The engine of the near future

When disputes about the prospects of the Russian defense industry reach the tank industry, alarmists, as always, use the standard set of arguments. First of all, these are claims to the "endless" upgrades of the "obsolete" T-90 and the moaning about the Black Eagle tank, which, in their opinion, must go into series. Otherwise, everything is gone.

Still sometimes it is necessary to hear claims on a subject of engines. They say that a new diesel engine for Russian tanks has already been developed and is being developed for more than 20 years, but it will not be developed at all. And already on the basis of this statement, a whole logical construction is erected on the topic ... You know yourself what it is.

Only these very alarmists can only be called amateurs of technology, and professionals are directly involved in the development. Tank engines in our country are designed by professionals from the Chelyabinsk State Design Bureau Transdizel. It would be logical to ask about representatives of the enterprise on the topic of the engines of the future, and not on various amateur experts.

This issue and attended to the magazine “Arsenal. Military Industrial Review. In the fifth issue of the magazine for the current year, the words of the general director of Transdizel V. Murzin were quoted, according to which the new 2В series engine, designated А-85-3, already exists and has passed the whole series of tests, from endurance to running. At the time of the interview was made 16 new engines.

Recently, Transdiesel GSK has published the characteristics of the A-85-3 engine (sometimes referred to as 2А12-3, 12ЧНХ15 / 16 or 12Н360). This is a diesel four-stroke engine with liquid cooling. 12 cylinders are arranged in an X-shaped pattern and have a total volume of almost 35 liters. There is a gas turbine turbocharger. The mixture is formed by direct fuel injection. The compression ratio in the cylinders is 11. A-85-3 gives up to 2000 rpm. and develops rated power in 1500 hp If you use boost, the engine can produce up to 2,2 ths. Hp This indicates the possibility of "removing" boost, which reduces the power to 1200-1300 hp, but significantly increases engine life.

Let's face it, the characteristics are decent. However, the question arises: why these engines do not put on, for example, the new version of the T-90 with the letters "MS" in the title? In theory, this should further improve the tank: the modernization of any military equipment now, of course, still requires improvements not only in electronic equipment, but also in the mechanical parts of the machine. Of course, you can do so. If it were not for one "but." The A-85-3 engine was originally designed as a completely new power plant for completely new tanks, such as the upcoming Armata. You can equip them and T-90, but this step may not justify itself. Something similar was already in the middle of 80's. Then on an experienced tank "Object 187" tried to install the 16-cylinder X-shaped engine. The attempt in a constructive manner was a success, but it never went into a series. The fact is that the 2B-16 engine demanded large-sized radiators, which affected the size of the entire stern of the car. Maybe the “new thing” in some senses was worth it, but economically and technologically it turned out to be unprofitable. Subsequent work showed that diesel engines are more powerful than the 1600-1650 HP. they require a radiator of such size that it is much easier and more profitable to install a less fastidious engine, even at the cost of reducing power. And do not forget that existing engines, for example, the B-92C2 of the T-90 tank, fully meet current requirements and do not have serious complaints. On this occasion, we can recall the tests of the T-90С tank in Malaysia. Then the tanks drove on all types of roads, over rough terrain, in sand and flooded rice fields, they forced water barriers to a depth of one and a half meters and kept the engines idling for 8 hours. And all this in tropical conditions: temperatures around 40 ° and humidity up to 90-95%. After all these mockeries, the engines remained in a satisfactory condition, and all the problems could be eliminated by the crew using a portable set of spare parts.

Another argument against updating the power plant "old" tanks. Research in the field of engine building for armored vehicles has shown that in real-world operating conditions, the engine that provides power density within 20-25 hp / t is the most effective economically and technically. A smaller number of "horses" per ton of weight of the machine will not give the tank the desired mobility, and more will lead to overruns of fuel. For the T-90 tank with its 46 tons of combat weight, the thousand-engine B-92C2 engine and power density around 21-22 hp / t is enough.

So, on tanks already mastered in production, it is possible and necessary to leave those engines that already have or, in the long run, put on them modernized versions of “old” engines. And the motor A-85-3, as already mentioned, will be installed on promising machines.

But you can not get around and a fly in the ointment: why did the work on the engine took two decades? The answer is obvious: the first half of this period fell on the "merry" 90-s with their "love" for the defense complex and the stable and traditional underfunding. The consequences of those times are also felt in the engine industry. So, for example, V. Murzin, in 2007 year, in the corporate journal of the GSKB Transdizel noted that domestic engines are lagging behind foreign engines in the field of fuel and air supply systems. It is the development of these engine parts that allows foreign developers to improve the performance of the 70-80-s development engines of the last century to an acceptable level today. In addition, there is a clear trend abroad for the development of high-speed diesel engines with a relatively small volume. Murzin believes that it’s only possible to catch up with competitors in air and fuel systems only by creating separate design bureaus that will only deal with this “part” of engine building.

However, these are questions, even the closest, but the future, and A-85-3 is ready for mass production.
Vadim Sobin
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