Soviet developers of dynamic protection at the end of 70-x - the beginning of 80-s conducted research in research institutes of steel, relying on developments made long before that by domestic scientists B.V. Voitsekhovsky, A.I. Platov and others.
Since 1978, A. I. Platov worked in our department, and all of us young employees treated Alexander Ivanovich, a veteran, one of those who were at the forefront of knowing this most complex phenomenon — an ultrahigh-speed interaction process of a cumulative jet of anti-tank ammunition, with great respect. attacking a tank with a dynamic defense device.
Should not armor gallop
The cumulative jet moves at a speed exceeding the first cosmic one, the whole process takes several tens of microseconds in time and proceeds at pressures at which even the strongest armor steel flows like water. The first in the USSR author's certificate for the invention of the element of dynamic protection (EDS) "Cross" was received by the head of our department, DA Rototaev.
Enough and problems - both objective and, as they say, needlework. On a remote site near the landfill near Moscow there was an episode that was remembered for a lifetime. The shelling of 125-mm cumulative shells we tested the armored model "nose", simulating a multilayer frontal part of the body tankequipped with volumetric cross-type EDZ built into it. The price of one artillery shot was several hundred rubles and was comparable to the cost of a live cow. Therefore, our director M. I. Maresev, a veteran front-line soldier and a Siberian, shook his head in dismay at each shot of a 125-mm artillery gun and grumbled in a Siberian manner: “Again the Cow flew” ...
While we, engineers of the scientific research institute, got from Moscow to the test site and the service bus “dropple” to the 18 site, the test team, which arrived four hours before us, did not lose time and already finished the equipment of the “nose” »Inside specially mounted pipes. Externally, the layout of the armored center with built-in dynamic protection looked like it should be. In any case, we were satisfied with the external inspection of the experimental assembly and gave us a go-ahead for testing. The field team went to prepare a gun for a shot, and our engineering staff took refuge in caponiers welded from 16-mm steel armor plates (not a single fragment would break through!) Installed at a distance of about 50 meters from the test layout. A landfill caponier is a steel box placed on the butt, open from one, back, side and closed from the front, from the sides and from above, equipped with a periscope and viewing slots covered with glass fragments. In one caponier, from three to five people could hide from fragments scattering in the explosion of a cumulative projectile, depending on their complexion and (during the cold season) on the thickness of the coats, fur jackets and coats.
We were attached to triplexes of the viewing slits, through which only cracks from fragments that had fallen into them during previous tests were clearly visible. All wide open mouths - so it is easier to transfer the action of the shock wave. Gripping team: "Or-r-rudie!". A close, habitually sharp clap of a cannon shot, and an unusually strong, deafening thunder of eardrums of the mixed explosion of a cumulative projectile and a dynamic protection, whistling fragments flying over the heads ... A moment of silence ... Then two or three unaccustomed, quiet, but sensations, silence ... Then there was a moment of silence ... Then two or three unaccustomed, soft, but sensations flew by ... slapping the ground ... We all stand half-dead, with wide mouths and do not understand anything. Nothing, except that something extraordinary happened - the explosion was too strong.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Vladimir Putin for agreeing to return the Magah tank (version of the American M48), which was captured by Syrian troops as a trophy in the 1982 year. He served well to strengthen the defensive might of the USSR. Photo: google.com
We leave from the caponier and admire the 100-mm armor plate, miraculously grown from the ground in a half dozen meters from our shelter. The slab sticks out, sticking a corner into the ground. And on the way from the tested layout, or rather, from what remained, there are several holes on the ground, which the multi-ton steel colossus left behind, hitting the ground and jumping. So leaves traces on the water- "pancakes" successfully thrown flat stone, ricocheting from the water surface.
Frustrated Moscow engineers, along with the "hiding eyes" testers of the local test team, begin to inspect the scene of the incident, trying to understand what happened. The moment of truth comes pretty quickly. On the sidelines, in a carefully arranged polygon team of closed wooden green boxes in which EDS “Cross” was brought from a basic warehouse of explosive materials, are found in a large number of carefully milled round steel plates. These are special partitions, which, before the experiment, were to be installed inside the pipes of the armored center, separating EDS "Cross" from each other and preventing the transfer of detonation from one element to another. In order to detonate an explosive (BB) in only one, a maximum of two EDS, through which a cumulative jet of exploded artillery shell passes. In total, about two hundred grams of explosives should have exploded.
However, the test team from the test site showed "Russian ingenuity" and, taking advantage of the lack of control by the Muscovite engineers, they simplified their lives by installing EHL without anti-knock partitions. The cumulative jet passed through the ELD, located in two tubes. In each pipe - 12 EDS. As a result, all 24 EDS exploded in both pipes, which is almost three kilograms of explosives. Such an explosion easily tore off the multi-ton steel armor plate from the test mock-up and threw it at the side of the artillery gunner and the caponier in which we were hiding. If this fly went a little more, the caponier itself and all those who were in it like flies would have swatted it.
Trophy as an argument
For three years, from 1979 to 1982, several alternative types of EHL have been investigated and tested in our department, both volumetric and flat-parallel. A method of calculation was created, which allowed us to estimate the space-time and energy characteristics of the process of interaction of a cumulative jet with EHD. Comprehensive laboratory and field studies of various types of EDS, including using the methods of mathematical planning of experiments and regression analysis, have been carried out. On the basis of the models obtained, engineering optimization was carried out and rational parameters were selected. The design of two types of EDS and the technology of their manufacture and equipment with explosives began. The works went according to plan, when suddenly the situation instantly changed.
In June, 1982 in the Middle East began the first Lebanese war between Israel and its Middle Eastern neighbors. At the end of June, a group of engineers from our steel research institute, which I was a part of, was urgently sent to Kubinka. At one of the sites of the local scientific research institute of armored vehicles stood the entire Israeli tank M48 with the “explosive reactive armor” complex - ERA BLAZER. During the fighting in the Sultan Jaakub area on the night of 10 on 11, the Syrians managed to capture several Israeli tanks completely unharmed. Within a few days, one of these trophies was delivered to the USSR, and we began to explore it.
Only after this, the top military leadership of the USSR, it became clear that without dynamic protection it was impossible to ensure the survival of tanks on the battlefield with the massive use of a huge arsenal of various anti-tank cumulative and armor-piercing sabots. And our department actually moved to work on a wartime schedule - with virtually no days off and vacations, according to 10 – 12 hours a day.
As a result, in just six months, we have finally designed the design of a unified EHR 4-20, including original anti-knock partitions, in order to prevent the unmanaged detonation described above from one EHD to another. At 4С20 and the container for installing EDZ on the main armored units of all tanks, the author of these lines, together with other employees of the department and related defense research institutes and design bureaus, filed applications for the invention and obtained international patents.
Unlike the Israeli ELS X-NUMX of the BLAZER complex, the domestic EHR 20-4, created by us, is unified for all the main tanks that existed at that time, it has a lower specific gravity and a significantly smaller area of weakened zones. Already 20 January 14 was signed by the state commission on the adoption of the ROC "Contact-1983". We began the technological preparation for the mass production of the EHL 1C4, and in the 20 the mounted complex of the dynamic protection of the Kontakt-1985 tanks adopted the Soviet army.
Easier, cheaper, more reliable
As a result of the R & D performed by our department - “Contact-2”, “Contact-3”, “Contact-4”, “Contact-5”, “Relict” - the designs of the EDS 4C22, 4C23 line were designed to protect not only tanks with powerful armor protection, but also lightly armored and even unarmored objects of military equipment from various high-speed weapons. Dynamic protection has become integrated. Now it is an integral part of not only modern Russian tanks, but also infantry fighting vehicles. The dynamic protection we developed has been adopted by many foreign countries.
Tanks and other objects of military equipment equipped with such complexes saved the lives of hundreds of our soldiers and officers who participated in various military conflicts. Yet it was not for nothing that we risked then!