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Tankograd T-62: Khruschev's bastard

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T-62 ...

 

115mm Smooth-Bore FTW

 

I'm just an Old Guy with a fading memory, but I can recall smuggled footage and photos of T-62s in Prague, 1968

 

That was my first glimpse of them and the ASU-85.

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I saw them for the first time in October 1973. Three damaged and abandoned tanks on the Golan on the way to the outskirts of Kunetra. They looked sleek and formidable with the 115mm gun

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I think that in purely academic terms the l11 may have been more powerful, i.e. it put more joules downrange. However, I think u5ts was the more capable tank killer thanks to the crazy HEAT rounds. L11's apds looks better against flat plate but suffers more against slope than 115mm apfsds.

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I know it's not that impressive compared to the T-64, but for some reason the T-62 seems more well known. I mean, I knew about the T-62 (at least that it existed) since high school probably, but I didn't really find out about the T-64 until I started hanging out with this crowd a year or two ago. I guess it's because the T-62 got exported more, so Americans get to see news footage of it getting blown up in Operation Useless Dirt 2: 2Iraq2Furious, while the T-64 hung out in Europe the whole time.

 

The T-62 was actually the bogeyman for NATO forces back in the day, as reports were fuzzy and all they knew was it had a 115mm smoothbore gun, in comparison to our 105mm. There's at least one period informational video with the tone of "DON'T WORRY, YOU CAN BEAT THE T-62!".

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Well armor wise it was as vunerbale as a t-55. Its not like a t-64 which was pratically invincible to all HATO munitions frontally at the time and had a gaint ass fast firing gun

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Well, calling this tank a mediocre design is more of a reputation rather than reality. It was mediocre only in a sense that it had carried its strengths and weaknesses from its predecessor T-55. Its cannon was monstrous at its time. While other anti tank cannons and rounds would struggle to penetrate equivalent enemy tanks from 1000 meters and onwards, often effective zone being somewhere 1500 meters. This tank however still had enough penetrative power beyond maximum effective engagement distances of 2 kilometers to be a threat to tanks of that era. Gun in addition had a flat round trajectory which is an advantage over rifled guns of its time. I would consider this tank to be the best at its time, only surpassed by T-64, but that tank is in a different category. Not only it is a lot more expensive, but also had severe issues with engine and I think it wasn't until T-64B when Soviets had anything better. T-64 had such problems with its engines that it was merely a paper tiger until 1970s with introduction of T-64B.

 

The problems arising from this tank were not technological or poor performance. T-62 was excellent mass production design, outcompeting its analogs in the West at the time. The real issue was that Soviet Union was so invested into mass  production of certain vehicle lines that it found it impossible to shift. While it made its tanks very cheap, it by comparison made T-62 almost twice as expensive! Not because T-62 was more expensive, it was because of sunk costs into T-55 which had made its production so cheap. This tendency to mass produce tanks worked in a short run as it allowed USSR to cheaply become that military supergiant with iconic seas of tanks. On the other hand it had inhibited meaningful Warsaw Pact's technological progress, often forcing it to stick to producing outdated models a good decade after they were ought to be shut down. Hence, this is why Soviet equipment had gained such a poor reputation abroad due to investment in mass production. By comparison, T-55 was produced into 80's decade! This is completely insane that Soviets were so invested into mass production which had left with massive amounts of old, rusting equipment which needed modernization which they could not easily receive due to its low internal space and low upper suspension weight.

 

These were real reasons behind T-62 reception. It is a great tank, plagued with poor techno-economical planning of Soviet Union. In my personal view, I would had ceased production of T-55 in early 60's and would had shifted mass production towards T-62 tanks. T-64 was a lemon design. T-72 was still miles away at that time and T-55 was starting to lose its superiority as a tank against new competition. T-62 would had bridged the gap and ensured technological parity with newest Nato tanks. After all, how many tanks do you really need in your military before expenses of maintenance and logistics start to drag you down? 

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32 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

in early 60's

 

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T-64 was a lemon design. T-72 was still miles away at that time

T-72 was not expected to exist at that time. At all. 

Plans to switch by 1966-1967 all 3 soviet medium tank factories, and one former heavy tank factory (Tagil, Kharkov, Omsk, Chelyabinsk) to T-64 production were drawn in 1964 by State Committee of Defense Technology with expectations of having only one single medium tank in production (starting from ~ 1967 or 1968), just like it was with T-54 in early - mid 50s

That plan failed completely, as we know, but before it they made some changes, apparently - it seems like that switch to T-64 was moved to later date, as Tagil started preparations for producing T-64 (by making attempts to simplify it), only in like 1967 or something.

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Idea of T-72 comes from 60's as a merging between T-62 and T-64 in an effort to make a mass production variant which would be cheap to produce, but would have increased capabilities of some T-64 features. Soviet leadership would had been extraordinary short sighted at the time if they did not forsee T-55 obsolescence by 60's. As for T-64, tank was never a meant for mass production in a same quantities as their main battle tank lines hence its serial production. What I had meant however was of shifting production from T-55 to T-62. In this scenario, an excessive production of armor vehicles would had been lowered somewhat while industry reshifts itself towards new tank design. In addition of lowering T-62 production cost. Ultimately this would had meant that Soviet would have had several hundred less tanks than they could have had. In return there would not be such gluttony of T-55 reserves later on and Soviet reserves would make up of around 50/50 percent split between T-55 and T-62 models in late cold war.

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4 hours ago, Calicifer said:

As for T-64, tank was never a meant for mass production in a same quantities as their main battle tank lines hence its serial production. 

Xx68Bvp.png

1964's plan for 1920 T-64s in 1968 and 2550 in 1970 (or 8670 during first 5 years) begs to differ.

5 more years of exactly 2000/year, and this thing would exceed number of T-72's reportedly delivered to Soviet Army in real life. 1 year on top of that - and it would exceed number of T-62s reportedly delivered to Soviet Army.

 

 

4 hours ago, Calicifer said:

Idea of T-72 comes from 60's as a merging between T-62 and T-64

object 167 (and 167M) and T-64A

 

4 hours ago, Calicifer said:

in an effort to make a mass production variant which would be cheap to produce

No information on promised T-72's cost, but real cost figures were published for 1974-1989, and T-64A's cost is known for some years of its production run, so in the end - it turns out that during 1970s basic T-72 newer was cheaper than T-64A.

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You greatly underestimate what kind of gargantuan Soviet Union was and thus you do not get the essence of the problem I was talking about. T-64A had entered limited production in 1969. First serial production batch lasted from 1969 to 1972 though which 1560 of those tanks were produced + its earlier variants.  For comparison, Soviets during 80's were producing around 9000 tanks, SPG and APCs per year. USSR had produced up to 100,000 T-55 and its variants during 30 year span. This comes to an average of 3,333 tanks per year. T-64 having an early production run of 520 tanks per year is a small scale serial production by Soviet standards while in Western world it would be a large scale production. Furthermore, another argument of why Soviets never seriously intended to replace older tanks with T-64 was that they never had expanded upon tank's engine production factories. We had a choke point in T-64 engines where one factory was producing engines for a tank produced in 3 or all major tank factories. When you hear that Soviets had moved to produce vehicle X in a factory, you should not think that they were focusing on producing that vehicle. Those Soviet factories were gargantuan and producing hundred of tanks per year wasn't a big deal for the Soviets.

 

Btw: Soviets had two major tank lines. MBT intended for main army and elite formations. One line was designed to be cheap and effective and was produced in great numbers. These tanks are like T-55, T-72. Another tank line meant to be the very best that Soviets could produce at the time and those tanks were meant for elite formations. Those tanks were models like T-64 and T-80. By saying that I had meant that Soviets were planning replacement for T-55/62, I had meant that they were planning replacement for their first line of tanks. Any theoretical successor to those tanks would had been obviously a lot cheaper than T-64 or else it would had been deemed as a complete failure. 

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53 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

 

...that view ignores some of the things published (in Russian) on Soviet tank development during last decade or so, such as Ustiantsev/Kolmakov's book on T-72/90 - and other books from "UVZ's combat vehicles" series too,

and also Chobitok/Tarasenko's book on T-64.

 

Quote

USSR had produced up to 100,000 T-55 and its variants during 30 year span. This comes to an average of 3,333 tanks per year.

...that should include T-54 and T-55s, T-62s, T-72s -

and 12+7 thousand of T-64s and T-80 too. No other way to get even relatively close to 100.000 figure

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I had included T-54 too, because they are so related, but just that tank (T-54/55) alone clocks upwards to 100,000 units.. 

 

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The T-54 is the most massively produced tank in history. Together with its counterpart which was adapted to protect the tank and its crew against radiation, biological and chemical weapons, it reached a staggering number of produced units ― 100,000 tanks. This was in the Soviet Union alone.

 

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/t-5455-produced-tank-ever.html

 

Precise numbers are always difficult to come by as various sources quote various figures, but said tank tend to maintain similar monstrous production quotas. It is not up until later, with more expensive tanks like T-72 when production numbers become more sensible ranging only around 25,000 tanks. T-62 being considered as unpopular intermedium solution still clocked up considerable 23,000 units give or take. T-64 on the other hand had 13,000 models produced. Only T-80 had received modest production numbers of around 5000 copies. By comparison, Soviets had built around 84,000 T-34 tanks and around 60,000 during whole duration of WW2.

 

 

Those production numbers later turned to be a real headache for a Soviet Union to replace as majority of their armed forces in late cold war were made up of tanks who could not compete with Nato armor on equal terms. This is why I consider that the problem was with the Soviets rather than T-62. Too strong of a focus on mass producing one tank had yielded desired short to medium term effect, but in a long run, Soviets were stuck with massive armored fleets which needed monstrous resources to be maintained and to be replaced in full during late cold war years. Resources which we both know Soviet Union simply could not afford anymore to spend on producing so many tanks who became increasingly expensive. This together with increased demand for more armored vehicles of every kind is why we see drop in overall production of later models too compared to production of earlier models.

 

Btw: Soviets always had similar production numbers all the way since interwar period where they casually produced more tanks than rest of the world combined. Also, state of Warsaw Pact's armored forces were often quite horrific by Nato standards as typically most formations did not had enough of a maintenance elements to properly repair and support its armored forces. Overall plan was to keep most of the tanks in reserve and to bring back during mobilization in hopes that they will be destroyed before they break down. That would had resulted in Soviet army who is tremendously capable of short offensive bursts, like famous 7 days to Rhine operation, but after that Soviets would had experienced massive choke on their capabilities as all those tanks would start breaking down at a similar time, completely overloading maintenance crews.

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IIRC UVZ's 80th anniversary book, on tank production:

MsUFBNk.jpg

Tagil production of 20574 and Chelyabinsk production of 1522 equals to almost 22.1 thousand

12.5 thousand of T-64A/B in this chart does not include T-64 (obj. 432), 1297 of those, which gives 13.8 thousand.

7 thousand T-80s.

 

another chat from the same book:

w1frHGq.jpg

19.65 thousand of T-62s produced during entire production run

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17 hours ago, Calicifer said:

I had included T-54 too, because they are so related, but just that tank (T-54/55) alone clocks upwards to 100,000 units.. 

This includes Czech, Polish and Chinese production. 

 

23 hours ago, Calicifer said:

Idea of T-72 comes from 60's as a merging between T-62 and T-64 in an effort to make a mass production variant which would be cheap to produce, but would have increased capabilities of some T-64 features.

Not at all. T-72 was a result of rivalry and jealousy between Tagil and Harkov. Nothing more. It wasnt cheaper and wasnt simpler than the T-64. The soviets did not need the T-72 at all. 

 

18 hours ago, Calicifer said:

One line was designed to be cheap and effective and was produced in great numbers. These tanks are like T-55, T-72. Another tank line meant to be the very best that Soviets could produce at the time and those tanks were meant for elite formations. Those tanks were models like T-64 and T-80.

Also, a myth. T-64 was also present in second line units, just as the T-72 was present in elite units.

 

In addition, I do not think the T-55 deserves any bashing. It was a very, very good tank, even in the '60s. It had absolutely no trouble dealing with Centurions, Leopard-1s (that could be killed even at extreme ranges, at any angle), M-48s. In theory the Chieftain was a serious opponent, but in practice it appeared late (1965), produced in relatively limited numbers in the first few years, and was just utterly unreliable. The only really tough opponent was the M-60A1, which was a problem even for the T-62. Even then, the HEAT rounds were easily capable of penetrating the front of the M-60 turret and hull. 

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I would be cautious at considering T-64 as replacement for previous models as Soviet politics were confusing and complex area as any nation's politics. Considering that some minister had said or wanted to do is completely pointless when in reality he could had never pushed through his own ideas into becoming a reality. Firstly, army had opposed T-64 as a main battle tank, because it had favored more simplistic designs for its volunteer army. Secondly, Soviet Union had relied heavily on export market and T-64, T-80 models are far less attractive in that role. Thirdly, there wasn't political will to make T-64 as main battle tank. Due from engine production choke point and from its modest production numbers. Soviet politics is a reason why they were producing three lines of battle tanks in late cold war, T-64, T-72 and T-80.

 

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The decision to produce the T-64 did not sit well with the tank design bureau at the Vagonka (Uralvagonzavod) in Nizhni Tagil. From 1951 to 1967, Nizhny Tagil had been the primary center for the further development of Soviet medium tanks..."

 

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Nevertheless, the selection of the Kharkov T-64 design in 1967 was not greeted with universal acclaim in the Soviet army. The army had become used to the evolutionary developments of the T-54/T-55/T-62 series. The conscript base of the Soviet army made the leadership inherently conservative in the adoption of any radical new technology.

 

Tank factories did not decided what tanks USSR will be producing. In USSR it is political offices who had the final say in determining what weapons will be produced. There were a lot of politics in between, but it was not up to factories to suddenly just decide what army will be using next.

 

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The decision to produce the T-72 in parallel to the T-64A was a compromise between the GBTU, which favored the most sophisticated tank possible, and the Ground Forces, which continued to favor designs that permitted numerical superiority.

 

Soviet/Russian Armor and Artillery Design Practices– 1945-1995, I-91

 

Nikolai Shomin, chief designer of T-64 had confirmed that decision to produce T-72 was due to T-64 tank's inherent problems and difficulty of mass production. Soviet Union did not wanted to forfeit its numerical superiority. This is how they had arrived to an idea to combine T-64 strengths with modified T-34 diesel engine. Later it also confirms that export was a major consideration in designing tanks as secondary consideration behind T-72 was its export attractiveness. 

 

Statement that it was not cheaper is an odd one since the very reason of T-72 existence was simplification of T-64 design. Its transmission system, cheaper, more reliable engine. Tank was made to be more reliable, easier to maintain and to be mass produced. T-72 was 40% cheaper to produce than T-64 which is a massive difference.

 

Btw: I'm going to ignore if T-64 and T-62 were split between elite units or not, because it will take too much time, but I'm pretty certain that elite formations did received T-64/80 lines together with any other newest equipment Soviets could produce at the time.

 

 

Also, it seems that in late 60's T-55 were meant mainly for an export. I have my doubts however is Soviet Union still did not produced said tank for its own replacements either. The issue is not whatever current tank can stand its own against new competition, but if current tank is advanced enough to be superior to its competition. 60's is when Soviets had losts its quantitative and qualitative superiority in tanks. In other words, it no longer had numbers superiority together with quality superiority when it came to tanks. Its continued production only exegabareted this problem into early 70's when new generation Nato tanks came into numbers and were refined. M60, Chieftains, Leopards while Soviets had in their inventories more of T-55 tank. In my view, their position would had been better if they would had preferred T-62 tank. M48 had similar armor as M60 and those tanks were tough to beat over range. T-55 had an advantage only, because M48 had sub-par firepower. M60 however had outmatched T-55 tank with greater stand off distances allowing it to destroy T-55 over range reliably. T-62 had equalled this difference by superior firepower, allowing it to destroy M60 from farther away than M60 could destroy T-62 from. Centurion was worse on paper, but from early 60's it was exported in seriously upgraded state, with superior firepower than that of T-55. Chieftains however if in proper firing position makes match up hopeless for T-55, however T-62 firepower still enables it to remain dangerous. 

 

HEAT ammunition wasn't popular and I believe it was even in deficit during those years. It also was unreliable, expensive and were far more difficult to accurately fire over distances than any other type of AP ammunition. It is no wonder that in 60's, AP rounds were still a main way of defeating enemy armor. T-55 however could not beat tanks at any range, its AP round was more prone to ricochets and would lose more energy over distance than APFSDS of T-62.  3VBM-1 round was by far superior and Soviets lacked with modernization of T-55 firepower at that time. It was not until 1967 that new round was even made for T-55, 3BM8 APDS. UBR-412 projectile in 60's were not as scary as in 40's and 50's and in my eyes, it shows when using T-55 in any simulator, its firepower feels lacking in 60's.

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8 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Not at all. T-72 was a result of rivalry and jealousy between Tagil and Harkov. Nothing more. It wasnt cheaper and wasnt simpler than the T-64. The soviets did not need the T-72 at all.

 

 

Soviets needed T-72 in early 70s because T-64A (and later B) had turned into one huge experiment. You can't have a proven MBT if tanks from other production series are made differently.

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19 hours ago, Calicifer said:

The decision to produce the T-64 did not sit well with the tank design bureau at the Vagonka (Uralvagonzavod) in Nizhni Tagil. From 1951 to 1967, Nizhny Tagil had been the primary center for the further development of Soviet medium tanks..."

Of course not... Since they wanted their inferior (Objekt-167) design to be adopted, and it did not happen... They were jealous of Harkov, thats why they used the politics card... Result is T-72

 

20 hours ago, Calicifer said:

Statement that it was not cheaper is an odd one since the very reason of T-72 existence was simplification of T-64 design. Its transmission system, cheaper, more reliable engine. Tank was made to be more reliable, easier to maintain and to be mass produced. T-72 was 40% cheaper to produce than T-64 which is a massive difference.

Yet there are absolutely no proof of that. Nobody at UVZ wanted a "cheaper" tank. Nobody even mentioned it. They wanted their tank, the T-72 to adopted INSTEAD of T-64. T-72 was actually MORE expensive than the T-64A. The only thing was cheaper, is the V-46 engine.

Yes it is true that the T-64 was horribly unreliable. T-64A already got better, and in the early '70s, its reliability problems were mostly fixed. By the time the T-72 entered mass production, the T-64A was just as reliable tank as the T-72, although it indeed required more careful maintenance. 

 

As for the T-55, I do not think it was as hopeless as you describe it. In my opinion, Leopard-1 was an easy target thanks to its paper thin armor. Yes it was fast and well armed, but as mentioned in an original soviet gunnery manual, it did not have stabilizer, so it had to halt for firing, canceling out the speed advantage. Leopards had optical rangefinders, true. But it didnt really matter at average european combat distances. Above 800 meters, the T-55 had an advantage, only 40% of the turret front surface was penetrable by DM13 APDS.  T-55 also had advantage at target detection since it had stabilizer and a primitive hunter killer system. 

M-48 had similar armor to the M-60 yes, similarly good on hull front, and similarly bad on turret, which was inadequate even against the 100mm D-10. Only the M-60A1 with its new turret was a problem, but HEAT dealt with it with ease (yugo tests revealed that soviet fuze worked quite reliably even against steep surfaces)

 

20 hours ago, Calicifer said:

UBR-412 projectile in 60's were not as scary as in 40's and 50's and in my eyes, it shows when using T-55 in any simulator, its firepower feels lacking in 60's.

Tell this to a Leopard crew... Or M-48... Or Centurion... Also, simulators are one thing, real life another...

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On 6/30/2020 at 5:29 AM, heretic88 said:

This includes Czech, Polish and Chinese production. 

 

Not at all. T-72 was a result of rivalry and jealousy between Tagil and Harkov. Nothing more. It wasnt cheaper and wasnt simpler than the T-64. The soviets did not need the T-72 at all. 

 

Also, a myth. T-64 was also present in second line units, just as the T-72 was present in elite units.

 

In addition, I do not think the T-55 deserves any bashing. It was a very, very good tank, even in the '60s. It had absolutely no trouble dealing with Centurions, Leopard-1s (that could be killed even at extreme ranges, at any angle), M-48s. In theory the Chieftain was a serious opponent, but in practice it appeared late (1965), produced in relatively limited numbers in the first few years, and was just utterly unreliable. The only really tough opponent was the M-60A1, which was a problem even for the T-62. Even then, the HEAT rounds were easily capable of penetrating the front of the M-60 turret and hull. 

 

Just to clarify...the M60's hull armor (according to unclassified test reporting from 1958), was designed specifically to defeat the 100mm gun at 1500 yards. The 100mm BR-412, BR-412B, and BR-412D were not really a threat to the frontal armor of the M60 and M60A1. It also isn't a given that the 100mm gun could penetrate the M48 in every case: "Domestic 100mm and 122mm guns are effective measures against the American M48 tanks. Out of the two types of 100 mm shells (blunt and sharp tipped), the blunt tipped is more effective. However, neither the 100mm blunt tipped shell with a muzzle velocity of 895 m/s nor the 122mm blunt tipped shell with the muzzle velocity of 781-800 m/s can penetrate the upper front hull of the M48 tank."     

 

Also, your statement, "T-64 was also present in second line units, just as the T-72 was present in elite units," isn't true in every case...unless you consider the majority of the forward groups as not being elite. The only forward deployed T-72s were in the CGF in Czechoslovakia...the GSFG, SGF, and NGF all had T-64s or T-80s. I do agree that some of the first echelon units inside Soviet territory were very well equipped...    

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4 hours ago, Jim Warford said:

The 100mm BR-412, BR-412B, and BR-412D were not really a threat to the frontal armor of the M60 and M60A1.

Depends. Hull is fully immune even at point blank. (same for M-48) But base M-60 turret isnt. LOS thickness is a constant ~180mm, that can be defeated by BR-412D up to 1500m. M-60A1, well, thats a wholly different beast, you need a 125mm (or late '70s 115mm ammo) for that. 

 

5 hours ago, Jim Warford said:

Also, your statement, "T-64 was also present in second line units, just as the T-72 was present in elite units," isn't true in every case...unless you consider the majority of the forward groups as not being elite. The only forward deployed T-72s were in the CGF in Czechoslovakia...the GSFG, SGF, and NGF all had T-64s or T-80s. I do agree that some of the first echelon units inside Soviet territory were very well equipped...    

Maybe Im wrong, but I remember I read that T-72s began appearing in greater numbers near the end of cold war even in first echelon units.

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heretic88, you gave me a lot of homework to do before proving or disproving your points. I'm glad that other forum members had helped me with some of the statements too. I will make more in depth comment later, but I would like first to address other minor things.

 

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Of course not... Since they wanted their inferior (Objekt-167) design to be adopted, and it did not happen... They were jealous of Harkov, thats why they used the politics card... Result is T-72 .Yet there are absolutely no proof of that. Nobody at UVZ wanted a "cheaper" tank. Nobody even mentioned it. They wanted their tank, the T-72 to adopted INSTEAD of T-64. T-72 was actually MORE expensive than the T-64A. The only thing was cheaper, is the V-46 engine. Yes it is true that the T-64 was horribly unreliable. T-64A already got better, and in the early '70s, its reliability problems were mostly fixed. By the time the T-72 entered mass production, the T-64A was just as reliable tank as the T-72, although it indeed required more careful maintenance. 

 

 

You had ignored my quotes, while you want to see world solely in an interest of private parties wanting to get piece of pie, you also must understand that different parties might have legitimate worldview differences which put them in opposing camps to begin with. An army made out of conscripts do not do well with modern, expensive and complicated equipment. Cost of training and re-equipping massive armies spiral out of control. More so when it comes to economies of scale, having to support an army with huge maintenance costs is prohibitively expensive. This is why the army wanted less complicated tank for their use. T-64 was anything, but that. Saying that USSR was meant to use T-64 as their next MBT is very far from the truth. You can't push a major piece of equipment on military force which does not want it. This was what had happened here, an army objected and Soviets had to shift their plans to develop less complicated and less maintenance intensive tank. Furthermore, when major specifications for a new design is reduced complexity and maintenance, that directly translates to reduced costs. There isn't a problem with tanks like T-64 at all if you have infinite repair shops, engineers, technicians, replacement parts ready to go. USSR could had made such things to be virtually infinite. They did not, because it is expensive to do so. Complaints about complexity and maintenance often boils down to a nation not wanting to spend more money on support elements who are very expensive to maintain. So in my eyes, when an army wants less complicated and easier to maintain design, this directly ties into its costs and its ability to be mass produced. Also keep in mind that an army did not stated that T-64 reliability which was the problem, but rather complexity. Also, T-72 is 40% cheaper in the end to produce, you might be getting wrong numbers from prototype costs or you have different calculations for costs. 

 

Quote

Tell this to a Leopard crew... Or M-48... Or Centurion... Also, simulators are one thing, real life another...

 

That is an emotional argument, it is pointless to make such. 

 

Btw: I'm looking for more solid sources on costs of those tanks, but I can't find anything solid. Books always reference that decision to go for T-72 was in regards to its cheaper costs, but they do not expand on that. I believe that burden of evidence falls on your shoulders if you want to disapprove this. There is certainly a lot more evidence in favor that rejection of T-64 was due to its high costs, reliability issues and mechanical complexity rather than decision being based solely on politics. 

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10 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Depends. Hull is fully immune even at point blank. (same for M-48) But base M-60 turret isnt. LOS thickness is a constant ~180mm, that can be defeated by BR-412D up to 1500m. M-60A1, well, thats a wholly different beast, you need a 125mm (or late '70s 115mm ammo) for that. 

 

Maybe Im wrong, but I remember I read that T-72s began appearing in greater numbers near the end of cold war even in first echelon units.

 

The info I've seen on the BR-412D says 170mm max penetration (at zero degrees) at 1500m...and 185mm max penetration at 1000m. So that one's a close call...

 

Also, T-72s were never deployed to the GSFG, SGF, or NGF...only the CGF. The interesting issue is really about the high priority units in the western Soviet Union...in some cases, they had different and better equipment than the forward groups.    

 

 

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KpRhbGQ.jpg

from one of UVZ's books, IIRC one on 80th anniversary, starting from second year of T-72's production

 

"Full production cost"

 

 

There was also another cost apparently, optovaya tsena ("wholesale cost" or something like that) - as far as I can tell, but I could be wrong, it says how much State actually pays for this thing to the tank plant.

It should be higher than production cost, and with tanks it apparently was, as some reported numbers on tank cost for the same year and same tank are different.

 

(Reportedly in some cases it could be lower than production cost - so, military, erm, division loses money on every one of those things sold - but if it's a part of larger company which also produces other things for civilians, those other things could become more expensive to cover losses. Or not - it was a Soviet economy, after all, AFAIK literally nothing owned by the State could ever go bankrupt. Well, "ever"... until whole country became bankrupt)

 

Nothing as detailed as this was published on any T-64 version so far.

There was mention in one book (could be Kostenko's "Tanks (tactics, technology, economics)", or TiV magazine article on T-80, but I'm not sure), according to which in 1974 T-80's cost was 480.000 and T-64A's 143.000.

 

There were also numbers on wholesale cost of T-64 (432) in first 3 years of production (1963-1965, when 254 tanks were produced in total) - 200.000, 192.000 and 183.000 respectively (published in Tehnika I Vooruzheniye 2011-04).

 

And then there were numbers posted on Russian Otvaga2004.mybb.ru forum by Aleksey Khlopotov (aka Gurkhan) - he claimed that in 1976 T-72 was 18.500 roubles aka 12.25% more expensive then T-64A; he also says that next year T-64 become 4.000 roubles more expensive, and T-72 become 6.500 roubles cheaper, so difference decreased to 8.000 roubles or 5.16%.

As I've calculated, all that means 151.000 for T-64A (and 169.500 for T-72) in 1976, and 155.000 vs 163.000 in 1977.

/IIUC that's only group of numbers, which in the beginning gives difference of exactly 12.25% and in the end - of exactly 5.16%, every other pair I've checked failed in one or another./

 

 

...

One thing which seems to be missed by some people is the fact that

out of 13.8+7+17.8=38.6 thousand of T-64/72/80  tanks Soviet Army have recieved,

less than half (46.1%) were T-72s

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      Remarks
       
      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.
       
       
       
      Sources:
       
      OKB MiG, a History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft, by Piotr Butowski and Jay Miller
       
      http://www.airvectors.net/avmig3.html
       
      http://www.aviastar.org/air/russia/a_mikoyan-gurevich.php
       
      https://ruslet.webnode.cz/technika/ruska-technika/letecka-technika/a-i-mikojan-a-m-i-gurjevic/ 
      (I-230, I-210, I-211, I-220, I-221, I-222, I-224, and I-225 pages)
       
      http://www.airwar.ru/fighterww2.html
      (I-230, I-231, I-210, I-211, I-220, I-221, I-222, I-224, and I-225 pages)
       
      http://soviethammer.blogspot.com/2015/02/mig-fighter-aircraft-development-wwii.html
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