In the conditions of possession of the key powers of nuclear weapons the likelihood of the emergence and development of a global conflict with the use of weapons of mass destruction is impossible. Rather, it is unlikely. That, in turn, does not exclude the development of small and local conflicts of low intensity, the characteristic signs of which will be and are fighting various military gangs, private, terrorist, including illegally formed states on different ideological or financial platforms. This type of combat is a type of war where the active role will mainly belong to dispersed combat formations (tactics “hit-hid”, organization of ambushes, shelling of posts, military convoys, terrorist attacks, civilian terror, forest and especially in urban environments with the use of portable small weapons of war: machine guns, machine guns, RPGs, ATGM, MANPADS and small equipment).
The logical question is: how to most effectively conduct military operations with such an enemy in the given conditions? We immediately mention that the answer to this question can only be complex, including a combination of economic, political and military means. The most important from this list seems to be the military, the so-called “last” argument, which includes the use of various reconnaissance, UAV, spacecraft, and strike aviation, helicopters, artillery, MLRS and WTO. And, of course, ground army units, including special ones, as direct participants in the conflict, which bear the brunt of the tasks of fighting, cleaning up territories and protecting them. Since the enemy’s actions will be of a hidden and not always definite nature, combat units must be highly mobile and responsive to counter them.
What mobile military means do troops possess today? These are mainly light armored cars, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, or Tanks. Summarizing the experience of the combat use of such equipment, I believe that it is not always effective, and sometimes does not meet the requirements in such specific conflicts. For example, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles have poor protection and are easily affected by portable grenade launchers, have low resistance to undermining on mines, and have insufficient means of observation and defense. Tanks, in turn, have much better protection characteristics, have the ability to use mine trawls, but here again, there is a problem with weapons, since the 125-mm gun is redundant, and the machine gun is insufficient. True, there is another option for using a new class of armored vehicles such as BMPT. With it, part of the problems of use in these conditions has already been solved, in particular, problems with weapons. This type of combat vehicle came closest to the issue of effective use in carrying out such tasks and has a variety of weapons and surveillance systems. But is that enough? As I see it, no, and the problem, obviously, is that such a machine alone will not be able to conduct combat operations in isolation from other units - due to the insufficiency and limited detection facilities.
Against the background of these calculations and reflections, I put the question: what type of armored vehicles would be most suitable for performing the higher tasks and would be the most effective in combat? So to say, I decided to fantasize a little on the topic and create a kind of concept for a new combat vehicle meeting this requirement, and try to draw its appearance.
First of all, it was necessary to determine the properties that are most important for the performance of these tasks in the form of questions, the answers to which are the solution.
1. Low cost, i.e. on the basis of existing machines.
2. Maximum firepower.
3. The presence of various weapons systems.
4. Simultaneous use of weapons.
5. High level of automation.
6. Multi-channel observation, guidance.
7. Multichannel shooting.
The first point implies that I propose to create not just a new car, but to modernize the existing, the most common cars. Since security is indicated in paragraph 9, naturally, we will choose from tanks, and which tank today is one of the best and most popular, initially meeting our requirements, including the price? Of course, talking about the T-72. The decision to use it for these purposes, of course, repeats the decision taken in the design and creation of the Terminator BMPT, and since its creators are pioneers in this matter, we will call the variant I propose also T-72, BMPT, but under the name "Karagach"! So, with our choice of tank, we actually answered two questions: requirements are price and security.
We continue. Next, you will have to turn on your imagination, since I don’t have a photo or a picture of such a non-existent machine yet.
Let's start with the main thing - with weapons and its deployment.
Gun GSH-30-1 - 2 pcs.
PKT 7,62 mm machine gun - 1 pcs.
First you need to dismantle the 125-mm cannon and loading mechanisms from the turret of the tank. Instead of a cannon, of course, a corresponding alteration is required, it is necessary to install two automatic cannon GSH-30-1 and a PKT machine gun paired with them. The twin guns must have a vertical pointing angle of at least 60 degrees, in the horizontal plane approximately 45 degrees relative to a fixed turret. Must be stabilized in two control planes by means of electric servomotors.
Machine gun 12,7 mm "Kord" - 2 pcs.
AGS-17 grenade launcher — 2 pcs.
It is necessary to create two circular rotating guides and place them on the tower in the place of the commander’s and gunner’s hatches so that the hatch is inside the guide.
Two large-caliber machine guns are mounted on the edge of the guide, strictly in the center of the axis above the hatches of the commander and the gunner, and installing two grenade launchers on the same guide on the sides closer to the edges of the tower, and above the hatch of the commander and gunner on the guide, we get a paired installation. Both the machine gun and the grenade launcher must be removable. For protection, but not around the circle, you must install armor in the form of plates. The vertical guidance angle is also 60 degrees, in horizontal 300 degrees relative to a fixed tower. They should also be stabilized in two planes, but the electric actuators of vertical alignment should be: for the AGS - its own, for the machine gun - also its own. This is necessary in order to compensate for aiming and pointing at one point the difference in the flight path of the projectiles.
Mortar 80 mm - 1 pcs.
Mortar set inside the tower along the longitudinal center closer to the rear, between the operators of weapons in the tower, by hanging it on a hinge in the turret neckline. The mortar, of course, should be not quite normal, but automatic, with bureaucratic charging and a revolver drum for ten shots. The mortar must be stabilized in a vertical plane. Must be closed with a soundproof cover and have an air broach for cooling the barrel. On the roof of the tower on the mortar barrel should be installed silencer.
ATGM "Cornet" - 6 pcs.
PZRK Needle - 2 pcs.
To install rocket armament, you will need to weld an additional armored compartment of two spaced-up metal sheets 10 mm in thickness to the rear of the turret above the engine compartment, in which anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft missiles will be placed across the tank. In the middle of the compartment should be mounted folding retractable launch strut for Chrysanthemum-type missiles, for example, two missiles, one ATGM and one MANPADS, anti-tank missile guidance devices should be placed between the missiles on the racks. The rack must rotate 360 degrees and be stabilized. It should also provide for an automatic missile reloading system. The mass of the additional compartment for rocket armament will lead to an imbalance of the tower, so it will be necessary to cut off part of the armor behind the tower and, possibly, add additional armor to the tower’s front.
Control. The 4 man, driver and weapon operators must control the combat vehicle. The driver is at his regular place, and next to him is one of the operators of the twin-gun guns GSH-30-1. The other two should be at the bottom, in a rotating turret, on the sides of the built-in mortar. Guidance, observation and aiming should be three independent stations, one between the barrels of the GSH-30-1 over WLD, the other two stations in the small turrets between the barrels of the paired machine gun and the grenade launcher. The stations themselves should have thermal imagers and cameras, etc. In addition, there should be one independent optical station with a circular view, with two channels per 180 degrees each, which should rotate continuously.
Arms control has three options: manual, semi-automatic and automatic.
1. Manual control involves the direct mechanical guidance of the weapon. Shooting is carried out using periscopic devices, this is not the main method, but an emergency or auxiliary one.
2. Semi-automatic mode. Weapon control operators must have two television screens and two control arms. One individual screen displays from the surveillance video cameras the sector of the battlefield of this weapon, range and other information about the targets, type, properties, danger, etc., the second monitor displays the graphical situation 360 degrees around the combat vehicle indicating sectors of shelling of all weapons and general information about the objectives, including the interactions with other similar machines. Arms control joysticks should be similar to aviation ones and should be on armrests. The armrests should have cushioning to compensate for the oscillations of the shooter when the car is moving and to fix the arms for a stable joystick control. The right joystick should be responsible for pointing the weapon horizontally and vertically, and buttons for choosing the type of weapon. For the operator, the first channel is from twin guns of the GSH-30-1, PKT, mortar, anti-tank systems, or MANPADS. For operators, the second and third channels, respectively, are either a machine gun, or a grenade launcher and anti-tank missile systems or MANPADS. In the semi-automatic mode, each operator himself directly observes on the individual monitor the battlefield, determines the targets, performs pointing of weapons and shooting with the help of the joystick.
3. In the automatic mode, each individual station and a circular review station themselves conduct observations and target recognition, issue target designations, determine the scale of the threat, the priority of destruction, the type of weapon and ammunition used, and make a tip. The operator, controlling the right joystick, moving the cursor on the main monitor screen, zooming in or out, switching between observation modes and controlling the machine’s computer in this way, monitor the operation of the weapon, recognize targets, approve and give permissions to destroy, including by watching for the process of quality of perfect work, defeat goals.
A combat vehicle must be equipped with powerful computer computing equipment, including communications and communications equipment for interaction in a group and with other types of military units, means of attachment protection and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Tactics and combat use. Combat use of this machine should not be limited. Such a machine should be the main ground-based means of warfare on the battlefield - both local and large-scale. Having three main channels of observation and firing, the combat vehicle can project fire in different directions or concentrate fire power in one direction. Such a machine should press the BTR and the BMP from the front line of the battlefield and, together with the tanks, should be the main means of solving combat tasks in the fight against the enemy, be at the point of the attacking or defending wedges. It is worth considering that at the present stage of development of military equipment and a wide range of weapons, for example, the probability of large-scale oncoming tank battles is unlikely. In turn, the variety of means used in conflict in the first place and will require the universality of the means of counteraction. Here we will need a machine that solves a wide range of tasks for the destruction of various enemy vehicles, from hidden personnel in the trenches or behind shelters to helicopters, airplanes and enemy armored vehicles. And finally, the most fully possible to use its combat potential when used for such local tasks as guarding and wiring columns, conducting combat operations in the mountains, forests, settlements and on city streets, to support assault units. Blocking around the perimeter of the outbreaks of hostilities, patrolling, duty and protecting borders, organizing ambushes and roadblocks, etc. Both the plane dominates the sky and Karagach should dominate the earth.
Of course, the implementation of this concept has a lot of technical issues, this is the placement of ammunition for grenade launchers and machine guns inside the tower and supplying them with weapons, this is the placement of a mortar. Synchronization of the moments of rotation of weapons, blocking and priority at the intersection of courses of fire, these and many other technical problems require solutions, but, I think, all this can be overcome. This idea is offered to respected forum users to discuss issues related to the need for such a machine and to determine the technical feasibility of such an upgrade option.
PS Karagach is a branchy and unpretentious ebony.