Military Review

Laboratory works. American armored vehicles under the scalpel of Soviet engineers

21

Self-propelled anti-aircraft mount M19A1. Source: warspot.ru


Scientific Council PO Box A-7701


In previous articles in the series it was about the theoretical calculations of domestic engineers regarding the vulnerability of armored vehicles of NATO countries. History The development of tank construction in the Soviet Union would be incomplete without mentioning the scientific work unfolding in relevant institutes. One of these was the Leningrad All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Transport Engineering, or VNIITransmash, at different times engaged in the development of machines of the T-64 and T-80 family. In addition, in a secret research institute, which was called the “subscriber (mail) box A-7701", they worked on Russian moon rovers. The Bulletin of Armored Equipment, which over time became the specialized publication of VNIITransmash, regularly published information on the defense of dissertations. The first brief materials of such subjects date back to 1973 and allow us to evaluate the main areas of scientific work in the lead tank research institute. It is interesting that in one year only 8 theses for the degree of candidate of technical sciences were defended. In subsequent years, the number of protected scientific papers on tank topic has steadily increased.

Among the works there are survey studies of questions of quantitative assessment of the technical level of modern armored vehicles and highly specialized dissertations. For example, the development of a method for optimizing the parameters of a cutting tool, which makes it possible to identify reserves for increasing the breakage strength of transmission teeth of a medium tank. In 1974, preparations were underway for mass production of T-80 series tanks, and VNIITransmash engineers simultaneously defended dissertations. So there was a study on the development of a semi-automatic hydraulic control system for a tank transmission with on-board gearboxes and a gas turbine engine. A year later, there was a defense of the work on the topic: “Study of the operability and parameters of a gas turbine engine in a tank power plant system with high dust content”. In many ways, an actual study of a problem that has not yet been completely resolved. Another work on this topic was the research and development of direct-flow cyclones for air purifiers of tank gas turbine units.


VNIITrasnmash worked not only on tanks, but also on moon rovers. Source: ru.wikipedia.org

A separate direction was work to improve the accuracy of shooting tank guns. One of the dissertations substantiates the choice of preferred directions for reducing repetitive errors associated with improving the accuracy and stability of battle of tank guns. The developed fire control system takes into account deviations of the shooting conditions from normal, as well as the movement parameters of the target and the tank. Also, within the framework of the direction, work was carried out on the development of tracking systems for the target and improving the accuracy of guidance.

In September 1974, two dissertations were successfully defended, dedicated to improving the survivability of a tank on the battlefield. One of them addressed the issue of improving armor and internal equipment, taking into account the design features of the tank and the armored action of anti-tank ammunition when penetrated and without penetration. In the second work, the stability of armored vehicles was simulated under the influence of a shock wave of a nuclear explosion.

Finally, the dissertation councils reflected the long-term work of VNIITransmash devoted to the lunar program of the Soviet Union. In 1974, the calculations of the operational load of the chassis wheels during the movement of a transport vehicle over the rugged terrain of the Moon and planets got their logical conclusion. In the work, the author chose the optimal suspension system, providing satisfactory contact of the wheels with the ground at maximum speeds. Even more fantastic is the theme of a scientific work, defended a year later: “Investigation of the longitudinal dynamic stability of planetary vehicles”. The planetary transports were Lunokhod-1 and Lunokhod-2.

Korean-Cuban heritage


Scientific work in the tank industry was carried out not only at VNIITransmash, but also at many other institutes. However, officers of military unit No. 68054, or the NIIII Polygon in Kubinka, contacted directly with samples of foreign equipment. In the post-war period, one of the first armored vehicles that underwent a detailed study was the American anti-aircraft self-propelled gun M19A1, which had no direct analogues in the Soviet Army at that time. The machine was based on the chassis of the M-24 light tank, armed with two twin 40-mm M1 Bofors cannons and an auxiliary 12,7-mm Browning machine gun. The anti-aircraft gun did not have time to fight in World War II, but on the Korean Peninsula it participated in hostilities and even was captured, and from there to Kubinka. Moreover, along with the instruction manual. In one of the issues of the Bulletin of the Tank Industry, Captain Engineer I.P. Myrzak presented a detailed report on the armament of the M19A1 installation. The criticisms that were mentioned in the material are interesting. Thus, the author indicates that the tower’s niche covers two drawers of the warhead, and as a result, you have to turn the “tower” to extract shells. Yes, that's right, in quotation marks, a platform with an open fighting compartment is designated, in which it was located weapon. In general, layout flaws reduced the rate of fire of M19A1 guns from 25 rounds per minute to 20. Loaders had to bend over the side of the fighting compartment for laying ammunition, and also separately rotate the “tower” in order to take clips located near the barrel of the guns. Found a minus and anti-aircraft sight. These became low accuracy due to the eye measurement of the speed and course of the target, as well as the inability to conduct aimed fire at diving and cabriolet planes. But the system’s electro-hydraulic control system when firing at aerial targets, obviously made an impression on domestic engineers. The material does not have a single critical comment on the design, but a few pages are devoted to a detailed description of the device.


M19A1 anti-aircraft self-propelled gun in Kubinka. Source: ru.wikipedia.org




Illustrations for an article on the M-41 tank in the Bulletin of Armored Vehicles

If in the case of the M19A1 the researchers were interested in weapons, then in the light tank M-41 Walker Bulldog, the properties of armor and welded seams came to the fore. Here, experts already really cut the tank with “scalpels” - samples of the lower and upper frontal parts, the back of the side and the middle stern part of the hull, the tower cover, as well as the lower stern part with the back of the bottom went into work. Of course, they did not completely shatter the armored car, but they got an idea of ​​the level of protection. They brought a light tank to the USSR from friendly Cuba ("Fidel's gift") after the fighting at Playa Hironi in April 1961, and it is still kept in the Tank Museum. Already in 1962, the Vestnik published a detailed report on the features of the M-41. One of the leading organizations on the topic of research was the Steel Research Institute: it was here that the armor of a light tank was analyzed. The composition of the steel was studied by spectral and chemical analysis. It turned out that the armor is mainly manganese-molybdenum with 0,10-0,15% titanium. The authors conclude that such a steel composition is typical of American bulletproof armor. In the refrigerator chamber of the TsDMK-30 testing machine, tensile testing of the armor was performed, preliminarily cooling the samples to -50 degrees for one and a half hours. Similar experiments were also carried out at a temperature of +20 degrees. The M-41 armor turned out to be high-strength with satisfactory ductility and high impact strength. The authors point out that steel will resist fire from small arms with no brittle lesions.

Laboratory works. American armored vehicles under the scalpel of Soviet engineers
M-41 in Kubinka. Source: wiki.warthunder.ru

Welded joints of the armored parts of the tank aroused considerable interest of domestic researchers. It turned out that the Americans use automatic welding, and between the parts there are 6-8 mm gaps. This negatively affects the bulletproofness of the hull and turret, since the seam is much less resistant to shock loads than the main armor.

It is worth noting that the M-41 was not fired at the firing range, obviously, saving for other studies and the museum. Therefore, the strength of American armor was determined using the bulletproof resistance curves of domestic high-hardness armor (in many respects these steels were similar). In accordance with this, the forehead of the hull and turret (except for the rear) were not pierced by armor-piercing calibres of 7,62 mm, 12,7 mm and 14,5 mm from any distance and at any angle. The sides of the hull penetrate 14,5 mm bullets only in a limited range of course angles and at relatively short ranges. However, as the authors of the article assure, it is possible to relate to these calculations with a certain degree of conditionality. The most unequivocal conclusion based on the results of working with the "Fidel's gift" is a negative assessment of the height of the armored car: for the Soviet tank engineering school 2,7 meters seemed excessive.

To be continued ...
Author:
Articles from this series:
Disruption of the tower. Expert opinion of the Bulletin of Armored vehicles about the Cold War tanks
"Bulletin of the tank industry." Tank technology classified as “secret”
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 17 July 2020 06: 37 New
    +7
    Thanks for the interesting cycle.
    I remembered how at the school there was a test on domestic programmable calculators to calculate the vibration parameters of the road roller on a given (for each student individually) uneven road.
    So the majority of the tank "jumped like a grasshopper"! Now a couple of tens of meters up, then one and a half to two meters underground!)))
    So the theory is different!))
    1. Svateev
      Svateev 17 July 2020 09: 35 New
      +6
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      So the theory is different!))

      Maybe it's not about theory, but about cadets?
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 17 July 2020 13: 24 New
      +7
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      So the majority of the tank "jumped like a grasshopper"! Now a couple of tens of meters up, then one and a half to two meters underground!)))
      So the theory is different!))

      Oh, come on. We know these calculations. For example, my C-125 convoy stretched out 30 km on the march. The head is already entering a new position, and the tail is still on the old one. smile
      1. Alf
        Alf 18 July 2020 18: 23 New
        +1
        Quote: Alexey RA
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        So the majority of the tank "jumped like a grasshopper"! Now a couple of tens of meters up, then one and a half to two meters underground!)))
        So the theory is different!))

        Oh, come on. We know these calculations. For example, my C-125 convoy stretched out 30 km on the march. The head is already entering a new position, and the tail is still on the old one. smile

        I remembered an old joke - which ship of the Soviet Navy is the longest?
  2. pmkemcity
    pmkemcity 17 July 2020 09: 13 New
    +1
    In the post-war period, one of the first armored vehicles that underwent a detailed study was the American anti-aircraft self-propelled gun M19A1, which had no direct analogues in the Soviet Army at that time.

    But what about the ZSU 37 and the next ZSU 37-2?
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 17 July 2020 11: 06 New
      0
      Maybe it meant serial?
      1. pmkemcity
        pmkemcity 17 July 2020 11: 13 New
        +1
        Quote: garri-lin
        Maybe it meant serial

        These are the same 300 pieces. released. ZSU 37 write that 75 pcs. Recently, the first parade in honor of the day of the tankman was shown, so probably they all passed.
        1. garri-lin
          garri-lin 17 July 2020 11: 51 New
          0
          Really 75. Shas looked. Sclerosis suggested a count of about 50.
  3. Svateev
    Svateev 17 July 2020 09: 34 New
    +1
    Did Abrams and Leopard Explore? What modifications? What are the results?
    1. Free wind
      Free wind 17 July 2020 11: 55 New
      +1
      And who will give them?
      1. Svateev
        Svateev 17 July 2020 12: 06 New
        +1
        Quote: Free Wind
        And who will give them?

        And take it? What is the GRU for?
        1. Free wind
          Free wind 17 July 2020 12: 11 New
          +2
          Abrams in chumadan is difficult to drag across the border.
          1. Svateev
            Svateev 17 July 2020 12: 27 New
            +3
            Quote: Free Wind
            Abrams in Chumadan

            The impression is as if I am talking with the organizer of the "procurement" of new American rifle scopes. When you were sent to buy such a sight in a store in the United States, and upon departure at the airport, such a "buyer" is packed by the FBI: "You were warned upon purchase that the export of this sight from the United States is prohibited!" And in our media "a wave of protests against the arbitrariness of the American authorities" is rising.
            In the current GRU, no one can already foresee that the Internet is working in the United States and that who bought a sight, the export of which is prohibited from the United States, will be punched when trying to leave ?!
            1. Archon
              Archon 18 July 2020 06: 26 New
              0
              Theoretically, you can get Abrams and some devices, such as sights, from Iraq and Egypt. To research armor, there is generally no point in transporting an entire tank - you can buy a piece or cut out the parts of interest on the spot. It is unlikely that the Americans completely took away all their scrap metal - most likely only what makes sense to repair or is very valuable and secret.
          2. Alf
            Alf 18 July 2020 18: 24 New
            +1
            Quote: Free Wind
            Abrams in chumadan is difficult to drag across the border.

            And how did the Thunderbolt 80 end up at the Air Force Research Institute in the early 10s?
      2. Koval Sergey
        Koval Sergey 19 July 2020 13: 15 New
        +9
        Quote: Free Wind
        And who will give them?

        So you need to somehow study on the spot what
  4. Free wind
    Free wind 17 July 2020 12: 21 New
    0
    In the figure about the anti-aircraft gun, you can see that there is an auxiliary motor.
  5. Undecim
    Undecim 17 July 2020 14: 06 New
    +5
    Found a minus and anti-aircraft sight. These became low accuracy due to the eye measurement of the speed and course of the target, as well as the inability to conduct aimed fire at diving and cabriolet planes.
    This "minus" looks somewhat curious in relation to the ZSU, which was developed in 1943-1944, since the ZSU - 1950 - 57 produced in the USSR since 2 had exactly the same "minus".
    1. Firelake
      Firelake 17 July 2020 15: 54 New
      +2
      This is different)
    2. volodimer
      volodimer 17 July 2020 17: 31 New
      +2
      In general, the entire cycle of articles is very interesting, but specifically, claims to this one really did arise in the presentation. Indeed, I agree with you, the found "minus" as such was not, just technical issues with aiming at diving and pitching aircraft ie. difficult goals were not solved both for them and for us (the fact that the American ZSU was developed earlier does not matter, at the time of the creation of the ZSU-57-2 they were using the German M19A1).
      The second point is about the "tower":
      Yes, that's right, in quotation marks, is a platform with an open fighting compartment
      . Well, what is the best and most understandable and short description of this design. Indeed, in most descriptions of the same M-36 it is: installing a gun in an open top the towerso that such a description has the right to be considered without irony.
      I recall the report on tests in the 40th year of captured Polish tanks, relatives of our T-26s, the order of outdated vehicles. It seemed that there simply could be neglected and forgotten, but our testers then noted not only the negative sides, moreover, reasonably comparing them with the solutions implemented on our technology, but also successful solutions that could be applied by us. It is clear that it is no longer in the t-26. One of these points was easy access to the MTO. Decades have passed, but easy access to the engine and transmission, providing faster repair and replacement of units is our chip.
      THANKS to the author!
  6. Free wind
    Free wind 17 July 2020 16: 25 New
    0
    The author, at least about the guns on the anti-aircraft gun, would write something, about the chassis, the engine. And then only about the candidates and their desertion. Maybe then it will be. and without doctors.