For almost two years, the Russian and foreign public has been waiting for the promised main battle tank on the basis of the Armat heavy armored platform to be shown to it. Unfortunately, armored vehicles lovers, while only approximate dates of the project were officially published, and information about its technical appearance has a fragmentary character. Moreover, at present it is already quite difficult to determine which information appeared in official sources and which became the “fruit” of reasoning and analysis of the project on the basis of scarce official data. Nevertheless, even in a situation of such an information deficit, people interested in armored vehicles continue to make their assumptions. In particular, there are already several presumptive graphic images, the authenticity of which, for obvious reasons, cannot be verified yet. Let's try to put together all the existing assumptions and try to imagine what could be a promising tank "Armata".
Perhaps the most popular visualization of versions about the appearance of “Almaty” is a drawing by the artist A. Sheps. It depicts a tracked vehicle, vaguely reminiscent of the latest modifications. tanks T-90 At the same time, in the appearance of the tank, designated as T-99 "Priority", some trends that are not characteristic of Russian tank building are clearly traced. Nevertheless, these trends have long been a cause for a lot of controversy around the design and even the very concept of a promising main tank. The proposed look gathered, perhaps, all the latest ideas in the field of tank building, including those that were mentioned by some officials as necessary for the new tank.
In the summer of the past 2012, photos of a model of a certain armored vehicle with cannon armament appeared in the press. According to fragmentary data, it was possible to establish that this armored vehicle is being created precisely on the basis of the Armata platform. This fact allowed us to draw some preliminary conclusions regarding the platform itself, as well as to correct views on it. First of all, some assumptions regarding the layout of the armored hull were confirmed. At the same time, the issue of the combat module and weapons remains open. The fact is that the Armata is created as a multipurpose armored platform and several types of equipment can be created on its base in addition to the main tank.
Model of the tank, created by the OCR "Armata". OJSC Motovilikhinskiye Zavody, a demonstration of models of promising technology for one of the officials of the current composition of the government of the country. Publication - 29 July 2012.
The appearance of the "lighted" layout suggests that the new armored platform will actually receive the front engine-transmission compartment. In this case, the habitable volume will be behind it, closer to the middle part of the machine. It is believed that it is this placement of power units that can significantly increase crew protection in the frontal projection. It should be noted that the best protection in this case is ensured by the price of engine and transmission performance, as a projectile falling into the tank, breaking through the frontal armor, can seriously damage the engine. The crew at the same time, with high probability, will not suffer.
The basis for the protection of frontal projection, as in previous domestic main tanks, will be a multi-layer block of steel and polymer or ceramic materials. Such a system has long shown its advantages and is unlikely to abandon it. However, the specific type of “filler” remains in question, as well as the thickness of the armor layers and the overall dimensions of such protection. The sides and feeds of the new tank are unlikely to be able to withstand serious armor-piercing ammunition. These are most likely to be relatively thin (mm 20-25) sheets with additional screens. It is safe to say that the tank based on the "Armata" will also receive built-in dynamic protection, and on its tower will be mounted units of the active protection system.
With this approach, it will be possible to realize what is called the concept of “onion layers” in Western countries. This means that the different elements of the armored vehicle protection complex are responsible for different tasks and work together for the safety of the combat vehicle. Thus, the active protection system will not allow the projectile to reach the armor, and if it fails, the ammunition will be destroyed or seriously damaged by the charge of the dynamic protection. If she also fails to cope with her task, her own composite booking will contain ammunition. Finally, when the armor is broken through, the crew will be protected by the engine and / or additional armor plates inside the hull. According to various calculations, "layered" protection increases the survivability of the tank at times, and also increases the chances of the crew to survive with the defeat of the machine.
Hypothetical projections of a promising main battle tank (http://pakfa.ucoz.ru)
The power plant of the new tank, most likely, will be created on the basis of existing units. This will ensure the necessary characteristics, and will not lead to a delay in the development time or a serious increase in the cost of finished tanks. At the same time, in recent years, the Russian designers of the Transdiesel State Design Bureau have created a new A-85-3 diesel engine with an output of about 1500 horsepower. With the maximum possible boost for a short time, this engine is capable of producing more than 2000 HP. Such characteristics of a diesel engine will be able to provide an acceptable power density and, as a result, suitable mobility even for 60-ton tanks.
In the undercarriage of "Almaty" also should not wait for a revolutionary new solutions. With the estimated size and weight (in any case, the new tank should fit into the size of the railway platform) the new tank should have six or seven road wheels on board. They will probably be installed on a torsion bar suspension with additional hydraulic or hydro-pneumatic shock absorbers. At the same time, there are other versions. Back in 2011, the opinion spread that according to which, there will be eight track rollers on board in the undercarriage of “Armata”. Similarly, there is no consensus about the suspension. Based on the desire to simplify the design, engineers can equip a new tank with a suspension, in its structure similar to the aggregates of existing tanks.
The opinion is often expressed that the crew of the Armata will be located in a single armored capsule. This version is partially confirmed by the same layout. On the roof of its hull, at a sufficient distance from the front, there are visible observation devices for three people. Thus, the placement of three people - the driver, the commander and the gunner - in a single volume can be considered confirmed. However, there is no verified information about the additional armor capsules. Theoretically, nothing prevents, at a minimum, to enclose the separation of the crew from other volumes with additional armor plates. Assembling a full-fledged capsule with subsequent installation inside the case also does not look like something impossible, but in this case, the design of the finished tank will be much more complicated, and it will be more expensive.
From the placement of the crew in a single volume, it follows that the combat compartment, shifted to the stern with respect to the classical layout, will be uninhabited and fully automated. Regarding weapons, there is no accurate information. The discussion suggests tank guns of caliber from 125 to 152 millimeters, but the first seems most likely to be used. Firstly, the 2А46 family of weapons has long shown all of its advantages and modernization potential, and secondly, a tank with a 152 mm caliber gun can use tactical nuclear weapons, which may entail corresponding legal consequences. In addition, all existing and promising anti-tank missiles, designed to launch through the barrel of a tank gun, have the caliber of 125 millimeters. The photos of last year’s layout show that the armored vehicle will be equipped with some kind of new tool, as indicated by a different arrangement of the ejector. It is likely that "Plant number XXUMX" is currently working on the creation of a new smooth-bore weapon for promising cannon armored vehicles.
Uninhabited fighting compartment of the tank "Armat" will necessarily have an automatic loader. Since there will not be any “extra objects” inside the squad like sighting equipment or tank crews, it can be assumed that there is an increased ammunition compared to the current tanks. According to various calculations, the volume of the size of the fighting compartment of the T-90 tank, when using a new automatic loader, can accommodate containers with 35-40 shots. Thus, the ammunition of the new tank will be at least not less than the existing ones. In this case, unlike the current T-72, T-80 or T-90, all the shells and shells will be located in the automatic loader. This means that the preparation for the shot will take the same amount of time, regardless of the consumption of ammunition.
Additional armament tank "Armata" is also the subject of controversy. According to various opinions, the main weapon can be paired as a machine gun, including a large-caliber, and automatic gun caliber 23 or 30 millimeters. The same options are offered as anti-aircraft. weapons. However, based on the operating experience of existing tanks, it can be assumed that only rifle and large-caliber machine guns will be installed on the Armata. It is unlikely that the command of the Russian armed forces will change the developed and tested concept of armament of the main tank.
Based on the available data, it can be concluded that in the near future, at least five combat vehicles can be created on the basis of the Armata platform. Actually the main tank, self-propelled artillery, heavy infantry fighting vehicle or armored personnel carrier, probably an armored repair and recovery vehicle, as well as a bridge laying system. If the assumptions about the front location of the engine and transmission compartment are confirmed, then a smaller tower will be installed at the site of the combat module, and spaces will be placed for the landing force inside the hull. Doors for landing and disembarking soldiers, in accordance with recent trends, will be located in the rear hull sheet, which, when disembarking, will provide troops with additional protection against bullets and shrapnel.
Of course, everything is higher - these are only assumptions based on the mass of discussions of an interesting topic. So far, no technical details of the Armat project have been published. But known approximate dates of completion of the main works. About a year ago, representatives of the Ministry of Defense said that the first prototype of a tank based on the "Armata" will be built in 2013 year. Then there was information on the start of mass production. Mass production of new tanks will begin in 2015 year. A little later, Deputy Prime Minister D. Rogozin made a reservation that mass production would develop only in 2017. Just a few hours after that, it turned out that such a date was a mistake. The beginning of the serial assembly of new tanks is still planned for the 2015 year.
According to various sources, the Russian armed forces need at least 2,5-3 thousands of new tanks. Taking into account possible production rates, it can be assumed that large-scale construction of main tanks on the basis of the Armata platform will continue for at least eight to ten years. During this time, there may be new modifications, as well as other machines on the same base. Thus, the Armata platform has every chance of becoming the main heavy base structure for the next few decades. Such a responsible business may require a lot of time and development may be delayed. However, in this case, it is better to slightly delay the start of production than later all the time to refine and repair already produced problem machines.
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