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Models and pictures of Soviet MBT designs from 80s. Object 477A, Object 490 Buntar and Object 299.

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     I want to show you several late Soviet MBT designs, which were created in 1980s in order to gain superiority over NATO focres. I do think that some of them are interesting, some of them look like a vehicle for Red Alert/Endwar games. 


     Today, Russia is still use Soviet MBTs, like T-80 and T-72s, but in late 1970s and 1980s Soviet military and engineers were trying to look for other tank concepts and designs. T-64 and other MBTs, based on concept behind T-64, were starting to reaching their limits, mostly because of their small size and internal layout. 





T-80U, one of most advanced Soviet tanks of late 80s. Elite Kantemirovskaya Guards division was spotted using modified T-80Us in 2013.



Object 292


   We open our Box of Communism Spreading Godless Beasts with not so much crazy attempt to mate T-80 hull with 152 mm LP-83 gun (LP-83 does not mean Lenin Pride-83). It was called Object 292.



lFEhaaI.jpgRecent photo from Russian social newtork "Vkontakte". 


yNFZnq6.jpgTracks look like new. Gun is noticeably bigger than usual 2A46.


    First (and only, sadly) prototype was build in 1990, tested at Rzhevskiy proving ground (i live near it) in 1991, which it passed pretty well. Vehicle (well, turret) was developed by Leningrad Kirov factory design bureau (currently JSC "Spetstrans") Because of collapse of Soviet Union this project was abandoned. One of reasons was that main gun was "Burevestnik" design bureau creation, which collapsed shortly after USSR case to exist. It means that Gorbachyov killed this vehicle. Thanks, Gorbach!


    Currently this tank is localted in Kubinka, in running condition BTW. Main designer was Nikolay Popov.


    Object 292, as you see at photos, had a new turret. This turret could have been mounted on existing T-80 hulls without modifications to hull (Object 292 is just usual serial production T-80U with new turret, literally). New Mechanical autoloading mechanism was to be build for it. Turret had special Abrams-like bustle for ammunition, similar feature you can see on Ukrainian T-84-120 Yatagan MBT and, AFAIK, Oplot-BM.

    Engine was 1250 HP GTD-1250 T-80U engine. 152 mm main smoothbore gun was only a little bit bigger than 2A46 125 mm smoothbore gun, but it had much better overall perfomance.

    This prototype was clearly a transitory solution between so called "3" and "4th" generation tanks.


    Some nerd made a model of it:









........Continue in Part 2

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Part 2


Armata, uhh sorry, Object 299


       Our next target is another Leningrad Kirov factory creation, the Object 299, also known as "guys, lets remove shells and fuel from crew compartment this time, okay?".




As you see, it does not look like usual T-64/72/80/90.


    Finally something interesting. This vehicle was part of bigger programm to create unified chassis for severla vehicles, including robotized mine clearing vehicle, heavy IFV, a missile tank with vertical launching ATGMs and etc. 



Tank variant




Rear mounted turret with autoloader, crew in the middle and engine in the front. Who said "Armata"?


    Object 299 tank was to be created under "Leader 2000-2005" programm, and vehicle should have had several design features:



  • Frontal engine placement;
  • New engine developing 1500 HP at least;
  • 85-90 km/h road speed;
  • Range - more than 500 km;
  • Upgrade potential to increase HP/T to 40 hp/t. 


  • New cannon, 140+ mm caliber with potential to upgrade for better ammunition and gun;
  • Vehicle should have up to 40 rounds;
  • Higher chance to hit target at distances less than 2 km (with 0.9 probability) with cannon;
  • Increased distance of searching and spotting of targets, including at night (up to 3.5 km at night); 
  • Fighting in bad weather, in situation of EW and jamming;
  • Deacresed time of ammunition loading;


  • New passive, reactive armor;
  • New active protection system, including jammers;
  • Better mine protection;
  • Decreased chance of fire and ammunition explosion;
  • Reduced visibility of vehicle for optical, radar and thermal-scanning devices.  


  • Tank informational-controlling computerized system
  • Crew should have been isolated from ammunition and fuel in protected "capsule" in hull. wich provide all-around protection, NBC protection and give for crew ability to work for up to 72 hours comfortably;
  • unmanned turret and armament systems.

    New engine was to be 1500 HP gas turbine engine (Kirov like Gas turbines!) with potentially 1800-2000 HP gas turbine engine upgrade in the future. 




    Main weapon was to be 152 mm smoothbore gun in unmanned turret. Autoloader, that would feed that gun, was planned to be placed under turret in isolated compartment with verticaly stored shells. 


    Those are, AFAIK, ammunition for 152mm cannons:


Grifel-1 and -2 are APFSDS rounds, while Grifel-3 is HE-frag. They were designed in Moscow.



End of Part 2.


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 Part 3


Other variants

    As we can see from model and scheme, they could draw that vehicle. Could Kirov factory actually build it? Well, they have build prototype for testing engine and chassis for heavy IFV variant of their "Leader":




Note 7 rollers chassis, rollers themselfs are similar to T-80's rollers.



View from the front.



View from the rear.


It can move!



Kirov factory also have build robotizied vehicle for mine clearing in 1988:




«I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle»



And they were planning to introduce this:


Vehicle, based on Object 299 chassis with 30 vertical launching missiles.


     In engineers and army thinkers view cannon armed Object 299 should have been supported by those missile tanks. 30 long-range missiles with different warheads, with possible top-attack anti-tank missiles variants, should have increased ability of unit to fight with enemy tanks and long-range ATGM-carrying IFVs. And yes, it have crew of 2.


End of Part 3.

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Part 4


T-74 (Izdelie 450)


    Izdelie 450 was attempt to design or at least look at how tank will look like in future by Morozov, a T-64 designer. He wrote about his concept of new tank, which he called NST-74, Izdelie 450 and T-74, in his diary:




    This vehicle was proposed in early 1970s in Kharkov design bureau, as NST-74 ("New Medium Tank - 74"). It turned to be more a concept than a real design that Soviet industry would be able to build in 1970s. T-74 concept from 1972 was found to be not very good, while 1973 concept had several key improvements over 1972 concept - better gunner position (and later it was futher improved in 1974), gun mount, ammo storage, FCS principles, crew placement. New tank was to be created to surpass new Leopard and XM-801. 




Note unmanned turret with 2 7.62 mm MGs and 30 mm autocannon, wich was stabilized in 2 axis. Also optics on gun mantlet make this turret look like a face. Commander hatch is visible in the frontal part of the hull with rotatable optics.




Engine in the rear, ammunition was in front of the engine, turret with gunner just under it were to be mounted in the middle and rest of the crew in the front (driver and tank commander).



Note main ammorack hatch is open just behind turret. This ammorack with mechanical loading device was supposed to load ammunition in 8 rounds autoloader  under turret or under crew compartment (in 1973 variant of the concept).



Engine compartment. Air filter is build in engine comaprtemnt roof.


    Morozov wrote in his dairy that the unmanned turreted tank design will give to engineers ability to improve protection of the crew from enemy fire and radiation without increasing total weight ("weight savings due to the absence of the [conventional] turret is ~5000 kg"). New ammorack would have increased total ammunition number to ~60 rounds for main gun in the future. Also, he made a note about possibility to make modular chassis based on Izdelie 450 for whole series of vehicles because of the internal layout of the proposed tank.


    T-74 ('mod.1973') had 34 rounds in his rear ammorack with 8 rounds inside of autoloader. 

Utt2PKk.jpgRear ammorack was mechanized, loading shells to 8 round autoloader under crew compartment in latest model of the T-74/Izdelie 450. How exactly second autoloader would load a new round into the gun is unknown for me.


    Gunner was to be placed just under the turret in 1973 model of the T-74:



Places for crew hatches are visible on that model detail. Gunner was to be also "stabilized" as/with a main gun. 



    Turret design, especially gun mount and how gunner work would be done with new turret, were pretty serious problems to solve for Kharkov design bureau. From Morozov diary:


"2.04.74. Finally, it seems the solution is found for izd. 450 "head". Today looked at Listrovoy proposal. Well done! Found a simple solution, and from his design study would seem to be a good construction. Everything is done properly, the turret ring is on the roof, but a much smaller diameter. The gun 'swings', like a human head, frontal projection of turret is approximately half of serial turret frontal projection, serial produced gun mounts (placed on top). We must now "comb" all that and make prettier. In general, good, finally found a solution." 


     Cannon was expected to be 125 mm or 130 mm, D-85-like, stabilized in 2 axis.    


     Model, which you saw on the picture, was a present to one of engineers from other organisation by Kharkov tank desginers.












      Expected "stats" of the T-74:



T-64A, T-64BM and T-74 general information.


      As we see T-74 was expected to be ~39 ton tank with 23 hp/t engine power/weight ratio, reaching 70 km/h in both ways with 1000 km range on the roads or 400 km while offroad using max fuel tank capacity of 1800 liters of fuel. Gun would have -10 depression and +12 elevation, with stabilized gun and gunner. Up to 60 rounds of ammunition was planned to put inside of NST-74 using new shells design (2 or 1 piece ammunition). Additional weapons were 2 7.62 MGs and stabilized 30 mm autocannon on top of the turret. Frontal armor protection was planned to be increased to ~700 mm in RHA equivalent (150-200 more than T-64A and BM). 


      Work on the NST-74/T-74/Izdelie 450 was canceled later in the middle 1970s. Morozov started to work on the NST-80 concept, but he was not able to finish it, leaving short notes in his diary about his view on a new tank.

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Part 5


Izdelie 480




      Not much information is known about Izdelie 480, appart from the fact that it was a "back up"/Plan B concept for T-74. As you can see on the model it have Active protection system based on "Drozd" (or early model/proposal of "Drozd").









      Note a shape of the frontal hull armor - later similar frontal hull part would be used on others Soviet MBT projects.


      Here is Object 187 with it:





Object 187



It looks very much like T-90.


     Speaking about Object 187, it was another project of Soviet MBT which was in development in 1986-1988. Object 187 was under development in parallel with Object 188 (which we will know as T-90). Main goal for this program was to increase protection of T-72 to T-80U level. But UVZ team viewed Object 187 as future Soviet/Russian MBT, so they went beyond simple increase of armor. 

     Engineers changed shape of the frontal part of T-72 hull, which now did not had a famous weakspot, that was jokingly called "cleavage" (weakspot in upper frontal plate becuase of the driver optics, all T-64s, T-72s and T-80s have them).


Driver's hatch is in new position, optics were removed. Plates on rear part of the turret are some sort of anti-radiation protection. Rumors say that those plates also acted as additional protection agaisnt HEAT. 



     Object 187 also had new welded turret, which was implemented later in ~2004-2005 in T-90A and new gun mantlet. 



Turret shape make me feel that it is little bit front heavy.



Laser sensors and mounts for IR-dazzlers suggest that "Shtora" protection system was palnned to be installed. Note how huge are armor "pockets". New gun mantlet, similar design could be found on T-72B3. Also, gunner have 2 sights (second one is imitator of a real sight, AFAIK).



    Main gun was D-91T (2A66) from Factory N9 in Sverdlovsk, which is believed to be more powerfull gun than 2A46. It was equipped with muzzle brake to decrease recoil.




     Object 187 was planed to be equipped with new ERA, known as "Malakhit", which later will become Relikt ERA (ERA with 2 opposite moving plates instead of 1 in Kontakt-5). 


     6 Objects 187 were build for testing, with prototype number 5 and 6 being most advanced. N1 had 840HP V-84MS engine, N2 was tested ith KD-34 1000 HP V-shaped diesel engine, N3 received engine compartment from T-80U with GTD-1250 gas turbine, developing 1250 HP. N4 got fancy X-shaped 1200HP A-85-2 diesel from Chelyabinsk. Weight of new tank reached 55 tons. Overall, internal layout of the vehicle was made less cramped, which would allow to increase modernisation potential for a tank in the future. 


     Object 187 was never adopted to service because new Russian Federation state went with cheaper Object 188. Several prototypes survived in Kubinka museum "sump", in bad conditions.  

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Part 6


Object 490.


     Well, we are reaching such tank projects, information about which is hard to find. Only some bits and rumors exist about them. One of them is Kharkov project of future Soviet MBT, with several vehicles created under this programm. One of them - Object 490.


UKCDjSg.jpgEarly model of the Object 490.


    Object 490 never got past "paper and wood", so we are speaking about paper project from early 1980s. Tank was designed with 2 man crew in mind and with hydropneumatic suspension. It allows to control ground clearance of the tank, which increases its survivability in combat (it can "duck" into cover). In addition, controlled hydropneumatic suspension allows to increase effective gun elevation and depression.

    The crew consisted of two people, located in the turret. Stereoscopic television system (  :blink:  ) installed in the frontal plate of the hull, it was to be used to navigate/drive this thing.


KvgFOyv.jpgObject 490, 2 hatches are visible on this model. Note Shtora IR jammers, laser sensors or TV cameras at turret roof. Unknown big device at turret roof can be radar for active protection system. 


     Armor layout of Object 490 was also unusual:



Object 490 scheme, showing very unusual internal design of this tank.


     External frontal plate was planned to provide protection against light AT infantry weapons like RPG. Behind it - a big fuel tank. After those a main layered armor was to be placed - just in front of main crew compartment. Ammunition was carried in turret bustle with blow-out panels on top and in bottom of bustle. Between bustle and turret internal volume a serious protection was to be mounted (you can see it on a picture). 

     Main weapon - 125 mm 2A66 gun. Optis consisted of 2 day-only panoramic sights and one separated night sight at turret bustle. As you see from models and pictures, firing at targets behind the vehicle would have been a problematic task. 


     Not much is known beyond that. Object 490 project later "mutated" into Object 490A Rebel in 1982/83 and in "Molot" (Hammer) project in around 1985.



Object 490A Buntar' ("Rebel")


     From 1982 Kharkov was working on Object 490Buntar' ("Rebel"). New tank had new turret with autoloader in the middle, 2 crewmembers in the low-profile turret, deiver in the front. Gun was mounted externally.



Object 490A picture showing new turret with externally mounted main gun, RCWS with 12.7 HMG and 7.62mm coaxial MG near gun breech. Second 7.62 coaxial was mounted on other side.



Object 490A Rebel internal layout.



Whole crew was located in the left part of vehicle, while right part was given to other components such as ammunition/autoloader in turret and fuel tank in frontal part of this tank. Also this picture can give idea where layered side armor part was.


     Commander had panoramic sight, ability to aim and fire main gun from his station. Gunner had day sight to the left rom gun and thermal imager to the right from main cannon. Overview of surroundings for the crew was to be provided with special fiber optic devices, placed around the perimeter of the turret.

     Per rumors, FCS "Argus" had multichannel sights with TV, Thermal imager and (possibly) radar channels. Information from all channales was collected by computer, which generated picture for a crew, based on all data from TV, TI and Radar, which was expected to give very good perfomance in bad weather, smoke, dust enviroment + active jamming from enemy. FCS was expected to locate and remember positions of enemy targets, showing them to crew in easy-to-read display/image. On board computer will give information about location of the tank, and status of different systems.




Model is showing T-64 rollers. Gun is mounted outside of turret. New side protection is visible - those are composite/layered armor modules.



If you look at the turret and see smoke grenade launchers, you will make a mistake thinking that they are smoke GL - those are TV cameras to see what is happening around a tank. Thats why almost none of them is looking forward.

nc3is1l.jpgDriver's hatch is visible on the left side of frontal hull. Designers were planning to add 2 TV cameras to single driver's vision slit. Commander's hatch is visible behind big 360 panormaic sight.


     In 1983 full-size mock-up was made, in 1984, a prototype tank was made for testing, which began shortly after.


Full-size mock up of the Rebel.



Note 2 gunner sights - to the left from gun (right part of photo) is day sight only, on the other side - thermal imager. Fiber-optical observation units are visible on turret roof near gunner's sights.



Side armor plates/modules are covering even more of side layered armor. 12.7 HMG is not mounted on this mock-up.


     Engine was planned to be 6TD, with later modification to 6TD-3 (1500 HP). Overall, it is rumored that tank would had:

  • Weight of 50 tons
  • Crew of 3
  • 1200-1500 HP engine and ~28 hp/t power to weight ratio
  • More than 75 km/h max speed on road and 50-60 km/h max speed offroad
  • 0.8 kg/sm2 ground pressure
  • Protection against APFSDS in frontal projection - at least 1200 in RHA eq. (without ERA)
  • Protection against HEAT in frontal projection - at least 1800 in RHA eq. (without ERA)



This schematics shows internal design of the Object 490A Rebel. Note turret roof and crew hatches armor.



Possible physical dimensions of frontal hull and turret armor.



Izdelie 477/Object 477 Boxer and Molot ("Hammer")


     In 1985 new layout and new weapon were approved. Tank was to be armed with 152 mm 2A73 gun, equipped with new FCS (one new part of it was gun muzzle reference system), 50 rounds of ammunition was required by Army.



Externally Boxer reminds me T-74/Izdelie 450.



Internal layout schematics. Fuel tank is located in the same way as in Rebel, but ammunition/autoloader design was different - 8 round autoloader, isolated from crew, was located in turret, while 32 rounds mechanized ammorack located between turret/crew compartment and engine, was feeding it with fresh rounds.



Part of 8-round autoloader. This tray stored a propellant and shell. They also were able to rotate a bit, to make a loading mechanism smaller.


    Gun was mounted at hight of 2088 mm, tank leight with gun - 10650, almost a meter longer than T-64, height (measured from turret roof) - 2434 (T-64 was 2170 high). Because of an internal spy scandal, tank design programm received new code name - "Molot"/Hammer. This Boxer/Molot is armed with 152 mm gun and 30 mm autocannon (+ 7.62 coaxial MG).



Boxer/Molot with additional 30 mm autocannon.


      Tank had substantial armor - more than 1 meter frontal armor, 5 layers armor package on sides, and thick roof/crew hatches armor. There were plans to equip tank with Active protection system and several systems were considered - Arena, Dozhd' ("Rain"), Drozd, Shatyor ("Tent"). About 10 of those were made, a photo of real pre-serial production prototype leaked recently:


Turret is facing rear, thats why we don't see gun and sights. Note open driver's and commander's hatch, they can give idea how protected a roof of this tank was. Turret ring have additional protection.



Same vehicle. Tanks near it are most likely from same pre-serial production batch of 8-10 tanks. 30 mm autocannon mount is visible.


    After collapse of USSR design programm continued, based on new requirements. Tank design programm received new codename - "Nota".



Object 477/477A Nota.

    Titanium was used in armor of this vehicle. Tank was to be equipped with sat nav system, friendly idenification, radiocontrol/remote control of tank and gun (driving and firing) as so on. 2 test rigs/prototypes were made (one in 1992, second is unfinished, 1993, AFAIK).

    This is believed to be Object 477A or 477A1:



This tank have much better protected sides compared to any previous soviet MBT. Note that this vehicle use suspension that looks "T-80-like suspension". Rollers are very similar to T-80's, 7 per side. Similar suspension was to be used on Object 299 and more modern version of it was made for Armata.

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I will cover 2 projects, which were from 1960s, but were planned to be a concept for a future tanks for 1980s-1990s. 


Object 780


   This tank was designed in early 1960s, after creation of the T-64 work on future developments continued. In 1971, in the Ministry of Defence Industry one of the first reports/presentations about future tanks was held (November 18, 1971 to be exact). At a meeting with Deputy Minister of Defence Industry of the USSR Shkurko, engineers showed their projects of the 1980s future tanks. One of them was Object 780 missile tank, which is rumored to be influenced by information about NATO countries works on MBT-70, another was Object 225, more "conventional" design.




Object 780 model. Note 3 hatches on the turret and no crew hatches on the hull.



Remote controlled AAMG (believed to be 12.7 HMG) is visible at turret rear part.



Frontal projection of that tank would have been pretty small.



      Object 780 was create on basis of Object 775 missile tank, but had plenty of new design features that separated those vehicles. Obj. 780 main designer was Pavel Isakov, Chelyabinsk tractor plant.



Another model of that tank.


      Crew of this tank was planned to be placed in the turret, including driver. Tank driver would have been located in the center of the egg-shaped turret in non-rotatable 'cabin'. Turret rotation would not affect driver's position, his controls and orientation, he always would be looking forward. Only thing to compensate for turret rotation were driver's optics. 



Hatch in the middle is driver's hatch. Gunner is to the left from the gun, commander - to the right of driver. Gun breech was in front of the driver.


     Main gun was 125 mm rifled gun-launcher, which could fire conventional shells. Vehicle carried 15 GL-ATGM "Rubin" and 22 unguided "Bur" rockets. Although i have conflicting information, which states that it had 49 rounds it total with 17 in mechanical loader. 


    Protection and mobility of that vehicle are unknown, but engine was planned to be 700 HP 5TDF. Weight - just a little less than 50 tons. 




Object 225



     Another consideration of the intermediate stages of work on the future tanks took place May 25, 1972 at the Ministry of Defence Industry USSR with Minister of defense Industry of the USSR Zverev. Besides projects of new tanks "object 225" and "226", commision also examined Object 450 tank (Izdelie 450/T-74) and the Object 780; D-89T and LP-36B tank guns. Object 225 and 226 desginer was Leningrad Kirov plant Design bureau.


u9IEVPS.jpgFor some reason it reminds me BMP-3. Commander 12.7mm MG was supposed to be remotely controlled.


     Proposed characteristics of the Object 225 and 226 were similar, except for the composition of the engine: nonexistent turbine engine VTDT-1000T was planned to be created and later mounted on 225, while 2V16 diesel engine was proposed for his "brother" - Object 226. Object 225 with the gas turbine was to be 41.6 t. vehicle and "226" with a diesel engine - 42.5 t.

     Protection: 550..600 mm hull front, sides  - 70 mm, 550 mm turret frontal part. The lower hull plate was taken from T-64A. Tank was planned to use new fire control system "Morzh" ("Walrus"), commander sight "Crab" and periscope "Svistok" ("Whistle").



Object 225 autoloader was to be placed just under turret ring.


       Ammunition was 50 rounds, 36 in autoloader, 125 mm smoothbore or 130 rifled gun. Penetration with APFSDS rounds at 60 degr., 2 km - 180 mm, with HEAT - at least 250 mm. 750 rounds for 12.7 mm commander HMG. Protection agaisnt HEAT warheads iwth penetration of 550-600 mm and 125 mm APFSDS with MV 1600 m/s was provided in +-22 degr. arc for hull and +-35 degr. arc for a turret. Max road speed - 70 km/h, max range on roads - 600 km. 

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T-14 will have frontal crew capsule, turret+autoloader in the middle and engine in the rear. T-15 Heavy IFV and Missile tank, based on Armata chassis, will have frontal engine, similar to Object 299.





Note where hatches for crew are:





Possbile size (compared to T-90M)



Missile tank model, based on Armata:





     Taking into account latest Israel modification of their M48, which are now believed to be a missile-only armed tank with imitation of main gun, i do see a reason to try this type of tank/support vehicles with ATGMs.

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It's interesting that you usually hear of the "driver in turret" concept in connection to MBT-70, but the Soviets actually produced far more prototypes and paper projects using that configuration.

I was just preparing to post about Soviet prototype, which was influenced by MBT-70 ideas.  :lol:

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Around minute 7 of this video those guys are "playing" with certain hull...




7 rollers? Shape is also different from T-80, although rollers are T-80-like.




qovM6AX.jpgThis is engine compartment. Holes for drive sprocket connection to transmission is visible. That thing is interesting.


J6JfMNY.jpgRear end of that hull, it have a door.




Well, yeap. This is hull of Object 232, or "Komplekt-2" - remote controlled engineers vehicle. It was part of Object 299 development.





     This vehicle was a product of research by "Robotic-VGM" and "Spetsmash" under "Komplekt" programm, which took place from 1989 to 1991 in St. Petersburg. The machine was made on a single platform (unified chassis) with "Object 299" tank. Unfortunately, all this work is now in garbage bin. The last attempt to resurect project was in 2009-10 as part of R&D "Burlan". GABTU was looking at future of "Armata". This chassis "Petersburgers" rolled out for competition virtually unchanged - even old pictures were included in the report - they didn't bothered, or couldn't update them in modern 3D graphics. 
     Thus, in the video we see what could be the "St. Petersburg Armata", but nothing more.

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Heavy IFV that was planned to be build using Object 299 chassis.


n59uRip.jpgNote driver's monitors right from 80s.  :D


It was planned to use gas turbine engine, mounted in frontal part of hull. Main weapon is some kind of autocannon in 30-60 mm caliber range. This picture also shows Arena active protection system - note boxes mounted on turret, near turret ring.


Overall, it looks somewhat similar to T-15. Or T-15 looks very similar to that vehicle. Anyway - KIROVFACTORY > UVZ!

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Object 490A crew hatches.




top left is turret hatch, top right and bottom center is driver's hatch.


Object 477A (with "low-profile" turret and externally nounted 152 mm gun):



Upper is turet hatch (both hatces have same construction, only left and right hatches being "mirrored"). Bottom hatch is for driver. 


Object 299's crew hatch size.




Object 195's hatches. Did UVZ wanted to stop APFSDS with them? :D 


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Hello. I read that three configurations were studied for the 447. One is the one seen in models: gunner and commander on the left side of the tower. But the final configuration was classic. Just like other contemporary case: Leclerc.


Furthermore, the unified ammunition was finally chosen. Projectiles almost two meters long. Does not look like they may have been accommodated in this model and be introduced into the gun. The breech is far behind.


According to this picture:

the barrel does not seem external. Which coincides.


Now, joining all these elements, and considering the object 450, the same bureau.


It is speculation but ...




The Molot? 


Flacon turret style, or maybe Black Eagle turret style, whit few rounds ready; very long unitary ammo. 


What do you think?

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Polish-made picture of the Object 477A, claimed to be baised on real schematics.






Driver is sitting between 2 autoloaders, which feed a single autoloader in the middle of the hull, between gunner and commander.

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      Artist impression of T-14 based on known model, by Fyodor Podporin. 

      T-14 will use Relikt ERA, which is considerable improvement over Kontakt-5 in resisting to tandem HEAT warheads and EFPs.

      Side skirts would be thicker on a real vehicle, i think. Relikt have AFAIK bigger size than Kontakt-5 ERA build-in blocks.

      Whole album with renders: 
      Video of same render from same artist:

            People expect that tank would have turret weapon system like what you see on the BMP-3 "Bakhcha-U" turret - a lot of weapons in one turret for one gunner to work with. T-14 is rumored to be equipped with 30 (or even 57) mm autocannon, 4-6 barrel gatling type MG/HMG, new 125 (2A82) or even 152 mm (2A83) smoothbore cannons. Turret is unmanned, crew of 3 would be located in frontal part of hull, behind very serious frontal armor inside of compartment, well protected from all directions. Cannon would be loaded by new autoloading device. I hope that Burevestnik is working on them, those guys managed to make 100 mm Naval gun with RoF of 300 shots per minute.
            I really like how turret looks, but i don't understand why there is such a big turret "busket" for unmanned turret with all ammo placed inside of hull in special armored housing. Also, i don't see gunner sight and proposed FSC radar on 3D model (i assume that panoramic sight is for commander). Laser sensors on 3D model are from T-90A variant of "Shtora".
            Some officials mentioned works on new active protection system, that consist of powerfull radar station, that can work on "long ranges" and engage incoming projectiles (missiles) with that gatling MG. Will this system survive development stage and be presented on serial tanks is unknown. Although turret for T-15 Armata-based IFV already was shown with new APS "Afganit".
            If you pay attention you may see that artist used T-80 rollers for Armata chassis, and this is not a mistake - according to some sources Armata heavy chassis will use T-80 or T-80-like rollers to save weight. And looking at rear part of that tank you may notice a engine deck from gas-turbine equipped version of the T-80, which can be mistake becuase MoD want Armata with new ~1500 HP diesel engine. 
    • By Collimatrix
      At the end of January, 2018 and after many false starts, the Russian military formally announced the limited adoption of the AEK-971 and AEK-973 rifles.  These rifles feature an unusual counterbalanced breech mechanism which is intended to improve handling, especially during full auto fire.  While exotic outside of Russia, these counter-balanced rifles are not at all new.  In fact, the 2018 adoption of the AEK-971 represents the first success of a rifle concept that has been around for a some time.

      Earliest Origins

      Animated diagram of the AK-107/108
      Balanced action recoil systems (BARS) work by accelerating a mass in the opposite direction of the bolt carrier.  The countermass is of similar mass to the bolt carrier and synchronized to move in the opposite direction by a rack and pinion.  This cancels out some, but not all of the impulses associated with self-loading actions.  But more on that later.

      Long before Soviet small arms engineers began experimenting with BARS, a number of production weapons featured synchronized masses moving in opposite directions.  Generally speaking, any stabilization that these actions provided was an incidental benefit.  Rather, these designs were either attempts to get around patents, or very early developments in the history of autoloading weapons when the design best practices had not been standardized yet.  These designs featured a forward-moving gas trap that, of necessity, needed its motion converted into rearward motion by either a lever or rack and pinion.

      The French St. Etienne Machine Gun

      The Danish Bang rifle
      At around the same time, inventors started toying with the idea of using synchronized counter-masses deliberately to cancel out recoil impulses.  The earliest patent for such a design comes from 1908 from obscure firearms designer Ludwig Mertens:

      More information on these early developments is in this article on the matter by Max Popenker.
      Soviet designers began investigating the BARS concept in earnest in the early 1970s.  This is worth noting; these early BARS rifles were actually trialed against the AK-74.

      The AL-7 rifle, a BARS rifle from the early 1970s
      The Soviet military chose the more mechanically orthodox AK-74 as a stopgap measure in order to get a small-caliber, high-velocity rifle to the front lines as quickly as possible.  Of course, the thing about stopgap weapons is that they always end up hanging around longer than intended, and forty four years later Russian troops are still equipped with the AK-74.

      A small number of submachine gun prototypes with a BARS-like system were trialed, but not mass-produced.  The gas operated action of a rifle can be balanced with a fairly small synchronizer rack and pinion, but the blowback action of a submachine gun requires a fairly large and massive synchronizer gear or lever.  This is because in a gas operated rifle a second gas piston can be attached to the countermass, thereby unloading the synchronizer gear.

      There are three BARS designs of note from Russia:


      The AK-107 and AK-108 are BARS rifles in 5.45x39mm and 5.56x45mm respectively.  These rifles are products of the Kalashnikov design bureau and Izmash factory, now Kalashnikov Concern.  Internally they are very similar to an AK, only with the countermass and synchronizer unit situated above the bolt carrier group.


      Close up of synchronizer and dual return spring assemblies

      This is configuration is almost identical to the AL-7 design of the early 1970s.  Like the more conventional AK-100 series, the AK-107/AK-108 were offered for export during the late 1990s and early 2000s, but they failed to attract any customers.  The furniture is very similar to the AK-100 series, and indeed the only obvious external difference is the long tube protruding from the gas block and bridging the gap to the front sight.
      The AK-107 has re-emerged recently as the Saiga 107, a rifle clearly intended for competitive shooting events like 3-gun.


      The rival Kovrov design bureau was only slightly behind the Kalashnikov design bureau in exploring the BARS concept.  Their earliest prototype featuring the system, the SA-006 (also transliterated as CA-006) also dates from the early 1970s.

      Chief designer Sergey Koksharov refined this design into the AEK-971.  The chief refinement of his design over the first-generation balanced action prototypes from the early 1970s is that the countermass sits inside the bolt carrier, rather than being stacked on top of it.  This is a more compact installation of the mechanism, but otherwise accomplishes the same thing.


      Moving parts group of the AEK-971

      The early AEK-971 had a triangular metal buttstock and a Kalashnikov-style safety lever on the right side of the rifle.

      In this guise the rifle competed unsuccessfully with Nikonov's AN-94 design in the Abakan competition.  Considering that a relative handful of AN-94s were ever produced, this was perhaps not a terrible loss for the Kovrov design bureau.

      After the end of the Soviet Union, the AEK-971 design was picked up by the Degtyarev factory, itself a division of the state-owned Rostec.

      The Degtyarev factory would unsuccessfully try to make sales of the weapon for the next twenty four years.  In the meantime, they made some small refinements to the rifle.  The Kalashnikov-style safety lever was deleted and replaced with a thumb safety on the left side of the receiver.

      Later on the Degtyarev factory caught HK fever, and a very HK-esque sliding metal stock was added in addition to a very HK-esque rear sight.  The thumb safety lever was also made ambidextrous.  The handguard was changed a few times.

      Still, reception to the rifle was lukewarm.  The 2018 announcement that the rifle would be procured in limited numbers alongside more conventional AK rifles is not exactly a coup.  The numbers bought are likely to be very low.  A 5.56mm AEK-972 and 7.62x39mm AEK-973 also exist.  The newest version of the rifle has been referred to as A-545.

      AKB and AKB-1



      AKB, closeup of the receiver

      The AKB and AKB-1 are a pair of painfully obscure designs designed by Viktor Kalashnikov, Mikhail Kalashnikov's son.  The later AKB-1 is the more conservative of the two, while the AKB is quite wild.

      Both rifles use a more or less conventional AK type bolt carrier, but the AKB uses the barrel as the countermass.  That's right; the entire barrel shoots forward while the bolt carrier moves back!  This unusual arrangement also allowed for an extremely high cyclic rate of fire; 2000RPM.  Later on a burst limiter and rate of fire limiter were added.  The rifle would fire at the full 2000 RPM for two round bursts, but a mere 1000 RPM for full auto.

      The AKB-1 was a far more conventional design, but it still had a BARS.  In this design the countermass was nested inside the main bolt carrier, similar to the AEK-971.

      Not a great deal of information is available about these rifles, but @Hrachya H wrote an article on them which can be read here.
    • By LostCosmonaut
      Something I haven't seen discussed on this site before; Soviet/Russian efforts to domesticate foxes by breeding for domesticated behavior. Article in Scientific American here; https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/mans-new-best-friend-a-forgotten-russian-experiment-in-fox-domestication/
      Interesting that there were physical changes correlated with the behavioral changes the Russians bred for.

      Buy one for only $7,000! https://domesticatedsilverfox.weebly.com/aquiring-a-tame-fox.html

      (not entirely unlike a dog I guess)
      It seems like a pretty cool idea to drunk me, though I don't have a spare 7,000 dollars laying around (thanks student loans!). Also, I don't think my cat would approve.
    • By LostCosmonaut

      The MiG-3. All flying aircraft today have been re-engined with the V1710, and look slightly different.
      The MiG-3 was one of the first fighters developed by the famous Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau. An improvement on the troubled MiG-1, the MiG-3 was designed for combat at high altitude. Introduced in 1941, it gained less fame than its contemporaries like the Yakovlev and Lavochkin fighters. Germany's virtually nonexistent strategic bomber force, and the low-altitude nature of combat on the Eastern Front meant the MiG-3 was forced out of its element, and its performance suffered. Combined with the MiG's difficult flight characteristics and the horrible strategic situation for the Soviets in 1941, this meant the MiG-3 achieved little success.
      While the MiG-3 did not spawn a successful series of fighters (like the Yak-1, Yak-9, and Yak-3, for instance), numerous variants were considered, and many of them were built in at least prototype form. However, for many reasons, such as lack of need or nTheonavailability of suitable engines, none of these variants entered large scale production.

      The resemblance to the baseline MiG-3 is easily seen. via aviastar
      The I-230 was one of the more straightforward developments of the MiG-3. Development on the I-230 (also known as the MiG-3U) began in late 1941, with the objective to correct numerous flaws identified in the MiG-3. First was the armament; the MiG-3 had only two 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns and a single 12.7 Berezen (BS) machine gun, firing through the propeller. On the I-230, these were replaced with two 20mm ShVAK cannons (again synchronized to fire through the propeller).
      Outwardly, the I-230 looked very similar to the production MiG-3, although the new aircraft was made mostly of wood instead of steel tubing and duralumin. The wing area and wingspan were increased (to 18 m^2 and 11 meters, versus 17.4 m^2 and 10.2 meters for the production MiG-3), and the fuselage was lengthened by .37 meters.
      Soviet engineers originally intended to fit the I-230 with the AM-39 engine. However, by the time the I-230 airframe was completed in early 1942, the AM-39 was not yet available. As a result, the first I-230 was forced to use an engine built from both AM-38 and AM-35 parts (designated AM-35A). This engine was roughly 40 kilograms heavier than the intended engine, but produced a respectable 1350 horsepower. Even with such an odd engine, the I-230 flew by the end of 1942, achieving a top speed of over 650 km/hr at altitude. (Some sources say the I-230 first flew in May 1943, this is likely for the machines with AM-35A engines). Four more prototypes were built with AM-35A engines. These aircraft would serve in defense of the Moscow region while undergoing flight testing. While the design showed promise, by this point the AM-35 was obsolete and out of production. Additionally, some other deficiencies were identified. The I-230 was found to be difficult to land (a flaw shared with the MiG-3), and the engine tended to leak oil into the rest of the aircraft at high altitudes. As a result, the I-230 was not built.
      The I-231 was a further evolution of the I-230, using the AM-39 engine that had originally been intended for use in the I-230. One of the I-230 aircraft had its engine replaced with the more powerful AM-39. This required modification of the cooling system; the radiator was enlarged, with another secondary radiator installed. There were also a few other modifications, such as moving the horizontal tail surfaces downward slightly, the fuselage fuel tank was enlarged and some modifications to the radios. Armament was the same as the I-230; two 20mm ShVAK cannons.
      First flight of the I-231 was in October 1943. However, in early November, the prototype was forced to make an emergency landing after the supercharger failed at high altitude. Two weeks later, flight testing of the repaired I-231 resumed. The prototype, with the more powerful AM-39 (1800 horsepower), reached a top speed of 707 km/hr at an altitude of about 7000 meters. It also climbed to 5000 meters in under 5 minutes. Flight testing continued in early 1944, and in March, the I-231 was damaged after overrunning the runway during landing. The program suffered another setback when the repaired I-231 suffered an engine failure, damaging the precious AM-39 engine. Following this last mishap, work on the I-231 was discontinued.

      The similarities between the radial and inline engined models are still visible. via airvectors
      I-210/MiG-9 M-82

      I-210 with radial engine. via airpages.ru
      The I-210 was a more substantial modification of the MiG-3 which began in the summer of 1941. Production of the Shvestsov M-82 radial engine had recently begun, and many design bureaus, including MiG, were instructed to find ways to incorporate the engine into their designs. In the case of the MiG-3, this was especially important, as the Soviet government sought to discontinue the AM-35 to free up production space for the AM-38 used by the all-important Il-2.
      In theory, the M-82, with 1700 horsepower, would provide a significant performance increase over the AM-35. Soviet engineers projected that the M-82 equipped MiG-3 (now known as the I-210) would reach nearly 650 km/hr at altitude. It was also projected that performance would be massively improved at low altitude, important for combat on the Eastern Front. The new aircraft was received the designation “MiG-9 M-82”, denoting that it was a substantially new type (this designation would later be reused for a twin-jet fighter in the late 1940s).
      In addition to fitting of the M-82, there were several other differences between the MiG-3 and the I-210. Armament was increased to three 12.7mm UBS machine guns (two 7.62mm ShKAS were fitted initially, but soon removed). Several systems related to the engine, including the oil coolers and fuel system were also updated. The fuselage was widened slightly to accommodate the new engine.
      The I-210 first flew in July 1941. However, it became quickly apparent that it was not meeting its performance targets. The top speed at an altitude of 5000 meters was a mere 540 km/hr, far inferior to to projects (as well as the production MiG-3!). Part of this was due to having a different model of propeller installed than what was intended. However, wind tunnel testing and inspection showed that the engine cowling was poorly designed and sealed to the rest of the airframe, causing significant drag.
      Several months were required to correct the various defects, and it was not until June 1942 that three I-210s were ready for trails. During testing, the three aircraft were assigned to the PVO for use on the front. State trials began in September, and the I-210 fared poorly. Maximum speed was still only 565 km/hr, far inferior to existing types. Overall, the I-210 was judged to be unsatisfactory and inferior to the La-5 and Yak-7. The aircraft did not enter production, although the three completed prototypes would serve in Karelia until 1944.
      The failure of the I-210 was not the end of efforts to install a radial engine into the MiG-3 airframe. In late 1942, work on the I-211 began. A new Ash-82 engine, an improved variant of the M-82 installed on the I-210, was fitted. With the help of the Shvetsov bureau, the aerodynamics of the engine and its cowling were substantially improved. Further modifications reduced the empty weight of the “MiG-9E” by 170 kg. The three 12.7mm machine guns were replaced by two 20mm ShVAK cannons.
      Testing of the I-211 began in August 1942 (other sources variously say that testing did not begin until early 1943, my interpretation is that this is when state trials officially happened). Performance was markedly superior to the I-210; the I-211 reached a top speed of 670 km/hr, and was able to climb to altitudes in excess of 11000 meters. However, the La-5, which was already in production using the M-82 engine, had similar performance. Moreover, the La-7 was in development, and was felt to have better potential. In all, only ten I-211s were built.
      Interestingly, at least one source claims that a variant of the I-211 equipped with a Lend-Lease R-2800 engine was considered. There is no evidence that such an aircraft was actually built.
      The I-220 (and the rest of its series up to the I-225) were substantially different from the production MiG-3, sharing little aside from the basic design and concept. These aircraft took the original mission of the MiG-3, interception of targets at high altitude, to the ultimate extreme.
      The initial request that led to development of the I-220 was issued in July 1941, in response to high-altitude overflights by Ju-86P reconnaissance aircraft. These aircraft, capable of operating at over 13000 meters, were outside the reach of almost any Soviet fighter. A few Ju-86Ps at slightly lower altitude were intercepted by MiG-3s before the start of the war, so the MiG-3 was a natural starting point for a high-altitude interceptor.
      Work on the I-220 prototype began in late 1942. Originally, it had been planned to install the AM-39 engine, but it was not ready at the time construction began on the prototype. Instead, one source (OKB MiG, Page 48) states anAM-38F engine was installed, which still provided more power (1700 hp) than the AM-35 on the MiG-3. However, it had the drawback of losing power at high-altitudes; the AM-38F would be an interim installation at best. A different source reports that an AM-37 was the first engine installed.
      In addition to the new engine, the wingspan was lengthened by .80 meters, with a slight sweep added to the outer portion of the leading edge. The radiator was relocated from the belly of the aircraft to inside the wing center section, with new air intakes added at the wing roots. Armament was increased to four ShVAKs, making the I-220 one of the heaviest armed Soviet fighters.
      The I-220 first flew in January 1943. Testing of the aircraft proceeded, as the AM-39 was still not yet ready. Despite being handicapped by the AM-38F engine, the I-220 prototype was still able to reach 650 km/hr during testing in January 1944. It was agreed that the aircraft had potential, but would need the AM-39 to reach its maximum performance. The second I-220 prototype was eventually fitted with the AM-39, but by that point it had been decided to substantially redesign the aircraft.

      I-220 vs. I-221
      While the I-220 had done well, it had not been able to reach the altitudes its designers had hoped for. Numerous changes would be required to get the best possible performance out of the airframe.
      The most obvious area for improvement was the engine. Rather than the AM-38F, an AM-39A with a turbocharger was installed. Not only was the AM-39 more powerful than the AM-38, but the twin turbocharger would allow the engine to continue developing power at altitude. Additionally, the wingspan was increased further, to 13 meters. Armament was reduced to two ShVAK cannons, to save weight. Significantly, the I-221 was fitted with a pressurized cockpit, to allow the pilot to survive at extreme altitude.
      By the time the I-221 made its first flight in December 1943, the Ju-86 threat had disappeared. One of the high-altitude intruders had been intercepted by a Yak-9PD (a high-altitude version of the Yak-9 designed and built in three weeks), though it had not been destroyed, overflights ceased. Nevertheless, the Yak-9PD was very much an interim solution, armed with only one ShVAK and requiring 25 minutes to climb to 12000 meters. So, development of the I-221 continued.
      The test program of the I-221 was cut very short. On the eighth flight of the aircraft, in February 1944, the pilot bailed out at altitude, after seeing flames coming from the turbocharger and smoke in the cockpit. The pilot survived unharmed, but obviously the I-221 was completely destroyed.

      Side view of I-222. via ruslet.webnode.cz
      The I-222 was a continued development of the I-221. Not only did it have several additional performance improvements, but it was the closest of MiG's high altitude fighters to a “production ready” aircraft. The AM-39A engine was replaced with a more powerful AM-39B, with twin turbo-superchargers, plus a new four-bladed propeller. An improved intercooler was also installed (clearly visible under the central fuselage). To improve the I-222's potential utility as a combat aircraft, 64mm of armored glass was installed in the windscreen, and the cockpit pressure bulkheads were reinforced with armor plate. The fuselage contours were also modified to give the pilot better rearward visibility. Armament was two B-20 cannons, replacing the ShVAKs.
      The I-222 made its first flight in May 1944. Relatively little testing was done before the aircraft went to the TSAGI wind tunnel for further refinement. It emerged in September and underwent further testing. Test flights proved that the I-222 had truly exceptional performance. A speed of 691 km/hr was reached, quite respectable for a piston-powered aircraft. The truly astonishing performance figure was the ceiling of 14500 meters, well in excess of any German aircraft (save for the rare and latecoming Ta-152H).
      Though the I-222 could likely have been put into production, Soviet authorities assessed (correctly) that by late 1944 there was little threat from high-altitude German aircraft. Nuisance flights by Ju-86s were of little consequence, and German bomber programs such as the He-274 universally failed to bear fruit. Testing of the I-222 continued through late 1945, when the program was cancelled.

      As can be seen the I-224 is similar to the I-222. From OKB MiG by Butowski and Miller
      The I-224 was a development of the I-222 with an improved AM-39FB engine. Several other minor improvements, such as an improved propeller and modified cooling system. The new aircraft first flew in September 1944. After five flights, it was heavily damaged in an emergency landing. Difficulties continued after the aircraft was repaired in December; the engine had to be replaced in February due to the presence of metal particles in the oil.
      Like the I-222, the I-224 demonstrated very good performance at altitude, also climbing to over 14000 meters and recording speeds over 690 km/hr. But by now, it was October 1945, and the war was over. It was decided to fit the I-224 with a fuel-injected AM-44 engine. This was not completed until July of 1946, and by then the time of the piston-engine fighter had passed. Both the I-222 and I-224 programs were shut down in November.

      From OKB MiG by Butowski & Miller
      The I-225 was born from the second I-220 prototype. Although the I-225 was still designed for operation at high-altitude, it was decided not to optimize the aircraft for such extreme heights as the I-222 and I-224. It was hoped that this would allow for a higher top speed and heavier armament, among other improvements.
      A turbocharged variant of the AM-42 engine (similar to that used on the Il-10 ground attack aircraft) was fitted, providing 2200 horsepower at takeoff. The pressurized cabin was deleted to save weight, and allow the cockpit to be optimized for better visibility. Armament was the same as the I-220; four ShVAK cannons. Armor was added to the windscreen, as well as the pilot's headrest. Improved instrumentation and a new radio system was also added.
      As predicted, the I-225 had exceptional performance. The aircraft was capable of speeds in excess of 720 km/hr, and demonstrated good handling characteristics. Unfortunately, the first I-225 prototype was lost after only 15 flights, due to an engine fire.
      A second prototype was completed with an AM-42FB engine, and first flew in March 1945. This second prototype was fitted with four B-20 cannons instead of ShVAKs, This prototype was also reported to be capable of over 720 km/hr, as well as able to climb to 5000 meters in under 4 minutes. However, due to continued vibrations, the AM-42 was replaced with an AM-44 in January 1946. This did not solve the issues though, and the I-225, like its predecessors, was not selected for production. All work on the I-225 was shut down in March 1947.
      While none of the advanced MiG-3 variants entered production, they did provide the Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau with valuable engineering and design experience. In a different world, one might imagine that some of their designs could have found a niche. The I-210/1 and I-230/1 would have little reason to be built in a world where Yakovlev and Lavochkin fighters exist in the way they did. However, if Germany or another enemy had a developed strategic bombing arm, then the I-220 series fighters could have found a use. Either way, by 1945, it was clear that jet aircraft were the future. Even the Soviets, who had a relatively late start on jet engines, quickly developed aircraft like the MiG-9 and Yak-15 whose performance exceeded any of the MiG-3 variants.
      OKB MiG, a History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft, by Piotr Butowski and Jay Miller
      (I-230, I-210, I-211, I-220, I-221, I-222, I-224, and I-225 pages)
      (I-230, I-231, I-210, I-211, I-220, I-221, I-222, I-224, and I-225 pages)
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