Military Review

The first information about the combat module "Epoch"

During the recent exhibition “Innovation Day of the Ministry of Defense”, a part of the new developments was presented only in the closed part of the exposition. As you know, all the secret becomes clear and several days after the exhibition, some information about the stands and samples closed to the public has appeared in the public domain. For example, the other day the public saw one of the posters on display at the Innovation Day. The photo was authored by V. Kuzmina, being published by armored machinery specialist A. Khlopotov, instantly scattered across the Internet’s core resources.

A single photo captures a poster describing a kind of “universal combat module” developed by the Tula Instrument Engineering Bureau (KBP). Unfortunately, the name of the project on the poster is missing. However, this did not prevent A. Khlopotov from expressing his assumptions on this subject. According to the expert, the poster describes the combat module "Epoch". This assumption is supported by the fact that the PCU has not yet been engaged in other projects of such purpose. Thus, there is every reason, at least until more complete information is available, to consider the development presented at the "Innovation Day" as a combat module "Epoch".

In addition to the description of the promising combat module, the poster has its image, as well as drawings with combat vehicles based on the developed armored platforms equipped with the Epoch. From the graphic part of the poster we can conclude that it is possible to install a new combat module on the chassis “Boomerang”, “Kurganets-25” and “Armata”. As far as this is true, it is not yet completely clear due to the lack of open information on the progress of relevant projects. Nevertheless, equipping several promising combat vehicles with a single combat module looks interesting and promising.

The combat module "Epoch" has a weapon system consisting of barreled and rocket systems. On the tower of a relatively small height, an automatic gun of the 30 caliber of millimeters of the 2А42 model, a PCN 7,62-mm machine gun and two launchers with four Kornet missiles are installed. As can be seen from the composition of the weapons, the new combat module continues and develops the ideology embodied in the previous draft of the KBP called “Berezhok”. At the same time, the new Epoch module, in contrast to Berezhka, is not equipped with an automatic grenade launcher. Probably, the authors of the project considered that the removal of a grenade launcher from the weapons would not have a serious impact on the general characteristics of the combat module.

The poster displayed indicated the amount of ammunition transported and ready for use. Thus, it is proposed to place 500 projectiles for an automatic cannon (160 armor-piercing sub-caliber and 340 high-explosive fragmentation) and 2000 cartridges for machine guns in the combat compartments of the Epoch module. All ammunition rocket complex of four ammunition will be immediately mounted on launchers.

The firing range of various weapons of the Epoch module is defined as follows. Effective destruction of targets from an automatic cannon is ensured at a distance of up to 4000 meters. Missiles "Cornet" can destroy targets at twice the distance. When using guided missiles of this model with a non-contact target sensor (NDC), shooting at a distance of up to 10 kilometers is possible.

On the upper surface of the tower of the combat module there are two units with sighting equipment. Specific types of equipment proposed for use, for obvious reasons, have not yet been announced. However, on the poster there is some information about them. According to the advertising material, the complex of electronic equipment of the Epoch module is able to automatically search for targets in several ranges of the optical spectrum in a passive and active mode. This means that the sighting equipment has both optical and thermal imaging channels. In addition, it is argued that both channels can be used simultaneously, and the simultaneous firing of two targets is possible. Among other features of the fire control system of the Epoch module there is a search for targets using an optical locator; automatic target tracking, capable of firing at anti-aircraft targets when raising the gun to 70 °; as well as the ability to work with external targeting.

Following the trends of recent times, the designers of KBP performed a promising combat module on a block-modular principle. This means that, if necessary, combat vehicles armed with the Epoch can be upgraded and improved without any difficulty by installing new weapons or instruments.

Separately, it is worthwhile to dwell on the declared increased level of crew protection. The vertical dimensions of the tower module "Epoch" are relatively small, from which it is possible to draw conclusions about the displacement of crew jobs as low as possible, below the roof of the body of the combat vehicle. If this assumption is true, then an explanation appears for the characteristic shape of the aft part of the tower. Probably, it provides for the storage of ammunition or, at least, parts of it. In this case, the ammunition supply mechanisms are located in the maximum proximity to the breech of the automatic cannon, which also confirms this version.

Carrying ammunition outside the armored vehicle hull abroad has long been considered the layout standard for various combat vehicles, but in our country it remains only at the project stage. Until now, numerous debates about the correctness and usefulness of one or another variant of the placement of ammunition do not abate. Thus, the placement of projectiles for a cannon and, possibly, ammunition for a machine gun outside the main habitable volume — regardless of the real prospects for such a decision — can be a cause for violent disputes.

In general, at the moment the appearance of the combat module "Epoch" can really be a subject of controversy due to the use of several ambiguous technical solutions. This and the possible placement of ammunition in the rear of the turret, and the specific location of sighting devices. On the existing image, blocks with equipment of sights are placed in such a way that none of them can rotate full 360 degrees and be used for a complete overview of the terrain.

Another cause for criticism of the project in its current form could be the 2А42 automatic gun. So, A. Khlopotov notes that this gun has an unfortunate stem, leading to unacceptably high dispersion at large distances. In this regard, the characteristics of the fire 30-mm guns will be insufficient to perform real tasks. As for a certain casing that closes the barrel of an instrument in the figure, Khlopotov considers it an unnecessary excess, the purpose of which is only to improve the appearance of the combat module or to follow a foreign "fashion".

As far as we know, the new combat module "Epoch" of the Tula development still exists only in the form of a project. Any information about the construction of the first prototype is not currently available. In this regard, it can be assumed that the design described on the poster is one of the variants of a promising combat module, while far from being embodied in metal. Thus, all the existing design flaws can be corrected even before the assembly and testing of an experienced combat module begins. Unfortunately, at the moment, based on the scarce information available, the promising "Epoch" module raises many questions, some of which relate to the most important features of a modern combat vehicle. It remains to hope that the poster actually depicted a combat module, far from mass production and combat use.

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  1. Tan4ik
    Tan4ik 28 August 2013 10: 29
    Beautiful ... However, like all our weapons.
    1. The comment was deleted.
  2. SOZIN2013
    SOZIN2013 28 August 2013 11: 17
    It would be better if they upgraded Bahchu U under more modern conditions! I think I do not need to justify my decision, who knows he will understand !!! Why, when everyone in the world buys our Bahchu to do something like Berezhka, only with a panorama and AZ system ??? Well, or a completely combat module, but with an AP of 45 or even 57 mm!
  3. vomag
    vomag 28 August 2013 11: 33
    pay attention to the poster can you believe him ?? to what is depicted in terms of new systems ???
    1. Retx
      Retx 28 August 2013 15: 20
      Appearance of new models of armored vehicles? He is only figurative and does not correspond to reality.
  4. Akim
    Akim 28 August 2013 11: 42
    Oddly enough, but I agree with Khlopotov. This is certainly not a step back, but at least stomping on the spot.
  5. bars280
    bars280 28 August 2013 11: 45
    Have you seen a picture of an armata there ??? !!!
    1. fero
      fero 28 August 2013 20: 27
      This is not an armata, this is a fiery greeting from "Comrade Major" ... that's how you were shown armata.
      Z.Y. In the photo of the chassis with 6 track rollers, if you believe the info on the site, then there should be 7 on the armature
  6. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya 28 August 2013 11: 57
    I believe that new kopleks should be done under new weapons, or they put old guns, now sideways, now with a gingerbread man!
  7. tupolev-95
    tupolev-95 28 August 2013 11: 58
    A very controversial development - "Berezhok", processed with a plane and without a grenade launcher, there is no full view, the ammo in the module, and what does it give in this case? The ammo consists of cartridge belts and so that they begin to detonate, the car must be on fire, but breaking the module and damaging the cartridge strip will definitely lead to a failure when firing, again, the old gun. If a promising module was designed, then this is an obvious hack. It is better, in my opinion, to modernize the "Bakhchu", and in the future develop a module with an automatic cannon of 40 caliber mm. for dual power telescopic ammunition with full all-round visibility and aiming in optical and thermal imaging modes.
  8. Metlik
    Metlik 28 August 2013 12: 01
    The grenade launcher is definitely needed. And with a programmable fuse like the Americans.
    And to make optics on a telescopic elevator to observe from shelters.
    1. duke
      duke 28 August 2013 19: 54
      moreover, in addition to the automatic gun, you need exactly 40 mm AH
  9. Kpox
    Kpox 28 August 2013 12: 20
    And somewhere it is indicated that this module is the only one in the project or provides for a guaranteed refusal to consider the modernization of "melon"? It can be seen that they follow the path of "modularity". "Epoch" - the first, "easy option". Surely there will be "modules" of medium (basic for Kurganets) and heavy (basic for Armata) types. In my humble opinion, without deep analysis and evidence.
  10. yanus
    yanus 28 August 2013 12: 25
    Some kind of weird design approach. All the same, you need to determine the main typical goals for the BMP.
    1. Heavy equipment. In principle, the Cornet will do quite well. BC is more than sufficient. even excess.
    2. Light technique. 30 mm will cope with the old technique, but with the new one? Many Western models of BMP and armored personnel carriers hold 30mm in the forehead. The subcaliber shells for these guns never entered the army. It is quite logical to switch to calibers> 40 for automatic guns. This, of course, will lead to de-uniformity of ammunition, but shells for such cannons do not cost like cruise missiles. You can also buy.
    In addition, larger calibers will allow more efficient work on infantry and buildings. Again, in a larger caliber, you can shove a programmable fuse.
    Separately, about accuracy. The article mentions the large dispersion of the 30mm cannon, and the battle distances outside the city have grown.
    3. The infantry. About the failure of the 30mm gun has already been said. Small high-explosive effect, no explosion in the air. In part, this could be blocked by the AGS, but it is not. A larger caliber gun would help.
    PKT. Honestly, I had no experience using it, but it was always interesting - why is it needed with an automatic gun paired with it? Isn’t it better to put the AGS instead or increase the main gun’s BC?

    I liked the elevation angle of the gun - 70 degrees. Like it or not, but in the city it will come in handy.
    It would be nice to "put on" the module full-time cumulative lattices. Dynamic armor is unlikely to pull, and the grille is easy.
    1. Massik
      Massik 28 August 2013 14: 19
      PKT. Honestly, I had no experience using it, but it was always interesting - why is it needed with an automatic gun paired with it?

      We noticed the infantryman running in your direction, will you cover him from the gun ??? An infantry machine gun, a cannon - armored cars and weak shelters (a one-story house can be easily cut out of it), rockets are all heavily armored.
    2. Akim
      Akim 28 August 2013 14: 24
      Quote: yanus
      It is quite logical to switch to calibers> 40 for automatic cannons.

      I read the opinion of one person and it seemed logical to me. And who is looking at the return of the 37x155 or 37x198 shell?
      1. Akim
        Akim 28 August 2013 20: 16
        I continue. This is a shell. And to him you can create BOPS, which will penetrate the armor of promising heavy IFVs.
        1. Bad_gr
          Bad_gr 28 August 2013 20: 58
          " The development of small-caliber automatic guns BTT SV
          V.B. Domnin, V.A. Lysenko, A.G. Makeev, O.A. Alekseev
          (OJSC UKBTM)
          RARAN. Actual problems of protection and security. Armored vehicles and weapons. Proceedings of the Twelfth All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference. Volume 3. NGO Special Materials. St. Petersburg, 2009. S.199-203.

          ..... An increase in caliber (as a measure of increasing the effectiveness of small-caliber automatic weapons) to 40, 45, or, especially, 57 mm, leads to the need to solve complex design problems.
          On an example for floating infantry fighting vehicles, including landing ones, a caliber of more than 30 mm does not pass due to severe restrictions on the total mass of the weapon system (gun + ammunition). From the table for the BMP with a weapon mass of 600 kg it can be seen that with a caliber of 45 mm the ammunition is sharply reduced.
          According to the table. 3, it is obvious that the installation of larger caliber artillery systems on infantry fighting vehicles with the same mass entails a sharp reduction in ammunition, which will undoubtedly affect the effectiveness of the entire cannon system of the machine .....
          ..... With regard to the BMPT, which, it would seem, does not impose mass restrictions characteristic of floating vehicles, the problems of placing the ammunition in a limited reserved volume come to the fore. Thus, in this case, an increase in caliber leads to a sharp decrease in ammunition.
          Using only mass numbers, it is quite accurate to say that the mass and volume of a 40 mm round is approximately two times the mass of a 30 mm round, so moving from a caliber of 30 mm to 40 mm with a fixed mass of ammunition will reduce its strength by half .
          When switching to a larger caliber, the combat rate of fire also decreases. An example is the L70B gun from BAE Systems Bofors (Fig. 3), mounted on the Swedish Army BM9040 and other vehicles for use in air defense. With a technical rate of fire of up to 200 rpm, it takes 24 seconds to reload a set of 60 shots ready for firing.
          The experience of combat operation in various modern local conflicts has shown that small-caliber 30 mm cannons and ammunition created for this have taken a firm place in all types of the Armed Forces, have high reliability and effectiveness of combat use ... "

          1. Akim
            Akim 28 August 2013 21: 23
            Quote: Bad_gr
            mounted on the Swedish Army CV9040 infantry fighting vehicle and other vehicles for use in air defense. With a technical rate of fire of up to 200 rpm, it takes 24 seconds to reload a set of 60 shots ready for firing.

            But such a cannon with one shot can penetrate 100 mm armor, I am a heavy fragmentation shell 2,5 times heavier. We don’t need such a gun. There, initially used in cartridges anti-aircraft shells 4-x311R. I am for a cannon based on the NS-37, where there is tape power and shortened ammunition.
          2. user
            user 29 August 2013 06: 49
            In the case of military operations with the Papuans and some military formations, of course, the author is right to increase the caliber of the gun does not make sense, but if you fight with a serious opponent, then the caliber is clearly not sufficient
            1. Bad_gr
              Bad_gr 30 August 2013 11: 35
              Quote: user
              In the case of military operations with the Papuans and some military formations, of course, the author is right to increase the caliber of the gun does not make sense, but if you fight with a serious opponent, then the caliber is clearly not sufficient

              ".... To date, foreign analogues of military vehicles in 19 countries of the world are armed with a 25-mm cannon installed in the tower. For example, the tracked armored vehicle Bradley M1 / ​​M2 of the US Army and the light BMP LAV-25 8x8 US Marine Corps armed with a 25-mm cannon Bushmaster М242.

              In total, 14 countries of the world are armed with 11000 M242 cannons. In addition, the developer company continues to work on the development of new samples, as well as carries out extensive modernization of production. .... "
              From the same link.

              The caliber should correspond to the tasks for which the technique itself is created. No less, but no more (large calibers have their drawbacks).
    3. Aleks tv
      Aleks tv 28 August 2013 15: 00
      Quote: yanus
      PKT. Honestly, I had no experience using it, but it was always interesting - why is it needed with an automatic gun paired with it?

      Paired PKT is the most "working" barrel on any armored vehicle.
      He does not exist without work.
      1. Aleks tv
        Aleks tv 28 August 2013 15: 19
        The Epoch module was not impressive. Absolutely.
        And is this the future?

        The same weapon.
        Cons 30-ki remained. The principle of mounting rockets is the same.
        Only the storage method of the ammunition has been changed, that’s the whole novelty.
        Not enough.
  11. Sergey Medvedev
    Sergey Medvedev 28 August 2013 13: 12
    The module is not perfect, but work is ongoing. And it pleases.
  12. gallville
    gallville 28 August 2013 15: 10
    This module is stomping in place.
    No SLA, no firepower.
    30mm caliber long ago outdated, if used, it can only be used in conjunction with the AGS at least some firepower (even in the field). This is where the shore looms as a half measure on the BMP-2, until they are replaced by the armata.
    If you look in perspective, then the module - 57mm + pct + ptur is the most suitable.
    57mm - a long-established caliber with air blasting initially (since aviation) with excellent damaging effect:
    - all types of bmp from all angles;
    - sides of tanks;
    - infantry in shelters including and air blasting in the trenches;
    - enemy aircraft at an altitude of 4 km. for comparison, 30mm is 2km. when introducing ACCS into troops, this is a serious criterion. 24-36 barrels of shells are one thing. Another thing is another 120 barrels from infantry fighting vehicles, "democratizers" will clearly not be happy;
    - the caliber has long been mastered in production;
    But in terms of production, this is probably why the project from the "boreweed" is being slowed down - how is the cut to organize the production of 40mm barrels and BC?
    1. yanus
      yanus 28 August 2013 17: 16
      Quote: gallville
      57mm - a long-established caliber with air blasting initially (since aviation) with excellent damaging effect:

      Not familiar with this caliber. He has:
      - automatic loader or belt feed?
      - what is the rate of fire?
      - Are large angles of vertical guidance possible in the dimensions of the BMP tower?
      - What is the carried BC in BMP volumes?

      Recoil, it seems tolerable for the BMP case, although it depends on the rate of fire ..
      1. gallville
        gallville 28 August 2013 17: 25
        it’s clear that it’s worth making it rendered and adding it.
        1. Aleks tv
          Aleks tv 28 August 2013 17: 36
          Quote: gallville
          make staked and add ptur.

          A module would be great, Ivan.
          I absolutely agree.
          Grenade launcher as an option.

          And inf minute to minute laid out.
      2. Aleks tv
        Aleks tv 28 August 2013 17: 25
        Quote: yanus
        Not familiar with this caliber.

        C-60, adopted as early as 1950.
        It was widespread.
        The caliber has been studied for a long time. There is a fragmentation, armor-piercing and anti-aircraft shell.

        When modernizing the PT-76, an armament of this caliber with automatic shooting was considered.

        Google C-60 or PT-76B, a lot of information.
      3. Akim
        Akim 28 August 2013 17: 37
        Quote: yanus
        - automatic loader or belt feed?

        An unbending sleeve feeds shells from the store into which they are loaded with clips.
        Rate of fire - 120 shots.
        Vertical angles can be made large - this is an anti-aircraft gun.
        That ammunition will be small - because the shell is very large. There is no place for him in the logistics component.
        Conclusion: for BMP excessive power.
        1. gallville
          gallville 28 August 2013 17: 45
          Quote: Akim
          That ammunition will be small - because the shell is very large. There is no place for him in the logistics component.
          Conclusion: for BMP excessive power.

          Do you really think that 40-45 mm will differ more in mass and dimensions?
          1. Akim
            Akim 28 August 2013 18: 13
            Quote: gallville
            that 40-45 mm will differ more in mass dimensions?

            Very much. The weight of the fragmentation 45 mm projectile is 1050 grams, 57 mm 2,8 kg.
            The larger the caliber, the more proportionally the weight increases. Weight fragmentation 30-mm projectile to 2A42 - 400 grams of 37 mm - 620 grams
            1. yanus
              yanus 28 August 2013 19: 11
              By the way, for large calibers, one more nuance arises - accuracy. There must be a very good SLA to compensate for the small BC.
    2. mirag2
      mirag2 29 August 2013 00: 41
      57mm-big, but 40 is the most.
  13. Kir
    Kir 28 August 2013 17: 06
    It is hoped that the poster actually depicted a combat module that is far from mass production and combat use.

    Just about it is worth hoping that the introduction of a certain part of the population of the World into error - nobody has canceled the deza, it is quite possible that here it is also the place to be it.
  14. Bugor
    Bugor 28 August 2013 19: 27
    Again, a dispute about anything. There is no armata, boomerangs with Kurgan people are not running around the streets in droves either, in the picture the child drew nepoymi that, and you are trying to discuss the performance characteristics of a device unknown to science on a not more well-known platform.
    Let's wait, huh?
    1. Aleks tv
      Aleks tv 28 August 2013 20: 06
      Quote: Bugor
      There is no armata, boomerangs with Kurgan people are not running around the streets in droves either, in the picture the child drew nepoymi that, and you are trying to discuss the performance characteristics of a device unknown to science on a not more well-known platform.

      I liked it very much, Nikolai.
      Supporter of the same thoughts.
      It’s just that people are worried, so we are making it up, it’s normal.
  15. bublic82009
    bublic82009 28 August 2013 22: 54
    the caliber of the guns of light combat vehicles must be increased. on our theater, goals are not the same as in Africa or Asia, the walls of buildings are thicker and stronger. Yes, the number of shells for the gun will decrease, the rate of fire is lower, but the defeat will become more effective. I looked like in one of our magazines the option of modernizing the PT-76 tank. a module with a 57 mm gun was installed there. the caliber is not bad. during the Second World War, the ZIS-2 sub-caliber shells pierced the Tigers from a distance of 800 m. The fragmentation efficiency is of course low. but there are pluses. This caliber will destroy most light armored vehicles and the majority of heavy ones on board. and to destroy tanks in the forehead, ATGMs can be used on new principles of target destruction.
    1. avdkrd
      avdkrd 29 August 2013 02: 17
      fragmentation efficiency 57mm. an order of magnitude higher than that of 30mm, and given the possibility of programmable firing, they cannot even be compared. 30mm. it is generally ineffective against infantry in the trenches, although in the city and brilliant green it gives good results. Both 57mm and 30mm have the right to life. It all depends on the BT concept. 57mm for an infantry fighting vehicle or armored personnel carrier is clearly redundant, and the size of the combat module is too large (you definitely cannot take a combat module out of the hull), but for an BMPT (I do not like this term) it is more correct for a fire support vehicle - just right. The accuracy of the S-60 granddaughter is excellent, the firepower is the same (taking into account the rate of fire). I read somewhere that even a short burst from the ZSU-57-2, in principle, completely deprived the tank of combat effectiveness (the ballistics was the same), the sub-caliber projectile has 120mm armor penetration, which is guaranteed to "sew" the sides of modern tanks, although it is not a fact that the sub-caliber projectile into the side it will be better than the HE turn in the forehead, when it demolishes the optics with fragments and pierces the barrel. Unification is certainly good, but in moderation. Vehicles of different purpose cannot be equipped with one set of weapons. In my opinion, changing 30mm to 40-45mm is not justified and very expensive, and for specialized fire support vehicles, it is 57mm that will give flexibility.
    2. user
      user 29 August 2013 06: 54
      bublic82009 RU

      fragmentation efficiency of course low

      The author is right, but there is a grenade launcher for this
  16. Zomanus
    Zomanus 28 August 2013 23: 16
    There will be a battle and the battle will show ... All this is still at the level of rumors and speculation.
  17. mirag2
    mirag2 29 August 2013 00: 43
    it’s bad that the barrel is weak, apparently the vibration from the shots is great, hence the dispersion of shells at a great distance. This should not be. Especially with such a small ammunition.