transmission, power was supplied to the front-wheel drive wheels. The self-propelled guns retained a seven-roller chassis with a torsion bar suspension capable of withstanding a recoil momentum. A 27-ton armored vehicle could reach speeds of more than 60-62 km / h and overcome various obstacles.

“Ram” versus “Dragon”. Why the Soviet Army did not receive a 152 mm anti-tank self-propelled gun
Projections of self-propelled guns. Figure Russianarms.ru

The turret housed an M69 smoothbore gun of 152,4 mm caliber with a barrel length of 9045 mm (59 klb) and a muzzle brake, capable of using several types of separate-shell loading charges. Due to the pressure in the channel up to 392 MPa, the acceleration of the armor-piercing projectile to 1710 m / s was ensured. The shots were transported in a drum, accelerating the loading process. Ammunition included 22 shells with shells. High-explosive, sub-caliber, and cumulative shells could be used.

Additional weapons "Taran" included anti-aircraft machine gun CPV; the machine gun coaxial with the gun was missing. In case of emergency, a crew of four had a pair of machine guns and a supply of hand grenades.

At the beginning of 1960, Uralmashzavod completed the construction of the experimental “Object 120” and completed part of the factory tests. Before their completion, after work on the tracks and at the shooting range, the project was closed. The customer considered that a self-propelled anti-tank gun is not of interest to the army - unlike promising missile systems of a similar purpose.

Advantages and disadvantages


In accordance with the terms of reference for the "Taran" ROC, the self-propelled gun was supposed to show a range of a direct shot of 3000 m. From this distance, it was required to penetrate at least 300 mm of homogeneous armor at an angle of 30 °. These requirements were generally fulfilled. When fired from 3 km, the M69 cannon with a sub-caliber projectile (weight 11,66 kg) could penetrate a 315-mm vertical armor plate. With an inclination of 30 ° - a plate with a thickness of 280 mm. High armor penetration persisted at increased ranges.


SU-152 in a section. Figure Btvt.info

Thus, the “Object 120” was able to hit in the frontal projection all existing medium and heavy tanks of a potential enemy at ranges of kilometers, i.e. from outside the range of the return effective fire. The developed cumulative ammunition made it possible to obtain sufficient characteristics, and 43,5 kg high-explosive fragmentation expanded the combat capabilities of self-propelled guns.

High firepower was also provided by successful reloading facilities. The gun after the shot returned to the loading angle, and drumming simplified the work of the loader. Due to this, the crew could make up to 2 shots in 20 seconds. In this regard, the SU-152, at least, was not inferior to other vehicles with artillery weapons, including smaller calibers.

The disadvantage of "Object 120" could be considered a relatively low level of protection. The most powerful sections of the hull and turret had armor only 30 mm thick, which protected only from small and medium caliber shells. The hit of ammunition from 76 mm and above threatened with the most serious consequences. However, this feature of the self-propelled guns was not considered a disadvantage due to the low probability of enemy fire from ranges of 2,5-3 km.

Also not quite successful, although forced, were the overall parameters. Despite the aft location of the fighting compartment, the barrel stood out in front of the hull for several meters. This made it difficult to drive on difficult terrain or could even lead to various unpleasant incidents, including with temporary loss of combat capability.


"Taran" in the museum. Even with the muzzle brake removed, the M69 gun does not fit well into the allocated space. Wikimedia Commons Photos

In general, the "Object 120" was a fairly successful anti-tank self-propelled guns for its time with high characteristics that meet the requirements of the time. However, some features of this self-propelled guns could impede operation; others promised rapid obsolescence, as the tanks of the probable enemy developed.

Taran vs. Dragon


The same Decree of the Council of Ministers in 1957 set “theme number 2” - the development of a tracked armored vehicle with specialized anti-tank missile weapons. The result of this project was the self-propelled ATGM "Object 150" / "Dragon" / IT-1, created by Plant No. 183 in collaboration with OKB-16 and other enterprises.

"Object 150" was a substantially redesigned T-62 tank with full-time armor and a power plant, but with a complete replacement of the equipment of the fighting compartment. Inside the machine were styling and a feed mechanism for 15 guided missiles, as well as a retractable launcher. There were also optical and computing tools for finding targets and firing control.

Weapon "Dragon" was a 3M7 missile 1240 mm long with a diameter of 180 mm and a mass of 54 kg. The rocket had a solid fuel engine and developed a speed of 220 m / s. The guidance system is a semi-automatic radio command with the calculation of data on-board equipment of an armored car. Firing was provided at a range of 300-3000 m. The cumulative warhead of the rocket pierced 250 mm of armor at an angle of 60 °.


IT-1 with a rocket in combat position. Photo Btvt.info

After completing part of the work on two projects, the customer had to compare fundamentally different military vehicles of the same purpose - and choose a more successful and promising one. As it turned out, there was no clear leader in such a comparison - both samples had advantages over each other.

In terms of mobility, both anti-tank systems were equal. In terms of protection, the Object 150 was the leader on a tank chassis with appropriate armor and a smaller frontal projection. The use of a chassis with a mass of ready-made units simplified the future operation of the "Dragon" in the troops.

In combat qualities, a clear leader was absent. Over the entire range of operating ranges, IT-1 could show at least not the worst armor penetration or even surpass the "Taran" - due to stable indicators of the cumulative charge. An important advantage was the availability of missile controls for more accurate shooting. Finally, the weapons did not protrude from the hull and did not spoil the patency.

On the other hand, the SU-152 had no restrictions on the minimum firing range, could use shells for various purposes, carried more ammunition and showed better rate of fire. In addition, artillery shells were much cheaper than guided missiles. As for less armor penetration at long distances, it was enough to destroy typical targets.


View from a different angle. Photo Btvt.info

Difficult comparison


An analysis of the possibilities and prospects of the two facilities was carried out in the spring of 1960, and on May 30 its results were consolidated by a new resolution of the Council of Ministers. This document demanded to stop work on the project "120" - despite the fact that the self-propelled gun barely had time to go to factory tests. The finished sample was later transferred to storage in Kubinka, where it remains to this day.

For further development, followed by arming recommended "rocket tank" IT-1. Work on it took several more years, and only in the mid-sixties he went into a small series and got into the troops. Less than 200 such armored vehicles were built, and their operation lasted only three years. Then the idea of ​​a missile tank was abandoned in favor of other concepts.

Reasons for failure


Most often, the rejection of “Object 120” in favor of “Object 150” is explained by the specific views of the country's leadership, which paid increased attention to missile systems, including to the detriment of other areas. This explanation is logical and plausible, but, apparently, other factors affected the fate of anti-tank self-propelled guns.

One of the main factors that influenced the fate of the SU-152 may be its own technical features. It is easy to notice that the highest combat characteristics of the "Taran" were provided, first of all, by the growth of caliber and barrel length, which led to noticeable limitations and problems. In fact, the result was a “self-propelled limit parameters,” capable of producing high rates, but with minimal potential for modernization.


IT-1 in the Patriot park. Photo by Vitalykuzmin.net

IT-1 also could not be called an ideal machine, but at that time it looked more successful and had better prospects. In addition, the concept of anti-tank systems on a self-propelled armored platform fully paid off and was developed. Similar samples, although not on a tank base, are still being developed and put into service.

Third rival


In the sixties, after the abandonment of the "Object 120" / "Taran", the development of a new generation of smooth-bore tank guns of 125 mm caliber and ammunition for them began. Its result was the product D-81 or 2A26 and a whole line of shells for various purposes. The resulting set of weapons in terms of performance was at least as good as the Taran and the Dragon. At the same time, it could be widely used on tanks of new models. Subsequently, the famous 2A26 was created on the basis of 2A46.

The emergence of new tank weapons made it futile to further increase the caliber of self-propelled guns in the type of project "120". At the same time, tank guns did not interfere with the further development of anti-tank missiles, and then they themselves became launchers for such weapons. Large caliber remained with howitzer artillery, including self-propelled. However, the idea of ​​a 152 mm anti-tank gun was still being returned, but already in the context of tank weapons.
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  1. Mordvin 3 7 June 2020 05: 19 New
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    The customer considered that a self-propelled anti-tank gun is not of interest to the army - unlike promising missile systems of a similar purpose.

    They’ve pleased Khrushchev. That all rushed now with missiles, then with underground tanks. crying
    1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 09: 17 New
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      He rushed with completely different rockets.
      1. Mordvin 3 7 June 2020 09: 27 New
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        Quote: Spade
        He rushed with completely different rockets.

        This corn genius was worn with a lot of things.
        1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 09: 41 New
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          With attributed to him "replace the barrels with missiles," he was not worn. This is the fruit of the mind game of completely different people who later blamed their mistakes on “Voluntarist”

          Khrushchev rushed with the idea of ​​redistributing funds from the Ground Forces, Navy and Aviation in favor of creating a nuclear missile shield.
          Which, in his opinion, could greatly reduce the number and costs of the remaining components of the aircraft. It was. Here with what rockets he was rushing
    2. kvs45 10 June 2020 22: 06 New
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      In a country destroyed by war, there was not enough money for the first necessity! And you want everything at once, and aircraft carriers, and strategic cruise missiles, and super-duper tanks, and half the country lived in dugouts and barracks! So the least costly way to guarantee deterrence was chosen - ballistic missiles with a nuclear charge.
  2. Sergey M. Karasev 7 June 2020 06: 07 New
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    IT-1, unlike the SU-152, was much easier to disguise due to the absence of a long protruding barrel. And on railway platforms they got up very compactly. And when transporting the SU-152, empty buffer platforms were obviously required, as because of the long trunk, standard platforms were a bit short for her.
    1. AllBiBek 8 June 2020 01: 47 New
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      Do you really think that in those days such a really small factor on the scale of the USSR played a role?

      Well, yes, a missile tank on a railway platform can be carried in two, and self-propelled guns can be disguised as a wagon ...
      1. Sergey M. Karasev 8 June 2020 02: 10 New
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        Do you really think that in those days such a really small factor on the scale of the USSR played a role?

        By itself, this factor is really small, but coupled with the other Su-152 disadvantages cited in the article compared to IT-1, and he made his five cents in the decision to prefer a missile tank. However, the release of the latter on a USSR scale was still far from mass.
      2. Sergey M. Karasev 8 June 2020 02: 26 New
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        Well, yes, a missile tank on a railway platform can be carried in two,

        Will there be no overload? IT-1 weighs 34,5 tons. I'm not sure that in the beginning of the 60s in the Ministry of Railways there were platforms with a carrying capacity of 69 tons and above. If they were, then rarely.
  3. Awkward "ram" turned out. Disproportionate. As for me, it’s not even beautiful, although this does not apply to combat qualities. But his decisions are interesting for that time.
  4. Cartalon 7 June 2020 07: 25 New
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    I don’t know, an armored missile platform on a tank chassis looks more interesting and you can upgrade it to infinity.
    1. Insurgent 7 June 2020 08: 40 New
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      Quote: Cartalon
      I don’t know, an armored missile platform on a tank chassis looks more interesting and you can upgrade it to infinity.

      But, in the end, they came to such decisions:



      1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 08: 58 New
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        Quote: Insurgent
        But, in the end, they came to such decisions:

        And to such ...

        Until the collapse of the USSR, in the standard anti-tank battalion for one SPTRK battery there were two T-12 / MT-12 barrel batteries
        And the comparison of the SU-152 with the MT-12 + MT-LB complex is clearly not in favor of the latter
        1. Insurgent 7 June 2020 09: 03 New
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          Quote: Spade
          Until the collapse of the USSR, in the standard anti-tank battalion for one SPTRK battery there were two T-12 / MT-12 barrel batteries
          And the comparison of the SU-152 with the MT-12 + MT-LB complex is clearly not in favor of the latter


          We still have the Rapier in business, and was used not only for its direct anti-tank mission, but also as a long-range super-sniper rifle ...
          1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 09: 16 New
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            Quote: Insurgent
            "Rapier" is still in business with us

            In which?
            Since the days of the USSR, the MT-12 anti-tank gun has lost its significance, which is why, in fact, the dances began around the Kastet and 2A29R Ruty, and later 2A45 Sprut-A and 2A45M Sprut-B

            That is, the USSR did not plan to abandon the barrel anti-tank artillery
            1. Insurgent 7 June 2020 09: 18 New
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              Quote: Spade
              In which?


              But in this (do you recognize MT-12?):

              1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 09: 27 New
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                Window dressing.
                I remember, on the outskirts of Komsomolsky, one striking inspector came up with the ingenious question, "But would you put the Rapier here (and stamp your leg)"?
                So they dragged her. I had to roll it manually, well by that time the militants had finally been driven into the basement, otherwise there would have been corpses.
                One house was destroyed for show for a strip lamp, and they left it to interfere with the departure of the Sturm, which had previously worked from this site
                1. Insurgent 7 June 2020 09: 30 New
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                  Quote: Spade
                  Window dressing.

                  Of course yes .
                  Only if we have about the database and its use including Rapier and its effectiveness in influencing the enemy, do you know more than mine ...

                  Quote: Spade
                  I remember on the outskirts of Komsomolsky


                  Here about such generals marshals and the famous proverb says: "Generals always prepare for last war"
                  1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 09: 58 New
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                    Quote: Insurgent
                    Of course

                    It is intended. Otherwise, this video would not have appeared. There is no one to shoot video during

                    Quote: Insurgent
                    These are the generals marshals who say in a famous proverb: "Generals always prepare for the last war"

                    Exactly!!!
                    Lampas pinned up near Bamut, where a platoon of OPTAD on the 19th division destroyed a couple of houses on the outskirts and miraculously avoided the defeat of the gun with the Fagot. I drank vodka, decided "cool", and after almost half a year arrived at Komsomolskoye I remembered the wunderwaffe. And yelled "I demand the continuation of the banquet"
                    The funny thing is that when anti-tank shells ran out near Bamut and they sat without them for almost a week, no one really noticed. A link from a tank platoon and one “Sturm” more than blocked the capabilities of three MT-12s.
                    But the tanks and SPTRK had a huge drawback - they were not allowed to shoot there.
                    1. chenia 7 June 2020 19: 52 New
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                      Quote: Spade
                      A combination of a tank platoon and one Sturm more than blocked the capabilities of three MT-12s.


                      And that too. But even the main function. PT defense, it is better to use IT based on tanks (this stuff in bulk). The regiment has a separate IT company (and fuck from artillery). Let the head swell about the frontiers of the NSh (he does it anyway). But the beginning.art has long been necessary to have a BUAR.
    2. Lopatov 7 June 2020 09: 02 New
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      Quote: Cartalon
      I don’t know, an armored missile platform on a tank chassis looks more interesting and you can upgrade it to infinity.

      And they also decided to save on it. Preferring much cheaper options
  5. Hagen 7 June 2020 07: 49 New
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    I think that over time, one way or another, tank and anti-tank guns will come to a caliber of 152 mm. Already today, with a pressure in the barrel of 6500 atm, the armor-piercing effect of the BPS in the caliber of 125 mm is insufficient. The adversary is already training in calibers of 130-140 mm. I think in the next 3-5 years we will begin to put 2A83 on production tanks.
    1. Zaurbek 7 June 2020 09: 04 New
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      At a minimum, you must first master the 125mm 2A82 gun from Almaty and put it on everything that we have. Together with modern SLAs.
      1. Hagen 7 June 2020 10: 01 New
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        Quote: Zaurbek
        you must first learn the 125mm gun 2A82

        It is necessary to work out the 152mm complex "gun-shot" in advance so that you do not have to catch up with the "partners". Not today or tomorrow they will cross the 70-ton line, and they are also working on the analogue of our afghanite. So scrap with speeds of 2000 or more m / s will not hurt at all. This does not interfere with the development of the existing development.
        1. garri-lin 7 June 2020 10: 15 New
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          A missile with brains is much more effective than blunt scrap. The increase in caliber has so many minuses that the pros are lost.
          1. Hagen 7 June 2020 10: 18 New
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            Tank active defense successfully shoots a smart rocket at a safe distance from the object.
            1. garri-lin 7 June 2020 11: 36 New
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              In a few years, KAZs intercepting and BOPSs will go into the series. And you can hang a lot of things on a smart rocket to overcome KAZ.
              1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 15: 06 New
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                Quote: garri-lin
                In a few years, KAZs intercepting and BOPSs will go into the series.

                But all the same, the probability of overcoming KAZ in a high-speed projectile will be much higher
                1. garri-lin 7 June 2020 15: 13 New
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                  And if a smart, albeit expensive, rocket will fly 5-6 km, it will fall at a target with an angle of 80 degrees. And at a speed of 2000 m / s. Yes, and spoof KAZ radars with built-in electronic warfare. The tank is becoming an expensive target. Spending an expensive rocket on him will soon become a necessity and not a waste.
                  1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 15: 53 New
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                    Quote: garri-lin
                    And if a smart, albeit expensive, rocket will fly 5-6 km, it will fall at a target with an angle of 80 degrees. And at a speed of 2000 m / s. Yes, and spoof KAZ radars with built-in electronic warfare.

                    Modern active protection will simply detect it with passive sensors and put an aerosol curtain.
                    1. garri-lin 7 June 2020 16: 20 New
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                      Against a smart rocket, this will not help. GOS ATGM in complexity will soon come closer to the GOS RCC. Plus, the tank that launched the missile can transmit target information to it.
                      1. Lopatov 7 June 2020 18: 13 New
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                        Quote: garri-lin
                        GOS ATGM in complexity will soon come closer to the GOS RCC

                        It does not matter. Modern aerosol curtains are impervious to almost all ranges, including infrared and radar.

                        Quote: garri-lin
                        Plus, the tank that launched the missile can transmit target information to it.

                        Can. But if the goal is not visible, this does not really help.
                      2. garri-lin 7 June 2020 18: 51 New
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                        The flight time of the rocket is a few seconds. Let 500 m per second. U-turn before diving and accelerating. 10 Seconds. How many seconds after the launch will the rocket be seen? How much will it take to shoot and form a cloud? Half of these 10 seconds, the tank and the rocket will know exactly what the enemy tank is doing. Anticipation will be calculated in advance. 5 seconds to move the 70-ton colossus, having absorbed the initial inertia. For a rocket, there are not so few chances to hit. But shaded by an aerosol cloud from the rangefinder, tenki can now. And without the exact distance and BOPS it will be difficult to get there.
                      3. Lopatov 7 June 2020 18: 53 New
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                        Quote: garri-lin
                        Let 500 m per second.

                        For a guided missile attacking a target from a hill, is unrealistic.
                      4. garri-lin 7 June 2020 19: 35 New
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                        But why. MANPADS are also controllable. And the speed is comparable. There is a problem in management. If the head of the rocket is smart and it will be in time, then it is possible in full. Overload when going into a dive will be big but I think such problems can be solved. I think it will be possible to borrow a solution from air defense missiles. Plus, it is not necessary to make a trajectory with a slide. The missile can go all the way at an optimum height for attack.
                      5. Lopatov 7 June 2020 20: 07 New
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                        Quote: garri-lin
                        But why. MANPADS are also controllable. And the speed is comparable.

                        But the area on which she "wobbles" is much larger.

                        Quote: garri-lin
                        Plus, it is not necessary to make a trajectory with a slide. The missile can go all the way at an optimum height for attack.

                        This is even easier.
                        Found a "torch" - created a veil.
                      6. garri-lin 8 June 2020 09: 55 New
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                        It’s not enough to create a veil. It is also necessary to remove the armored vehicles from the place where the missile was aimed. The confrontation between the sword and the shield / armor and shell will stop only with the cessation of all wars. Now a step forward has been made. The introduction of KAZ and their intensive progress will cause a reciprocal step in the form of development of missiles.
                      7. Lopatov 8 June 2020 11: 42 New
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                        Quote: garri-lin
                        It is also necessary to remove the armored vehicles from the place where the missile was aimed.

                        It's not obligatory. ANN is not so accurate.
                      8. garri-lin 8 June 2020 19: 16 New
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                        Here it is quite controversial. The distance is small, the accumulation of errors is minimal.
  • AllBiBek 8 June 2020 01: 57 New
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    Already today, in most of the world's hot spots, the main usable armor is not tanks, but shushpantsers based on civilian equipment.

    To use for each rocket costing as many as ten of these is an so-so idea. Such missiles are a product of peacetime production by qualified personnel.

    Remember how in the days of Interbellum they were fooling around with milling and other things in the production of banal PP. And in what niche they were identified. Machine gun for police tasks.

    In today's realities, when it comes to hot, there will be a return to the wire-controlled crickets (because the electronic warfare is not asleep), the current will not be controlled visually and from afar, but a camera will be inserted into the same wire, and they will display a penny virtual reality helmet on the visor.

    Here it begs.
    1. garri-lin 8 June 2020 09: 58 New
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      Why spend expensive rockets on shushpanzery. Dear ones need to be reserved for expensive and complex purposes.
  • Sergey10789 9 June 2020 15: 55 New
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    And where does the caliber ????
  • Sergey10789 9 June 2020 15: 52 New
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    Increase the caliber of the gun, what would be used to shoot a caliber projectile ???????
  • aleks neym_2 7 June 2020 09: 12 New
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    Something this car reminds me of the design of the A-44 tank of 1941 development.
  • Usher 7 June 2020 10: 04 New
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    There are no so-so machine guns in the Tundra. And the rate of fire is lower.
  • NF68 7 June 2020 17: 42 New
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    ATGMs were cheaper and more efficient. Instead of one such monster, it was possible to produce several PTKR and ammunition for them.
  • DDT
    DDT 7 June 2020 23: 50 New
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    I read the comments and marvel at the easy filing of kissel, matting and ko, Khrushchev is to blame for everything. Crimea Ukraine Khrushchev, the collapse of the union, Khrushchev, and the fact that self-propelled guns did not go into series, Khrushchev also appears ... And wouldn’t anything be Nikita Sergeyevich today, Russia, with the most powerful missile potential on the planet? Or did the comrades have such propaganda in their brains that they no longer think with their own brains?
    1. Pavel57 8 June 2020 01: 00 New
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      Missile and nuclear potential was not laid by Comrade Khrushchev. and other comrades.
      1. kvs45 10 June 2020 23: 06 New
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        but under Khrushchev, out of the many “Wishlist” it was precisely missile weapons that were selected, which ensured parity with the country's very limited financial capabilities.
        1. Pavel57 11 June 2020 01: 22 New
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          Quote: kvs45
          but under Khrushchev, out of the many “Wishlist” it was precisely missile weapons that were selected, which ensured parity with the country's very limited financial capabilities.


          The management system under Khrushchev broke the harmonious management system, hence financial failures and the devaluation of the ruble.
          The desire to find a simple solution in the form of production of rockets, like sausages, led to a lag in aviation, one-sided development of the fleet, while the accumulated weapons were ineptly destroyed.

          Voluntarism, however.