T-72: how the most popular tank of the second generation was created

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T-72: how the most popular tank of the second generation was created

The Soviet T-72 is considered the most popular a tank second generation in the world. Meanwhile, the path from the project to the assembly line for this unique machine turned out to be very thorny.

On August 15, 1967, a joint resolution was issued by the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR “On equipping the Soviet army with new T-64 medium tanks and developing capacities for their production.” According to the document, the production of the above-mentioned tanks was to begin not only at the Kharkov plant named after. Malyshev, but also at other enterprises in the industry, including Uralvagonzavod.

At the same time, at the plant in Nizhny Tagil, on an initiative basis, since 1962, the development of its own tank called “object 166M” has been carried out. It was a variant of the T-62 with a reinforced chassis, allowing the installation of a larger gun.



Against the background of the plans of the CPSU Central Committee to establish mass production of the T-64, the chief designer of Uralvagonzavod L.N. Kartsev instructed the company’s engineers to “figure out” what would happen if a 62 mm gun was installed on the T-115 instead of a 125 mm gun.

The calculations made showed that the old chassis, which the tank inherited from the T-44, will not withstand the added weight of the new gun.
As a result, a machine was developed under the symbol “object 167” with a chassis with 6 support rollers and 3 support rollers on each side. And since the development of a prototype tank for a reinforced gun had been carried out on a proactive basis since 1962, in September 1967 two prototypes of a promising vehicle were presented at once.

In addition to the reinforced chassis, the above-mentioned development also received a new engine, known as V-26, which already had a centrifugal supercharger. In addition, the new chassis with support rollers made it possible to turn the increase in power into an increase in speed up to 60 km/h compared to 50 km/h for the T-62.

Meanwhile, despite the advantages proven during state tests, “Object 167” was not initially put into production. The Soviet leadership justified its position by the fact that the T-62 had already been well mastered and its production had been established. At the same time, while the production of “object 167” is being mastered, the production of the T-64 will already be established.

It is worth noting that Kartsev did not stop working on the new tank and, while the T-64 was being “polished,” he created a further development of the “object 167”, called the “object 167M” or T-62B.

Despite the ban by the USSR government on the production of the T-62B, which, by the way, was better than the T-64 in a number of parameters, this tank ultimately formed the basis for the future T-72. The thing is that the T-64 received an engine, an automatic loader and a chassis from him. This is how the “Object 172M” project was born.

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    6 comments
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    1. +6
      18 March 2024 10: 33
      Very informative translation from Wikipedia, bravo.))
    2. +8
      18 March 2024 10: 39
      But I rode the 62 throughout the entire Army in Siberian Military District. First as a gunner, then as a commander. In winter the tower is incredibly cold, and in summer it’s like being in an oven. There are no more impressions left)))
      1. +1
        18 March 2024 10: 50
        Quote: Taskhyl
        It's incredibly cold in the tower in winter.
        Wasn't there a stove in the tank?
        1. +4
          18 March 2024 11: 10
          Where is the stove from?! The canvas “gut” was sometimes pulled from the engine into the turret through the ejection hatch when the frost was completely unbearable. But it was already hard to breathe. But it's warmer)
    3. +1
      18 March 2024 14: 40
      The video quite objectively conveys the history of the appearance of the T-72.
    4. 0
      19 March 2024 11: 38
      A video from the channel "Truth of Life" examines in some detail the history of the appearance of the T-72

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