As evidence, opponents of tanks with GTE usually cite data obtained during troop exploitation, as well as statements by the leadership of the Armed Forces of Russia, dated to the middle of the 1990s. However, the basis of such statements, as a rule, are estimates of the onset of 1980's. (Of course, this fact is silent). Ultimately, waves of criticism emanating from Russian and foreign opponents of the CCD, rolling one after the other on the minds of readers, reinforce the overall impression of the futility of tanks with a gas turbine engine and, in particular, T-80U.
At the beginning of the 1980's exercises using T-80 tanks held in the Western Group of Forces revealed their significantly higher fuel consumption (2,5-3 times! compared with diesel engines. However, it should be borne in mind that the first T-80 equipped with GTD-1000 engines, which at that time were not equipped with a number of devices contributing to a significant reduction in fuel consumption and an increase in their reliability. The fact is that the specific feature of the CCD is significantly greater (at times) specific fuel consumption at idle (low gas) and engine braking Meanwhile, in these exercises, the operating time on such modes was more than 60% of the total operating time of the machines. Thus, the absence of the stand-by-gas mode on these tanks resulted in 2-3 -fold fuel overruns during long stops and to a large extent contributed to the formation of experts opinion about the unsatisfactory fuel economy GTE.
However, the main reason for the increased fuel consumption was the lack of training and lack of discipline of driver mechanics. Wrong choice of gear according to driving conditions (an untrained mechanic doesn’t feel this due to the lack of a stun effect of the engine, and an unruly mechanic is lazy to change gear because the engine still copes with any external load and does not stall) also caused unreasonably high fuel consumption . Therefore, an unsuccessful military experience in the operation of T-80 tanks in the GSVG should be regarded rather as an exception to the rules for the operation of tanks with GTE. More important in this sense are the results obtained in the operation of T-80 tanks in the Belarusian, Trans-Baikal military and Central Asian military districts, where the fuel consumption of tanks with GTE did not exceed the same indicator of tanks equipped with diesel engines in 1,5-1,7 times inferior to the T-1,3.
Based on the results of the exercises in the GSVG, the operating experience of the T-80 was carefully analyzed. The reasons for the high fuel consumption were established, and as a result of several development works, were eliminated on the following variants of the tank.
The advanced tank T-80U successfully demonstrated its driving capabilities and performance on pre-tender trials in Greece in 1998 g .; having surpassed in a number of indicators of famous competitors (American МХNUMXА1 "Abrams", German "Leopard-2А2", French "Le-clerk", English "Chelentzhder-5", Ukrainian T-2UD).
It turned out that the T-80U tank has the highest power density in the world - 27 hp. per ton of weight (1,2-1,3 times the best in the world). In addition, it is the fastest: the speed 80 km / h was recorded on the test. The maximum speed of the rest of the tanks was 14% less. The highest power density and excellent running gear provide the T-80У 30-45% gain in average speed on rough terrain. In full, except for the T-80U tank, only the French Leclerc overcame all obstacles.
According to the evaluators, the time spent on servicing the T-80U while making a march longer than 2000 km was the minimum among all rivals. According to Greek experts, this tank is the easiest to manage and maintain.
It should be noted that none of the critics do not operate with information obtained from the Greek trials.
The current state of the issue of operating economics (fuel consumption) of a T-80U tank with a GTD-1250
To improve fuel efficiency on the tank T-80U implemented a set of technical solutions that reduce the operational fuel consumption in 1,3 times.
First, the automatic mode control system (SAUR) has been introduced. It automatically reduces the supply of fuel when the tank is braked and, to an even greater extent, when forced to stand for more than one minute. This allowed to significantly reduce travel fuel consumption.
Secondly, the efficiency of the compressor and the permissible gas temperature are increased. This led to a decrease in hourly fuel consumption.
Thirdly, the auxiliary power unit GTA-18 is included in the tank. Provided that the tank is operated in 50 mode% of time on the move and 50% of time on site, the introduction of the GTA-18 allowed to significantly reduce the total hourly fuel consumption, which in terms of tank conditions on the 8% exceeds the same parameter of a diesel engine not equipped autonomous power unit.
Thus, fuel economy from the implemented measures in comparison with the GTD-1000 serial engine is 30%.
The results of the latest military tests (1986) and tests of the T-80 tank in Greece in 1998 showed the following values of fuel efficiency of tanks with gas turbine engines compared to tanks equipped with diesel engines: the fuel consumption amounted to 4 l / km. This is only 25% higher than that of diesel tanks (for “Leopard-2” - 3,2 l / km).
The difference achieved so far is not the limit for gas turbine engines. At present, specialized design bureaus have developments of technical solutions that, if implemented, will allow to achieve the operational costs of fuel consumption of tanks with gas turbine engines at the level of tanks with diesel engines of equal power. However, to complete the corresponding ROC, which are suspended, funding is needed.
The promise of the future of the CCD (including fuel efficiency) is confirmed by the fact that the American firm General Electric has developed an aggregated gas turbine unit with an 1500 hp power. for demonstration of high perspective technologies. According to the company, the minimum specific fuel consumption of this engine is only 147 g / hp. h, which is 10% less than that of modern diesel engines.
It should be noted that fuel efficiency is not quite a correct indicator by which tanks should be compared with a diesel engine and GTE. It is more correct to estimate the total fuel and oil consumption. This is due to the fact that in tanks with gas turbine engines oil is practically not consumed, whereas in tanks with a diesel engine oil consumption reaches 3-5% of fuel consumption. Taking into account the three-fraction excess of the cost of oil over fuel, the total cost of operation (in terms of the cost of fuel and oil) of tanks with GTE is only 11% more expensive than tanks with diesel engines.
In continuation of the economic component of the topic raised, a comprehensive economic assessment of the efficiency of operation and repair of tanks with a diesel and gas turbine engine should be carried out. According to the results of this work, an unexpected conclusion can be made about the superiority of tanks with GTE in this indicator. Unfortunately, such studies were not conducted at the Ministry of Defense.
Opponents of tanks with GTE, focusing their criticism on one drawback, do not fully disclose the advantages of T-80U, limiting themselves to mentioning several of them, and not the most important ones. Meanwhile, the advantages of this tank are so significant that they repeatedly overlap its disadvantages.
In the T-80Y tank, the mobility problem was solved through the optimal combination of the best layout and engineering solutions and due to the tank's high electrical power, smoothness, reliability of components and assemblies of the power plant, transmission and chassis. The average speed of the T-80U is 10% higher than that of tanks with a diesel engine when driving on roads and 30-45% - on rough terrain with ups and downs to 10-12%. For comparison: in the initial period of the Great Patriotic War, the German mechanized troops surpassed the Soviet in mobility by 13%. This was enough to carry out a broad proactive maneuver in order to reach profitable lines, to achieve the results of the operation (a breakthrough of the defense to a greater depth of coverage and encirclement of the Soviet troops).
The gas turbine engine is not sensitive to aerosols, which can disable entire tank units. This is due to the loss of lubricating properties of oils under the action of these aerosols. Creating the required high concentrations of acetylene in the air is possible by splashing from tanks dropped from airplanes, helicopters, as well as delivered as part of artillery shells and mines. The first experience of using such aerosols refers to the Vietnam War, where they were used by the Americans. In a gas turbine engine, the oil is not in contact with the working fluid of the engine, therefore this type weapons for GTE is not dangerous.
The cooling system of a diesel engine takes up to 18% of its power. There is no water cooling system in the gas turbine engine. Thus, it is fair to compare not the power taken from the engine crankshaft, but the power transmitted to the transmission. This will actually be the effective power of the power plant. By this indicator, the CCD-1250 exceeds the B-92C2 (T-90C) diesel engine by 1,3 times.
Moreover, the superior design of the tank in terms of the layout and the engine and transmission used (and their influence on its mobility) should be judged by the overall power of the engine compartment (MTO) (MTO overall power is the ratio of the actual power of the power plant engine compartment). According to this indicator, T-80U exceeds T-90 by 1,6 times, “Leopard-2” - by 2,4 times. Such superiority of the T-80U is explained by the significantly smaller volume of MTO (2,8 м3) in comparison with the MTO of the German car (6,9 м3) and Т-90 (3,1 м3), as well as the absence of power losses for the cooling system.
The enormous size of the MTOs of foreign tanks add unnecessary 4-4,5 and the armor needed for equivalent protection of side projections, and force designers (including for this reason) to introduce the seventh skating rink into the chassis design. In addition, the weight of the composite MTO units (engine, transmission) of Western tanks is more on 4,5 tons than on T-80. The total weight of that part of the tank that does not belong to the combat compartment and control compartment (effective volume) on the 8,5-9 t exceeds that of the T-80У. Consequently, the displacement of the excess, unproductive mass of the tank is spent from 14,5 to 15,7% engine power.
Ultimately, the specific power of the tank (taking into account the power takeoff for the cooling system) is: for T-80Y -26,5 hp / t (the highest figure in the world), for T-9QC - 18,7 hp / t, for "Leopard-2" -22,2 hp / t.
The small dimensions of the T-80U engine, the absence of a heat exchanger and a torque converter, greatly simplify the design of the MTO and its layout.
Greater torque (more than 2 times), developed by a gas turbine engine, eliminates the need to install an automatic transmission.
The presence of four gears on the T-80U instead of seven on the T-90 simplifies the design of the onboard gearboxes, reduces their weight, size and, most importantly, increases the reliability of operation.
The vibration of a gas turbine engine is much lower than that of a diesel engine. Therefore, the speed of target detection and shooting accuracy (the main indicator of firepower), by definition, is higher for a tank with a CCD. Significantly better smoothness of the T-80U also improves the accuracy of shooting and reduces crew fatigue.
The total heat emission of a gas turbine engine is 10 times less than diesel. This factor is followed by very important consequences: the area of radiators, for example, becomes three times less.
The area of weakened zones in the roof of the MTO tank with a GTE is less than 2-3 times as compared to a tank with a diesel engine. The permissible transmittance of GTD dust in 10 times less than that of diesel engines. The engine does not stall, even if the tank rests on a fixed obstacle.
The T-80U is distinguished by a higher passability on weak soils due to the smoothness of the load application, the wide range of operation of the gas turbine engine on the output shaft revolutions (0-100%), the high adaptability factor for torque in this range of the CRC-2,6 and the absence of engine silence at maximum torque
The tank can move in any gear without engine stalling in various road conditions, up to a stop. The T-80U has no need for servicing the cooling system. The complexity of the maintenance of the gas turbine power plant is less in 2 times.
Resource tank GTE 2-3 times higher than that of diesel engines, due to balance and minimizing the friction surfaces in the engine, which significantly increases the durability of parts and reduces the final cost of the engine during mass production and the overall cost of the life cycle of T-80.
The preparation time of a tank for movement at a gas turbine engine is several times less than that of a diesel engine. This is especially noticeable at low temperatures.
GTE better meets the requirements of multi-fuel than a diesel engine (multi-fuel - the ability of the engine to work on diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene and their mixtures in any proportion without any engine override).
The T-80U has a significantly lower level of visibility of exhaust gases (2-3 times), and, therefore, a higher level of noise and heat masking.
Significantly better ride T-80U reduces crew fatigue. Noise, vibration, exhaust gas composition, and other factors determining crew fatigue are much better for a tank with a CCD.
T-80U with GTE is characterized by higher environmental quality due to low toxicity of exhaust gases, lack of antifreeze and toxic synthetic oils.
Gas turbine engine there is no alternative when working in the zone of radiation contamination. Radiation particles along with the air fall into the flow part of the engine, then are emitted together with the exhaust gases. In a diesel engine, particles with air, getting into the cylinders, come into contact with the oil, and then find themselves in an oil system, which after some time becomes a powerful radiation source.
Measures to improve the competitiveness of the tank T-80U
Currently, industrial enterprises, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, are completing a number of R & D projects that significantly increase firepower,
security, mobility, maintainability and operational reliability of the T-80U.
1. The introduction of a fundamentally new fire control system with a tank information and control system.
Such a system (developed by JSC Spetsmash, St. Petersburg) has significant advantages over the standard MS of the T-80U tank. It provides:
- an increase in the range of actual firing immediately on the 350-500 m, i.e. up to 2400-2550 m;
- Increase in combat rate of fire (from the gunner’s place - by 12% during the day and 2 times at night; from the commander’s place - at 2 times during the day and at Zraza at night);
- automatic built-in control of the technical condition of the armament complex, which allows the crew to maintain the performance of the complex without the involvement of special control and testing equipment and qualified technical personnel;
- automated diagnostics of the causes of malfunctions of the armament complex with the possibility of automatic transmission of information to the material and technical support units;
- a significant (in 2 times) reduction in the number of governing bodies and operations with them due to automation of processes;
- automatic issuance of recommendations on the necessary actions to the crew member in case of delays or malfunctions.
In addition, the total amount of equipment, which significantly increases the IMS of the FCS, is less by 27 liters than the volume of standard equipment, the functions of which are performed by the TIUS. This allowed, for example, to increase the tank ammunition for two shots. The introduction of the TIUS also made it possible to integrate the T-80U tanks into the general information-control system by the troops and weapons of the divisional and army level.
2. Placement on the T-80U tank of the Arena active protection system complex.
KAZ "Arena" (developer - KBM, Kolomna) provides protection of the tank against ATGM and anti-tank grenades in all conditions of combat use of the tank at any time of day and year in any weather. Tank T-80U, equipped with a complex of active protection, has several advantages compared with traditional armor and dynamic protection.
The undermining of the anti-tank weapon occurs at a sufficiently large distance (6-8 m) from the armor, which allows to significantly reduce its impact. The entire projection of the tank is blocked, including the weak points: viewing devices, joints, sensors, headlights. Moreover, a large percentage of target destruction occurs without the formation of a cumulative effect or undermining of combat units of anti-tank weapons. Two or three times tank protection from one direction is provided. The azimuth sector of KAZ protection is more than 3 times wider than that of dynamic protection.
The proposed protection scheme allows, in addition to the usual ATGM, to intercept an ATGM of the type B11X, TOW-2В, which hit the tank when it is flying over it. Losses of tanks equipped with KAZ are reduced in 1,8-2 times in comparison with tanks that are not equipped with a complex.
3. Introduction to the composition of the transmission hydrostatic transmission (GOP)
As shown by the results of international tests, the installation of GOP (developed by TsNIIAG, Moscow) has significantly increased the tank's handling, thereby increasing the average speed of movement over the aggregate road conditions and reducing travel fuel consumption to a level close to that of diesel engines.
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Thus, the T-80U tanks have by no means exhausted their modernization capabilities, as well as the attractiveness for foreign buyers of Russian armored vehicles. Unfortunately, the official export of these machines for several reasons was limited to Cyprus and the Republic of Korea. Now, probably, it would be utopian to assume the resumption of production of these tanks, taking into account the situation in St. Petersburg and Omsk. But the implementation of the above-described complex of measures could significantly increase the competitiveness of the machines available in parts and located at the storage bases if a decision is made to deliver them abroad. This, of course, does not mean that the presence of tanks should compete with the new T-90, but also customers are different and with different financial capabilities. A technique "used", as shown by the practice of the United States, Germany and even Ukraine, is in steady demand ...