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Damian90

History of Soviet Tanks.

72 posts in this topic

Was kinda thinking about such thread made properly for a long time ago... so yeah, let's start, especially with the most interesting period, the Cold War.

 

The History of Soviet Tanks during their Cold War development starting with T-64 is in majority of cases not well known, shrouded in myths or blatant lies, why? Well the Soviet state was deeply corrupted, mainly due to it's system where money prizes, medals, and other privilages were given to individuals or whole organizations like factories, not by the actuall accomplishements, but many times also due to political connections, and ambitions of individuals standing high in state hierarchy.

This problem was also faced by tank industry.

In Soviet Union during Cold War there were several design bureaus and factories connected to them, these were:

KB-60M design bureau, later known as KMDB, placed in Kharkiv within Malyshev factory, this is where chief engineer Alexander Morozov worked, as well as his son and various others engineers. Responsible for vehicles like T-34, T-44, T-54, T-64 series, T-80UD and T-84 series as well as prototypes like Object 490/490A, Object 477/477A, Object 477A1/A2 and various other.
UKBTM design bureau placed within UralVagonZavod factory complex in Nizhny Tagil. Responsible for T-55, T-62, T-72, T-90, Object 195 and T-14.
LKZ design bureau and factory placed in Leningrad. In the past responsible mainly for heavy tanks development, and after heavy tanks development disbanded, focused on gas turbine versions of T-80.
ChTZ in Chelyabinsk. Responsible for various prototypes that never actually entered production like Object 775, but was mainly just manufacturing plant.
OZTM/KBTM (OmskTransMash) placed in Omsk, currently primarily repair facility, in the past it was connected with LKZ work on T-80 series, as well as some prototypes like Object 640 and other R&D work.

Now about the Soviet Main Battle Tank program origins.

Maybe let's start with the people. After the war the most influential and considered the most briliant tank designer in Soviet Union was Alexander Morozov, he was actually a former protege of Mikhail Koshkin, a man who created T-34. Morozov in Koshkins team was reponsible for development of T-34's engine and transmission, and after Koshkins death (which is still unclear, official story is he died after getting sick on pneumonia, it happend during his famous presentation of first T-34's to Stalin and Soviet officials, however some people theoretize that Stalin might had his hand in his death due to problems with T-34 prototypes). 

 

Morozov_AA.jpg

 


After Koshkins death Morozov become chief engineer and further worked on T-34 development as well as more advanced projects like T-34M, T-43 and several others like A-44, one of the first medium tanks with front mounted engine.

 

A44_mockup1.jpg

A-44 mockup.

 

One of the obsession I think Morozov had was to create possibly lightest, while well protected and heavy armed tanks possible, and this obsession lead to many breakthroughs in tank designing especially concerning vehicles engine and transmission.

 

 

 

At 11:00 it's explained in a simple way what was the difference in powerpack design between older tanks and Morozov's idea realized finally within T-64.

Now about where it all started, and it started with competition for new medium tank, intended to replace older T-44, T-54 and T-55. New tank was intended to be as lightweight as possible, as mobile and possible, and have both very good protection and firepower. This competition lead to creation of Object 430.

 

1280px-Object_430_(T-64_prototype).jpg

 

It had a crew of 4, with still manually loaded 100mm rifled gun U-8TS. Weight was up to around 35 metric tons. It's armor was still a well sloped homoegeneus rolled and cast steel armor, with very significant thickness.

 

demolw.jpg

 

But the most breaking part of the tank was it's engine, the 4TD/5TD diesel, generating 580HP in a very compact package. 

 

5tdf.jpg

 

This type of diesel engine is opposed-piston engine type, thanks to which it could be made so compact, thus weight reduction of the whole engine compartment was achieved as well as size reduction, and in the end, also the whole mechanism become simpler with the use of planetary gearboxes, as could be seen on video above.

Of course Object 430 had it fair share of technical problems, as well as due to technology improvements, it quickly become obsolete, so the work on more advanced Object 432 started.

 

Object_432_(T-64).jpg

 

What are the main differences between Object 430 and Object 432? There are several, first the engine, now it's newer 5TDF engine, which could produce 700HP, another difference is main armament, now it's 115mm smoothbore 2A21 gun, derivative of 115mm smoothbore 2A20 gun used on T-62. And third difference is crew, now instead of 4, 3 crew members are present, loader was replaced with autoloader, which in itself is very interesting design.

The T-64 series uses 6ETs series of autoloaders, same autoloaders family is also shared by T-80 and T-84 series.

 

70f9ff1fc9f9.jpg

6ets-15%2Bautoloader%2Bdiagram.jpg

 

As we can see the projectiles are stored horizontally, and propelant charges vertically, thus creating form of basket around the crew, this is why this type of autoloaders are nicknamed "Korzina" which means "Basket".

Such autoloader have advantages and disadvantages. Primary advantage is that autoloader is very compact and in fact is part of turret, creating a separate module to the tanks hull. Also due to a loading scheme, a projectile and it's propelant charge are loader in a single cycle, which means that in general, such autoloader is faster.

 

giphy.gif

 

Also this autoloader was designed with nuclear battlefield in mind, this is why stub cases ejected from gun after fire, are not ejected by autoloader outside, but are returned to autoloaders ammo cassettes during loading cycle, to not compromise NBC protection seal.

Disadvantage of that autoloader is however that due to ammo placement, propelant charges are very exposed, so any penetration of tank, will most likely end with catastrophic ammo cook off, and due to fact that ammo stub cases are not ejected outside, with the fact that both ventilation and fume extractors in these tanks (especially when worn out) is rather poor, means crew will be forced to inhale not very healthy propelant fumes, which is bad even with hatches opened, now imagine it with hatches closed.

 

 

 

This can be seen here.

Another problem is, that effectively driver is completely isolated from the turret and rest of the crew, of course he can move from his position to the turret, but only when turret is rotated properly and two ammo cassettes are removed.
 

t-80%2Bturret.jpg

In case of this T-80B, two ammo cassettes from autoloader were removed to create a corridor for driver to move from his station in to the turret.

Now let's compare this to AZ type of autoloader used in T-72 and later T-90 series.

 

autoloader.png

t-72_int_15_of_32.JPG

 

In the AZ autoloader both projectiles and propelant charges are stored horizontally, thus autoloader is flat, and it's top cover creates floor for crew. However autoloader does not create a single module with the turret, and to take turret off the hull, autoloader needs to be disconcented from turret.
 

 

 

Also stub cases in this case are ejected from the tank completely, so opening created by the stub cases ejecting system, provides some extra ventilation for the crew, this however breaks the NBC protection seal, and also it does not help that much afterall.

 

 

 

Which we can see here, even despite open hatches and additional ventilation created by stub cases ejector, there is a lot of unhealthy smoke inside.

The loading cycle of AZ autoloader is slower than 6ETs family of autoloader, as you could seen on animation, projectile and propelant charges are loaded in separate cycles, instead of single one.

Advantage of AZ autoloader is it's lower profile, so ammunition in it is not as much exposed as on tanks with 6ETs autoloaders, and there is no need to remove ammunition cassettes to provide corridor for driver to move from his station to turret... on the other hand it's still very cramped inside, and it's more comfort able to actually move from drivers position in T-64 and T-80/84 when ammo cassettes are removed from autoloaders mechanism.

Another difference is ammunition capacity, 6ETs autoloaders for 115mm gun could store 30 rounds, for 125mm gun 28 rounds, the AZ autoloader for 125mm gun can store 22 rounds.
 

 

Here at 35:45 some comparrision of autoloaders.

Now what about armor?

It is a myth that for example T-72 had a better armor than T-64, or T-80B had better armor than T-64B and T-72A. The general requirements were that each tank series, this is T-64 series, T-72 series and T-80 series in the 1970's, would provide more or less same protection. Of course it was realized in different ways.

Let's start with T-64.

Frontal protection would be realized by composite armor codenamed Combination K, and there were several variations of this armor protection.

The initial one was made from twi different solutions, for the hull front, glacis plate would be made from two steel plates and in between them layers of glass textolite would be placed. Turret would be casted with empty cavities in front armor which would be filled with alluminium alloy.

 

stxk800.jpg

ad9b8af1610c.jpg

This is Object 432/T-64 armor scheme that was initially used, it was similiar in case of Object 434/T-64A and also T-64R variant which was T-64 refurbished to T-64A standard.

Later few other variations of turret armor would be tried, while hull armor would not change much. One of the later design included high hardness steel plates instead of alluminium alloy placed in armor cavities.
69b6ef6a9d72.jpg

This design was used in Object 434/T-64A.

The final and most famous one was Object 447/T-64B design.

image011.jpg

 

 

T-64B%2520turret%2520armour.png

In this case turret cavities are filled with alluminium alloy in which ceramic spheres/balls are placed.

byY9jDCsGMM.jpg

This armor was also used on some Object 432/T-64 and Object 434/T-64A tanks.

So in the end all 3 versions of Combination K armor for turret, were used on T-64, T-64A and T-64B in various production batches of these T-64 variants. Not a very economic approach.

The T-72A and T-80/T-80B used a simpler armor, in west known as "sand rods", in fact it does not have a form of rods, but in turret cavities, a form of kvartz or ceramic is placed.

T72M1opis.png

There is a mistake here, the second protection value should be for HEAT, not APFSDS.

Same armor was used in T-72M1 export variant of T-72A, as well as in T-80 and T-80B.

na%252520forum%252520T-80b.jpg

A bit different is question of hull armor, here also some improvements were made over time.

1427025025-soviet-tanks-glacis-armor-lay

But in general materials used where the same, a combination of steel and glass textolite.

SptaeB2.jpg

This is how it looks like for T-72M1, actually these glacis plates are for Polish PT-91 modernization of T-72M1.

31a0efcc6a28.jpg

And here destroyed T-64, probably T-64BV.

 

Ok enough for a single post, gonna continue later.

 

 

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Ok maybe now to clear up things about Fire Control Systems.

Let's start with T-64, T-64A, T-72 and T-80.

These tanks didn't had laser range finders, instead they used coincidence range finders (similiar in concept to range finders used for example on Battleships).
 

%D0%9F%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BA_%D0%9F%D0%BE%D0

MsSVU37-L.jpg

T-64 and T-64A, you can notice rangefinder on turret roof in front of commander hatch, connected to gunners primary sight.

T72_cfb_borden_1.JPG

T-72, again rangefinder visible in front of commander cupola.

t80.JPG

T-80, and as above, rangefinder seen in front of commander cupola.

So all these tanks had comparable fire control, however we can't say these vehicles actually had fire control systems, no, these vehicles had something Soviets called Sighting Systems, however lead to track and hit moving target needed to be applied manually. We will back to this in a moment.

Breakthrough came with T-64B, this was the first Soviet tank with computerized, automatic fire control system.

T-64B was eqiupped with 1A33 Fire Control System with 1G42 sight with laser range finder, it was very advanced fire control system for late 1970's. Additional equipment for FCS was night active IR sight TPN-1-49-23, and also 9K112Kobra radio guidance system for 9M112 Kobra ATGM's fired from main gun, the 2A46-2. Interesting thing is that T-80B received exctly the same fire control system and 9K112 guidance system for 9M112 ATGM's, and exactly the same gun. In combat characteristics, T-64B and T-80B were pretty much identical.

p100-1l.jpg

ap_t-80b_01.jpg

T-64B (top) and T-80B (bottom), notice large 1G42 sight and 9K112 guidance system antenna in a box in front of commanders cupola.

What was the difference between the two? Commanders cupola, T-64A and T-64B used very advanced cupola design with remotely controlled machine gun, T-80B used cupola design very similiar but to operate the machine gun, commander actually needed to expose himself, machine gun was not remotely controlled from vehicles interior.

Now about T-72A.

T72_Parola_Finland_1.jpg

This vehicle didn't received any kind of fire control system, only ballistic calculator for proper range calculation for various ammunition types, and new TPD-K1 sight with laser range finder. And this sight is real pain in the ass when you need to fire on the move or at moving target, why? Simply because tank not having FCS, do not have any automatic lead calculation. Lead needs to be applied manually.

 

All SB Pro PE users can actually check how TPD-K1 sight works.

 

 

 

Now something about explosive reactive armor of various Soviet tanks, this time I will focus only on Kontakt-1.

It is a common knowledge that ERA works the best at angle, reactive elements can be placed at angle both externally with modules containing them, or internally within these modules, both solutions can also be used simultanouesly.

When it comes to ERA, very important is also placement of ERA modules to create tight protection with as little gaps between modules (or in general) as possible.

T-64BV here is excellent example of properly applied ERA among T tanks developed from in 60's-70's period.

 

T-64_BV_DR.gif

 

As we can see ERA is not only protecting turret and hull front, but also turret top, and turret sides which is unusual for T tanks, but engineers provided provision for ERA installation even behind storage boxes. There is even ERA behind IR searchlight in turret front.

 

t-64_61_of_62.jpg

 

ERA module can be seen behind IR searchlight.

 

t-64_21_of_62.jpg

t-64_26_of_62.jpg

T-64BV's tight ERA cover.

Also another advantage of T-64BV over T-72AV, T-72B and T-80BV is the way ERA protecting hull sides is mounted. Normally on T-72AV and T-72B ERA is directly mounted to flimsy, very delicate rubber sides skirts. Any hit of these side skirts in terrain obstacle like pile of ruble will result in loss of side skirt and ERA attached to it.

KMDB engineers solved that problem on T-64BV by not installing ERA directly on side skirts, but on solid metal frames attached to tanks hull side sponsons.

 

saenko2.jpg

Let's compare it to T-72B.

a9c1260b.jpg

As we can see ERA is mounted directly to side skirts, we can even see how weight of ERA modules deforms flimsy rubber skirt.

This can in many cases result in loss of ERA protection.
15236710520_ca9209d55a_b.jpg

T-72AV in Syria, we can see damage made by ruble to the side skirts and ERA.

Ok but someone would ask, what about T-80BV? Well T-80BV is the worst example of ERA application.
 

t-80_13.jpg

Wedge made from ERA on turret front is less optimal than on T-64BV and T-72AV, gaps are created, hull front is comparable and adequate. Turret sides worse than T-64BV and comparable to T-72AV and T-72B, hull sides have worst protection because, there is no ERA there. I heard that there should be but nobody ever saw it installed on side skirts.

I only found a single photo, but it seems to be some sort of field modification made by crew, and ERA is still mounted to flimsy side skirts, we can see some modules even close to fall off from the skirt.

x_aed10569.jpg

 

Enough for this post. ;)

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Not everyone reads TankNet. Besides spreading knowledge is a good thing.

 

Anyway let's continue:

 

  So many people probably wonders the story of T-72, oh this is interesting story indeed.

So let's start from the beggining, while design bureaus like KB-60M/KMDB or LKZ were focused on developing new vehicles, sometimes revolutionary, UKBTM/UVZ primary task was to only upgrade tanks already in service, so other design bureaus can focus on R&D for new vehicles. At that time chief engineer of UKBTM was Leonid Kartsev.

 

leonid_kartsev-07.jpg

 

Obviously he was ambitious man, that wanted to have the same influance and fame as Morozov or Kotin had, but he was not the same calliber of tank designers as these fine gentelmen were. Speaking about them, Morozov and Kartsev didn't liked each other as it seems, especially after Kartsev and his collegues started undermining Morozov's work, and this didn't stop even after Morozov's death, they were also undermining work of his sone Yevgeny Morozov who also worked as tank designer, and other engineers working in KMDB.

For his tank designs he used mainly designs of others, with some of his own ideas included.

He was the one responsible for T-55 tank which is nothing more than upgrade for T-54 created by Morozov, and also for creating T-62 which is again evolution of T-54/55.

When Morozov was working on his Object 430 and later Object 432, Kartsev also decided to compete with his Object 167 and Object 167M.
 

1920px-Object_167_in_Patriot_park.jpg

This is Object 167, what is it? Just T-62 with some improvements, mainly suspension.

 

pic_56.jpg

t-72.26357.jpg

 

And this is Object 167M, what's the difference? Composite armor and AZ autoloader.

So both Object 167 and Object 167M were competing against Morozov's Object 430 and Object 432 and... lost these competitions, Morozov's designs were more promising and simply better.

Another interesting thing. AZ autoloader.

 

 

Look at it's design, isn't it similiar to other, older design?

Nowy_obraz_mapy_bitowej_2.png

This is American made autoloader project from 1950's for a 90mm gun and it's unitary ammunition, but similarities are striking, was this concept acuired by Soviet intelligence and then after redevelopment used by Kartsev? Not immposible situation.

Now about T-72 itself. When T-64 production started, obviously as it was revolutionary design there were some problems with it, like with any completely new design. Primary problem was with it's new 5TD engine, so Soviet MoD decided that alternative version of T-64 with V-45 engine will be developed.

So first thing first, what is V-45, it's just further evolution of the V-2 engine, and V-2 was used from 1930's in tanks like T-34, with it's different version being a powerplant for various different tanks. It was known to Soviet military so it was decided that it's another version is a suitable choice for alternative powerplant untill problems with 5TD won't be solved.
 

v46.png

 

This is V-46 but V-45 or older V engines looks similiar.

To make story a bit shorter, in the end further development of this T-64 version was gived to Kartsev and his UKBTM design bureau, prototype tank received codename Object 172.

aadeb9511084cef3b8f0d8ac9b79c564.jpg

This is Object 172, as we can see it's just a T-64 with a different engine. But Kartsev started to make his own plans, because development of own tank, meant prizes, medals, and other privilages, he started deeper modifications, he replaced suspension system with the one from Object 167M, and also autoloader, while obviously using much better general turret and hull design created by Morozov, and so Object 172M was created.

e5e4bb33553629bd53a82ee4717752ef.jpg

Object 172, here already with AZ autoloader instead of 6ETs.

T-72_07.jpg

Object 172M, now not only AZ autoloader, but also suspension with large road wheels, typical for T-72.

800px_16.jpg

For comparision Object 434/T-64A, notice how much more compact is this vehicle compared to Object 172/172M/T-72, especially engine compartment.

As far as I know, the project would most likely would not be accepted as it meant that pretty much besides general turret and hull design, there was nothing common left between T-64 and Object 172M, however Kartsev and his political partners in communist party used the fact that general Ustinov was on vacations, and without him being present, they pushed production of Object 172M as T-72 forward. If Ustinov would be present he would probably stop this ruse, as it undermined further research and development and production of tanks in Soviet Union, because now money were split for manufacturing and upgrading two completely different main battle tanks, with similiar combat characteristics.

So as we can see, T-72 is a tank that should never be created.

Interesting thing is however that UVZ was not ready for manufacturing T-72's, first tanks didn't even had composite armor in turrets, instead turrets had homogeneus cast armor made from simple steel. Also T-72/T-72A was more expensive than T-64 and T-64A.

f0c75b444254.jpg

 

Edited by Damian90

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15 hours ago, 12Alfa said:

Don't we all ready have this over at tanknet?o.O

Do we need two?:/

I'm not at tanknet. So I'll not complain. Besides: "Redundancy is the mother of wisdom." Right?

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And now something a bit different. One of the most interesting Soviet heavy tank designs, the IS-4.

 

dXLC7pTpizQ.jpg

 

This is it's armor scheme... and everyone must admitt it's impressive for something that weighted around 60 metric tons.

 

 

Here are videos made by Nick Moran, showing this vehicle in a bit more detail.

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Vsrd3.jpg

 

T-84BM "Oplot" turret. What is interesting is that while original design for that turret had front armor in form of easy replaceable modules, it seems that for costs reduction and for simplicity of design, series production turrets are just welded.

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Some new informations for people interested in Soviet tanks development near the cold war. I written about this subject several times here and there but more and more informations slowly leaks from the former Soviet Union member states.

 

In the late 70's and through the 80's up to even early 2000's, the Kharkiv Morozov Design Bureau was developing a series of next generation Main Battle Tanks for the Soviet Army. These designs were:

 

Object 490 "Topol";

Object 490A "Buntar";

Object 490B "Belka";

Object 477 "Boxer";

Object 477A "Molot";

Object 477A1 "Nota";

Object 477B/V "Biala".

 

Right now of course knowledge about them is scarce, some of them were only paper projects too ambitious and complex to be realized in the Soviet Union reality, some were only partially completed, and some are still behind the shroud of secrecy.

 

Object 490 "Topol" and Object 490B "Belka" as we know today were only paper projects, only several drawings exist + a plastic models of Object 490 "Topol".

 

KvgFOyv.jpg

UKCDjSg.jpg

img003.jpg

Object 490 "Topol". 2 man crew placed in turret, armed with 125mm smoothbore gun 2A66, autoloader in isolated turret bustle, secondary ammo storage in isolated compartment between turret and engine compartment. Protection would be provided by passive composite armor and hard/soft kill active protection system (combination of what would become Shtora and Drozd active protection systems). Due to a high demand for vehicle automatization, project was seen as too ambitious, and eventually got cancelled.

 

image002.jpg

Object 490B "Belka"... I think that explanation why it was cancelled is not necessary. ;)

The first project that was partially realized was Object 490A "Buntar". At least one or two vehicles were builded but not completed, there were problems with autoloader design (which is still unknown in details) and fire control system.

 

XCc4fTh.jpg

cetRZqY.jpg

490a1.jpg

img006.jpg

143782242665224464.jpg

 

Main armament was initially also a 125mm smoothbore gun 2A66, and later was considered a new 130mm smoothbore gun. However project was cancelled due to changes in requirements. What is interesting is that autoloader and it's ammunition was again isolated from crew by armored bulkhead separating the turret, it's kinda similiar to the US M8 AGS light tank where also autoloader and ammunition in it, were isolated in similiar way from the crew.

 

Now let's move to the trully good stuff.

 

Object 477 "Boxer" was further development of next generation MBT, this time armed with 152mm smoothbore gun. However we know that it's complete documentation leaked to the US (and probably other major NATO members) which was a spy scandal in Soviet Union. However work was very advanced and it would be waste to abandone it, so after few changes, project was renamed Object 477A "Molot" and continued in such form. We know toay that at least several test beds and prototypes were builded in various configurations. Also two types of chassis were used, one based on T-64A/T-64B and second based on T-80/T-80B and later T-80UD.

 

The tank had extremely peculiar autoloader design with the main autoloader, kinda similiar to AZ series used in T-72 and T-90 series, located in the turret basket, and secondary autoloader in the isolated compartment between turret and engine compartment. Also armor protection was extremely thick, hull sides protecting the crew and main autoloader were ~150mm thick, made from composite armor + side skirts with ERA.

 

QKERtEy.jpg

 

There are existing several photos of this vehicle prototype or prototypes.

 

143912903099969038.jpg
143913828612941581.jpg

Xj0Ps3D.jpg

 

There are also photos of two types of chassis, one based on T-64 series, also visible on prototypes above, and second based on T-80 series.

 

img011.jpg

img012.jpg

 

And here short description how autoloader worked.

 

erYe9KL.jpg

QQ%25E5%259B%25BE%25E7%2589%258720160503

It was rather complex mechanism.

 

Project was continued up to the collapse of Soviet Union.

 

The final project we know that ended with at least two prototypes builded is Object 477A1 "Nota". This vehicle was again a redesign due to new requirements and project was continued as cooperation between Ukraine and Russian Federation up to 2001 as far as I know. A single photo of one of prototypes is known.

 

0_ecb23_b0eef884_XXXL.jpg

 

Vehicle again was armed with 152mm smoothbore gun (2A83?), used T-80 type chassis, and also had extremely thick composite armor that used components made from Titanium for weight reduction, and also explosive reactive armor and active protection system (Shtora as soft kill, hard kill type is unknown).

 

It's autoloader is extremely interesting design, there were several theories how it might look like, right now it's believed it looked like that:

 

 

G2yUO3n.jpg

Here is drawing showing possible full ammo storage. As we can see ammo is not isolated. And below drawing showing vehicle with also a turret protection.

Gq9mLaI.jpg

 

Rumor says that Object 477A1 "Nota" was tested against UVZ Object 195, in terms of armor protection, mobility and firepower Object 477A1 was deemed superior over Object 195, however Object 195 had better crew safety and survivability due to isolated armored capsule for the crew in the hull front behind massive frontal armor, and also had somewhat more modern electronics + completely unmanned turret.

 

Well that's all about KMDB designs, I hope you folks gonna find these updated informations interesting. :)

Edited by Damian90

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Really interesting.

Thanks!!!

 

by the way. Some people mentioned some of this content can also be found on TankNet, however I am unable to find TankNet so after all this post is indeed valuable and interesting

Edited by Furia

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Tank-net is being flagged up as a malicious site though by lots of AV suites. You'd have to add it as an exception to access it with some AV options.

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Ok guys, so there is a bit more refined animation of Object 477A1 "Nota" autoloader.

 

 

I must admitt it's interesting design.

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made a diagram of T-72 TPD-K1 rangefinder sight, based on picture from manual:

 

TPDK1diagram_colour.jpg

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Ok, time for next post, this time again about armor, but a bit more modern one from the 80's. So T-72B, T-80U and T-80UD. I am certain @cobrabase  and @matsimus will appreciate. ;)

 

First about turret armor, again Soviets started development of 3 tanks, however when the idea of T-72B development was just improvement of a cheaper mobilization tank by UVZ/UKBTM. The LKZ/OZTM/KBTM and KMDB decided to combine their effort in development of a common tank type, decision was made however to manufacture two versions, one with gas turbine engine and second with a diesel these tanks become the T-80U and T-80UD, however again while LKZ led side decided for some simplifications, KMDB decided to fully use potential in the T-80 design.

 

Let's start with turret armor designs.

 

image013.jpg

From left to right: T-72B, T-80U, T-80UD.

 

So the T-72B uses a simple Non Energetic Reactive Armor insert in the turret cheeks. A more detailed description on the images below.

1446590439-t-72b-armor-3.jpg
t-72b-armor-article_jmo_may2002_4.jpg
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It was relatively cheap, relatively effective armor protection for the turret. I think more commentary on this subject is not needed thanks to fragments of the great article by James Warford above.

But let's move to the T-80U and T-80UD.

The T-80U uses a turret filler, which is made from separate cast cells, which are filled with some sort of polymer like material, some sources claim that it's even in a semi liquid state. So it's quiet fancy armor.

Here is how my friend tried to figure out how exactly armor structure looks like.

T-80U%2520model%2520.jpg

The T-80UD however uses different type of armor, it's so called CERMET or ceramic/metal armor.

We do not know much more about T-80UD armor, besides claims from KMDB it was more effective, and the fact it's development was continued till this day, it's next iteration was used in a new welded turret for improved T-80UD so called Object 478BE for Pakistan, and later with T-84 series, including it's latest variant the T-84BM "Oplot" (Russian/Ukrainian for Fortress or Hold). 

image014.jpg
Cutaway of a welded turret variant.

image016.jpg
Comparision of the T-90A welded turret on the left, and T-80UD/T-84 welded turret variant with modular front armor on the right.

kern.jpg

Here is interesting schematic of the T-80UD/T-84 welded turret variant with modular front armor, and how it is installed to the turret.

478be.jpg
On this drawing we can see also how tight is ERA protection on this type of turret. Also cast turret of the T-80U and T-80UD had very tight, good ERA cover. We can compare it with the ERA gaps on the T-72B cast turret.

image013.gif
T-80U ERA cover, identical is on T-80UD.

t80ud-02l.jpg
T-80UD with welded turret, again very tight ERA cover.

T-72BM_main_battle_tank_Russia_Russian_a
0_4.jpg

And this is T-72B model 1989 (actually upgraded to T-72BA variant). As we can see ERA protection turret is not tight, there are gaps, that can eventually lead to a situation where enemy projectile won't have any contact with ERA.

72bm.jpg
Here is an example of T-72B model 1989 which was twice hit in a turret with SPG and RPG I believe if my memory serves well, non of the granades hit the ERA although some modules were rippen off the turret by their explosion. The crew and tank survived only because enemy projectiles were not able to pierce through the base armor.

Now the hull, let's start with T-72B.

Jejfo%252520%2525282%252529.jpg

Yep, nothing special, just a spaced steel armor. I don't know if there is something more to comment here. ;)

wum975.jpg

Here at the top, Russian sources claims that T-80BV (new builds as T-80BV not T-80B retroffited to T-80BV standard) and T-80U have the same front hull armor design, it's three steel layers with two STEF layers in between.

The T-80UD however is different as far as me and my friends were able to gather informations from Ukrainians.

T-80UD%2520hull.png
This is a simplified schematic of the how glacis armor looks like. On the first glance it looks similiar, however, STEF was replaced by ceramics (probably the same as in the turret. And an small airgap was added inside the armor. The thickness of layers is also different.

When it comes to front hull ERA the T-80U and T-80UD also are better protected, the T-72B have a large belt of unprotected hull on the upper part of the glacis plate. The T-80U/UD cover is better.

Also something for @Ssnake the T-80U/UD glacis plate empty ERA modules. I hope this can help you guys in further development. ;)

l0HA9qa.jpg
 

I know this pseudo "documentary" (more like a soap opera) and propaganda series is silly and not very informative, yet here at 15:45 we can see the process of how reactive elements are inserted in to ERA module on the hull glacis.

Ok I hope it will be interesting for everyone and helpfull. To the next time. ;)

Edited by Damian90

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Sure thing @ghostdog688;)

 

Ok so now about Active Protection Systems developed in Soviet Union. Because Soviet Army had a very restrictive requirements for the vehicles weight and dimensions (for ease of strategic transport), it was problematic for Soviet designers to develop vehicles with massive armor protection like NATO tanks eventually received, another problems was that in a conventional design with manned turret it was immposible to isolate crew from main gun ammunition, thus the survivability of crew and vehicle itself in case when armor was defeated was very low.

 

To counter this problem, it was decided to use layered protection by various means, as we know special armor protects only turret and hull front in T tanks, not like in NATO tanks where special armor also protects turret sides at least over crew compartment, and use of heavy ballistic skirts for additional hull side protection, was out of questions for Soviets.

So they started to use ERA but in the end it was not seen as perfect solution, an active protection was needed. Attempts were made to develop both soft and hard kill systems.

 

The soft kill system is the TShU-1-7 Shtora-1, in Russian Shtora means curtain.

 

Irr3vWm.jpg

Shtora have several components, the most prominent ones are two large IR dazzlers, these dazzlers are dual purpose device. It's primary function is to protect tank from a certain types of SACLOS ATGM's, and Shtora simply blinds guidance system, with powerfull IR light emission, which will later be demonstrated on a video. A second purpose is IR illumination mode where only a single Dazzler is working as a IR searchlight for an IR passive/active night sight.

The second component are laser warning receivers, two frontal ones are visible above the gun mantled. I think explaining their purpose is not needed.

Shtora-1 will do several things depending on working mode when threat is detected. First of course Dazzlers will be turned on, the system can also automatically launch multispectral smoke granades, and also if fully automatic mode is on, will turn the turret front towards a threat.

These days however Shtora-1 is considered as obsolete, even against SACLOS ATGM's, first it can't detect them if they are not laser guided, second some of them like upgraded TOW uses not only IR marker to track and guide the missile but also UV marker so Shtora might not be able to blind the guidance system.

 

Now about hard kill systems. First attempts were pretty early, and as you will se on the video, the first system was made in form of cylinders installed on a tank, with sensors and explosive charges, probably was not deemed too successfull and other routes of development were choosen.

The first Soviet operation and battle tested active protection system was Drozd-1 installed on T-55AD tanks.

 

T-55AD_with_Drozd_active_protection_syst

 

It consistend of 8 interceptor launching tubes, 4 on each side of the turret, radar sensors, and central control unit in the armored box mounted to the turret rear.

Some of these tanks are said to be tested in Afghanistan in the 80's. As we can see the system is more optimized for frontal protection only, which is understandable, it was designed for vehicles that would pretty much assault NATO head on.

What is interesting that Drozd APS was actually obtained from Ukraine in early 2000's by US, when they purchased 4 T-84 (officialy called T-80UD, but these tanks are definately more advanced T-84's), and one of them was equipped with such system, dunno where these tanks are kept in US, I suspect in Aberdeen Proving Grounds area.

 

7378643bbc72.jpg7e8eb2ae4263.jpg099882b2830d.jpg

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http://s1.uploads.ru/i/8alV5.jpg
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Anyway, the system was primary used on T-55AD tanks used by naval infantry units.

Another system is Arena, which is probably the most famous system. It consists an radar sensor on mast, and a belt of interceptors around the turret. This system provides a greater protected area but is rather dangerous for any infantry around vehicle.

arena_operation.gif


Final type of hard kill active protection system developed in Soviet Union was Dozd (Rain) which was further developed in Ukraine as Zaslon.

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T-55 equipped with Dozd system.
 

This video presents both Ukrainian Explosive Reactive Armors Knife and Duplet, as well as Zaslon Active Protection System at 5:27. But it's worth to watch entire video.

Ok and final video presenting Shtora-1, first experimental hard kill system, Drozd system and so on. If you want to watch only presentation of these systems start at 24:47.
 


Ok, I think it's enough for now, hope everyone will enjoy it, find a bit more informative and interesting. :)

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So this time maybe something else again, and not entirely "Soviet" but, yeah I think next post will be interesting or you all. Modern modernizations of the Soviet tanks. It's a wide topic so perhaps I will do it in several posts, and right now I will focus on Ukraine because they made some very interesting upgrades, and modifications that are... hmmm, sometimes strange?

 

So let's start with T-64B/BV upgrade, the T-64BM "Bulat" (Russian/Ukrainian for Damascan Steel). The T-64BM "Bulat" (Object 447AM-1) is a complex modernization that upgrades all characteristics of a tank.

 

bul1.jpg

 

Protection upgrade includes installation of Nozh (Knife) explosive reactive armor, base armor protection was not changed (immposible due to manufacturing method in Soviet Union). Tanks weight increased to 45 metric tons.

 

Engine was replaced, instead of 5TDF 700HP diesel, now it's 5TDFM 850HP diesel.

 

The most extensive upgrade was made in fire control system.

 

image009.jpg

 

Gunner have a fire control system 1A43U "Ros" with day sight 1G42M "Promin" and a night passive sight system T01-K01ER "Buran-E" with TPN-4SR sight. The commander in his cupola with remotely controlled machine gun have PNK-4SR "Agat" sight system. Also turret and main gun stabilization was improved.

 

The main gun is 125mm KBA-3 smoothbore gun also capable to fire gun launched anti tank guided missiles. Here also some changes were made, the 9K112 Kobra system with 9M112 missiles was replaced with new system similiar to 9K119 Refleks system, and 9M112 missiles was replaced with new Kombat ATGM with tandem warhead.

 

image007.jpg

 

T-64BM "Bulat" is also capable to use 9M119 ATGM. The Kombat ATGM is however further development of 9M128 Agona which was upgrade and replacement for 9M112 Kobra.

 

The T-64BM "Bulat" is currently the most advanced tank in the service of Ukrainian Army.

Another variant, that was developed as T-64B/BV upgrade was T-64BM2 (Object 447AM-2).

 

t64bulat0.jpg

It looks similiar to T-64BM "Bulat" however there are some differences. First is the ERA, instead of Nozh (Knife) ERA it uses local copy of Kontakt-5, it can be recognized due to difference in size of the ERA modules on turret and hull, both photos posted above should give idea what are these differences. And that's actually all of the differences. It's not known how many T-64BM2 is in service but rather limited numbers.

A simplified variant is T-64B1M.

229789_900.jpg
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This variant was originally developed for Nigeria I believe, but after the war started, completed vehicles were sended to Ukrainian Army. This vehicle is unable to use gun launched ATGM's, probably still uses original FCS, and uses local variant of Kontakt-5 ERA, with extended side skirt modules protecting entire crew compartment.

There are also rumors about so called T-64BM1M that uses Nozh ERA instead of Kontakt-5.

So now let's move to something less regular... heavy IFV's and wheeled APC based on T-64? Well why not? ;)

 

IMG_3070.JPG

 

This is BMPV-64 based on T-64 chassis and sharing many same components, this vehicle is actually intended as multirole platform for many different variants.

 

31.jpg

 

This is BMPT-64, a similiar concept but developed by a different engineering team, instead of Kontakt-1 ERA uses Nozh or Duplet ERA, also protecting vehicls front.

 

bmp_k_64.jpg

 

And this is BTR-K-64 (sometimes known also as BMP-K-64), despite it's wheeled, it uses T-64 base chassis and components like engine.

And here another unusual variant of the tank itself.

1305038949_1304976792540.jpg

This is T-64E, it uses Nozh or Duplet ERA, the internal coax MG was eliminated to reduce weak spots in the turret front, now the coax (which can be independent and rotate 360 degrees) had been installed on the turret bustle with other secondary armament. The turret bustle contains ammunition for secondary armament, main gun is still 125mm with standard T-64 autoloader.

Here some videos of some of these vehicles.
 

 


So what about T-80UD modernizations. These vehicles are known as T-84 series, or Object 478DU, they start from Object 478DU and and with Object 478DU-10.

The original Object 478DU was interesting vehicle, because it was T-80UD with T-64 suspension system instead of a standard T-80U/UD suspension system.

342060_original.jpg

This prototype is kept in military base near Kharkiv.

Further development however was focused more on improving all characteristics of tank, keeping original suspension.

So there were many variants, all with welded turrets, and with upgrades within each iteration. The vehicle received code T-84 and name "Oplot" which means Fortress or Hold.

T-84U---OPLOT.jpg

The tank retained it's 125mm smoothbore gun with standard T-64/T-80 autoloader, however received Nozh ERA.

The final development was Object 478DU-10 or T-84BM "Oplot" (also known as BM Oplot or Oplot-M).

468839_original.jpg

Maybe first let's talk about protection. The turret is welded and front have cavities for steel/ceramic composite armor.

566556_original.jpg
599689_1000.jpg


Turret is also protected by multilayer explosive reactive armor Duplet.

513882_original.jpg

In between ERA layers there are also sort of composite armor layers that acts as additional amortization for ERA.

515993_original.jpg
 

Very interesting is also front hull glacis armor, which is, modular.

554234_original.jpg


Here we can see hull during manufacturing process, and empty glacis cavity.

599444_1000.jpg

And here is the glacis armor module, it seems to be combines system, we can see empty spaces for Duplet ERA and two backing layers.

We can assume then that it looks like this: External steel layer + ERA + 1st internal steel/composite layer + ERA + 2nd internal steel layer + hull base steel layer.

It's very unusual design, however I heard it's just configuration for Thailand, this is why their tanks are called Oplot-T, while there is second variant with thick composite armor glacis + multilayer ERA module on top of it.

Hull sides are also protected by multilayer ERA.

dsc_4733.jpg

The mobility was improved by the use of 1200HP 6TD-2E diesel engine, and also new planetary gearboxes, that gives this vehicle mobility comparable with western 3rd generation MBT's. It's weight increased to 51 metric tons. Also steering system was changed from steering levers to modern steering wheel and automatic gearbox.

9683726_orig.jpg

The fire control system is standard 1A45 Irtysh system from T-80U/UD but with a thermal sight for gunner instead of night sight. Also commander received panoramic PNK-6 sight with thermal channel, and it's coupled with a remote weapon station on turret.
 


Besides main line of Object 478DU series, there was also alternative development line of Object 478N.

oplotl.jpg
oplot6l.jpg
t-84-120-1.jpg

This vehicle become known as T-84 "Yatagan" (Scimitar), originally developed for Turkish tank program. It can be armed with 125mm smoothbore for two piece ammo, but also 120mm smoothbore for unitary ammo, the autoloader can load both types of ammunition without modifications. Autoloader itself is placed in turret bustle.
 


Majority of components is common with standard T-84.

This tank also can use gun launched ATGM's, there is 120mm variant of Kombat ATGM called Konus.

You can also notice that these tanks have soft kill active protection system that looks like Russian Shtora-1, it's actually Ukrainian variant called Varta (Guard).

Ok so let's move further.

btmp_84.jpg

This vehicle is unusual because it's not a tank. It's actually a heavy IFV based on T-84 chassis that was lenghtened, it's designated as BTMP-84.

btbmp-ltl.jpg
btmp-rightl.jpg
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This vehicle can take 3 crew members and 5 dismounts. Only single prototype exists.

And finally a T-84 based heavy multirole platform, similiar concept to the T-64 based BMPV-64 and BMPT-64.

btt0-2.jpg
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As far as I know this vehicle was never fully completed, and work on it is very slow.

Oh and by the way, here is something about Ukrainian ATGM's and ERA.
 

 



Ok, so that's enough for now. To the next time. ;)

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On 8/30/2016 at 3:35 PM, Damian90 said:

Ok, time for next post, this time again about armor, but a bit more modern one from the 80's. So T-72B, T-80U and T-80UD. I am certain @cobrabase  and @matsimus will appreciate. ;)

 

First about turret armor, again Soviets started development of 3 tanks, however when the idea of T-72B development was just improvement of a cheaper mobilization tank by UVZ/UKBTM. The LKZ/OZTM/KBTM and KMDB decided to combine their effort in development of a common tank type, decision was made however to manufacture two versions, one with gas turbine engine and second with a diesel these tanks become the T-80U and T-80UD, however again while LKZ led side decided for some simplifications, KMDB decided to fully use potential in the T-80 design.

 

Let's start with turret armor designs.

 

image013.jpg

From left to right: T-72B, T-80U, T-80UD.

 

So the T-72B uses a simple Non Energetic Reactive Armor insert in the turret cheeks. A more detailed description on the images below.

1446590439-t-72b-armor-3.jpg
t-72b-armor-article_jmo_may2002_4.jpg
1446590452-t-72b-armor-5.jpg

It was relatively cheap, relatively effective armor protection for the turret. I think more commentary on this subject is not needed thanks to fragments of the great article by James Warford above.

But let's move to the T-80U and T-80UD.

The T-80U uses a turret filler, which is made from separate cast cells, which are filled with some sort of polymer like material, some sources claim that it's even in a semi liquid state. So it's quiet fancy armor.

Here is how my friend tried to figure out how exactly armor structure looks like.

T-80U%2520model%2520.jpg

The T-80UD however uses different type of armor, it's so called CERMET or ceramic/metal armor.

We do not know much more about T-80UD armor, besides claims from KMDB it was more effective, and the fact it's development was continued till this day, it's next iteration was used in a new welded turret for improved T-80UD so called Object 478BE for Pakistan, and later with T-84 series, including it's latest variant the T-84BM "Oplot" (Russian/Ukrainian for Fortress or Hold). 

image014.jpg
Cutaway of a welded turret variant.

image016.jpg
Comparision of the T-90A welded turret on the left, and T-80UD/T-84 welded turret variant with modular front armor on the right.

kern.jpg

Here is interesting schematic of the T-80UD/T-84 welded turret variant with modular front armor, and how it is installed to the turret.

478be.jpg
On this drawing we can see also how tight is ERA protection on this type of turret. Also cast turret of the T-80U and T-80UD had very tight, good ERA cover. We can compare it with the ERA gaps on the T-72B cast turret.

image013.gif
T-80U ERA cover, identical is on T-80UD.

t80ud-02l.jpg
T-80UD with welded turret, again very tight ERA cover.

T-72BM_main_battle_tank_Russia_Russian_a
0_4.jpg

And this is T-72B model 1989 (actually upgraded to T-72BA variant). As we can see ERA protection turret is not tight, there are gaps, that can eventually lead to a situation where enemy projectile won't have any contact with ERA.

72bm.jpg
Here is an example of T-72B model 1989 which was twice hit in a turret with SPG and RPG I believe if my memory serves well, non of the granades hit the ERA although some modules were rippen off the turret by their explosion. The crew and tank survived only because enemy projectiles were not able to pierce through the base armor.

Now the hull, let's start with T-72B.

Jejfo%252520%2525282%252529.jpg

Yep, nothing special, just a spaced steel armor. I don't know if there is something more to comment here. ;)

wum975.jpg

Here at the top, Russian sources claims that T-80BV (new builds as T-80BV not T-80B retroffited to T-80BV standard) and T-80U have the same front hull armor design, it's three steel layers with two STEF layers in between.

The T-80UD however is different as far as me and my friends were able to gather informations from Ukrainians.

T-80UD%2520hull.png
This is a simplified schematic of the how glacis armor looks like. On the first glance it looks similiar, however, STEF was replaced by ceramics (probably the same as in the turret. And an small airgap was added inside the armor. The thickness of layers is also different.

When it comes to front hull ERA the T-80U and T-80UD also are better protected, the T-72B have a large belt of unprotected hull on the upper part of the glacis plate. The T-80U/UD cover is better.

Also something for @Ssnake the T-80U/UD glacis plate empty ERA modules. I hope this can help you guys in further development. ;)

l0HA9qa.jpg
 

I know this pseudo "documentary" (more like a soap opera) and propaganda series is silly and not very informative, yet here at 15:45 we can see the process of how reactive elements are inserted in to ERA module on the hull glacis.

Ok I hope it will be interesting for everyone and helpfull. To the next time. ;)

This was some of the best analysis I have ever seen.  I read the T-72 article but this was the first time I've seen T-80U speculation.  

 

You are THE MAN!

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...can we make it a habit to quote ONLY what's necessary to understand the context of a comment?

(like, in this case, nothing?)

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Also FWIW, fofanov.armor.kiev.au triggers a bunch of alerts (valid or not) from my Malware software.

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10 hours ago, cobrabase said:

This was some of the best analysis I have ever seen.  I read the T-72 article but this was the first time I've seen T-80U speculation.  

 

You are THE MAN!

 

Thanks, keep tuned, more will come, next time, UVZ developments. ;)

 

9 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

Also FWIW, fofanov.armor.kiev.au triggers a bunch of alerts (valid or not) from my Malware software.

 

Noted, will try to avoid that source to avoid any unconvinience on the readers side.

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Ok guys, so now something about UralVagonZavod development and upgrades of the T-72B series. Let's start with the late 80's. As we know back then LKZ and KMDB decided to develop further gas turbine and diesel powered T-80U and T-80UD, however the competition between design bureaus was not finished, and UVZ was all in to it. At that time the chief engineer at UVZ was Vladimir Ivanovich Potkin.

 

So the decision was also made to develop two tanks, one advanced and one simpler and cheaper, these were Object 187 and Object 188. Let's start with Object 187 because it's extremely interesting design. Six prototypes were builded, all of them used more or less the same welded turret design, however they had a different hull designs, mainly in terms of the geometry of the frontal hull armor, and engine compartment, various engines were used, several diesel models and also gas turbine.

 

Prototypes are still existing and kept in Kubinka museum grounds, tough they are still considered as "secret" so as for now non were renovated or openly avaiable for public.

 

qCYwLWD.jpg
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Front upper glacis and turret front was protected by composite armor, as well as new ERA codenamed "Malachit", now the interesting thing is that newest T-14 tanks, also uses ERA that codenamed "Malachit".

As we can see, one of the prototypes have a hull front geometry more similiar to western tanks, than a typical T tank configuration.

The main armament was new high pressure 2A66 125mm smoothbore gun, interesting thing to note is that at least one prototype have this gun with muzzle break installed.

 

sUXvj2m.jpg

Additional protection would be provided by Shtora-1 active protection system. The fire control would most likely be 1A45 Irtysh with 1G46 day sight and a IR night vision, commander would receive a PNK-4S/SR cupola with remotely controlled MG.

And that's all, due to secrecy, not much is known about this vehicle.

Ok so Object 188, literally it's a T-90, originally designated T-72BU, you can call it a T-72B on steroids, turret and hull armor is the same as in T-72B, ERA is of course Kontakt-5, there is Shtora-1 active protection system, 1A45 Irtysh FCS with 1G46 day sight, IR night vision, PNK-4S/SR commander cupola and so on.

t-90_2.jpg

So it was only an incremental upgrade for T-72B, and in the end as a cheaper alternative it was choosen over Object 187. Not many original T-90's were manufactured, maybe around 100+, today they are not used in line units, mostly just used for training, and many is in very bad condition due to extensive service use.

However the development didn't stopped there, next variant the T-90A or Object 188A1/A2 was developed. In fact it's not a very deep upgrade, it just uses new welded turret, and also is equipped with ESSA thermal sight instead of IR night vision.

2013_Moscow_Victory_Day_Parade_%2828%29.

Of course T-90's also used various engines depending on variant, for example T-90 uses 840HP V-84MS diesel, while T-90A uses V-92S2 950-1000HP diesel.

There are of course some more minor details between these variants like different engine exhaust collectors, and other minor stuff.

Below a videos showing T-90A, also it's interior etc.
 

 


You might notice that all T tanks have problems with turret ventilation after each shot fired. It seems to be caused by bore evacuator design that is not very efficent, and a lot of propelant gases gets inside crew compartment.

The actuall deep upgrade is T-90SM, which is an export variant developed within program "Proriv" (Breakthrough). There is also variant named T-90AM or T-90M which will be similiar configuration for the Russian Army.

T-90SM_-_RAE2013-04.jpg
T-90SM_-_RAE2013-05.jpg?uselang=ru

The tank received new welded turret with slightly changed geometry in the roof area and that is a bit more longer to accomodate space for commander panoramic sight.

One thing, the tank does not have a turret bustle per se, there is an armored box bolted to the turret rear, this box is used to store additional main gun ammo, so inside vehicle, ammunition is stored only in autoloader. The main gun is new 2A46M-5 with better characteristics over it's predecessors. Autoloader capacity is still 22 rounds + propelant charges, however it's modified to accept APFSDS rounds with longer penetrators.

Protection is further increased by the use of ERA Relikt which protects now turret front, hull front, turret roof, turret sides, hull sides over crew compartment lenght, however Shtora-1 system is not equipped with IR dazzlers. There are only LWR's and smoke dischargers.

Engine is V-92S2F generating 1130HP. However, he tank is incapable for neutral steering, neither it can achieve similiar speeds on reverse gears as NATO tanks.

The biggest improvement however are vehicle electronics. Now the tank have modern FCS Kalina with day/thermal sight Sosna-U, the old day sight 1G46 is not replaced with gunner auxiliary sight, commander have a panoramic sight with the same thermal camera used in Sosna-U sight, and is also integrated with RWS. Sosna-U sight also have autotracker device installed.

So T-90AM/SM is a very capable, dangerous opponent to face.

More in videos.
 

 


If we would compare T-90AM/SM to T-84BM Oplot, we can say that T-90AM/SM have better more modern FCS, better optics and other electronics, however T-84BM Oplot have better ERA protection, as well as better engine and transmission.

Another modification of the T-72B/B1 tank is T-72B2 "Rogatka", it was never inducted in to service due to high cost, it used new FCS with Sosna-U sight and also Relikt ERA + new engine.

rogatka_zpsf9db9a9b.jpg
T-72B2-Rogatka.jpg

In many aspects T-72B2 exceeded capabilities of T-90 and T-90A.

The cheaper alternative upgrade is T-72B3.

egts9.jpg

It uses the same Sosna-U sight, but also TPD-K1 as a day sight only/auxiliary sight, a modified FCS and... that woudl be really all.

Another upgrade is T-72B3M also known as T-72B4.

TankBiathlon14final-26-Kopiowanie.jpg
t-72b4_t-72b3m_main_battle_tank_mbt_russ

This upgrade was originally developed as a... cheating solution for Russian Army to win "Tank Biathlone" competition, while other teams receive standard T-72B3's, Russian team would use this modified version with commander panoramic sight, and V-92S2F 1130HP diesel.

However series production variants for Russian Army might also receive new Relikt ERA.

There are also some specialized vehicles based on T-72 series.

For example BMPT Terminator and BMPT-72 Terminator-2.

BMPT_at_Engineering_Technologies_2012_(4
terminator2_zps6503019c.jpg

The primary difference is in how these vehicles are builded. The BMPT is a new build vehicle, while BMPT-72 is a modified T-72 tank.

Another difference is armament, the BMPT besides a low profile turret with 2x 30mm 2A42 automatic cannons, 1x 7,62mm PKT machine gun and 4x 9M133 Kornet ATGM's, also have 2x 30mm AGS-17/AGS-30 GMG's in hull side sponsons. BMPT-72 lacks this last feature.

Other things are similiar like FCS, optics, ERA (both uses Relikt ERA), engines etc.

One misconception sometimes people have is that they consider this vehicle as IFV, it's not, it does not transport infantry. The term BMPT means Боевая машина поддержки танков or Tank Support Fighting Vehicle.

Another combat vehicle based on T-72 chassis is BMO-T or Боевая машина огнемётчиков - тяжёлая or Flamethrower Troops Combat Vehicle - Heavy.

 

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It's pretty much a T-72 chassis redesigned as heavy APC for troops using rocket propelled flamethrowers like RPO-A "Shmel". It can carry 2 crew members + 7 troops inside. Protection is provided by Kontakt-1 ERA.

And finally there are TOS-1 Буратино (Pinokio) and TOS-1A Солнцепёк (Sunblaze), these are heavy rocket flamethrowers.

tos1.jpg
TOS-1
 

thumb_20160404032532589.jpg
TOS-1A.

Ok this post get's very long. Of course there is many more specialized vehicles based on T-72/T-90 chassis, and I might cover them later on. Now hope again you guys find this short and simplified description interesting, and to the next time. ;)

Edited by Damian90

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@Maj.Hans that's for you. About ERA for lightweight platforms developed in Russia. It's in english so no worry about translation. ;)

 

 

Of course vidoe is cut that way they won't show you interesting bits about anti-tandem ERA test results. ;)

Edited by Damian90

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