In 1976, the world's first production tank equipped with a gas turbine engine (GTE), the T-80, rolled off the assembly line, and four years later, the Americans made a similar car. So far, only two countries in the world have Tanks with GTE - it was a "small revolution" in tank engine building. The remote competition of these machines has begun, which continues to this day.
Unfortunately, today the indiscriminate criticism of modern Russian tanks by “experts” who know little about this issue has become fashionable in the domestic media. Did not escape this fate and tanks T-80U *. All these “analytical” works are distinguished by obvious bias. Apparently, there is a long-acquired reflex - to praise everything that comes from behind the "hillock". One has only to recall the endless conversations about the purchases abroad, allegedly having no analogues, "Mistral", armored cars, UAVs, etc.
Meanwhile, over the past five years, the sales of our military equipment abroad has increased 2 times (from 6,5 to 12 billion dollars), and many of the samples are serious competition for similar US products. So, we recently delivered to Cyprus another batch of T-80 tanks.
* Baryatinsky M. Whose tanks are better: T-80 against Abrams // HBO.-2011, No. 34.
The combination of all the basic parameters of a modern tank (armor protection, firepower and mobility) defines its basis as a combat vehicle. Time has identified other advantages: automation of combat work, information sufficiency, good “vision”, especially at night, navigation, and, of course, the economic criterion “cost-effectiveness”.
Maybe it’s even good that there was reason for a serious analysis of the problems of domestic tank building, which seems to be “forgotten” by the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the defense industry. Of course, the bet today is on missiles, Aviation and the submarine fleet is no doubt true. At the same time, both our and foreign experience suggests that in modern conditions it is practically impossible to conduct combat operations without tanks.
80 years ago (in 1932), the tank design bureau of the Kirov factory (now - Spetsmash OJSC), which became famous in the country and abroad, was organized. Following the replacement in the post-war period of piston engines in aviation with gas turbine and jet engines, the outstanding designer of the Leningrad Kirov Plant, Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin, began developing a new tank with a gas turbine engine.
While working on upgrading the latest models of the IS series, J.-J. Kotin could not help thinking about the appearance of a new, more powerful heavy tank. Layout studies showed the main directions: machine weight - 55 t, gun - caliber not less than 130 mm, power unit capacity - not less than 1000 hp Such a power of a diesel engine in those years seemed unattainable. Then they decided to reserve the second engine - the CCD, since it could be done here at the factory.
In 1955, at the Kirov Plant, on the instructions of the GBTU, the development of GTE for heavy tanks began. Under the guidance of designer G.A. Ogloblina created two prototypes. They passed the bench tests. However, the Kirov turbine builders, who worked on the ship's machinery, did not have experience in designing tank power plants. As a result, these works were curtailed.
Nevertheless, there were also projects of a tank with a diesel engine ("277 Object", lead designer - NF Shashmurin), and with GTE ("278 Object", lead designer - NM Chistyakov). For various reasons, the design of the tank "Object 278" did not receive further development, and the "Object 277" even got to show the top leadership of the country.
Experienced heavy tank "Object 277"
It should be noted here that the “277 Object” possessed excellent tactical and technical characteristics for its time. Suffice it to say that its X-NUMX-mm rifled M-130 cannon, with its muzzle energy and accuracy, was superior to the 65-2 with some modern Russian tanks almost 46-fold.
What happened after inspecting the cars of N.S. Khrushchev is well known. The fate of heavy tanks was decided. But the dream of a tank GTE lived and stirred the imagination of designers. The idea of such an engine J.J. Kotin "infected" S.P. Izotov - an outstanding designer of aircraft and helicopter engines. Moreover, Kotin was well aware that the efforts of some design teams - to adapt aviation GTEs to work in a tank - are unpromising. The operating conditions in the tank are so specific that it is necessary right away, from the first line of the drawing, to create a “purely tank” GTE - unpretentious, adapted to heavy and extra-heavy conditions. It was necessary to “accustom” the engine spoiled with clean air to the rough work associated with frequent starts and stops, vibrations and shock overloads, with constant acceleration and deceleration. And all this in conditions of unbearable heat and penetrating cold, in dirt and dust, and with technical support, far from aviation.
When we started, we immediately told Sergey Petrovich Izotov: “If you want the tank with your engine to take root in the troops, immediately“ lay down ”his work under all these conditions and teach him to“ swallow ”at least 2% of the skipped dust” (by the way, bargained up to 1,5%).
There was another problem for the design bureau of the plant. V.Ya. Klimov, where S.P. Izotov was the chief designer - it was required, in accordance with a government decree, to create a CCD in the MTO dimensions of the T-64 tank as an alternative to diesel. That is why the GTE used a two-stage centrifugal turbocharger. Thus, the protection of the flow part against abrasive wear and, finally, the original system of vibration cleaning and “blowing” the dust appeared. Then before the teams headed by SP Izotov and N.S. Popov, there were many difficult tasks that had to be solved in the shortest possible time, established and controlled at the highest level.
In the course of the work, the main ways of eliminating the main drawback of the CCD - high specific fuel consumption were identified. Improving the fuel economy performance of gas turbine engines was proposed to be achieved by increasing the operating temperature of the gas, which is ensured by using materials with increased heat resistance for turbines and a significant increase in the efficiency of cooling of turbine blades and SA. It was necessary to develop and confirm with the results of tests the theory and design of high-temperature turbines, high-performance and compact heat exchangers, measures for controlling the acceleration and deceleration of turbines.
The gas turbine power plant (GTSU) and transmission were to be placed in the existing MTO volume of the T-64A tank. In addition, it was necessary to ensure the possibility of replacing the power plant and transmission with the 5TDF engine on the GTSU during the overhaul of the tank. The requirements for the air-supply system of the GTSU consisted in ensuring the quality cleaning of the air entering the engine, the automatic removal of dust from the dust box and the absence of the need to maintain the air cleaner during operation. The latter circumstance is extremely important for a combat vehicle.
It is worth saying that all engine designers proceed from the fact that the air for the engine would be cleaned by all 100%. They can be understood - dust is a terrible enemy, especially for piston engines. It is, in fact, sandpaper, which "eats" the working surface.
That is why the American firm Donaldson, the developer of the air cleaner for the AGT-1500 engine, was demanded to design an air filter, albeit of a large volume (two cubes, which is 6 times more than T-80), but always with absolute cleaning up. Yes, and could not be otherwise.
Firstly, Lycoming Allison applied an axial centrifugal compressor in its GTE. Experts know that its axial thin blades do not tolerate abrasives at all. Let me remind you, the compressors on T-80U are centrifugal, small-sized.
Secondly, in AGT-1500 a stationary ring plate heat exchanger was “laid”, which “hates” dust more because of the clogging of the smallest cells between the plates. All this led to an increase in the dimensions of the tank. The volume of MTO at Abrams became 6,8 м3 (in 2,5 times more than at T-80). It was necessary to make a semi-support chassis and, as a result, the tank mass reached 54,5 tons. Gradually strengthening the protection, the Abrams mass was now brought to 68 tons (75 “short American tons”), which is 1,5 times higher than that of T-80 and T-90. This means that AGT-1500 “drags” 20 with tons of excess weight. Add another loss of mobility due to the worst ratio of "L" to "B" - known from the theory of motion as a "turning" coefficient (L is the length of the support surface of the caterpillar, B is the width of the track).
In addition, the lateral projection area М1А1 - 15,5 м2, which is 20% more than T-80 (12,2м2); true, it is said that with the advent of high-precision weapons the factor of small size does not matter and still try to understand this issue, although it is not so simple. By the way, according to a reputable news agency REGNUM, confirmed tank losses from high-precision weapons of the United States in Yugoslavia made up all 12 units — not the best result.
Projections of tanks M1А1 and T-80U
General Designer of the tank KB-3 of the Kirov Plant N.S. Popov, returning from Abu Dhabi (UAE), where the international arms exhibition was held, told how the founder of Abrams, Dr. Philip Lett, advertised his tank, including its comfort and spacious volumes. However, after examining the T-80U, he agreed with Nikolai Sergeevich's arguments about the advantages of assembling our tank. Later, Nikolai Sergeevich answered a question from I. Lisochkin, a special correspondent for the newspaper St. Petersburg Vedomosti (1 in April 1993): “But why is our T-80 better than tanks from other countries?
- Let's start with the general characteristics. The weight of the American "Abrams" - 62 tons, engine power - 1500 hp We have, respectively, 46 tons, 1250 hp Our tank is more compact, due to less inertia - more mobile. True, in conversation the Americans tried to convince us that their car is more spacious, “more comfortable”. But I think with such "comfort" on the obstacles only bumps nashibat. I am convinced that our certain crew’s “tightness” is much more expedient ”.
In this regard, I will add N.S. Popov and recall that the decisive parameter of mobility is the specific power, i.e. power per unit mass of the machine. Let's compare: X-NUMX hp / t in T-27,2 and 80 hp / t in Abrams - we only have 24,2% more, but this is when they have more power than 10%. These are the numbers, such is the price of the size!
Another important point. It is not so difficult to make an “absolute” two-stage air cleaner (especially for a large volume). The paths are known, there are types. The first stage is a direct-flow (or reverse flow) cyclone, the second is a barrier one. For example, paper (tractor K-700, "Abrams"), thin wire- "putanka" in oil (T-72). The task of the second stage is “to besiege” and hold back everything that broke through the first stage, and then, by washing and purging, remove it during maintenance.
Simply! But ... That's just the point - a lot of “but”! I fully agree with the assessment of M. Baryatinsky: “when operating the Abrams, however, it requires frequent maintenance of the filter, which really limits the mobility of the tank in conditions of high air dustiness”. It is known that in Operation Desert Storm, filters were cleaned several times a day. How can you fight?
There is one more extremely important "but": during combat work in the contaminated area, you will have to carry a time bomb with you. Do not build the "Chernobyl sarcophagus" around the air cleaner.
Such is the price of significant dimensions of the hull. Let's try to compare the power plants of the two tanks, at least in several key parameters, and talk about the prospects. It is impossible to answer whose tank is better. Some parameters are better for us, others are better for them. However, tank builders have a so-called "comprehensive assessment of the technical level of the tank." Without going into scientific calculations and specific terminology, I will only say that this method is based on generalized autonomous estimates of combat properties and performance indicators using special coefficients, and for each of the three "whales" on which the combat vehicle is based - firepower, security and mobility. Since the mobility theme dominates in this article, it can be added that its components are the parameters of permeability, speed and autonomy, which, after statistical processing of the experimental data, can calculate the corresponding estimated coefficients. And such calculations in scientific research institutes and tank design bureaus exist.
A few words about why we are criticized - for the “voracity of the engine”, for the lack of power reserve, etc. I must say that we do not dismiss healthy criticism and are grateful to our opponents for it. I just don’t like the evil spirits or incompetence of some “experts”.
When they talk about the continuous improvement of the tanks type M1, usually forget that the T-80 went through a number of upgrades in various directions. I will mention only a few of these options.
For example, the tank T-80UA. When upgrading, the machine was equipped with an improved gun 2А46М-4, a fire control system (CGI) 1A45-1, a day-night sighting system of the commander T01-K04, a night sighting system T01-K05-TXNUMX-KXNUMX-XXNUMX, a night sighting system TXNUMX-KXNUMX-TXNUMX-XXUMX-XXUMX, KXNUMX night aiming complex TXNUMX-KXNUMX-XXUMX-XXNUMX other innovations.
T-80UЕ1 is a modernization of the T-80BV tank, made by installing the T-80UD tank on its chassis of the combat compartment (previously T-80UD was decommissioned due to the low reliability of logging equipment and focused on the storage bases). Used gas turbine engine GTD-1250 1250 horsepower. and an air intake device that allows to overcome without preparation a ford to a depth of 1,8 m. In addition, the built-in dynamic protection is mounted on the VLD and the sides of the hull. Implemented and a number of other improvements. As a result, the modernization of the T-80BV upgraded its military-technical level and ensured unification with the T-80U and T-90А tanks on TEM and guided weapons.
The upgraded T-80BA tanks (“Object 219РБ”), T-80UA (“Object 219АМ-1”) and T-80ЕЕ1 (“Object 219АС-1”) by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation from 16.04.2005 No. 435Ф adopted by the Charter on the Provision of the RF on 27.05.2005, adopted by the Charter of the Russian Federation, adopted by the Charter of the Russian Federation, adopted by the Charter of the Russian Federation, adopted by the Charter of the Russian Federation, adopted by the Charter of the Russian Federation, adopted by the Charter of the Russian Federation, adopted by the law of the federal The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation from 043, No. XXUMX, and into service.
Upgraded T-80UA tank
Upgraded T-80UEX1 Tank
If we talk about fuel consumption, then the T-80U (tank adopted for service in accordance with the Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR CM from 27.12.1984, No. 1184-301) it is 225 g / hp.ch (for T-80 - 240 g / hp).
So, only the installation of the power unit GTA-18А allowed, without using the lifespan of the main gas turbine engine, to provide all the energy and reduce the consumption of 8 – 10% in operation. A significant contribution was made by the system of automatic switching on of the parking small gas mode (SMG) - 8 – 9% and the automatic mode reduction system (SAUR). In a word, running costs of fuel have decreased in 1,3 – 1,4 times.
Power reserve (with barrels) - 440 km (for Abrams advertising 395 – 400 km, according to TTX - 275 miles, i.e. 442 km). At the same time, Americans believe that the power reserve is not the only criterion for assessing the real operational fuel efficiency of the engine. It is very important, in their estimation, to have low fuel consumption at idle, since the engine works in this mode most of the time in a combat situation. The fuel consumption of the AGT-1500 at idle is 28 kg / h.
Knowing the importance of reducing fuel consumption at idle is not worse than Americans, after deep research we introduced the CMS mode - in automatic mode. In accordance with the program, after 1,5 min work on MG (low gas) the engine reduces the turbocharger speed of stage II from 64 to 56%, and the fuel consumption is set to 32 kg / h (in one group of injectors). But the main thing is that you can stop the engine and “power up” the entire power of the tank from the auxiliary power unit GTA-18А, where the flow (depending on the generator load) 18 – 20 kg / h. All this can be done manually.
Completing the consideration of the issue of the power reserve, I will point out some more figures, but from operational practice. It is known that the so-called “travel fuel consumption” (in liters) per 100 km of track and 1 km of path of a gas turbine engine largely depends on the average speed of movement - the higher it is, the lower the consumption. Thus, when testing at Kubinka with Vcp = 56 km / h, the flow rate of 3,3 l / km was determined; on control tests (CI) "Typhoon" in Transbaikalia at Vcp = 51 km / h - 4,8л / km; on similar tests "Acacia" with Vcp = 40 km / h - 6,83 l / km. The resulting data scatter, among other things, is explained by different weather, geographic, and organizational conditions.
View of the MTO tank T-80U
Face-to-face competition with Abrams - tests in Greece in 1998 - gave the following almost equal results: T-80U - 4 / km, "Abrams" - 4,1 l / km. It is easy to count the real power reserve for different conditions.
Further improvement of the tank "Abrams" is associated with the transverse engine. This allows you to free up the volume where you can place additional 75 gallons (284 l) of fuel, or 10 projectiles of 120 mm caliber, or, which is considered particularly important, an auxiliary power unit (today, the Gemini power unit is suspended from the stern as a temporary “node”). The built-in “Gemini” allows reducing fuel consumption by almost 40%, since during exercises, in a peaceful environment, the tank is idling for a long time. Before 2020, the Abrams MBT should be upgraded to the M1A2SEP (System Enhancement Program) level.
Among the tasks formulated by the US military, considerable attention is paid to the mobility of the new generation tank. So, he must fight on rough terrain with a speed of 65 km / h, have a maximum speed of 100 km / h, while the mass of the machine should be about 40 t, and the frontal projection - less by 40% (why, if, as already mentioned , sizes with precision weapons "do not play a role"?). Today, Abrams has a frontal projection area of 7,68 m 2, while T-80 has 7,1 m 2 (or 5,1 and 4,2 m X NUMX without clearance and bevels). Installation of the GTE LV-2-100 engine, developed by General Electric and Honivem Engines (USA), unified with AGT-5 on 1500%, 40 HP power is proposed. and the best 1500% fuel economy. But the main thing is that it has almost a smaller volume in 30. The cost of the engine is estimated at 2 thousand dollars (AGT-480 has recently cost 1500 316 dollars) with a planned decrease in this figure to the level of the cost of diesel engines, i.e. somewhere 500 dollars per 200 hp, or the total cost 1 300 dollars.
T-80U Tank Supply System
Still keeping the leading positions in some performance indicators of technical characteristics (in particular, in terms of mass-dimensional indicators of gas turbine engines, density of the MTO layout), we, unfortunately, lose in terms of the parameters characterizing the engine workflow. No funding is allocated for R & D and OCD to solve these problems. At the same time, proven modernization methods are not being implemented to enable automatic gear shifting, an increase in 10 – 12% of the average speed and reduction in track fuel consumption, the use of GOP (hydrostatic transmission). Elaboration and testing of short-term afterburner (up to 1400 hp) serial GTE does not find application. Workable samples, forced to 1500 hp, were useless. And what excellent results were obtained on the tests of the onboard information management system (BIUS). At the same time, as shown by special studies, a more “smooth” start-up is carried out, when starting up, there are no “over-temperatures” of temperatures - and this is the reliability and durability of the engine. The calculated experimental estimate yields up to 8 – 9% fuel economy and a decrease in fuel operating costs from 22 – 29% (by the way, BIUS has been used for a long time by the ABUS, and we stopped at the stage of manufacturing a prototype). It would seem that it is necessary to introduce! But again there is no finance.
The capacity of the fuel tanks T-80 - 1860 l (Americans carry 2000 l). The main fuel - diesel, auxiliary (spare) - kerosene, gasoline and mixtures thereof. Barrels - two, two hundred liters, they are mounted on special brackets behind the hull back slate. True, there was a very short time and the third barrel - on the roof of the logistics, but it was removed at the request of the military.
Air intake device (VZU) of the T-80U tank
Two more words about air cleaning. This problem was solved in a complex.
First, the use of a maintenance-free, small volume of air filter (with a skip ratio of 1,5%), including GTE and gearbox oil cooler cooling system radiators.
Secondly - by installing a special nozzle for fan-shaped formation of gases on the exhaust, apron and side screens on the body, as well as the original new unit - the air intake device (OVC). OVC allowed to solve several problems:
- produce air intake in the cleanest area at the height of the tower, i.e. about 2200 mm (without additional nozzles);
- increase the ford depth to 1,8 (instead of 1,2);
- to solve the problem of protecting the suction louvers from bullets, splinters and defeat by “napalm” mixtures.
The soft skirt guaranteed the work of the OVC in the wide operational positions of the tower relative to the longitudinal axis (the tower on the stopper is “traveling” - to the right, that is, at the 13 position).
In conclusion, I would like to note the following.
A huge role in the formation of the GTE in the tank played DF. Ustinov - Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, and later the Minister of Defense. It was a person who supports everything new, or, in modern terminology, advanced innovative projects. Like no one else, he knew how to look into the future, to help us - the pioneers of creating a tank with a GTD. And this is despite the fact that it was intended to put T-64 on the flow at tank-producing plants in Leningrad, Kharkov and Nizhny Tagil. By the way, if the Leningrad residents were instructed to “save” the Kharkov tank (more precisely, the 5TDF engine) with their gas turbine, then the Tagil residents, in the framework of the mobilization option, with the B-45 diesel engine. As a result, the Nizhny Tagil tank was assigned the index "Object 172М", in 1973, it was adopted as T-72, and later received the name "Ural".
When adopting the T-80U, we proposed, since this car was, in fact, a new tank, different from the previous ones by a number of fundamental innovations, to assign it a new brand (by analogy with how the modernized T-72 was called T-90). However, the military were against it, saying that it was a regular upgrade: name, for example, T-80М (recall that after T-80 there were upgraded T-80B and T-80BV). A consensus was found - the name T-80U (“219АС object”) was approved, and the customer had no doubt that the letter “U” means “improved”. And we were secretly proud that the name of Dmitry Fedorovich Ustinov, whose merits in the birth of the world's first production tank with GTE are indisputable, was immortalized in this peculiar way.
Of course, an objective comparison of such different tanks (T-80 and M1) gives plenty of food for thought, allows you to conduct a critical assessment of the past. In this regard, let me advise: do not rush. Do not evaluate the car, even if you do not sympathize with it, through the prism of their subjective impressions. I do not get tired of repeating young specialists - there is no “ideal” BT technology. Not only numbers TTX and manufacturability design determine the perfection of the combat vehicle. She has one more “essence” - that which is achieved by the image of a conscientious designer-researcher, which is associated with belonging to a certain tank school. For specialists of Spetsmash, this is the school of J.Ya. Kotin, where the alphabet of the developer of heavy tanks was the "conquest" of the limiting parameters of the machine. Recall that the famous heavy tanks KB and IP were famous for the best for their time security and firepower, minimizing size and weight and even taking into account the criterion of “cost-effectiveness”, although due to circumstances the latter sometimes did not reflect.
I will cite one of the associates of J.I. Kotin - veteran of the KB N. F. Shashmurin, a man of complex, but the designer "from God", twice the winner of the Stalin Prize, candidate of technical sciences. In his book "50 years of confrontation," Nikolai Fyodorovich wrote about his vision of design work:
"It was necessary to differently interpret almost the same thing in some cast-iron heads: история - this is yesterday, today and tomorrow. The misunderstanding of these temporary categories has been taught to use ... At the same time, the reader will not find out information about what demand follows from us, tank builders.
There is an important section in the whole tank creation complex - our role and responsibility are very significant. ”
It is a big responsibility to be aware of the involvement in the state business started in the 80 design bureau years ago. Tank building in Russia has always been at the forefront. I believe that this will continue.
Progress in tank building, ultimately, determines the intelligence of specialists and, of course, its own school. Tank T-80U occupies a special place among the products of JSC "Spetsmash", among the implemented projects. In this tank focused many years of achievements of high quality domestic designers. He absorbed all the most advanced of the various fields of technology.
The creation of such a complex and multifaceted model of military equipment, which is a modern tank, contributes to the development on its basis of completely new, including purely peaceful vehicles. It can be said that, due to its importance, the GTE tank is a step into the future of tank construction. The potential of domestic tank building is still inexhaustible, and stereotypes about its systemic crisis are untenable.