Military Review

The first step to the main tank. "Triple" project K-91

18
The end of the forties of the last century, among other things, was remembered by a large number of various armament and military equipment projects. Using the experience gained during the Second World War, the designers of leading countries created new types of weapons and techniques that were supposed to be used in hypothetical conflicts of the future. In the first months of 1949, the Soviet designers engaged in a new project with the symbol K-91. As part of this project, it was intended to create a whole family of armored vehicles for various purposes.


Cross-section and front view of K-91


The K-91 project was created at the Design Bureau of the Engineering Committee of the Ground Forces, led by A.F. Kravtsev. The result of the project were to be several models at once. tanks and self-propelled artillery mounts. It was assumed that the new combat vehicles will be able to replace the existing and promising heavy and medium tanks. Thus, the K-91 project can be considered the first Soviet attempt to create a main battle tank. It is worth noting that this concept was formed much later and therefore, at the end of the forties, employees of the Design Bureau of the Engineering Committee worked out the project of heavy tanks and self-propelled guns.

The sketchy design of the new armored vehicles took several months and as a result, preliminary projects of two heavy tanks and one self-propelled artillery unit appeared. An interesting fact is that the K-91 family of machines should have had a number of common units. Currently, armored vehicle families are created on the basis of a single chassis, but a different approach was used in the K-91 project. All three combat vehicles were supposed to be equipped with an X-NUMX-mm D-100T rifled cannon, paired with a DShK anti-aircraft gun and the B-46 diesel engine. Another characteristic feature of tanks and ACS K-64 was the placement of the workplace of the driver: it was supposed to be transferred to the combat compartment. This solution has significantly reduced the overall height of all the armored vehicles.

One of the projects of a heavy tank, which involved the spaced layout of the engine compartment, was most fully developed. It was assumed that the 12-cylinder diesel engine will be located in the rear of the armored hull, and the transmission units - in the front. The shaft connecting the engine to the transmission was located under the floor of the crew compartment. With this arrangement, it was possible to increase the level of protection of the crew and ammunition, which could accordingly affect the survivability of the vehicle in combat conditions. However, protection was improved by transmission elements, the damage to which, saving the crew, deprived the tank of mobility.

Draft heavy tank K-91 with aft arrangement MTO

Longitudinal section of the first version of the K-91


The entire crew of the tank of four was supposed to be placed in the fighting compartment. The gunner’s and commander’s workplaces were placed to the left of the breech breech, and the driver and loader were to be located to his right. Features of the work of the driver led to the idea of ​​creating a turntable. With the help of this mechanism it was supposed to provide the driver with the correct orientation, regardless of the angle of rotation of the tower.

For the heavy rear engine K-91, the original tracked undercarriage was developed. The overall height of the tracked propulsion unit was relatively small, since the effective volume of the hull was almost completely placed above the tracks, and not between them. On each side of the tank it was proposed to install nine track rollers with torsion bar suspension. At the same time, only central rollers should have an individual suspension. A pair of front and a pair of rear should have been connected by a yoke fixed to the balance bar. Instead of supporting rollers in the undercarriage provided special supports, resembling skis. For proper operation of a lower thruster, a pressure roller was placed above the front support roller and designed to feed the track to the drive wheel.

K-91. Plan view


Applied layout allowed to achieve high protection performance. An interesting feature of a heavy tank with a rear engine is its relatively small height. Having a reservation at the tank level of the time, the prospective car was no higher than 2300 mm. In addition, it was possible to establish that the development of such an arrangement would reduce the area of ​​frontal projection.

The second machine, created in the framework of the K-91 project, was another heavy tank. Both heavy tanks had several common features, however, in the second project, the staff of the Design Bureau of the Engineering Committee used a number of interesting innovations. The second heavy tank was supposed to be equipped with a modified suspension, borrowed from the first project. The armament and powerplant also corresponded to the first development of the K-91 project.

The biggest appearance of the second heavy tank was the layout of the armored hull. The fighting compartment with the jobs of the entire crew was placed in the aft hull, and the front part was taken under the engine and transmission. Thanks to this arrangement, the height of the tank was reduced to 2140 mm. It should be noted that one of the ways to reduce the height was to seal the layout of the housing units. In particular, the elements of the transmission that are responsible for transmitting torque to the tracks have changed. Because of this, the diameter of the front drive wheel and the overall dimensions of the chassis have decreased. On the existing schemes can be seen that the updated design of the chassis has allowed to abandon the pinch rollers.

The project of a heavy tank K-91 with the front arrangement of MTO

K-91. Plan view

Longitudinal section K-91

The first step to the main tank. "Triple" project K-91
Cross-section K-91


In the fighting compartment of the second heavy tank was supposed to place the crew, reduced to three people. The location of the jobs of the driver (on the turntable), the gunner and the commander corresponded to the previous project. Instead of loader in the new tank had to work automatic loader. Under the mechanized styling for unitary 100-mm projectiles took almost the entire aft part of the tower. The armament of the second heavy tank met the requirements for the family: one 100 caliber cannon and two 12,7-mm DShK machine guns.

The third combat vehicle, developed as part of the K-91 project, was a self-propelled artillery installation. It was supposed to combine the best achievements of previous projects. The ACS was a “hybrid” of two heavy tanks with some features characteristic of self-propelled artillery. Thus, the chassis and armored vehicle for self-propelled guns were borrowed from the first version of the heavy tank. From the second variant, we took the layout of the engine-transmission compartment installed in the front of the case, and the placement of the combat compartment. In general, the self-propelled artillery, developed as part of the K-91 project, was somewhat similar in its layout to previous domestic combat vehicles of this class. The total height of the self-propelled gun did not exceed 2280 mm.

Project self-propelled installation K-91

Cross-section SAU K-91


In the aft hull of the SAU, like the second heavy tank, they positioned armored wheelhouse with crew jobs and armaments. The number and placement of the crew corresponded to the first tank. Due to the complexity of the automated systems, it was decided to return to the crew of the loader. In addition, the fixed felling allowed to abandon the turntable for the workplace of the driver. Like other cars of the family, the SAU was planned to equip the 100-mm gun D-46T and two DShK machine guns.

By the end of 1949, the staff of the Design Bureau of the Engineering Committee of the Army completed the creation of three draft designs. The analysis showed that the three armored vehicles in their current form do not have any serious advantages over the existing equipment. Moreover, the completion of projects and the start of mass production of new combat vehicles took some time, during which two tanks and self-propelled guns could be completely out of date. For this reason, the project K-91 was closed for hopelessness. According to some data, separate technical solutions created in the framework of the "triple" project were used in the development of later tanks and self-propelled guns.


On the materials of the sites:
http://alternathistory.org.ua/
http://dogswar.ru/
http://armor.kiev.ua/
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  1. makarov
    makarov 30 October 2013 09: 23
    +4
    Although "..two tanks and self-propelled guns could have become completely obsolete. For this reason, the K-91 project was closed for hopelessness ..." But definitely positive experience and narobots were obtained. And Talent - you will not spend on drink.
  2. svp67
    svp67 30 October 2013 09: 27
    +4
    One of the projects of the heavy tank was most fully worked out, which implied the spaced layout of the engine-transmission compartment. It was assumed that the 12-cylinder diesel engine will be located in the rear of the armored hull, and the transmission units in the front. The shaft connecting the engine to the transmission was located under the floor of the fighting compartment. With this arrangement, it was possible to increase the level of protection of the crew and ammunition, which could accordingly affect the survivability of the machine in combat conditions.

    It is felt that the war was not long ago and the "German" influence is still strong ...
    1. cosmos111
      cosmos111 30 October 2013 11: 41
      +1
      Quote: svp67
      But the "German" influence ...

      In the first sample, the classic German lineup, the engine in the stern, the transmission in the bow, the driveshaft. (Extremely complicates the repair).
      After the war, the Germans themselves refused such a lineup.
      They took the Soviet, American.
      1. svp67
        svp67 30 October 2013 11: 44
        +3
        Quote: cosmos111
        They took the Soviet, American.

        Alas, the main American tank M4 "Sherman" used the "German" scheme ...
  3. AK-47
    AK-47 30 October 2013 09: 28
    0
    Well, what can I say, natural selection.
    I think everything went without cutting budget funds and protectionism.
    1. svp67
      svp67 30 October 2013 10: 16
      +5
      Quote: AK-47
      I think everything went without cutting budget funds and protectionism.

      In those days, any attempt to do this would have ended, AT THE BEST CASE - by training the skills of "cutting" at the "logging" in the Arctic Circle, so for 15 years, and at worst - at the nearest "wall ..."
    2. cosmos111
      cosmos111 30 October 2013 11: 45
      +1
      Quote: AK-47
      I think everything went without cutting budget funds and protectionism.

      In the time of I.V. Stalin did not even think about it.
      And while there is no such order, there will be no new tanks.
      Only one PR in the media.
    3. mga04
      mga04 30 October 2013 11: 57
      +2
      Regarding the cut - I absolutely agree with you, but protectionism has always been.
  4. Prohor
    Prohor 30 October 2013 10: 54
    +1
    People, tell me: why are the large track rollers of modern tanks better than the smaller times of World War II (and T-64)? Are there any driving advantages or just easier to manufacture and maintain?
    1. Xcode
      Xcode 30 October 2013 11: 30
      +7
      Small rollers provide greater smoothness, but, as a result, large power losses. Larger rollers report a tougher ride, but less loss. Of the Soviet tanks (including the T-90, as the development of the T-72), the T-64 had the best ride. The worst at the T-72. If you take in general, the best suspension was in the T-80 (T-80U).
  5. Echo
    Echo 30 October 2013 16: 23
    +3
    It was assumed that the 12-cylinder diesel engine will be located in the stern of the armored hull, and transmission units in the front. The shaft connecting the engine to the transmission was located under the floor of the fighting compartment.

    I didn’t read further. The designer creating a tank with a driveshaft in the USSR after the war could not stay in his post for a long time.
  6. Massik
    Massik 30 October 2013 17: 04
    +2
    The similarities with the Germans in it are very visible
  7. Igarr
    Igarr 30 October 2013 17: 11
    +6
    Of the commentators, only Echo restrained ...
    What is the "German scheme" here ????
    And here - the ride with small and large rollers ????
    Guys .... sometimes turn on the brains though ...
    The German scheme assumed the convenience of the crew, as a result - the highest mechanization, electrification. etc.
    In the schemes of these monsters - do you see convenience? For a driver, for example? For loader? How was he supposed to twist the unitary charge in the tower, narrow for the crew nowhere else to go? Did you see there AZ, automatic loader? Mechanized styling? Extraction of the shot?
    Softness ....
    Large rollers create smoothness, not small ones. Otherwise, the wheels would be in jeeps from the Oka. And there would be ten or twelve of them.
    And here - a caterpillar .... to keep on turns, to provide, to support. Achieve a minimum height ....
    That's why the rollers are like that. Maintain a compromise among heterogeneous requirements.
    Oh guys ...
    .
    Here is a sensible comment - ".. The designer, creating a tank with a cardan shaft in the USSR after the war, could not stay in his position for a long time."
    And all business.
  8. toos_1799
    toos_1799 30 October 2013 17: 29
    +3
    About A.F. Kravtsev and his design activities published a series of articles in the journal "Technics and Armament". An extraordinary person. Many of his developments, not having loud names, significantly increased the capabilities of the spacecraft.
  9. Goblin
    Goblin 30 October 2013 19: 59
    +4
    As for the large and small rollers (the roller does not really care whether it is large or small, it rolls along the track), they do not particularly affect the smoothness of the ride, it's all about the torsion bar suspension, which was actively used on all heavy and main tanks of the war and post-war period. The torsion bar (simply put, an elastic scrap running under the bottom of the tank and acting as a twisted spring), in contrast to spark plug shock absorbers with springs, made it possible to significantly increase the tank's armor space, to make it lower with the same width. Plus a smooth ride. And the number of rollers, with their size, changed only because of metallurgy: a torsion bar that could withstand the weight of monsters such as KV or Tiger had to be made of high-carbon alloys, very expensive and often inaccessible under WWII conditions. After all, it was not because of the good life that the Germans practiced masochism with Kniepkamp pendants, giving rise to the memetic "it took up to a day to repair one Tiger skating rink." But the same Panther could quite shoot at low speed without short stops.
    The same with the location of the engine-transmission in tanks. Of course, it’s wonderful to link everything into one quick-detachable unit, the happiness of repairmen. But! tank turret, the closer to its center, the better. It’s not a matter of fear at the intersection of sticking a gun into the ground (remember shortcuts on PzIII-IV, it’s just impossible there) or trying to cover the crew with a dviglom or box, but in the following factors: firstly, the tower’s swinging is terrible on the same T-34 tired crew when driving on poor soils, and secondly, a more uniform load on the chassis. The tower in front of the tank, the frontal armor (the thickest, by the way) and also the hefty pulling down lever of the gun (remember Archimedes) heavily loaded the front rollers. Hence, all sorts of projects such as tanks with a rear-mounted tower, Ferdinand and Suchki with the wheelhouse behind.
    As for the cardan in the middle of the tank, it’s not scary, it doesn’t interfere much with a competent layout.
    1. shishkin7676
      shishkin7676 17 February 2016 07: 14
      0
      Merkava has the smoothest move on a tank with a candle pendant (Christie) and it is outside the reserved avenue. The case is during the suspension.
  10. ded10041948
    ded10041948 30 October 2013 20: 29
    +1
    Not a specialist, so I can’t evaluate, but on aesthetics - very nice products.
  11. family tree
    family tree 30 October 2013 21: 58
    +3
    But nothing, what is the source site for an alternative story? Under your feet are torsion bars, a universal joint and a rotating polyc. Charger, sitting on the floor, trying to deploy with a meter unitary belay The T-64 lowered its silhouette, precisely because it removed the loader winked
    Oh yes
    The features of the driver-mechanic led to the idea of ​​creating a turntable. Using this mechanism, it was supposed to ensure the correct orientation of the driver, regardless of the angle of rotation of the tower.
    what So, does the turntable ride along the rotating deck?
    diesel engine B-64.
    recourse What kind of beast?
    I didn’t read further. The designer creating a tank with a driveshaft in the USSR after the war could not stay in his post for a long time.
    good
    And OKB Kravtseva, at this time, was engaged in self-propelled guns ASU-57P and armored personnel carrier K-75. They didn’t go into the series.
  12. family tree
    family tree 31 October 2013 07: 44
    +1
    The main characteristics of the engines developed for BTVT objects in 1945–1965
    In-64 request