Articulated armored vehicles

Articulated armored vehicles
Combat tandem: combat wheeled vehicle, consisting of two modules. The front module houses the engine and armament. In the second - also an engine, but of less power, a compartment for troops and a ZSU installation. Such a project was developed in France, but was not approved.

“Therefore, if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it.”
First Corinthians 12:26

Tank panopticon. And it happened that back in 1997 and 1998, the Military Parade magazine published material by V. Batenin, V. Kovalev and M. Starostin, named representatives of the Academy of Armored Forces, about a fundamentally new approach to creating tanks of the XNUMXst century. What interesting things did they offer, such that it was possible to paint in as many as three materials? And they proposed a new approach to the design of armored vehicles, which, in their opinion, is capable of taking our tanks completely apart from what our potential opponents have.

The concept - "all units and crew in one building", in the opinion of the authors of this series of articles, is outdated and does not provide an opportunity to create new and perfect tanks. They say that more and more new and complex systems are being introduced into the design of tanks, the caliber of the gun is increasing, armor protection is growing, and accordingly, the power of the tank engine is increasing. But ... everything in the world has a limit. Tanks are getting heavier and heavier. Free reserved space is also decreasing all the time, which reduces the comfort of the crew.

As a result, the crew cannot realize more than 70% of the potential capabilities of the tank. And traditional layout solutions do not make it possible to significantly increase its performance characteristics. It is required to reach a new, higher level of efficiency - and how to do this if, in fact, all the possibilities for improving tanks with the traditional approach to their design have been exhausted?

M561 - American articulated off-road vehicle "Gama Goat" with six-wheel drive

First of all, we are talking about a system-forming approach to the creation of new machines. That is, what we are seeing today - the former diversity (T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, T-90) simply should not be in the army. There should be a single platform for a whole family of combat vehicles. Moreover, in addition to combat vehicles, they also need support vehicles, which will allow tank units to operate in isolation from the main forces. Such “nepotism” can only be welcomed, but so far we have not reached the level of constructive thinking. That is, everyone understands this, they write and talk about it (and not only the authors of articles in the indicated journal), but the various machines are still winning.

The UDES-XX20 is a Swedish light tank, often referred to as a two-section self-propelled anti-tank gun. It was developed back in 1977-1982 by Hägglunds. The prototype of the machine was made in a single copy, it was highly appreciated during the tests, but was not accepted into mass production. Now located at the Swedish Army Museum in Stockholm

In general, the authors propose to move from traditional single-hull vehicles to multi-hull, articulated combat vehicles. They even came up with an abbreviation for them, but it is too long and difficult to pronounce to be given here. Anyway, no normal person will remember so many consonant letters in a row. But the idea itself is interesting and quite worthy of our tank panopticon, where, as VO readers, of course, they remember what is not there.

In short, the authors propose a three-membered machine. Consisting not even of two, but of three modules. Moreover, all three modules can be decoupled from each other and act independently.

The authors see the benefits as follows: each module can have an increased quality due to the design separately. That is, three perfections are combined into one, which is why the final perfection becomes ... even more perfect.

The main combat characteristics of the tank are shared, which is regarded as a positive fact. That is, when all three modules are connected together, then this is ... a tank! But now the transport and evacuation module is separated from it and is engaged in delivering fuel and ammunition to the two remaining modules. Both mobile modules unhooked from the combat module and ... “left on business”, and the combat module fires from the ground as a stationary artillery mount. Then two transport modules again dock with the combat one and take it to the right place. This is convenient, since today tank units are served by a large number of wheeled vehicles that are not armored and have limited terrain.

As an example, the authors point to the modern use of tanks in Bosnia, where they were used, as a rule, as self-propelled guns, and artillery was used stationary.

It is emphasized that a "promising" articulated tank should consist of three modules: combat and two transport and evacuation. The combat module is hinged between the transport and evacuation modules. Hinges provide mobility to the system and the ability to connect and disconnect. Accordingly, the weapon station has hydraulic jacks that raise or lower the module when it is articulated or disengaged from the two modules. Interestingly, the presence of jacks is also capable, according to the authors, to increase the firepower of the tank. How? And it’s very simple - to raise the warhead of the tank so that it can “see further”, fire a shot, and then “crouch” on the ground in order to sharply lower its height and at the same time reduce visibility.

Successful development of the Swedes: BV-206 "Moose" - an articulated tracked all-terrain vehicle, consisting of two modules. It was developed in 1974 by the Swedish company Hägglunds. More than 11 machines have been produced and delivered to more than 000 countries around the world

The combat module is also equipped with a turret with a gun, and the main crew is also located there, and engines, transmissions and driver positions are located in the transport and evacuation modules. Here, I must say, the authors of the project return to the idea of ​​the 20s, when a second aft post with steering was installed on combat vehicles, which allowed such BAs (and they were equipped with BAs, but not tanks) quickly, and at the same time without turning around, leave the battlefield.

That is, the rectilinear movement of such an articulated tank occurs according to the “push-pull” principle, and if the propulsion system of the front module is affected, then the tank leaves the battle due to the work of the rear, and besides, you can move forward and backward at the same speed, which is what our modern tanks can't.

It is interesting that the turn of such a machine is possible in two ways - "in a tank way", that is, due to the work of the tracks, and "in a car way", due to the rotation of each individual module relative to the combat one.

T-80BV with mounted modules for transporting cargo and infantry

Also, three modules can give the system more security. Two modules in front and behind provide high security to the combat module, just as the engine and transmission of the Merkava tank, placed in front, increase the security of its crew. And then there are two engines at once and the corresponding armor protection, both in front and behind, so you won’t get to the body of the combat module itself, except perhaps from the side.

Cross-country ability increases - an articulated vehicle has a higher clearance, maintainability increases - due to the “cannibalism” of wrecked vehicles, because if we have two tanks with damaged transport modules, then it doesn’t cost us anything to combine them into one whole tank, and without any problems.

Articulated three-section tank, which is discussed in this material

In a word, according to the authors of all these materials, all the benefits are obvious. About the "disadvantages" is not written, but they certainly exist. As you know, it is very difficult to do simply, but it is very easy to do difficult. In this case, we have very complex hinge joints for connecting modules, which will have to have great strength, and hence a lot of weight. And the weight at the same time will not affect the security of this machine. A breakdown of such a node on one module, and anything can break, for some time will disable such a tank completely. Because he will not be able to ride on one module, and he will need to look somewhere for a second module from a damaged car, which may not be at hand.

The tank acquires large dimensions and heavy weight, which can negate all the advantages of its increased maneuverability. Its security from the sides also decreases. On modern tanks, the turret compartment is more or less covered by wheels and tracks. On an articulated tank, the side projections of the turret box are open for destruction. In a word, there have always been more interesting ideas in the field of tank design than their implementation, and not everything that looks good on paper looks just as good in metal! But as gymnastics for the mind... why not?!

The article used materials from the magazine "Military Parade" No. 3 and No. 4 for 1997, No. 2 and No. 6 for 1998.
Fig. A. Shepsa.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +6
    1 May 2023 05: 11
    Thanks to the author for an interesting review and excellent illustrations!
  2. +4
    1 May 2023 05: 30
    Well, it's probably worth remembering about them ...
    Italian "flamethrower" tankette CV-3/33

    And the English "Churchill-crocodile"

    1. +4
      1 May 2023 08: 44
      For tanks, I'm afraid it's not relevant. In addition to self-propelled guns, small mortar transporters and robotic transporters of the battlefield (ammunition, evacuation of the wounded, etc.)
  3. +8
    1 May 2023 05: 43
    Too complicated, too much contrived. In the pre-war years, Soviet designers proposed a three-module breakthrough tank with 152mm guns and diesel engines from diesel locomotives - the preliminary project did not go further.
    My personal opinion, if you need to get an MBT with absolute superiority on the battlefield, then you need to finish the T-95 concept (with a separate capsule for the crew) and a weapon of increased power.
    Articulation technology has already found its niche in all-terrain vehicles and transporters with improved autonomy and habitability.

    D-30 Vityaz in the transport version.

    He is an SAU.

    He is also an air defense (Thor).
    Such equipment is necessary for the far north and remote regions of Siberia and the Far East.
    1. +3
      1 May 2023 08: 21
      During the First World War, a certain Marchenko proposed a project for a heavy two-axle all-wheel drive articulated armored car. The armament consisted of six 75 mm Kane naval guns, two anti-aircraft guns (apparently, a 76 mm Tarnovsky-Lender gun) and four machine guns. The armored car was divided into compartments, which, firstly, increased the survivability of the car, and secondly, made it possible to deliver it to the front in disassembled form and then quickly assemble it. everything, 76-mm Tarnovsky-Lender cannons) and four machine guns. It was the first project of an articulated armored car in Russia and possibly in the world.
    2. +5
      1 May 2023 08: 44
      Currently, in addition to the D-30 Vityaz, several models of articulated all-terrain vehicles are being produced in Russia.
      "Attack", on ultra-low pressure tires. - one of the smallest domestic all-terrain vehicles produced today.

      The two sections of the frame are interconnected by a rotary coupling device, which allows the links of the all-terrain vehicle to fold relative to each other, and in different directions. Thanks to the flexible "kink" in the horizontal plane, the machine turns. Twisting with a "screw" provides it with constant contact of the wheels with the ground surface. The drive of this all-terrain vehicle involves hydraulics, and the commands come from the steering wheel that controls the bypass valves.
      Larger all-terrain vehicles of this type are also produced. So, for example, "Mammoth". The line of its frame passes almost before the eyes, and the ultra-low pressure tires (0,2 - 0,5 atm.) Are 1 meter 70 cm in diameter. You have to climb into its cabin almost like a K-700 tractor, climbing a couple of steps up.

      The TTM-4901 "Ruslan" two-link transport and technological machine was developed by CJSC "Transport" by order of the Joint-Stock Company "Transneft" and is intended for servicing pipelines.

      A feature of the machine is the unique cross-country ability due to the folding of the links and the separate blocking of the inter-side and inter-link differentials. The car is able to move through any swamps, unlike conventional all-terrain vehicles "Ruslan" can climb a steep bank, rafts, overcome ditches, ravines and other difficult areas on rough terrain.

      By hooking one of the four tracks on the smallest piece of solid support, the machine can get out of the most difficult off-road situation.
      The high cross-country ability of Ruslan is complemented by buoyancy - the car easily crosses rivers and lakes at a speed of 5 km / h. Bilge pumps for pumping water are installed in the hull.
      1. +3
        1 May 2023 15: 15
        GAZ-3344-20 "Aleut"


        The Ural-44201 tractor and the Ural-862 active semi-trailer with a K-862-2 van body will partially fit into the concept under discussion (trailer wheel drive from the car engine)

        But this car from designer Luigi Colani, I don’t even know what concept it will fit into
  4. +1
    1 May 2023 06: 27
    An articulated all-terrain vehicle is not a bad idea for an armored personnel carrier / infantry fighting vehicle. In the first section, the crew and the combat module. In the second infantry section. When hitting a mine or hit, the chances of survival are two orders of magnitude higher.
    1. +5
      1 May 2023 08: 28
      Quote: Bodypuncher
      An articulated all-terrain vehicle is not a bad idea for an armored personnel carrier / infantry fighting vehicle. In the first section, the crew and the combat module. In the second infantry section. When hitting a mine or hit, the chances of survival are two orders of magnitude higher.

      Controversial decision.
      The cost of the first section will always be more expensive than a mine trawl.

      Solutions for Soviet infantry fighting vehicles
  5. +1
    1 May 2023 06: 47
    If you take this matter seriously, then the result will be, especially since technology allows you to reduce the crew and put it in the second module. Articulated tanks may be, they just didn’t deal with the topic.
    1. +2
      1 May 2023 07: 03
      Quote: Vadim S
      Articulated tanks may be, they just didn’t deal with the topic.

      Maneuverability and speed are reduced. But for self-propelled guns, the option is very suitable (for regions of Siberia and the Far North).
    2. +2
      1 May 2023 08: 38
      Quote: Vadim S
      If you take this matter seriously, then the result will be, especially since technology allows you to reduce the crew and put it in the second module. Articulated tanks may be, they just didn’t deal with the topic.

      They have been doing it for half a century, if not more.
      Prejudice, however, never existed.
      For example, the British Mk-I had auxiliary steering placed aft.

      The problem is different.
      Articulated and modular vehicles can win over traditional vehicles in terms of height and maneuverability, but will always lose in maneuverability and security. Plus, the price of this machine is predictably always higher.
  6. +13
    1 May 2023 07: 32
    And another miracle of articulation - VAZ-2346 "Corporal"

    Externally, the car carefully hides its uniqueness - you need to kneel to make sure there is no continuous frame and see the hinge connecting the two halves of the car. By the way, it was borrowed by the creators from robotic machines, in which it is used as a rotary support device.

    Immediately striking is the unusual solution of the exhaust system, which, like American truckers, is located on the rear wall of the cab. The thing is that it could become a completely unnecessary connecting link, which would be damaged when the body is twisted.

    And so - cheap, reliable and practical. And aesthetically, by the way.

    And so - seemingly inconspicuous "Niva"-pickup, well, except that the coloring is cheerful ... The interior also does not reveal its belonging to an interesting car. Double cabin with a luggage compartment sufficient for several bags, standard-austere, originally from Tolyatti.
    The only unusual detail is a triple handbrake sticking out between the chairs like a snag. The middle lever here acts as a stopper for the hinge, and two additional, non-fixed ones, brake the right and left wheels separately. Such is "traction control in Russian" - due to lack of funds to create modern stabilization systems, VAZ engineers are forced to come up with original designs that would replace expensive electronics at a primitive mechanical level.
    1. +2
      1 May 2023 08: 14
      Thanks Richard! Didn't know anything about this car.
      1. +3
        1 May 2023 08: 24
        Thanks Richard! Didn't know anything about this car.

        My pleasure. Happy holiday, Vyacheslav
        1. +2
          1 May 2023 08: 26
          quote = Richard] No way [/ quote]
          Thanks Richard! And you. Now I am reading my article dedicated to May 1983, XNUMX from the newspaper "Penzenskaya Pravda". I forgot, completely forgot that I still have it ...
          1. +5
            1 May 2023 09: 57
            By the way, the newspaper "Penzenskaya Pravda" also has a holiday today - its XNUMXth birthday.
            1. +1
              1 May 2023 11: 17
              That's what it means to not deal with them for a long time. Again, I didn't even know about this.
    2. 0
      1 May 2023 15: 16
      Stabilization has absolutely nothing to do with it, the applied ground increases cross-country ability and safety on very rough terrain - there is no suspension of wheels ...
  7. +3
    1 May 2023 08: 11
    It is interesting that the turn of such a machine is possible in two ways - "in a tank way", that is, due to the work of the tracks, and "in a car way", due to the rotation of each individual module relative to the combat one.

    If I'm not mistaken, our Vityaz, the Swedish two-link Hagglunds, are controlled by turning in a horizontal plane by folding sections at a mutual angle, using hydraulic cylinders, similar to K-700, T-150K. Is not it?
    Are the control circuits by braking or releasing (planetary or friction steering control circuits) of the left / right goose on such "devices" produced?
  8. +2
    1 May 2023 10: 19
    For the front line, such a decision looks controversial, but in the rear it is quite viable for itself: cargo transportation, automatic loaders, communication / electronic warfare stations, etc. Especially on complex implementations, where making a “train” for one crew is more efficient than preparing several teams for separate modules.
  9. +3
    1 May 2023 11: 57
    Not relevant for a tank. A too expensive tank will come out and, knowing about its disadvantages, I will use guided weapons according to the module that is most vulnerable, or immediately shoot both modules. Place mines taking into account the links and the possibility of undermining under both modules. And the high cost and complexity of their maintenance will quickly put them out of circulation.
  10. +1
    1 May 2023 12: 15
    And although I consider the modularity of technology in modern warfare rather a plus and a prospect, BT joints are a dead end. In any armor, in any armored vehicles, there is a principle - where there is functionality and mobility, armor will always be weakened. The more functionality and mobility, the more weakened zones. In the case of an articulated BT, the hitch is a huge potentially vulnerable area, and dividing the total engine power into two units doubles the risks, and reduces the engine’s security capabilities (in the complex), because the small engine of the second joint will have to be protected in the same way as the main one, despite the fact that its disabling (for the system) will occur even without damaging it directly if the jumper is damaged. The damage of such a system will also be greater (than that of a classical one similar in mass) from mines. A classic mine, designed for a classic. a tank can be reconfigured for the weight of such a system quite easily, but it will cause much more damage, due to the lower mass and inevitably less security of each segment, the strength limit of the joint, etc.
    In the conditions of the "lunar landscape" considered. the system also does not seem to me equal in efficiency to the classical one. Some advantages in overcoming certain types of terrain will be offset by shortcomings in overcoming others, because the position on the plane of the leader and follower can vary greatly (and this will also be taken into account in the PTO).
    The overall dimensions of the product (in length) will grow, it will be easier to detect it from the air and orbit (in a coupled form), it will be more difficult to caponize, in a disengaged form its efficiency will decrease and at the same time stealth will increase, but not by much, due to the need to keep the trailer nearby .
    The convenience of turning such a system on difficult terrain is also completely absent - resp. the overall maneuverability will drop relative to classic tanks.

    In general, conceptually, all this reminds me of the concept of a "multi-turreted tank" moved horizontally. It will be great to work in ideal conditions, and just as epic to fail in non-ideal ones.

    In a sense, a tank can be both a divided and a multi-module product - but definitely not literally, articulated. For example, a reconnaissance or strike UAV attached to a tank is such a division, it doesn’t matter whether it is connected to the structure with a cable or not. It is important whether it is integrated with it into the system. Some kind of autonomous combat modules that can move directly behind the tank and complement-perform the function of infantry or complement the visibility of the tank - this may well appear in the foreseeable future if the question arises of increasing the advantages or survivability of the tank. Such systems do not need a mechanical coupling with it at all, but an information one is absolutely necessary.
  11. +2
    1 May 2023 13: 12
    And they proposed a new approach to the design of armored vehicles, which, in their opinion, is capable of taking our tanks completely apart from what our potential opponents have.

    Calling this approach new will not work, but rather "another one at a new technical level", since the idea of ​​​​an "articulated tank" was born along with the tank. And the first were, of course, the British.

    Project of the Mk.II Pedrail tank by Joseph Bramach Diplock, owner of the Pedrail Transport Company in Fulham, 1915.

    Scheme of a tracked platform from British patent GB127329 by Brigadier General Louis Jackson, filed on 21.04.17/XNUMX/XNUMX.
    1. +2
      1 May 2023 13: 38
      One more moment. The author mixed two different concepts - an articulated machine and an articulated machine.
      An example of the former would be Forsythe's tank design for Lockheed in US Patent 196779, dated January 1963 (the XNUMXs was just the time for the "second coming" of such designs).

      An example of the second type is the 1945 project of the super-heavy American Astron tank.

      Both projects never reached practical implementation, but they show well that the idea, born along with tanks, is still present today.

  12. +3
    1 May 2023 14: 34
    The Japanese have advanced furthest in the practical development of this concept; they have Mechagodzilla modularly joined with Mecharoddonm, and it turns out Supermechagodzidla.
    1. 0
      2 May 2023 18: 11
      Quote: AllBiBek
      The Japanese have advanced furthest in the practical development of this concept; they have Mechagodzilla modularly joined with Mecharoddonm, and it turns out Supermechagodzidla.

      The Japanese have everything connected with everything - and then it turns out either fur or hentai. smile
  13. -5
    1 May 2023 15: 07
    The tanks have already outlived their usefulness, which is proved by their use as self-propelled guns. If anything is done in this direction, then it is necessary to create a support tank with a 152 mm mortar-PU ATGM, for example, as they did in the ungodly omerig in the form of M-60A2
  14. 0
    11 July 2023 11: 06
    There can be a whole family of combinations of two-link MACHINES on a single platform:
    - 1 link tank, 2 link transporter for infantry,
    - 1 link self-propelled guns, 2 link module for storing and supplying ammunition,
    - 1 air defense system link, 2 air defense system link for missiles ...
    These are quite logical solutions that allow you to create self-sufficient combat systems:
    - tank + infantry protected by armor and DZ at the tank level ...
    - self-propelled guns + 4-5 shells of shells ....
    - SAM + ammunition for 48-64 cells with missiles to repel massive attacks ....
  15. 0
    4 September 2023 10: 16
    Articulation is already yesterday. Machines can work in a group and cover each other, controlled via external channels.