Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bright Future "Dinosaur" T-95 Tank

Russian Broken Translation; made understandable by GarryB

Despite all the predictions about the care of this type of armored vehicles from the scene, MBT retain its role as the main striking force of ground troops. The development of these machines goes primarily toward increasing the security of crews and integration into a unified information space of the battlefield.

The new "objects"

Pass in 1945 can hardly be called a decade, during which according to the chorus of military experts predicted would rather not ruin a tank class technology. At first they were a gravedigger called nuclear weapons. After it was found that under conditions of a nuclear weapon; tank, in contrast, shows the highest compared with other techniques survivability and combat effectiveness. The next time the "shovel handed" anti-tank guided missiles and attack helicopters, then - high-precision weapons in general. This generation of undertakers funeral tanks also failed.

Analyzing the experience of recent and ongoing military conflict, the present level of equipment of the armies of developed countries, as well as the one that actually can be achieved in the foreseeable future, we can say: at least for the next three to four decades of main battle tanks will remain the main striking force units and Compounds of ground forces. Being objectively the most secure, viable and heavily armed combat vehicles on the battlefield, they still will determine the stability of the units of ground forces in most types of military operations.

With great confidence we should assume that 25-30 years later, a significant portion of the tank car park will be familiar to us today. These tanks, like the T-64 T-72 T-80 and T-90 Leopard-2, M-1 Abrams, Merkava, "Challenger" and other achievements of engineering thought 60-70ies, improved in 80, upgraded in the 90's and continue to evolve is now largely in terms of "filling and body kit, will continue to be in the ranks of armies fully developed countries.

It is obvious that on the battlefield there are new designs by including the existing platforms, but there will be a little bit. Among them, apparently, find their place and the development of Russian tanks, but that it would be a machine - a separate issue.

In the early 2000's in the press published the first reports of the development in Russia, the new tank. Machine Ural KB under the symbol "object 195" quickly became known as the T-95.Information about the new tank was very sketchy, in fact, many then believed that the T-95 is only a paper project with no real future. However, in 2008-2009, spread information that the T-95 built and runs the state tests.According to experts, the machine connects most of the developments of advanced combat vehicles of the class, which were conducted in the last century, when the T-72 and Abrams were regarded as the latest progress of military-industrial complex.

T-95 is built on a new layout and features an uninhabited tower. The crew of three (possibly two) people located in bronekapsule* separated from the tower and the autoloader. This arrangement, first, sharply reduces the frontal projection of the tank, especially in its most beaten the top, which makes the car trudnouyazvimoy**. Secondly, significantly increases the chances of crew survival in case of effective hitting. Third, the desert tower facilitates large-caliber gun equipped tank.

*Every time I have seen this in the west in English it has been translated as armoured capsule in the front hull that is separated from the turret and autoloader and gun. The purpose is to increase the safety of the crew by not storing fuel or ammo in the armoured capsule with them.

**This basically translates into something like invincible or invulnerable to enemy fire because the part of the tank normally hit in real combat is the front of the turret and a hit to the front of the turret of the T-95 wont effect the crew because they are not in the turret and such a hit will not ignite fuel or ammo so it will just punch a hole straight through.

What kind of gun mounted on T-95 is uncertain, but apparently it is a 152-mm smoothbore gun / launcher high ballistics. Placing such a weapon on the tank were worked in Soviet times (eg Leningrad "object 292).Increasing the caliber main armament is dictated by the need to ensure a reliable lesion of both existing and prospective enemy armored vehicles, including with regard to their possible upgrade.

The entire main gun ammunition, including bombs and missiles of various types to be stored under the tower. Looking ahead, we note that it gives the principal advantage of the T-95 over the prospective Western project, which will continue to place the ammunition in the turret, which increases its size compared to the tower T-95 and increases the likelihood of immediate destruction of the tank when hit in a compartment of ammunition.

Various information is available on the support and arming of the tank. According to some, this will be used as a 30-mm automatic gun with a remote control, mounted on a separate turret with the line of fire is much higher than that of the basic tools, and designed to engage both ground and air targets. According to other information, the tank is equipped with a coaxial machine gun PKT and 12.7-mm (or 14.5-mm) anti-aircraft guns.

Vitality machines in addition to explosive reactive armor and a combination of thickness due to the new layout has increased markedly, will provide active protection systems that can kill or knock off course near to the tank shells.

Radically increase the possibility of the fire control system. Given the layout of the crew will lose an opportunity circular view of the battlefield with his own eyes through periscopes, and the detection devices and targeting falls significantly greater load. Detection system and target is an optical, thermal imaging, infrared channels. In addition, it will include a laser range finder and radar. Information about the environment will be displayed on the screens, which will create the effect of "seeing through the armor."

T-95, despite the greater weight in comparison with modern Russian machinery (55-60 tonnes against 46.5 tons of the T-90), is no less mobility. To this end, the new tank is equipped with a diesel engine, the new generation capacity over 1500 horsepower, which provides more than T-90, installed power and excellent mobility characteristics.


And the same, but cheaper there?

Despite the outstanding performance characteristics to go into a series of T-95, apparently was not destined. Off scale cost of the machine in conjunction with the winding down of development of fundamentally new platform for overseas re-makes of tank units of the Russian army on the T-95 and ruinous maloosmyslennym^^ project. However, the army needed a new platform - not least in view of military requirements on the establishment of a unified platform to track the tank and infantry fighting vehicles "heavy brigade". Develop a unified platform in the Soviet Union began in the late 80's, 90's due to lack of funding, as well as many other programs, she was suspended.

^^maloosmyslennym translates to "senseless" in the Babelfish translator.So despite being an excellent tank design it was not destined to go into service because it was just too expensive, and their future plans needed a family vehicle (that could be made into tank, artillery vehicle, recovery vehicle, APC, air defence vehicle etc etc.) for the Heavy Brigade.

At present, after the rejection of the creation of the "object 195" as the primary heavy machine unified platform constructed on the basis of the requirements of feasibility on the existing level of technology and industrial potential. In addition, modified requirement to its combat capabilities.

Victor Murakhovski, an expert in armored vehicles and weapons: "The new machine is created based on the actual capabilities of our industry, including on the engine, and undercarriage, and security. Among the basic requirements that are presented to it, - an increased level of protection for crew, facilities and equipment, which will allow machines to interact with other forces and means teams are running systems like Yeosu TK.

When creating a new car were slightly lowered the requirements for its "dueling capabilities, determining the ability to resist the enemy's main battle tanks. As a consequence, a great instrument of power - and previously considered as a promising 152-mm gun - can be replaced by advanced 125-mm gun. At 125-mm gun is great potential for development, including in terms of a new generation of ammunition, along with the development of this artillery system does not require such huge costs are necessary when moving to a new caliber main gun of the tank. "

Commenting on the expert, we can assume that demand  for high levels of crew protection in conjunction with the development of a new platform for unified as tanks and heavy infantry fighting vehicles means, apparently, save the crew in a separate armored capsule, as in "object 195", as well as modular layout. Depending on the destination machine on the platform can be found fighting compartment of the tank with the weapons or else would take his place fighting and troop compartments BMP.


Looking abroad

Most developed countries now prefer to upgrade existing machines. Took this way and the U.S. after the global economic crisis has forced the world's richest power to abandon ambitious Future Combat System (FCS), which develops various combat vehicles, including main battle tank. In addition, none of the projects of the tank FCS did not provide the radical superiority over the possible upgrading of the M1 tank, which would justify the sharp price rise.

However, one can not but note the very important advantage of the platform M1: much more than simple upgrades, allowing effectively to build a new tank on the existing basis. The same can be said about other modern Western tanks.

As a result, in 2009 it was announced that the next decade the U.S. military will equip the tank M1A3 (while having a "pilot" index of E3). Reportedly, the new tank has less weight - in the range of 55 tonnes against the current 62. This decrease is achieved by a new tower with automatic loader, modeled after the French MBT Leclerc. Tank is also expected to equip a diesel engine, advanced fire control system, and possibly a new gun / launcher (by some reports, a caliber of 140 mm), developed in the framework of FCS. These tanks to be built on the basis of storage bases are on machines M1 and M1A1, will be in service until at least the 40th parallel with M1A2 tanks.

In Germany, it is obvious slowing (if not completely stop) the program Neue Gepanzerte Platforme (NGP), where as well as on the promising Russian car, expected deployment of weapons in the desert tower. Armed heir of "Panther", "Tigers" and "Leopard" should be 140mm smoothbore gun / launcher. Now, however, unclear whether the FRG Ministry of Defense funds for this machine, and most likely within the next 10-15 years the Germans have to do exclusively Leopard. In 2010, the Eurosatory exhibition by German tank designers have presented two machines at once, giving an idea of ​​how to develop a platform "Leo": this is Leopard-2A7, “basic" version, apparently, for the modernization of the remaining tanks in service with the Bundeswehr, and futuristic-looking MBT Revolution , which is a cardinal modernization of the same platform Leopard-2. From "Seven" is different even higher attention to the protection of the machine and the application of the concept of "digital armor," which will provide the crew actually round view from inside the tank.

France, which has now armed with one of the most modern main battle tanks - Leclerc, created in the 80-90's, also plans in the coming decades to do its modernization. Basically, by installing more powerful weapons and better fire control system. In addition, perhaps, will be carried out to improve the reliability of the power plant, to which there is a claim. The remaining units will be borrowing from the base machine.

Its development perspective of the tank is in the UK. This machine is also created in line with general trends: a decrease of the crew, installing a large-caliber gun, improved fire control system and so on. However, according to available information, the tank - the successor to the Challenger, being developed under the program Mobile Direct Fire Equipment Requirement (the system requirements for direct fire on the move), is planned to equip a gun with an electromagnetic projectile acceleration. It is not excluded that this issue will be British innovators, the first being able to deliver such a weapon on mass-produced cars, but the time required to implement such a system, pushes the creation of this machine at least 20 years old, and maybe more.

Results and Trends

Today we can distinguish the following main tendencies of development of heavy armored vehicles:

1. Increase in the mass combat vehicles stopped. All future projects, but modernized "Mercano (tanks for special theaters of war) have weight limits of 60 tons.

2. Growth slowed firepower - Russia's transition to 152 millimeter caliber certainly led to a new round of the race for the most powerful tank gun, but that obviously did not happen. Limit for the VLT in the next 20 years will be the caliber of 140 millimeters, with the bulk of the cars will have improved tools of traditional gauges 120-125 millimeters.

3. Without exception, all future tanks will be equipped with guns automatic loader, which is evidence in favor of the mainstream of development to which the domestic tank production has risen more than 40 years ago.

4. Major role in increasing the combat capabilities of tanks will play a fire control system, communications systems and targeting systems, active protection systems and other accessories, with which the combat capabilities already present in the line of tanks, including old cars 2-3rd generations can be significantly increased.

by Ilya Kramnik


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