World War I - time of birth tank. His evolution continues to this day. As noted by Soviet military experts at the end of the last century, tank guns of 120-125 mm caliber reached the limit of their development. To confidently defeat promising enemy tanks, even then a more powerful gun was required.
In the Soviet Union, the development of both 125-mm cannons of "increased power" and experimental 130-152 mm tank guns began. Projects of new tanks appeared, for example, “Object 225”, “Object 226”, “Object 785”, “Object 477”, “Object 299”, “Object 195”.
The most interesting here is the development of a promising project, which was launched as part of the research project "Improvement-88" (1988). For a long time, the project was one of the most secret developments in the USSR and post-Soviet Russia.
The development is interesting in that, firstly, the most powerful 152-mm gun was installed on the tank. Secondly, this is the only fruitful project that has made its way from the Soviet Union to modern Russia and left its mark on the creation of the Armata platform (T-14). Speaking about how to be a tank, first we’ll note in more detail history the creation of this particular combat vehicle.
When the Soviet Union began to create one of the most powerful tanks in the world, the Ural Design Bureau of Transport Engineering (Nizhny Tagil) was the lead developer, and the production of the tank was carried out by the Uralvagonzavod Production Association (Nizhny Tagil). In addition, a large group of enterprises throughout the Soviet Union acted as co-executors of research and development.
The topic was designated "Object 195", work began on the creation of a fundamentally new tank, which was not even in the future for any army in the world.
The collapse of the USSR made adjustments, the assembly of the first prototype began at UVZ in 1999 and 2000, and by 2005 the new tank was almost ready.
The main weapons the tank became the 152-mm smoothbore gun 2A83 (was the development of the Design Bureau of Plant No. 9 and VNIITM).
The ammunition of the gun consisted of 40 rounds, which in itself is comparable to the amount of ammunition on other types of tanks (types of ammunition: BPS, OFS, KUV).
In addition, the new tank received a 30 mm 2A42 automatic cannon (for secondary purposes), which was located on the side of the tower and had independent guidance angles, to save shells of the “main caliber”.
In the photo - object 195 with the caterpillars removed, in the factory floor (barrel 30 mm gun 2A42, on the side of the tower, raised up):
Performance characteristics of 152-mm gun 2А83:
Type of gun - smoothbore, with a chrome-plated barrel.
Weight - more than 5000 kg.
Barrel length - 7200 mm.
The initial velocity of the projectile - 1980 m / s.
Effective shot range:
- shells - 5100 m;
- URS Krasnopol 2K25 - 20 000 m;
- URS "Krasnopol" ZOF38 - 12 000 m.
Rate of fire - 10-15 rounds per minute.
Muzzle energy shot - 20-25 MJ.
- BPS - mm 1024;
- ATGM - 1200-1400 m.
The resource of the gun barrel - 280 shots.
Ammunition - 40 shells.
Automatic loader - 24 projectile.
As can be seen from the characteristics of the gun, the 2A83 gun has significant potential, in which there is the possibility of firing ammunition up to 1 meter long, such as Krasnopol (they were previously used in the Msta-S self-propelled guns).
The use of a powerful heavy gun forced the developers to look for radical solutions for the layout of the tank, which received external weapons (uninhabited tower) and a separate capsule for the crew, located in front of the hull. All processes, including course control and organization of firing, were fully automated.
The tank’s radar detected enemy targets at a distance of up to 10 kilometers. The flight range of the rocket through the barrel as a means of high-precision destruction was more than 5 km. Shooting from a cannon at a distance of up to 3 thousand meters was carried out using "technical vision".
Despite the fact that the weight of the "Object 195" reached 55-58 tons, the tank on the move within 10 seconds developed a speed of up to 70 km / h thanks to the excellent suspension and chassis of seven rollers.
Three engine options were used:
The first is a prototype of an X-shaped diesel with a capacity of about 1500 hp. (development of design bureaus of ChTZ engines).
The second is a prototype of an X-shaped diesel with a capacity of 1650 hp. (development of KB "Barnaultransmash").
The third - GTE development and production of design bureaus and plant them. V.Ya. Klimova with a power of 1500 hp
As noted, the control of the tank was very convenient and easy, not requiring any physical strength, "everything is on the joysticks" (according to experts, control is easier than the American "Abrams").
In general, the tank had a very high level of comfort for the crew, although the crew was placed linearly, shoulder to shoulder. On the left is the driver, in the middle - the commander, and on the right - the gunner. The commander and the driver could replace each other. The crew sat on a sofa (ergonomic chairs), very freely, between the elbows there was still a distance of up to 20 centimeters.
The protection of the tank was unprecedented, provided for several levels. Firstly, these are various coverings of camouflage type, such as anti-radar wraps and various deformation stains. Secondly, it is a complex of active defense, for the “Object 195” KAZ “Standart” was developed, which combined the qualities of “Arena” and “Drozda”. At the same time, the Blind-2 complex of active optoelectronic counteraction was operating.
The next level included a complex of dynamic protection, a universal modular DZ "Relict" with elements 4C23 (developed by the Research Institute of Steel, Moscow).
Next up is the 81B Launcher 902B Tucha for staging smoke and aerosol screens, anti-nuclear defense equipment.
Tank armor included various alloys, ceramics, and composites. The armored titanium capsule itself was mounted in an armored corps, separating the crew from the compartment where there were weapons and ammunition. Ammunition security was also very high, knockout panels were provided.
In addition, the crew themselves received a set of protective uniforms for tankers (such as “Cowboy”), consisting of a first-class anti-fragmentation vest, a fireproof suit and an anti-fragmentation pad on a tank helmet. Special fibers made the equipment durable and fireproof.
Two prototypes then departed 15 thousand kilometers, 2 shots were fired from the 83A287 gun.
Based on experience, the first and second samples required completion of the tank and only on the third option - conducting state tests. It was planned in 2005 to complete the tests and launch the tank in the initial series, where 100 vehicles were to be made in the first year, after which another 300 more.
What happened next? Although this is already a separate story, its essence will have to be reflected in order to understand the further evolution of this development, which has switched to the Armata platform.
So, as noted by Colonel General Sergey Aleksandrovich Maev, who from 1996 to 2003 held the position of head of the Main Armored Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and led the development of the tank ("Object 195"), to finish this machine, it was necessary to make another tank (third instance ) and spend about 500 million rubles on this.
The money in the project remained about 700 million rubles (2,2 billion rubles were allocated for the creation of the tank). It must be emphasized that our army and the military-industrial complex were going through hard times at that time, and this also touched on the subject of testing Object 195.
Alas, the process of fine-tuning a promising project was delayed, and after that it was generally put an end to. But it was the creation of a tank with a powerful 152 mm gun that was the quintessence of efforts, allowing you to get a super tank capable of destroying all existing and promising enemy tanks from the first shot, even at maximum range, remaining outside the area of their return fire.
To understand the future, we need to recall in more detail our recent past: on April 9, 2010, Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Vladimir Popovkin said that the Object 195 program was closed and there was no plan to take the tank into service. The tank was called too expensive and complicated for conscripts, even morally obsolete ...
In general, under Anatoly Eduardovich (Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov, from 2007 to 2012), new trends appeared in our army, such as outsourcing, reduction and optimization. In a large army, then, in general, the need seemed to have disappeared, in friendship with the United States and NATO (the impossibility of a major war). Criticism of Soviet technology gained momentum, and purchases of foreign weapons increased.
The army was supposed to become compact, the probability was recognized only of local wars and limited conflicts. The main readiness of the troops was to be the readiness for counter-terrorism operations, which required more police, counter-guerrilla equipment, rather than equipment in a large-scale war.
Particular attention was paid to foreign samples with MRAP technology (English mine resistant ambush protected, that is, protected from undermining and attacks from ambushes, mine-resistant, ambush-protected). It should be noted here that the V-shaped bottom by this technology enhances protection against undermining, but inevitably increases the overall height of the machine, its dimensions, substituting the side. This is good against militants using guerrilla tactics, but not the fact that this will be in demand in the war against full-fledged armies with all kinds of troops.
However, such “armored buses” would suit us against the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, in military convoys on the roads.
It so happened that the theme of “platforms” sounded like a discovery, like something new, created from scratch by “brilliant reformers”. The supertank was not really needed, but the creation of a kind of “transformer”, where everything was in one bottle, seemed revolutionary and economical.
As if in the Soviet Union there were no families of equipment created on the basis of the same T-72 (bridge layers, BREM, self-propelled guns, BMO-T, TOS, BMPT and others) or the base platform MT-LB, BMP / BMD.
“Revolutionary” was only that if earlier the base, the platform was a successful and time-tested equipment already in service, technologically advanced and well mastered by the industry, now the “platform” did not become a technology, but was appointed in advance.
Accordingly, all design work in the "platform" was created using a "pig in a poke", which has not yet been adopted for service. Such a “furniture set” was exhibited in terms of integrity, balance as the idea of “ahead of the rest”, under a compact army and anti-terrorism tasks at the forefront.
“Object 195” was the victim of a “remake”: they decided to create a kind of “transformer” from a tank - a heavy infantry fighting vehicle and a tank (front engine, rear engine). All this should have led to unavoidable compromises in resolving the often contradictory requirements in such a “unification”.
To all and the development of ARVs, BMPT, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled guns and more. Everything that will be ordered on this heavy, expensive, complex, and, most importantly, still raw base.
Probably, you need to take off your hat to those who were forced to creatively solve these problems, maybe selfishly rejoicing in investments, maybe patriotically cursing those who came up with such "savings".
They spared money on the refinement of the almost finished “Object 195”, Colonel General Mayev prophetically said that they would subsequently spend not 700 million rubles, but much more, simplify the characteristics and make the car lower in class. He then literally uttered: "You will make" ... "(the illegitimate offspring of a purebred noble parent).
Sergei Alexandrovich looked like into the water: according to Vladimir Putin, 64 billion rubles were spent on the R&D and R&D of the Armata platform alone, not counting the money that went into the production of raw T-14 and T-15 for parades. Now the yard is already mid-2020, there is still no new tank in service, a lot of money has been lost, and most importantly - time.
They say that the new tank in the "platform" immediately became cheaper, from 450 million ("Object 195") to 400 million (T-14 "Armata"), and after the tank should become even more budget (with mass production - about 250-270 million rubles).
That's just for conscripts the car has not become easier, it is generally not for them. The tank lost a 30-mm automatic gun and, most importantly, a 152-mm gun, for which everything was originally started.
A 14-mm 125A2-82M gun was installed on the T-1, which, of course, occupies a leading position in the world of tank guns, but, as noted in Soviet times, the modernization potential of 120-125 mm tank calibers is approaching its logical finale.
In addition, a modernized T-90 tank can be produced with such a gun, that is, the T-14 has no significant advantages in terms of firepower, being more expensive and more difficult, having larger dimensions, despite the fact that it is possible to hit the enemy from a safe distance the first shot is already virtually lost.
Naturally, not everything was simple, the first 152-mm gun for the “Object 195” was torn apart on the 86th shot. During the tests, for a long time they could not understand the reasons, it turned out that the internal pressure increased to 7500 atmospheres, there were 125 on 3000-mm tank guns. The aggressiveness of the powder and the initial speed were very high. I had to change the thickness of the barrel walls to change the amplitude of the metal vibrations, got 280 shots per barrel. A 152-mm caliber projectile is also a very complex product, no doubt it seems easier to use a 125-mm caliber.
Nevertheless, another former head of the State Academic Technical University (1987-1996), Colonel-General Alexander Alexandrovich Galkin warned: “If you refuse the 152-mm gun, the whole idea will fail!”
Indeed, our “partners” have a real prospect of supplying a 140-mm tank gun. Using a 125-mm gun here makes the T-14 uncompetitive in the long run on the battlefield, takes a step back from what was achieved earlier, which is why time is wasted.
Returning to the 152-mm gun again will require time and money, although this was initially the most important. The fact that we do not want an arms race (leaving the 125-mm caliber) somehow does not irritate the “partners” - nothing more than demagogy that covers what has already been done. Our "reformers" generally wanted to destroy all the stocks of old tanks, and then make "thousands" of new ones on the Armata platform. Fortunately, this adventurous stupidity (or sabotage) has not yet been implemented.
Moreover, T-14s began to be presented as a kind of leader tank, which could lead a unit from the same T-90s. They started talking again about the return of the 152-mm gun, its installation on the T-14.
It remains to hope, together with Colonel General Mayev, that the chief designer of "Almaty", Andrei Leonidovich Terlikov (or who else), will try to "drag" all the best with T-95 ("Object 195") into T-14, that the work will not be lost .
After the “reforms”, divisions and military schools had to be restored, and much more. But the "headsets" voila "platform" is still "in trend" ...
One can also be glad that UVZ did not fail to go bankrupt, such as the Omsk Tank Plant (2015). That people got a job, the enterprise is an update.
Speaking about the development of tanks, about what they should be, one should not forget about such an interesting domestic development as the “Object 640”, or “Black Eagle”.
In general, the Nizhny Tagil T-95 ("Object 195") and the Omsk "Black Eagle" (object 640) used to be constantly confused.
Unlike the “Object 195”, where the crew was taken out into a separate armored capsule, an automatic loading unit with a part of the ammunition load compartment (aft niche) was placed in a separate armored capsule on the “Orel”.
The tank, although it was a development from the T-80, was already an independent project on a seven-track chassis. Initially armed with a 125 mm cannon, later a more powerful gun from 130 to 152 mm was supposed.
This tank was absolutely uninteresting to our defense officials. If the T-95 (“Object 195”) at least had any chances, transformed into a T-14, the “Eagle” immediately had their wings cut off, saying that the tank is interesting only for export.
Maybe that's why there were unverified rumors that the documentation for the Black Eagle was bought by the Chinese. It is also hoped that the best ideas of the project can somehow be used for further modernization of the remaining T-80 or in new versions of the T-90.
“Object 6402, like“ Object 195 ”, is in its own way a feat of our designers, a triumph of the Soviet school of tank building.
Speaking about the creation of promising tanks with more powerful guns, it should be noted that the confrontation between armor and shell was most clearly manifested even at navy with the advent of armadillos and lasted a very long time, until the appearance of rocket weapons.
Currently, the “main caliber” at sea has moved from artillery to missiles, and the armor, where it was preserved, began to perform auxiliary functions, more as an element of increasing overall survivability, and not an element of achieving invulnerability.
The appearance of tanks also gave rise to the confrontation of armor and shell, already on land.
The caliber of the guns also increased, the thickness of the armor, the total weight of the tanks increased. Already in the second half of the last century, the strengthening of armaments, as well as the increase in armor, came across the limit of the reason for the ever-increasing weight of military vehicles. In fact, it is impossible to infinitely increase the caliber of tank guns, as well as the total weight of the protection of tanks.
Then what else should a tank be? Maybe rocket?
In fact, in addition to the topic of increasing the caliber of tank guns, there were other attempts in the Soviet Union to increase the combat power of the tank.
We are talking about "missile tanks", where the "main caliber" are not artillery shells, but compact missiles. Three Soviet developments can be distinguished: objects 150, 287 and 775.
Tank IT-1 ("Object 150") is best known.
Few people know that the “Object 150” was adopted by our army (Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 703-261 of September 3 and Order of the Minister of Defense No. 0269 of November 6, 1968) under the designation IT-1 (tank destroyer), was produced in series .
The armament of the tank consisted of a 2K4 "Dragon" guided missile system and 15 missiles (the main weapon), a 7,62 mm PKT machine gun with 2000 rounds of ammunition was installed as auxiliary armament.
The effectiveness of hitting a target is from the first or second shot. Automatic launcher loading. Automation was actuated by pressing a button on the day sight.
Aiming at the target, firing a shot was carried out using the control panel of the day sight 1-OP2. Safety glasses of sights had an electric heating system.
Before launching the missile, the range to the target was determined, this characteristic was introduced into the sight. The operator, holding the crosshair on the target, pressed the start button.
The first 0,5 seconds the rocket flew uncontrollable, after the coordinates of the flying rocket they were determined automatically, encrypted radio commands were generated and emitted in the direction of the rocket on which they were received, decrypted and fed to the steering wheels.
Firing range ranged from 300 to 3300 m during the day and 400 to 600 m at night. Armor penetration at an angle of 60 ° was 250 mm.
The tank was manufactured in series at the Uralvagonzavod from 1968 to 1970. The IT-1 was not in service for long, its design flaws affected, mainly the outdated element base, large dead zone, and the lack of a gun on the tank, which led to the removal of IT-1 from service.
In real hostilities, these machines did not participate and were not exported.
Since the advent of IT-1, a lot of time has passed, more missile tanks in our army were not accepted for service. The ability to launch missiles through the barrel of a tank gun was largely replaced by the solutions used at facilities 150, 287 or 775.
Nevertheless, missile weapons are rapidly improving, becoming more compact and at the same time more powerful, more and more phrases “shot and forgot” and the purely sniper “one shot, one corpse” begin to approach modern anti-tank missiles. Domestic developments ATGM in this have good potential. So is it possible on land to repeat what happened at sea when rockets became the "main caliber" and artillery became auxiliary?
We already have combat vehicles known as BMPTs, combining powerful tank protection with fast-firing automatic guns and anti-tank missiles.
Maybe similar tanks (or new BMPTs) will appear on their base?
At IT-1, weapons were considered a weak point (and indeed defense), where so far only the machine gun (PKT) was attached to the already obsolete 2K4 Dragon.
Modern guided missiles with a 57-mm automatic cannon can provide completely new opportunities, allowing you to optimize dimensions and combat weight while maintaining powerful tank protection for effective weapons. It is known that it is a gun, especially a large-caliber one, that gives a significant increase in mass and requires volume, and the use of a small-caliber automatic gun as an auxiliary and powerful, but compact missiles (the main anti-tank weapon) allows you to get a well-balanced machine both on a new chassis and when using the base existing tanks (T-72 / T-90).
More recently, MBT has dominated. But more and more developments of “light tanks” appear in different armies of the world, we have a tank self-propelled gun (Sprut-SD), we have a specialized BMPT, a heavy tank leader with a 152-mm gun (which, possibly, will become a T -14), in the West - heavy tanks with 140 mm guns.
So what should be the tank of the future? A tank for Russia with its geographical environment, climate, and alarming borders is more than a tank. I would like it to be decided not by “effective managers”, “buy-sell” specialists, and even less so by traitors, but by real tankers, military engineers and designers, generals, talented tacticians and theorists.
It is interesting to hear the opinion of everyone who cares. Both professionals, true “fuel oil”, and those who have a mother teacher, and father is a pianist.