You will not learn the details of Project 80 from military-technical reference books and historical books. ABOUT tanksseasoned warriors do not hunt bikes overtaking high-speed boats on the water: despite the fact that the project was embodied in metal, the cars never entered service with the Soviet army. The people who created a unique apparatus and brought it to mind are almost gone
Employees of the Vympel Design Bureau (at that time, the Volgobaltsudoproekt Design Bureau) and the Navashinsky Shipyard, now honored engineers, and then young designers and mechanics, told us about the design of the Project 80 marine high-speed tank landing craft. We obtained technical data in the once secret archives of KB Vympel. Only one question remained unanswered: who and for what purposes needed a hydrofoil tank capable of overtaking any moving object on the water?
With this question, one could turn to Colonel Murgalev, who made up the terms of reference and was the first military curator of the project. Pavel Mikhailovich Murgalev is a legendary person. It was he who invented the mine trawl for the T-ZA tank, which was put into service in 1942 and went through the entire Second World War. TK for a high-speed tank landing craft provided for the ability to quickly take on board a T-54 (later T-55) tank, a speed of over 50 km / h and high seaworthiness, in particular the ability to move in waves of up to five points. An important and, perhaps, the most difficult requirement was the ability to fire directly from the water.
Development of the craft began in the late 1950s. The tank pontoon, equipped with its own engine and hydrofoils, was designed at the Volgobaltsudoproekt design bureau under the leadership of Mikhail Shchukin. The wings were developed at the Central Design Bureau for hydrofoils of the Krasnoye Sormovo plant (now the Central Design Bureau for the R.E. Alekseev SEC] - in the same place where the high-speed motor ships "Raketa" and "Meteor" were born. »- diesel M-50, capable of developing a peak power of 1200 hp.
The set of high-speed tank landing craft consisted of two boats. Like conventional non-motorized pontoons, they were hung on the sides of a tank equipped with special eyes. Each boat had two hydraulic cylinders, with the help of which the floating craft were raised above the ground. In this position, the tank entered the water until a certain draft.
In the transport position, the hydrofoils on the boats were raised and resembled rather the wings of a racing car. Raised and pressed against the side were also the wings-ties in front and behind the tank. Upon reaching the water-displacement position, the halves of the ties were lowered and snapped into place, forming rigid transverse crossbars at the level of the bottom of the craft. Thanks to the ties, the boats could carry the tank without diverging to the sides. In the next instant, the hydraulic cylinders were already raising the tank above the water level and the pontoons began to displace.
Low-submerged hydrofoils designed by Rostislav Alekseev were installed on the Project 80 boats. They provide high hydrodynamic quality and shallow draft, and therefore high travel speed. The main disadvantage of such wings is that strong excitement is contraindicated for them.
The propeller and steering column of the boat were aligned with the rear hydrofoil, so the depth of the propeller could be adjusted. The craft departed to a depth in a displacement position, then the hydrofoils were completely lowered. The transverse screeds, submerged in the water even in the displacement position, also had a wing profile and helped the boats rise above the water surface.
It is important that both the attachment of the boats to the tank and the closing of the tie-wings were done hydraulically and did not require manual labor. The complete manning of the floating craft before going out on the water took 45 minutes, and the tank could get rid of the pontoons after going ashore in just 3 minutes.
Life ONLY MIG
By 1966, a 1: 2 scale model of a hydrofoil craft was manufactured at the Navashinsky shipyard, which was tested on the modest river Tyoshe. And the very next year, a full-size prototype went to high water - to Sevastopol. "The crew of each car was small, only two people - a driver and a minder, - tells the leading specialist Navashinsky plant Valentin Borisovich Galin, - moreover, one driver could drive both his own boat and the watercraft as a whole. The rudders and motors were controlled by electric motors and synchronized via a cable. "
On the water, the Project 80 floating craft immediately exceeded its design speed, accelerating to 58 km / h. But there were problems with the strength of the structure. During one of the tests, the screed burst. The boats parted, and the tank went under water. By that time, the device had not yet had time to go to the depth, so neither the crew nor the tank itself suffered. A group of specialists from Volgobaltsudoproekt was sent to Sevastopol to investigate the incident. “We glued a lot of sensors to the tie-wings, fixed them with epoxy resin, connected them to control equipment in a specially installed wheelhouse and went out to sea,” says Pavel Semenovich Karpov, who was then a category 1 designer in the strength sector. “As a result, it was found that in the zone of maximum stress concentration on the wing, a groove was cut through, which caused the rupture.”
Everything was not entirely smooth with seaworthiness. Yes, the vehicle could move through the water in waves of up to five points, but only in the displacement position, with a corresponding low speed. The floating craft could hover on hydrofoils with waves of no more than three points. When trying to storm the restless sea at full speed, the pontoons literally plunged into the wave. Water got into the air intakes of the engines, and diesel engines stalled. As a rule, after stopping, the motors could be quickly started again. During one of the tests, the lives of the pontoon crew members were threatened: the air intake hatch closed, and the engine began to rapidly evacuate air from the interior. Fortunately, the mechanic guessed in time to cut off the fuel supply and turn off the engine.
A task that could initially be considered impossible is firing from the water. The tank sight is not designed for this type of shooting. Shooting from a moving vessel at coastal targets requires completely different guidance systems and stabilizing devices. The shock wave generated during the shot exerts a colossal dynamic load on the components of the pontoons themselves and on the mechanisms for attaching them to the tank. Needless to say about the threat to the health of the crews of unreinforced aluminum boats ...
It should be noted that such impressive shots of the PT-76 tanks emerging from the hold of the landing ship are just a spectacular window dressing: the shooting is carried out idle with the powder charges reduced by more than half. This is despite the fact that the caliber there is only 76 mm (against 100 mm for the T-54/55), and the tank is initially floating. And yet, shooting tests on the move within the "Project 80" were carried out. Of course, they were unsuccessful.
In the transport position, hydrofoils, steering columns, propeller and tie-down wings were lifted up. On land, hydraulic cylinders lifted the boats off the ground, allowing the tank to move.
The problem was the angular transmission of the drive shaft - the one that allowed the propeller to rise out of the water along with the hydrofoil. The complex node could not withstand the loads, and it had to be redone every now and then. And yet, the designers managed to bring the car to mind. At the shipyards in Navashino, Rybinsk, Astrakhan, 13 sets of high-speed tank landing craft "Project 80" were built. An experimental winged tank battalion was based in Sevastopol. There were rumors that some of the cars went to the Baltic. And in 1971 the project was closed. Why - none of our current consultants could answer. True, it is not difficult to guess.
We fly to the Bosphorus
The autonomy of the Project 80 high-speed craft was 350 km. 350 km by water is not at all the same as 350 km by road, at least for reasons of maritime navigation. A qualified navigator is vital for sea voyages, and only a driver and a minder were placed on pontoon boats.
On the Black Sea, days when the sea is no more than three points at a distance of 10 km from the coast occur three to four times a month. Therefore, the same "Rockets" and "Meteora" ply there only in the coastal zone. Given the location of the experimental battalions, the "Project 80" floating craft were intended for the operational capture of the shores of the Baltic straits and the Bosphorus. Moreover, the priority was not so much speed as the suddenness of the appearance of an unusual transport. In the case of the Bosphorus, tanks would have to overcome banks (strips of shallow water running parallel to the coast at a distance of 5-10 km from it) and land on a rocky steep coast.
The technical data, kindly provided by the Vympel Design Bureau, modestly ignores the mass of Project 80 boats. With an autonomy of 350 km, the device must carry a fuel reserve of at least seven hours of travel. The engine of each pontoon develops a power of 1200 hp, while the motor ship "Kometa" has only 900 "horses". Consequently, the fuel consumption of the "Project 80" is more than 400 kg / h, about 600 kg / h. For seven hours, 2,8-3 tons of fuel are required in each boat. The pontoon of the PMP fleet, transported on the Kraz-255, weighs 8,5 tons. We would venture to assume that the “Project 80” boat with fuel, engine, transmission and wings weighs at least 15 tons. This is indirectly confirmed by the fact that it is not loaded on the Kraz -255, and is towed on a special trailer.
In order for the tank to carry two 15-ton boats, it must be equipped with fasteners, the mass of which, according to conservative estimates, will be 2-5% of the mass of the tank itself. This is about a ton of dead metal, which a tank may need only once, but which it should carry with it at all times.
The suspension of the tank is not designed for such loads: it is believed that even the weight of the KMT-b knife trawl (800 kg) leads to the rapid destruction of the bearings of the front rollers. If the undercarriage is designed for an additional weight of 30-40 tons, then, freed from ships after leaving the water, the tank will have a too stiff suspension, which will lead to a complete loss of its shock-absorbing properties. The tank will not be able to move normally on land and fire.
The specific ground pressure of the tracks of the T-54 (T-55, T-62) tank is about 0,78 kg / cm2... With suspended pontoons, it will increase to 1,5-1,8 kg / cm2... Tanks with the world's highest ground pressure (German PzKpfw VI "Tiger") with a pressure of only 1,04 kg / cm2 On the morning of July 5, 1943, they could not go on the attack and waited for about 8 hours only because it rained at night and the ground softened a little. Considering that the bottom soil near the coast does not differ in density and usually withstands a specific pressure of no more than 0,5-0,64 kg / cm2, it is clear that, once at the coast, a tank with mounted boats will not be able to get out of the water.
One in the field is not a tank
And yet, the main problems of "Project 80" are tactical. The landing operation involves the simultaneous participation of several hundred or at least dozens of ships moving according to a strict schedule. Tanks, infantry, artillery, sappers, and support equipment must land on the shore in a certain order. By the time the Project 80 battalion approaches the coast, it must be covered by naval artillery fire. For conventional landing craft, this issue is solved simply - part of the artillery is on the landing ships themselves, part on artillery support ships that move along with the landing ships. What about Project 80? Artillery support ships will not be able to accompany such a battalion, since their speed is two to three times lower. This means that they must move to the landing site earlier. And in this case, the very meaning of the high-speed landing of tanks is lost: the enemy, seeing the artillery support ships, will be ready to meet the "winged tanks" with fire.
What are tanks without infantry, without artillery, without sappers, without ammunition? The ammunition load will last for 30 minutes of the battle, if before that the tanks are not set on fire by enemy grenade launchers. Perhaps a hydrofoil tank could unexpectedly approach the combat zone as reinforcements, landing a little further away on an unguarded part of the coast. But, you see, this is a very modest role for such an ambitious project.
The creators of the "project-80" focused on solving one very narrow task - the creation of a floating craft capable of transporting a tank through water at high speed. They left out of sight many technical and tactical issues, which ultimately led to the collapse of the project. Of course, war has its own laws. And yet, Project 80 is a stunningly elegant and perfect work of Soviet engineering, which, unfortunately, is destined to be forgotten. Together with people who had a chance to see the boats with their own eyes, the cars themselves die. The last "surviving" pontoon, or rather its body, is kept in the closed collection of the Museum of Armored Forces in Kubinka. With all the wishes of the museum staff, it will not be possible to restore it: all the attachments of the machine, including the wings and ties, have been irretrievably lost. After all, Project 80 boats were made of high quality and expensive aluminum.