Military Review

Experimental tank with three-plane stabilization of the tower Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm (Germany)

15
In 1960, a joint German-American project was launched to develop a promising core tank under the designation MBT-70. Together, the specialists of the two countries had to develop a new high-performance combat vehicle capable of replacing existing equipment. The result of the work was the appearance of a fairly successful tank, which, however, did not go into the series. In addition, as part of the MBT-70 program, several alternative projects were developed that also did not produce real results. One of these developments was the project with the symbol Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilizationertem Turm, within the framework of which it was planned to solve one of the most difficult problems.


Different requirements were imposed on the prospective main tank, including the accuracy of the fire. By the beginning of the sixties, single- and two-plane gun stabilizers had already been created, which made it possible to increase the probability of hitting the target. However, another characteristic problem persisted. In some cases, the tool could be tilted relative to its longitudinal axis, which significantly worsened the accuracy rates. To get rid of this problem, it was necessary to take some measures in the form of creating an appropriate fire control system capable of making the necessary corrections, or using the original construction of the tower.

It was decided to check the original proposal in the framework of the project with the complex, but completely revealing the essence of the name Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm - “Experienced carrier tower with three-plane stabilization”. As is clear from this name, the German experts decided to add an additional channel of stabilization to the armament of the prospective tank. Now the automatics had to maintain the required position of the gun with the established angles of vertical and horizontal guidance, and also to compensate the roll of the turret with the gun.

Experimental tank with three-plane stabilization of the tower Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm (Germany)
Tank Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm in the museum. Photo Strangernn.livejournal.com


To stabilize the gun along the longitudinal axis, it was necessary to use some mechanisms whose task would be to keep the barrel in the desired position. A preliminary analysis of the possibilities allowed to form a general approach to the creation of a new stabilizer. It turned out that it would be very difficult or even impossible to enter the required stabilization system in a tower of acceptable size. For this reason, it was decided to abandon the stabilization of only the guns, installing the entire tower on the respective drives. This required the development of a new combat compartment with a number of characteristic features, but at the same time it was possible to simplify its design to a certain extent in comparison with other equipment.

The newly developed tank Leopard 1 was taken as the basis for the “Prototype carrier”. This car was supposed to share with the new prototype chassis and some other units. At the same time, it was planned to modernize the existing products in order to improve the basic characteristics and ensure compatibility with the new equipment being created as part of a pilot project. Thus, the finished experimental machine had a certain similarity with the existing equipment, but at the same time differed from it by a number of features.

The new units were proposed to be mounted on an upgraded chassis of the main tank “Leopard-1”. This car had a body of homogeneous armor, designed with the existing developments to improve the level of protection. The front part of the body consisted of several inclined sheets with a thickness of up to 70 mm. Boards were made of 35 and 45 mm thick sheets, and were additionally covered with a 20-mm fencer shelf. The stern was shelled from sheets with a thickness of 30-35 mm. The roof and the bottom had a thickness of 25 and 35 mm, respectively.

The German-designed tank had a classic layout with a front-mounted control compartment, a central combat compartment, as well as a stern compartment to accommodate all the units of the power plant and transmission. In the basic configuration, the machine was controlled by a crew of four, located in the control compartment and in the combat compartment.


The main tank Leopard 1, which became the basis for an experienced car. Photo of Wikimedia Commons


Initially, the Leopard 1 tank was equipped with a hp 830 diesel engine. To enhance the performance of the “Prototype Carrier”, it was decided to use a more powerful power plant. In the engine compartment, a new 1000 hp engine was installed. Since the base tank was equipped with a power unit that united the engine and transmission, the new project had to use some innovations. In particular, it required the processing of hydromechanical transmissions.

On each side of the hull was attached seven support rollers with individual torsion bar suspension. In addition, all pairs of rollers, with the exception of the fourth and fifth, were equipped with additional telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. In the aft of the hull were placed the driving wheels, in the front - guides. Above the road wheels there were several supporting rollers on board. A caterpillar with a rubberized treadmill was used.

The biggest changes in the course of the new project Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm were to undergo the fighting compartment of the base tank. The existing fighting compartment architecture turned out to be incompatible with original ideas. Because of this, the central part of the base tank had to be seriously reworked. From it removed all the extra parts, components and assemblies that could prevent the installation of a new tower. In addition, there was a need to install a number of new devices necessary for the full operation of a promising tower.

The authors of the project proposed to stabilize the gun without using its own aiming drives. Instead, devices should be used to move the entire turret with the gun. As a result, it was necessary to develop the original design of the tower and the system of its movement in three planes. The result of this was the appearance of a combat module of an unusual form and non-standard configuration.

The tower of the new design was to be assembled from several main parts of different shapes. So, its lower half was a ball segment. In front of the tower was a sloping frontal sheet with a rectangular block for mounting the gun. Above the lower ball segment there were details of a similar shape, truncated from above. In the roof of the tower were provided hatches and viewing devices. On the sides and the stern of the tower there were additional niches and boxes of rectangular shape.


Experienced tank at the site. Photo Forum.worldoftanks.com


The combat detachment of a non-standard form was to be installed on the modified corps shoulder strap, which allowed horizontal guidance and also ensured the rotation of the tower in vertical planes parallel and perpendicular to the axis of the barrel. Inside the case were placed the drive control tower, built, according to various sources, on the basis of electromechanical or hydraulic units. Their task was to preserve the desired position of the gun, regardless of the maneuvers of the tank and the characteristics of the landscape.

As the main weapons Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm tank received an 105-mm rifled L7 gun, previously used as part of the Leopard 1 armament weapon system. A gun with a barrel of 56 caliber length, equipped with an ejector, was mounted in the central part of the turret and received recoil devices. Interestingly, the new tower received a tough gun mount. No guidance systems were envisaged. Targeting guns horizontally, as in other tanks, it was proposed to carry out by turning the entire tower. Vertical guidance, in contrast to other armored vehicles, also had to be performed using the tower drives. The lack of vertical guidance systems inside the tank allowed us to optimize the layout of the crew compartment, saving a certain amount of space.

A characteristic feature of the original combat compartment was a relatively small internal volume, imposing various restrictions. In particular, there could be problems with the transport of ammunition of sufficient size. For this reason, the tank received additional weapons to combat targets with weak protection. To save ammunition of the main gun and firing relevant targets, it was proposed to use a twin 30-mm cannon. The lack of internal volumes led to the fact that a large and long small-caliber gun had to be placed outside the tower. It was installed on a special support on the right top of the L7. There was also a box with ammunition.

“An experienced carrier of a tower with three-plane stabilization” received a sufficiently developed for its time fire control system. On the roof of the tower there were relatively large sights, equipped with a rangefinder and other equipment. In addition, the tank had a hardware that determined the deviation of the tower from the desired position and issued a command to the stabilization drives. Keeping the turret and gun in the desired position was the task of automation. The crew could carry out only the most basic operations to hover weapons.


"Experienced carrier" in the museum, the tower turned back. Photo Strangernn.livejournal.com


The first and last prototype of the Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm tank was built in the 1966 year. One of the available tanks, Leopard 1, was removed from equipment that was no longer needed, instead of which they installed a specially manufactured turret, a new engine, etc. After reworking, an experienced tank retained its basic dimensions, although its combat mass increased to 45 tons. The 1000-strong engine was supposed to provide acceptable mobility.

The sea trials of the “Experimental carrier” made it possible to establish the preservation of the main characteristics of mobility at the level of the base tank. The maximum speed on the highway exceeded 60-62 km / h, the power reserve reached 600 km. Thus, the new machine had the opportunity to move over rough terrain and work in the same battle formations with existing tanks of the latest models.

According to reports, during the tests it was found that the original system of three-plane stabilization of the gun really allows to achieve the required accuracy characteristics. Automatics correctly compensated for all movements of the chassis and the turret mounted on it, while maintaining the necessary position of the weapon. The achieved characteristics allowed to continue the development of the project with a view to subsequent implementation, but this did not happen.

Tests have shown that the authors of the project were able to successfully solve the main design problem, but the solution was achieved too high a price. The proposed design of a promising tank had a number of characteristic flaws, in fact, blocking its path to use in the armed forces. The fighting machine turned out to be too expensive, and also unacceptably difficult to produce and operate. In addition, there were significant technical flaws that prevented the improvement of some characteristics.

Thus, the tower of an unusual shape had insufficient internal volume, which negatively affected the convenience of the crew, and also did not allow to bring the volume of ammunition to acceptable values. The thickness of the tower’s booking was also insufficient, which did not allow to protect the car from the existing threats. At the same time, there was no real opportunity to increase the reserve volume and thereby improve the remaining parameters. To increase the tower required to develop a chase larger diameter, which required processing of the upper part of the hull. Such changes were impossible, and in its present form the tower could not suit the customer.


Aft hull and tower of an experienced tank. Photo Strangernn.livejournal.com


Upon completion of the tests, it was decided that the Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm prototype, as well as the original ideas used in its development, has no real future. Therefore, the original machine as unnecessary sent for storage, and design work continued in more promising areas that could be of interest to the customer. The “Prototype carrier” project turned out to be the first and last attempt to create a three-plane system for stabilizing a tank gun, which reached the assembly of the prototype and its subsequent tests.

The main result of the German project Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm was the understanding that the stabilization of tools in the third plane with the help of mechanical means does not make sense. The use of a swinging turret complicates the entire structure of the combat vehicle too much, and the use of similar gun mounts in a standard turret leads to an incorrect distribution of the combat compartment volumes. Thus, to compensate for the transverse deviations of the trunk, some new methods and means were required.

Soon after the completion of the “Prototype carrier” project, a way was found to solve the existing problem. It was proposed to abandon the separate mechanisms, and assign the required functions to the specially developed fire control systems. The deviation of the instrument from the required position should be determined with the help of sensors, after which the SLA had to calculate the projectile flight path and make the appropriate corrections. At the same time, a two-plane stabilizer can be used without any problems. Similar algorithms for the operation of fire control systems were soon developed and implemented in new projects.

Tests of an experienced tank Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm ended half a century ago. Since then, a large number of tanks of various types and their modifications have been created. All modern tanks are equipped with a two-plane stabilizers, compensating for the deviation of the gun horizontally and vertically. Compensation for other deviations is assigned to the automation, which is responsible for calculating the amendments. The original idea concerning the use of the third stabilization plane and the unusual design of the fighting compartment did not receive any distribution. Only one tank was built with a tower swinging in all directions, which was sent to storage after the tests were completed. Currently, according to various sources, the machine Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm is stored in one of the German museums of armored vehicles.


On the materials of the sites:
http://preservedtanks.com/
http://otvaga2004.mybb.ru/
http://raigap.livejournal.com/
http://strangernn.livejournal.com/
Author:
15 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Max repp
    Max repp 19 July 2016 05: 45
    +4
    An interesting article. Like some of the Panther-based air defense machines also had a similar tower design?
  2. qwert
    qwert 19 July 2016 11: 02
    +3
    Place such cars in the museum. Many then looked for new ways to develop BTT, including exotic ones. But he was grope right, as usual, in the USSR - an automatic loader, small internal volume, multi-layer armor and a smooth-bore gun with fired shells.
    1. CTPEJIKuH
      CTPEJIKuH 19 July 2016 15: 48
      +2
      + dick electronics, nikakayuschy optics and stupid OMS. Yes, yes, we have all the best and have no analogues in the world.
      In general, they say that Western tanks can get squirrels in the eye, due to good guns, optics, and SLAs. That’s why in the armature they left the stupid concept of ninja tanks and moved on to the development of optics, SLA and crew convenience.
    2. gladcu2
      gladcu2 20 July 2016 15: 59
      0
      qwert

      I’m here recently V.I. I revered Lenin in theses. Outside the thesis form, reading it does not make sense. Too much information.

      So he had an interesting statement, an explanation of why science was going on in the USSR, both fundamental and applied, at a height.

      And the idea is as follows.

      It turns out that under capitalism, workers and specialists do not seek to destroy production, as explained in the history of the USSR, but strive to modernize production. But the restrictions are made by the owners of production themselves, namely the bourgeoisie. Since the motivation of the bourgeoisie is profit in the first place. The motivation of the worker is to survive in limited conditions. Which is quite true.

      Under the USSR, the bourgeoisie as a limiting factor is absent. Therefore, the motivation of the worker to improve and optimize the process, production does not have such a severe restriction, of course there is, but apparently not so. And as a result, this economic one won in World War II. Well, and what you wrote.
  3. Fei_Wong
    Fei_Wong 19 July 2016 12: 11
    +4
    Quote: qwert
    Place such cars in the museum. Many then looked for new ways to develop BTT, including exotic ones. But he was grope right, as usual, in the USSR - an automatic loader, small internal volume, multi-layer armor and a smooth-bore gun with fired shells.

    It is worth noting that this "small internal volume" of yours (or, correctly, "tight layout") is a double-edged sword.
    1. Wasiliy1985
      Wasiliy1985 19 July 2016 19: 50
      +3
      One of the ends of which is a lower silhouette, and, as a result, better chances of earlier detection of an equivalent opponent.
      However, now, with the current development of the rest (in particular, reconnaissance and aviation) equipment, this really is of little significance.
      However, do not judge the designers of those years from the standpoint of modernity.
      1. Malkor
        Malkor 20 July 2016 08: 47
        +1
        Another end is a smaller tank mass (less load on the transmission and chassis - as a result, greater reliability and durability, lower operating costs, lower cost of the tank itself) Under current conditions, this remains a significant factor. The T-90's best-selling tank, Leclerc and Leopard2 are sold much worse, despite the spacious turret.
  4. pimen
    pimen 19 July 2016 17: 20
    0
    "The tests of the experimental tank Erprobungsträger mit 3-achs-stabilisiertem Turm were completed half a century ago. Since then, a large number of tanks of various types and their modifications have been created. All modern tanks are equipped with two-plane stabilizers that compensate for the deviation of the gun horizontally and vertically. Compensation for others. The original idea of ​​using the third stabilization plane and the unusual design of the fighting compartment did not receive any distribution.Only one tank with a turret swinging in any direction was built, which after the completion of the tests was sent for storage. "

    everything is correct, the ability of the LMS to take into account the bending of the trunk put an end to this idea
    1. gladcu2
      gladcu2 20 July 2016 16: 06
      +1
      pimen

      The bending of the trunk, this is from heating and other factors. The third plane that I wanted to compensate for is if one side of the tank calls into a high curb.
      1. pimen
        pimen 20 July 2016 20: 44
        0
        I understood about the third plane, probably without armor and with a small-caliber bullet, a solution is possible, but for a normal tank turret and a gun? .. Here you can only play with the suspension, and even then slowly
        1. Verdun
          Verdun 20 July 2016 21: 21
          0
          Quote: pimen
          I understood about the third plane, probably without armor and with a small-caliber bullet, a solution is possible, but for a normal tank turret and a gun? .. Here you can only play with the suspension, and even then slowly

          There is no additional guidance plane there. And a two-plane stabilizer provides the necessary accuracy of guidance. There is only a fashionable combination of 3D and a tower with a spherical base. Plus - the ability to firmly fix the gun inside the tower and throw out the barrel adjustment mechanisms from there, which simplifies the installation of the machine gun loading and allows you to install a more powerful gun. The minus is the impossibility of reliably securing the tower on the tank body, and the failure of the tower from the shoulder strap is a common damage, especially when falling under the edge of the tower.
          1. pimen
            pimen 21 July 2016 08: 48
            0
            Quote: Verdun
            There is no additional guidance plane there. And a two-plane stabilizer provides the necessary accuracy of guidance. There is only a fashionable combination of 3D and a tower with a spherical base.

            in my opinion, only the upper ball segment was two-plane, and the lower one was swinging, judging by the 2 rods in the photo. For the problem of interference with side roll, there really is, even in a static position. Technically, a two-plane stabilizer, apparently, coped with the appearance of a third degree of freedom at the gun
            1. pimen
              pimen 21 July 2016 09: 14
              0
              failed to fix the comment.
              The upper segment only rotated, and the lower one swung, being responsible for aiming vertically and with an inclination
  5. Verdun
    Verdun 20 July 2016 20: 15
    0
    gun tabs, which increased the probability of hitting the target. However, another characteristic problem persisted. In some cases, the gun could tilt relative to its longitudinal axis, which significantly impaired the accuracy.
    Either I have a bad geometry, or the one who wrote it. Like it or not, the barrel of any weapon is induced in two planes - vertical and horizontal. And, in the case of a tank, its stabilization is required in these planes. It seems that the idea of ​​a tower of the described construction was born because in this case it was possible to firmly fix the gun in it, getting rid of the separate mechanisms of horizontal and vertical guidance. It arose and, as is often the case with many experimental designs, did not justify itself in view of identifying certain technical problems.
  6. engineer74
    engineer74 21 July 2016 08: 15
    +1
    Solve a purely mathematical problem with hardware! I did not expect this from the Germans! smile
    Live and learn...
    Thanks for the article, very informative!
  7. Damir
    Damir 1 October 2016 16: 11
    0
    his chassis on the T-34 is similar ... the Germans taught the tanks to do ????