Military Review

Disputes around the tank

The permanent scandal, shaking the Russian "defense industry" and the military department of the Russian Federation in connection with the procurement of new armored vehicles, reached its apogee after the announcement of the Chief of the Army Alexander Postnikov about the obsolescence of the samples offered by our industry. After this, the search for a common language became inevitable. How successful will it be and where are the roots of the current critical situation in domestic tank building?

Disputes around the tank

There is no sadder story in the world ...

Problems with the fleet of domestic main combat tanks didn’t arise yesterday - the fundamental flaws of the T-72, from which the T-90 actually generates its pedigree, were understandable to specialists even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and work on the creation of new-generation MBTs began in the 80s. Part of the flaws - an outdated engine (the development of the legendary V-2, which stood on the BT-7M, T-34 and KV tanks), transmission, lagging on the capabilities of sighting equipment and avionics could be eliminated with "little blood": by developing new units. However, a number of flaws, namely, poor crew survival in the event of breaking through the armor, the tightness inside the car, which entailed increased fatigue of the tank crew, and other features determined by the layout and dimensions of the “seventy-second”, required drastic measures. It was necessary to design a new tank, with a different approach to its layout and other weight and size limitations.

It was impossible to get a new MBT from the defense industry in 90-s - the demise of the Soviet superpower buried these plans, like many other projects, but the study of the operating experience and combat use of existing machines, their strengths and weaknesses continued. The actions of our troops in Afghanistan and Chechnya, the Iran-Iraq war and the campaign in the Persian Gulf gave a lot of valuable information.

By the end of the 90-s, it turned out that Soviet tanks, intended for the "rush to the English Channel" in the case of the third world war, were not very good in local conflicts. At the same time, the principal layout shortcomings “low survival rate of the crew and its increased fatigue due to the tight layout of the machine” came to the fore.
With 2015, a new main tank will appear in the Armed Forces with fundamentally new tactical-technical ones ”
characteristics ”

In addition, in the context of a catastrophic reduction in military spending, another flaw was also significant: Soviet tanks had the worst modernization potential compared to their western peers. A radical increase in technical characteristics, as with the modernization of the Abrams МХNUMX to the МХNUMXА1 and М1А1 variants or when creating late modifications of Leopard 1 - 2А2, 2А5 and 2А6, required more than 100 hp, 2A7, XNUMXAXNUMX and XNUMXXXUMXX, for domestic machines, it was more than 100 for the domestic machines, it required more than 100 for the machines, it was for

These shortcomings were aggravated by the enormous “species diversity” of the Russian tank park inherited from the USSR. Tens of thousands of tanks of various types, which are located on the storage bases without any hope of ever becoming operational, were left dead by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

... What is the story of the Central Committee

These reserves the Russian Federation was obliged to the specifics of the Soviet control system of the military-industrial complex. The “industrial lobby”, whose influence has grown all the years after the victorious completion of the Great Patriotic War and reached a peak after Dmitry Ustinov came to the post of defense minister, actually pushed the military from making decisions in the production sphere weapons.

The consequence of this approach was the variety of platforms in service - by 1991, the Soviet Army simultaneously exploited T-54 / 55, T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80. At the same time, the variants of each model multiplied: for example, there was an Omsk T-80U with a gas turbine engine and a Kharkov T-XNUMHUD with an opposed diesel. Many defense veterans recall this time with nostalgia, extolling the importance of having several independent directions for the development of military equipment. The military, especially those who, in parts of the same division, deduced three types of tanks that are incompatible in spare parts to the exercises, are generally not very polite to these memories, and nobody asked the financiers, as usual.

With all this presence it was necessary to do something. As the main platform of the Russian army chose T-72. Such a step was predetermined by the higher cost of the gas turbine installation of the Omsk T-80U and the increased requirements of this tank for the qualification of personnel. And in the conditions of the economic catastrophe of the first half of the 90-x, the Ural machine gained additional points.

The decision in its favor did not mean the immediate removal of the T-80 from service - these tanks remain in service now, but the development of the platform has practically ceased. Another loser was the “187 object”, which was also created on the basis of T-72 and, according to some experts, was significantly superior to the “188 object” - the future T-90. The reasons for choosing the “188 object” are still unknown, but the price of the car is called the main motive.

The T-90 went into series in the 1993 year. True, the word “series” will probably be too loud: in the first years of production (1993 – 1995), the Russian army received no more than 120 machines, after which the production of the “ninetieth” for its own Ground Forces was stalled for nine years. In the subsequent period, the "military" part of the UVZ survived through the export of tanks, primarily to India.

Too expensive and complicated

A lot has already been said about the “195 object”, aka T-95, but the main points of this stories still need to refresh your memory. Work on a fundamentally new tank for the Armed Forces of Russia was resumed at the beginning of the 2000s, almost at the same time that the purchases of the T-90 began again.

The T-95 is equipped with an uninhabited turret, and the crew of the vehicle is housed in an armored capsule, separated from the turret and automatic loader. This arrangement was supposed to dramatically increase the survival of the crew in the event of armor penetration, eliminating one of the main drawbacks of Soviet tanks.
Andrei Sedykh collage

The firepower also increased due to the installation of 152-mm guns. The mass of the tank, according to information published by the media, has passed over 60 tons, which required the creation of a corresponding engine.

Taking into account the time, requirements were also formulated for the equipment of MBT, which in modern conditions should interact with other units on the battlefield, receiving and transmitting information in real time. The security and firepower of the tank make it a natural “center” of the battle formation, which determined high demands on communications and control systems and, of course, on crew skills.

Characteristics and cost of the T-95 have ultimately influenced its fate - in the current conditions, the implementation of this project has become an impossible task for Russian industry, and the price of the car has turned out to be prohibitive. The prospective tank was to be created anew, taking into account the state of the national defense industry and the capabilities of the country's economy. We will talk about it below.

Passion for T-90

In the meantime, starting with 2004, the T-90 again went into series for the Russian Armed Forces. At first they received one each, and then, from 2007, two battalion sets each. There was also an update of old cars through a major overhaul with elements of the modernization of the T-72 tanks, which were assigned the T-72BA index.

Approximately in 2007, claims of the Ministry of Defense for T-90 were first made public. First of all, the military was not satisfied with the growing price of the car and the preservation of the tank’s previously mentioned disadvantages. Producers, for their part, explained the increase in the cost of low-volume, higher prices for raw materials and components. However, if the second factor did occur, then the first was designed to mislead the public: only the production of T-90 for export in 2001 – 2011 approached 900 machines, and taking into account the internal order it was about 1300 units and talk about low volume here at least incorrectly. Over the past 10 for years, the T-90 is the largest main battle tank in the world.

Some of the shortcomings of the T-90 were eliminated: a new welded turret (inherited from the “187 object”) noticeably increased the security of the vehicle, and French thermal imagers significantly increased the tank's ability to detect targets on the battlefield. At the same time, claims to communication and control systems, to the possibilities of dynamic protection, and finally, to the general quality of the production of MBT, remained. In part, these shortcomings were also recognized by the management of Uralvagonzavod, which expressed complaints about the components received from the subcontractors, which had a serious negative impact on the state of the final product.

Nevertheless, the increase in the price of the T-90 and the preservation of the appearance of the vehicle as a whole led to the fact that in 2010, the Russian Ministry of Defense decided to abandon the purchase of this tank in its current form. The scandal, which had been smoldering in the pages of the press, broke out no worse than the forest fires that swept Russia that hot summer. Gasoline was added to the fire by the fact that not only T-90 became the subject of a dispute: the military presented serious complaints to almost the entire line of equipment and weapons of the Ground Forces. From the camp of representatives of industry to the subordinates of Anatoly Serdyukov there were accusations of almost maliciously undermining the country's defense and total incompetence. In turn, the heads of the military department argued that the defense industry wasted without spending the appropriations allocated to it, while in the framework of the new approach to equipping the army, they declared their readiness to purchase foreign weapons.

The demarche of the commander-in-chief of the Ground Forces, mentioned above, was the apotheosis of the scandal, saying that modern Russian tanks are inferior in their capabilities to the machines of NATO countries, and often to China, being in addition unjustifiably expensive. The statement made at a meeting of the Council of the Federation in the heat of a dispute was not intended for the press, but got into print and the flames soared to the skies.

News of "Armata"

In late April, a round table was held in Moscow with the participation of representatives of the military-industrial complex and military experts who discussed the situation with the T-90. Among other speeches, the words of Lieutenant General Yuri Kovalenko, former First Deputy Head of the Main Automobile and Armored Directorate Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, caused the greatest interest. He confirmed the creation in Russia of a new main battle tank under the code "Armat", representing the adaptation of the latest developments in this area to the capabilities of the Russian industry.

“With 2015, a new main tank will appear in the Armed Forces with fundamentally new tactical and technical characteristics, with a new ammunition dispenser, with crew accommodation in an armored capsule, with the removal of ammunition from the combat compartment,” said General Kovalenko. Among other innovations, he noted the increased capacity of the automatic loader, which will contain not 22, but 32 projectiles of various purposes.

As an interim solution, the industry offers the T-90AM tank, which is to be demonstrated at an exhibition in Nizhny Tagil this summer. The next modification of the T-90 will receive, as expected, a new turret with a warhead placed outside the combat compartment, which will significantly increase the survivability of the vehicle. The tank’s tight layout, low ergonomics, insufficient elevation / declination angles of the gun will, apparently, be corrected already with the adoption of the “Armata”.

Why army MBT?

Does it make sense to invest in work on the development of T-90 and other machines? This question is regularly asked not only by ordinary people, but also by some representatives of the expert community, who assert that today the importance of tanks has come to naught. However, despite regular attempts to “bury” the MBT, and even armored combat vehicles as a class, the value of this technology is only growing.

“The experience of recent military conflicts has clearly demonstrated that tanks retain the position of the backbone of any significant army and play a decisive role on the battlefield. Moreover, in connection with the development of a “mine war” and the improvement of anti-tank weapons, a kind of “renaissance armor” is now being observed, ”said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. “Today we can talk about the beginning of a new stage in the development of heavy armored vehicles, related to the promotion of protection requirements at the center, achieved by the development of both constructive protection and passive and active protection systems. A significant place is occupied by the adaptation of the tank design to actions in urbanized zones, as a result of which there are requirements to provide all-round protection, specific development of fire observation and control systems, equipment with auxiliary armaments, etc. ”

Commenting on the words of the expert, we can add that the reduction of the MBT fleet in all countries of the world only increased the requirements for the capabilities of each individual machine, the value of which has increased dramatically. Under these conditions, thousands of "tank hordes" in warehouses in the Siberian forests or Arizona sands are of ever less importance. An increasing role is played by the ability to create a modern machine that is able to act on the battlefield and perform tasks equally effectively in conditions of both local conflict and a major war. The new modification of the T-90 will be demonstrated already this summer, "Armata" - in the coming years. Soon we will receive an answer to the question whether Russia can create such a machine on its own.

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  1. Forward
    Forward 11 May 2011 08: 53
    Rejoice at the service! Yesterday, the president of state procurement of arms conferred. Allegedly failed since 2009. Says in the near future the army will begin to receive new weapons. And offenders off duty. I even remembered the 37th year. I want to believe in the best
  2. olifus
    olifus 11 May 2011 09: 16
    Quote: Forward
    I even remembered the 37th year. I want to believe in the best

    all these statements smack of election chatter very much am
  3. Michael
    Michael 11 May 2011 11: 25
    Yes, to hell you understand the managing Schonder - then de-uninstallation, then recalls 37g. Confusion and staggering in the head from an excessive burden by the management of the Russian State.
    Medical examination in the studio!
  4. Joker
    Joker 11 May 2011 11: 32
    At the same time, it was precisely the fundamental layout shortcomings that “crawled out” to the forefront — the low survivability of the crew and its increased fatigue due to the tight layout of the machine.

    - in terms of low survival, during operations in Chechnya, with a gas fire extinguishing system and the presence of dynamic protection units (rather than empty boxes), the T-72s kept up to 7-8 RPG hits without loss of combat readiness. For fatigue - I agree.

    In addition, in the face of a catastrophic reduction in military spending, another flaw turned out to be very significant: Soviet tanks had the worst modernization potential compared to their Western peers.

    - the version of the T-72 "Slingshot" is not a radical increase in potential?

    Under these conditions, thousands of “tank hordes” in warehouses in Siberian forests or Arizona sands are of lesser importance.

    - in the event of a full-scale military conflict, it is the "strategic stocks" of weapons that will be of decisive importance.
  5. Maj.
    Maj. 11 May 2011 11: 32
    I agree. He stomps his legs before the elections, knocks with his fists. As if he didn’t know that everything was failed. If assistants do not report, see the Internet. Everything is painted there.
    And who will make the order? There are no engineers, especially workers.
  6. olifus
    olifus 11 May 2011 13: 03
    Quote: Michael
    Confusion and staggering in the head from an excessive burden by the management of the Russian State.

    apparently a mess in my head from the fact that I "typed" fashionable devices from Yabloko and now all the time it takes to study them, not to the country yet, I would have to deal with them
    Quote: Major
    If assistants do not report, see the Internet. Everything is painted there.

    how to learn how to use the ipad, so apparently he will start reading what they write
  7. Passing
    Passing 11 May 2011 13: 37
    I don’t understand the logic of refusing ob. 195, de it turned out to be too complicated and expensive. It turns out that the Armata, designed as a counterweight to it, will be a primitive cheap thing?
  8. viktor_ui
    viktor_ui 11 May 2011 17: 09
    The article is a complete shnyaga and smacks of electoral shit from her.
  9. viktor_ui
    viktor_ui 11 May 2011 17: 47
    Nothing will change until they kick the bargain from the Ministry of Defense - at this moment, this whole pack was both sitting and will continue to sit and the 4th modernization was crying. I have a question about the 3rd Muternization, which is supposedly 70% completed according to official statistics. Che, really in the troops of brand-new equipment, the most% caught up on enti ??? Ahhhh, I understand .... 1% is one dozen of military-industrial complex products for the army! For a few years it's cool.
  10. Alexander
    Alexander 12 May 2011 08: 44
    To have first-class technology and be able to apply it, you need to have military science, we have it "optimized" already at the parade, the Academies have disappeared, and there are faceless consolidated regiments. No one can already determine the direction of development of weapons and military equipment and the army in general, so some do not know need, the second what to produce and for what perspective.
  11. dbnfkbq
    dbnfkbq 13 May 2011 20: 33
    Recently I saw an article about the Ukrainian T-64E. In my opinion, it’s a good idea to upgrade the old ones instead of riveting the old ones. Our crafters should also do this (than the controversial T-90s do). Another anti-aircraft defense weapon impressed (the idea has long been expressed) 23- mm cannon with remote control, and in addition to it, with the same PKT. On the basis of the T-80B, you can make such
  12. mishan
    mishan 14 May 2011 13: 59
    A normal versatile article that summed up the dispute, and you’ve always been sick about politics, agrees only with the Joker.
  13. panzersoldat
    panzersoldat 13 July 2011 22: 18
    Everyone is talking about ARMAT, the t-90s, and most of the units were armed with the t-72b 80 of a certain year.
  14. I hate pendosov
    I hate pendosov 24 January 2012 17: 15
    people and T-90SM this is not the case T90AM