A tender for the creation of a modern tank for the Turkish armed forces was announced in February 2000. It was perceived as one of the most attractive in the field of armaments and attracted the attention of all the tank-producing powers of the world. The “Project of the Century” was valued at $ 4–7 billion and initially assumed that the winning country would supply 250 main battle tanks to Ankara and receive an order to organize their further production in Turkey, bringing the total number to 1000 units. This ambitious project was included in the 30-year modernization program of the armed forces, to which Turkey plans to allocate $ 150 billion. Leading companies in the field of tank construction were invited to participate in the tender. As a result of the selection, Germany, the USA, Ukraine and France reached the final. Such luminaries in the production of tanks as England, Italy, Russia remained behind.
Germany presented to Ankara a project for assembling a limited fleet of cars “Leopard” 2А6. France has also developed a plan for a "limited" factory of existing Leclerc tanks. The United States, under the same conditions, offered to assemble Abrams M1А2 machines. Ukraine has gone further than its competitors, having developed specifically for Turkey a project for assembling an unlimited fleet of a “purely Turkish” model of the T-84 tank, armed with an 120-mm gun. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, one of the indispensable conditions of the competition was the compliance of the tank’s main armament with the standards of this military bloc. Such a requirement excluded from the participants of the competition, for example, Russia.
The participating countries submitted their new cars to the competition: Germany - Leopard-2А6, USA - M1A2 Abrams, Ukraine - T-84 – 120 (“Yatagan”), France - Leclerk. The Turks meticulously tested them for about two years. Moreover, the tests were carried out both on the landfills of Turkey and on the territories of the competing countries. According to experts, the technical characteristics of the chances of all four cars were approximately equal. According to unofficial results of complex tests, Leopard and T-84 took the first and second places. The Turks worked with each tenderer in confidence, so the information was not disclosed.
The Ukrainian machine, the factory index “object 478Н”, later called “Yatagan” (in various publications - KERN 2-120, Т-84-120, Т-84У; however, these names were not used in the KMBR), at the end of 1999 It was completely assembled from components produced in Ukraine, although it was envisaged, at the request of the customer, to install systems and components of foreign manufacturers.
When developing the Yatagan, technical solutions were used that were verified during the modernization of the T-72-120 tank, which was first demonstrated at the IDEX-99 international arms exhibition.
The undercarriage of the tank was borrowed from the main battle tank T-84U “Oplot” and consists of a sprung part and a tracked propulsion unit. The suspension of the torsion tank, tracked propulsion unit consists of 6 supporting double-disk rubberized rollers with a diameter of 670 mm from aluminum alloy, supporting rollers, front guide and rear drive wheels on each side. On the first, second and sixth nodes of the suspension there are telescopic hydraulic double-acting shock absorbers. The guide wheels have caterpillar tensioning mechanisms. The design of the tank allows you to overcome water obstacles to a depth of 1,8 m without training.
The layout of the main battle tank T-84-120 "Yatagan" is made according to the classic type - in front of the case there is a control compartment with a driver's seat, followed by a fighting compartment, and in the stern of the tank is a power transmission compartment. The body has a multi-layered reservation, consisting of sheets of armor and ceramic materials. There is also the possibility of hanging blocks of dynamic protection.
MTO is equipped with a multi-fuel diesel engine capable of operating in different climatic conditions at ambient temperatures from -40 ° to + 55 °, as well as in high-altitude areas at altitudes up to 3000 meters. The ventilation system supplying air to the engine ensures reliable operation of the engine with natural dust. MTO has a system of maximum concealment due to thermal factors of detection.
The main armament of the T-84-120 Yatagan tank is an 120-mm smooth-bore cannon KBM2, which is stabilized in two planes, of Ukrainian production, the design of which meets the requirements of NATO standards. Considering the tight timeframe for preparation for the tender, in the fall of 1999, the KMDB concluded a contract with the Swiss company Swiss Ordnace Athice Corp. through Ukrspetsexport Corporation. for the manufacture of 120-mm barrels for the gun KBM2.
Since the 120-mm gun (as opposed to the Russian 125-mm) uses unitary ammunition, a completely new automatic loader of the jammed type was developed, which was placed in the rear part of the tower in the rear mounted niche.
Loading a cannon tank "Yatagan" is made using automatic loader. The ammunition is forty shots - 22 shots are placed in the conveyor of the automatic loader in a special compartment in the rear of the tower, separated from the fighting compartment by an armored partition, there are expelling panels in the compartment roof, which ensures the safety of the crew in the event of an explosion housed in the hull, and another 16 shot placed in the fighting compartment.
The rate of fire 8 - 10 shots / min, and also provided for the modes of semi-automatic and manual loading.
All types of ammunition developed in accordance with NATO standards (STANAG 4385 and STANAG 4110), APFSDS-T, NEAT-MP-T and others, as well as laser-guided missiles made in Ukraine, adapted to the caliber 120 mm, could be used.
An additional weapon was the 7,62-mm machine gun, paired with a cannon and a 12,7 anti-aircraft gun, mounted on the hatch of the tank commander and stabilized in the vertical plane.
The aiming firing is provided by the fire control complex (TOR) from the T-84U Oplot tank, but adapted to the new type of weaponry. The TEM consists of a thermal imager, a gunner’s day sight, a commander’s observation and observation complex, an anti-aircraft gun, an anti-aircraft gun control system, a ballistic computer with input sensors and a weapon stabilizer.
According to experts, the technical characteristics of the four machines that participated in the second stage of the competition were approximately equal. But according to unofficial results of complex tests, which took place both on the landfills of Turkey and on the territory of the competing countries, Leopard and Yatagan took the first and second places.
The advantages of the Ukrainian tank could be attributed to the fact that it is about 10 t lighter than its competitor, its body is lower, that is, the tank is less vulnerable, overcomes water obstacles to the depth of 1,8 m without preparation. In addition, the unique Kharkov engine was adapted to work in hot climates, so he did not lose power at air temperatures up to + 55 ° С.
However, in modern military business, winners are often determined by factors unrelated to product quality. The outcome of the case often depends on the political weight category of the participating country, its traditional historical orientation and belonging to one or another military-political blocs, as well as from the level of lobbying and investment conditions of applicants. So, according to experts, Italy lost its chances of participating in the tender even before it began after the disputes of Ankara and Rome around the Kurdish leader Ocalan being on the Apennine Peninsula. For France, the adoption by its parliament of a bill condemning the Turkish genocide against Armenians during the Ottoman Empire was a big minus. And the discussion in the US Congress of such a bill significantly reduced the chances of the traditionally strong Americans in the arms market. Berlin was also vulnerable, pointing to human rights violations in Turkey. In addition, having a lot of German equipment in service, Ankara is inclined to be wary of new large purchases. weapons from Germany, so that his presence does not become critical in the sense of dependence on Berlin.
Somewhat later, the war in Iraq began to make significant adjustments to the gender balance. As a result, it turned out that a politically inconspicuous Ukraine has its advantages - only Ankara could not make any political claims against Kiev. A factor was discovered that could play a role in determining the winning country, which gave hope for success in the tender.
Ukraine was able to lay out a few more trump cards, showing some flexibility and ingenuity in the pursuit of the contract. Ukrainian tank builders have been able to demonstrate a number of T-84 advantages over competitors: our machine is approximately 10 tons lighter, has greater maneuverability and high combat power. It is lower, that is, less vulnerable, and, unlike its competitors, it overcomes water barriers with depth 1,8 m without preparation. The unique Kharkov engine, like no other, is optimally adapted to work in hot climates - it does not lose power at air temperature plus 55 degrees At the same time, Ukraine put out the lowest price for T-84 and, very importantly, was also the only country that was ready to transfer Ankara 100% tank technologies. In addition, Kharkov KB them. Morozova, the developer of T-84, having implemented several technical and design innovations, at the final stage of the tender made a rather good move, inviting the Turks to give the tank a beautiful name - “Yatagan”.
But due to financial problems caused, in particular, by the devastating earthquake, Turkey moderated its military appetites. The tank tender allegedly got into the list of abbreviated programs. Preference was given to the modernization of the 170 obsolete tanks M60. The contract for 668 million was received by the Israeli company Israel Military Industries. The Turks also entered into a contract to supply the 298 2А4 tanks that were in service with the army of the Federal Republic of Germany, which had to undergo a major overhaul at the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme factories.
Due to a number of circumstances, Kiev placed great hopes on him. After fulfilling the Pakistani contract for the supply of 320 T-80-UD to Islamabad ($ 650 million), the main manufacturer of tanks in our country is the Kharkiv factory of them. Malysheva - experienced a sharp decline. Winning the tender could be a kind of lifeline for the entire armored industry. By the way, it was the armored theme that led and steadily holds Ukraine in the top ten of the world's largest manufacturers of military equipment and weapons. The situation was worsened by the fact that parallel contests for the supply of tanks to Greece and Malaysia, in which Ukraine participated, were unsuccessful for us. Under the pressure of political circumstances, Malaysia preferred Poland (RT-91), while Greece decided to buy German Leopard. The bitterness of Kiev’s losses in these tenders somewhat softened the breakthrough in Pakistan’s direction. In the summer of 2002, the plant. Malysheva, winning in tough competition with European manufacturers, signed a contract for $ 100 million to supply Islamabad with 285 engines for the new Al Khalid tank, which was developed as part of an international project with the participation of China, Pakistan and Ukraine.
Tactical and technical characteristics of the main battle tank T-84-120 "Yatagan"
Length with a cannon forward 9,664 m, length of the hull 7,075 m, width along the tracks 3,595 m, width along the side screens 3,775, height over the roof of the tower 2,215 m
Mass xnumx t
Ground clearance (ground clearance) mm 515
Track width 2,8 m
Powerplant: 6-cylinder horizontal two-fuel two-stroke diesel engine with direct-flow 6TD-2 purge, hp 1200 power (883 kW) at 2600 rpm
Specific engine power 25 hp / t
Maximum speed on the highway 65 km / h, cross-country 45-50 km / h
Cruising on the highway 450 km on the main fuel tanks, 540 km with additional barrels
Cruising over rough terrain 350 km on main fuel tanks, 450 km with additional barrels
Fuel capacity 1300 L
Armament: 120-mm smoothbore gun KBM2, 7,62-mm machine gun, 12,7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun
Ammunition: 40 shots 120-mm, 4000 cartridges 7,62-mm, 450 cartridges 12,7-mm
Specific pressure on soil 0,93 kgf / cm2
Overcoming obstacle: ford with depth 1,8 m, with OPVT (equipment for underwater driving of tank) - up to 5 m, wall with height 1 m, ditch width 2,85 m, angle of lift 32 °, roll 25 °