According to rating tanks the world, prepared by the American agency Forecast International, the best tank currently is the American M1A2 SEP Abrams of General Dynamics Corporation, which has proven itself during the war in Iraq. In second place is the Israeli Merkava Mk IV tank from Israel Ordnance Corps. He also showed excellent performance during the fighting. In third place is the Japanese Type 90 from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. It was created on the basis of the German "Leopard-2", but due to the numerous innovations of the "Type 90" in technological terms, it can be considered the most advanced tank in the world. However, there is no experience of its combat use.
For the same reasons, the latest modification of the German tank "Leopard-2А6" (manufacturer - Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) took only fourth place.
What is remarkable and quite natural, in the ranking there was no place for the Russian T-72 and T-90С tanks, which are very widely used in various local wars and armed conflicts. For example, T-90С has already managed to perfectly show itself in tank battles on the Indo-Pakistan border. Moreover, it is the only tank in the world that has successfully passed test runs in the Indian Thar Desert and the jungles of Malaysia. But most importantly, the compilers of the rating did not take into account the results of hostilities during the operation in Dagestan and the Chechen Republic. Here, the Russian T-72 tanks and even the "veterans" of the T-62 far surpassed in survivability the vaunted "Abrams" used in the course of the aggression against Iraq.
Presented by the Americans as invulnerable and without measure praised by the American (and for good money by our own) media, the Abrams, however, was successfully struck by the Soviet-made anti-tank weapons that were used by the Iraqi army. Including hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers. They were mainly affected by onboard, stern and upper parts of the tank.
In this regard, the author found it necessary to talk about two of the many combat episodes he knew, in which the high reliability and survivability of Russian tanks were clearly demonstrated.
During the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, units and units of both the North Caucasus and other military districts operated in the United Group of Forces (forces). In this case, we will focus on the actions of the division 506 Guards. MSW 27 Guards MICD of the Volga Military District (since September 1 2001 - Privolzhsko-Uralsky Military District). This regiment showed itself very well when performing combat missions during the first Chechen campaign, from February 1995 to the autumn 1996. Its units also competently and selflessly fought during the second Chechen campaign, including soldiers of the tank battalion . At the same time, in fights with militants, not only good training, courage and heroism of military personnel were shown, but also high reliability and survivability of military equipment were demonstrated.
Thus, in early January, 2000, in the course of hostilities to liberate Grozny, one of the regiment's assault squads led fierce battles in the area of the railway depot. The actions of the motorized infantry, as expected, were supported by the T-72B tanks of the regiment's tank battalion. The enemy defended stubbornly and desperately, skillfully using large quantities of anti-tank grenade launchers and even anti-tank systems. Therefore, despite the well-organized and constantly maintained interaction of tanks with infantry, a powerful fire damage inflicted on the enemy by artillery, combat vehicles were still subjected to repeated hits of grenades and even ATGM.
1,2. Tank T-72B №613 - "friend" tank №611, both of the 1-second tank platoon. The wounds of the combat vehicle are clearly visible. Khankala, June 2000
3. Tank 72B №611, front view and on the left side. It is prepared for following to the station for loading on a railway transport and sending to a place of constant deployment. The tower is turned back and locked, the trunk is additionally secured with a regular towing cable. Traces of active combat activity are clearly visible on the combat vehicle. Khankala, June 2000
4. Tank T-72B №611, rear view on the right side. Khankala, June 2000
In the course of these battles, the tank with airborne No.611 from / tr. During the 2 of the day of continuous combat, the 3 ATGM of the Fagot class and 6 grenades from RPG-7 fell into this car.
The hits occurred in the following parts of the tank.
ATGM - to the left under the tower (all):
• two - in the fuel tanks on the fenders under the turret, which, during the fighting, the tank crews always kept them “dry”. Bucky swelled and torn, then the elements of the hinged dynamic protection on the tower worked, there was no armor penetration;
• one - in the board under the tower; reflected by the triggered element mounted dynamic protection mounted on rubber metal side screens.
Grenades from RPG-7:
• one - on top of the commander's hatch of the tower; a cumulative jet pierced the hatch and, without hitting the tank commander, went into the aft wall of the tower;
• two - to the left in the upper frontal part of the tower; neutralized with activated elements of mounted dynamic protection;
• three - on the hull side, 2 on the left and 1 on the right; all reflected by dynamic protection elements mounted on rubber-metal side screens.
5. The fuel tank on the right flank of the tank # XXUMX, swollen and exploded as a result of hitting the cumulative RPG grenades (in a combat situation, as expected, was empty). The fuel tanks on tank No.613 in January 611 also looked the same after the ATGM hit them. Khankala, June 2000
6. "Burn" from getting ATGM in the dynamic protection of the tower of one of the tanks T-72B. Khankala, June 2000
7. Brewed hole from the cumulative PG-7 grenade in the stern sheet of the hull of the T-72B tank No. 623. And no memories ...
Khankala, June 2000
8,9. Fragments of the left side of the tank T-72B №623. Khankala, June 2000
As a result, not a single hit resulted in the loss of combat capability of the tank, which continuously continued to perform the combat mission. This fact was confirmed during the personal conversation of the author with the commander of this tank and the company commander in June 2000. Moreover, the commanders of the units confirmed that all the other battalion tanks had been repeatedly hit by an anti-tank missile and RPG grenades, had explosions on mines and land mines . But all the crews remained alive, and the tanks were efficient! After explosions on mines and land mines, the equipment was restored in a short time, either by the forces of the crews, or by military repair agencies, depending on the nature of the damage received.
The photographs taken by the author in the summer of 2000 showed tank No. 611 and some others with characteristic traces of the effects of ATGM and cumulative grenades from various RPGs. The combat vehicles were in the field park in Khankala and prepared for transportation by rail to the place of permanent deployment, therefore, many of them have towers turned towards the stern.
I would like to note that much more new and "invulnerable" American tanks hitting grenades from RPGs in the side screens covering the sides above the support rollers, had sad consequences: armored screens and hulls penetrated, after which the tanks, as a rule, were burned out.
10. The right fender of one of the tanks of the 2 tank company. Here, too, was the fuel tank, destroyed by a grenade from an RPG. Has got also to the next tank. Khankala, June 2000
A very interesting and illustrative incident occurred with the tank number XXUMX (623 tr of the same tank battalion). In the middle of December, 2 was the entrance of hostilities in the 1999 town of Grozny, one of the units of the 15 Guards. The company received a combat mission to unlock the surrounded unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and ensure its access to the location of our units.
The task was successfully completed. When covering the withdrawal of the Internal Troops unit, tank No.623 pulled forward to the square and, breaking away from the cover of motorized riflemen, acted alone, actively maneuvered and conducted intense and effective fire on the enemy, which stunned the militants, inflicted heavy losses and greatly contributed to successful the exit of our units from the environment.
After receiving the command to retreat by radio, the tank began to depart not in reverse, but turned around.
To cover the departure of his tower was turned back. Thus, he gave the enemy a poorly protected feed. Errors in the war are not forgiven: the militants immediately opened up strong and accurate fire from grenade launchers. As a result, the combat vehicle received 3 hits of anti-tank grenades from RPG-7 in a short period of time:
• the first is in a metal barrel aft for additional fuel (in a battle on tanks, these barrels were always “dry”). A cumulative jet pierced through a barrel that immediately cracked along the welds, but the tank hull was not pierced
• the second - in the side of the hull; it was neutralized by hinged dynamic protection elements mounted on rubber-metal side screens;
• the third - in the lower part of the stern sheet, while the shooting mercenary Arab was “cut off” by a machine-gun burst from the tank; a cumulative jet, breaking through the stern sheet, pierced the lower part of the engine crankcase and “stalled” at the partition in the fighting compartment.
Nevertheless, the tank, under its own power, with the engine crankcase (!) Broken from below, passed 300 m at high speed and took shelter in a nearby street, in the location of our troops. There the crew stopped the car and quickly left it. The tank crews reported that oil-but-fuel mist began to appear inside the tank and that a fire and explosion could occur. Soon the engine stalled. But nothing caught fire or exploded. In a short time, the engine was replaced, the inlet from the cumulative grenade was welded, and the tank again with the same crew performed combat missions before being withdrawn from Chechnya.
11. The author of the article with the crew of the T-72B tank, called up from the Samara region, before going on escort of the convoy to the Vedeno gorge. Above the blocks with mounted dynamic protection on the turret there are boxes with cartridges for a twin PKT machine gun. The tank had a KMT-7 anti-mine roller trawl (not visible in the photo) and walked in the head of the column. Khankala, April 1996
In general, the tank battalion 506 Guards. MSP, which had a T-31B tank in 72 state, for 8 months (autumn 1999 - winter and spring 2000) had no continuous fighting in the plains, in the city and mountainous regions of Chechnya. The only exception was one tank, which constantly and too often "found" mines and land mines, and the crew, respectively, received contusions. He was recognized as “unlucky,” “terribly unlucky,” and after another blast, at the urgent request of the battalion and regiment command, he was handed over to the repair and restoration battalion to be sent to a repair plant. “Bad luck” with frequent explosions stopped. It is impossible to explain this from a scientific point of view, but it happens in war.
The reasons for the high survivability of Russian tanks are, above all, the well-thought-out design of combat vehicles created in accordance with the principles and rules of the Soviet (inherited - Russian) tank school. The same applies to subsequent upgrades conducted in accordance with our Russian understanding of the further development of armored vehicles.
Along with this, it should be noted, and a sufficiently high quality manufacturing tanks. Exactly. Of course, there are flaws in the design, there is also a factory defect during the construction of combat vehicles. Without this, there is no. But still it is more the exception to the rule than the law. With proper operation and timely maintenance, our military equipment will never let you down.
An important reason for the high survivability of combat vehicles was the fact that during the counter-terrorist operation, the technical support of military operations was well organized and carried out. This made it possible to service tanks in a timely and efficient manner and, in a short time, to repair equipment that received combat damage.
Along with this, the most important reason for the successful use of tanks in the second Chechen campaign, in contrast to the first, is a much higher level of professional training for servicemen. This ensured the correct use of combat vehicles, maintaining close interaction with motorized infantry, operating on foot, and destroying enemy grenade launchers (priority goals!) During combat operations. The enemy was not allowed to fire at RPG tanks without difficulty and, especially, to hit them in the upper and aft parts of the hull and turret. The tasks of engineering support were solved in a timely and effective manner, which made it possible to minimize the explosions of combat vehicles on mines and land mines of the enemy.