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18 hours ago, SH_MM said:


That is a very emotional response to the topic. You cannot call bullshit without knowing the Austrian requirements and test conditions. Maybe the Austrian military used smaller targets, wanted an acceptable hit probability while firing on the move, wanted to engage targets at longer ranges or where expecting firing performance closer to the Leopard 2 or M1A1D/M1A2?


That the fire control system of the M60A3 wasn't on par with the newer tanks is well known. In CAT it managed to get a third, an eight and a ninth place...



It isn't really a matter of interpretation. The NP105 APFSDS wasn't tested with one single gun, it already was accepted for service in 1985 after demonstrating its ability to defeat the required targets (including an arrangement of three spaced steel plates). The complaints about the unsatisfactory dispersion with the NP105 lead to the investigations criticized by the Rechnungshof.


The waffenseitiger Fehler either refers to  all M68A1s being faulty or all M60A3s being considered faulty in regards to meeting the Austrian requirements. Not the single (?) M68/M60A3s in the trials, as otherwise the common soldiers would never have complained about the lack of accuracy in 1989 and 1990.


My response wasn't "emotional" at all...it was simply a reply to some BS that was posted regarding the performance of a tank that I know by personal experience, is a high performer. By the way, how much personal experience do you have on the M60A3...or any tank for that matter? Just curious...    


Clearly, the Austrians conducting the live-fire test knew the capabilities of the tanks firing the NP105 rounds...if the parameters were set above the capabilities of the tanks being used, the tests were bogus anyway. In other words, if they were "expecting firing performance closer to the Leopard 2 or M1A1D/M1A2" as you offered above, why use the M60A3? Maybe it was the only tank available...or maybe the round just wasn't performing as expected. The generalized observation, "i.e. this paragraph mentions that the accuracy of the M60A3 was bad and some people blamed the new Austrian APFSDS for this, but after various investigations that lasted until July 1991, it was proven to be a fault of the M60A3 and not of the NP 105 APFSDS round," sounds much more political than the actual failure of the tank doing the shooting.


Finally, saying that the "fire control system of the M60A3 wasn't on par with the newer tanks is well known," is obvious and naive...it was the tank the Austrians used. If they wanted a more modern tank with more sophisticated fire control, they should have used one. It looks like the tank was the "fall-guy" for expensive rounds that under-performed.            

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   Interesting article about T-64 turrets by Andrey




   The idea of using ceramics as a material for protection against HEAT shells first arose in the mid-1950s at the Physicotechnical Institute (now the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute). Studies have established that in terms of depth of penetration of a HEAT jet, high hardness ceramic materials are close to armor-grade steel, although their density is much lower. In 1958, the specialists of the Physicotechnical Institute and VNII-100 thoroughly examined the possible results of using the research for anti-HEAT protection of tanks. From that moment, the development of combined armor with ceramic filler for tanks began. The center of research in that field became VNII-100, supervised by V.S. Starovoitov.


   Both with the protection of the hull and the turret there were problems requiring serious efforts and time to solve them. In addition, the situation was aggravated by internal competition in the industry, examples of which will be given below.



   In a technical project (April 1961), a two-part hull protection design was proposed - 80 mm steel + 140 mm fiberglass (steklotextolit). This design leads its development from the design of the hull of "Izdelie 432", 1960. As on Object 430, the upper frontal part of the hull consisted of three parts, the central and lateral “cheekbones”. The solution was quite rational for protection against armor-piercing and sub-caliber armor-piercing shells, but for layered armor with anti-HEAT material, this design turned out to be irrational.

   In addition, the very idea of 2 layer armor (80 mm steel + 140 mm fiberglass), originally proposed for the T-64, was replaced by a design with a 20 mm back plate (back support) while reducing the thickness of the fiberglass to 105 mm. This scheme (80 mm steel + 105 mm fiberglass + 20 mm steel) was chosen as the main one for the further production of the T-64, as well as for the T-64A, as well as the vehicles developed on its basis - T-72 and T-80.



   For the Object 432 turret (1961), two filler options were considered:

  • steel armor casting with "ultra-porcelain" inserts with an initial base horizontal thickness of 420 mm with equivalent anti-HEAT protection of 450 m
  • cast turret, consisting of a steel armor base, aluminum anti-HEAT "shirt" (poured after casting a steel body) and an external steel armor and aluminum. The total maximum wall thickness of this tower is ~ 500 mm and is equivalent to ~ 460 mm anti-HEAT protection.

Both types of turrets yielded more than a ton of weight savings compared to an all-steel turret of equal protection level.



   Turret with with ultraforcelain inserts (cylinders) from the technical project of “Izdelie 432”, 1961. They returned to this idea in 1968, but the final version was corundum balls KVP-98, which were produced by a ceramic factory in Slavyansk (assembly of inserts with balls). The very development of the turret from the project to the adoption in 1973 took 12 years.



   A turret with aluminum filler was installed on the T-64 production tanks - however, in comparison with the technical design, the turret’s dimensions increased by more than 100 mm, and the mass accordingly increased. Along with this, the working space for crew was reduced; in addition, the turret blocked the opening of the driver’s hatch in a certain range of angles of rotation of the gun, which made it impossible to use the hatch to exit it if it was impossible to rotate the turret to the angle necessary for this.


the designers conducted further searches to eliminate the aforementioned shortcomings, associated primarily with the dimensions of the frontal armor of the turret.



   T-64 production model turret with aluminum filler



   T-64 production model turret with aluminum filler, overall sections. When fired, the turret with combined armor provided full protection against 85-mm and 100-mm HEAT shells (similar to 105-mm cumulative shells of NATO countries), 100-mm armor-piercing blunt-headed shells with in arc of ± 35 °



In a book describing the official history of the Steel Research Institute [NII Stali], these developments are described as follows:


   “The task was set to eliminate this drawback, without increasing the distance between the axis of rotation of the turret and the location of the hatch. To do this, the thickness of the turret had to be reduced in comparison with the steel-aluminum-steel turret by almost 200 mm (from 600 to 410 mm). The decision to change the thickness of the turret while maintaining its anti-HEAT and ballistic resistance within the specified requirements was proposed by V.V. Jerusalemskiy. He proposed to do this by using high-hard steel inserts for the turret, thermally treated by the differential isothermal quenching method, to obtain a particularly hard core and a relatively less hard, but more plastic outer surface.


   The protection result was quite decent - better than on the experimental turrets with ceramic balls, which VNII Transmash was engaged in, and which had a greater total thickness in comparison with turrets with high-hardness steel inserts. The disadvantage of a turret with high-hardness steel inserts was the lack of survivability of the welded joint between the retaining sheet and the base of the turret, which, upon impact of an armor-piercing projectile, was destroyed without penetration.


   In connection with the obtained results, it was decided to start the production of a batch of turrets with high-hardness inserts with preliminary measures to strengthen welded joints. But here the irreparable happened - on the manufactured batch of inserts it was not possible to provide the minimum necessary toughness, and those inserts during shelling gave increased brittle fracture and penetration. ”



   The T-64 tank with a turret with aluminum filler and a upper frontal hull plate with "cheekbones".



   T-64 tank with a turret with aluminum filler and a straight upper frontal part of the hull, 1967



   The story [in the book] is described rather dryly and mundane, a common failure in development, but every lover of the history of tank building will certainly be interested in what was hidden behind it.


   In accordance with the decision of 12GU MOP and military unit 52682-III (NTK GBTU), back in 1966, the Zhdanov Heavy Machine Building Plant (ZhZTM) was allowed to cast the first 50 turrets with ceramic filler as part of the general annual production program. In September and November 1967, at the ZhZTM and military unit 68054 (NIIII BT), shelling tests were carried out at three turrets with spherical ceramic filler, made in different weights with turretss with high-strength steel inserts.


   During testing on these turret, a total of 105 shots were fired. Of them:

  • HEAT-fragmentation shell from "Rapier" with a standard speed, 38 shots;
  • with the same shell, but with a increased speed,18 rounds;
  • with a caliber projectile from the Molot gun - 9 shots;
  • an armor-piercing projectile of a caliber of 100 mm - 15 shots, while from all the test shots, these turrets were not penetrated.



From a letter by A.A. Morozov:


   The test results presented show that turrets with spherical fillers have a margin of anti-HEAT resistance compared to those specified in the requirements, and therefore there is a real possibility of some reduction in the weight of these turrets, while taking into account the results of preliminary work with modified forms of ceramic filler, there is reason to expect to further reduce the weight. In addition, as production experience has shown, ceramic-filled turrets have better manufacturability, less laboriousness, a shorter production cycle compared to other options, which is confirmed by the G-4448 enterprise (see Letter No. 00252), which, in in particular, indicates that the laboriousness of manufacturing the turrets of the 434 tank with ceramic filling is less than about 900 standard hours compared with turrets with high-hardness inserts.


   It should also be noted the ceramic fillers for turrets is cheaper material, and is not a strategic raw material.


   A number of the above essential qualities of ceramic-filled turrets give us reason to support the recommendation for further work on finalizing the design of such turrets and conducting final tests for their acceptance into mass production in the manner previously described in their letter No. 7889 of December 22, 67.

   In connection with the ongoing preparation of our factory for the production of 434 tanks, as well as the preparation of their production at other tank factories, we consider it necessary now to decide on the type of turrets for serial production of 434 tanks.


   Considering the above advantages of turrets with ceramic filler, we believe to conduct production preparation at the enterprise G-4448 of these turrets in parallel with their final development and testing.


   Before launching into serial production, pre-cast one turret to clarify the geometry and test it by shelling at the G-4448 factory no later than 05/15/1968.


   If the test results are positive and clarifications are made, start serial production of the turrets, and the two units from the first batch of cast towers are subjected to control tests of military unit G-68054 or at the G-4448 enterprise under the direction of military unit G-68054 .


The necessary possible refinements based on the results of these tests should be made in the process of mass production. ”





   It would seem that the issue with the T-64A turret, replacing the T-64 in serial production, has been resolved.

   According to plans of the period T-64A, production was also planned to be started at the plants of Nizhny Tagil, Omsk, Leningrad and Chelyabinsk. But with the opinion of the developers of the turret with ceramic balls - VNII-100 and the manufacturer ZhZTM did not agree with the developers of the competing turret with steel inserts - VNII Stali. A letter from the director of this organization A.T. Larin dated 01/18/68 on the manufacture of an installation batch of turrets with ceramic filler caused a stir among the designers of the KhKBM and in the ministry, since it completely contradicted the results obtained by the developers and the customer. Below is its text:



   “As a result of research and experimental work carried out by the A-7701 (VNII Transmash) in 1967, three experimental turrets with ceramic filler K22, K23 and K24 were tested.


   Based on the test results, the A-3530 enterprise in its letter No. 7852ss dated December 22-19-1967, in 1968, proposes to manufacture an installation batch of turrets with ceramic filler for the 434 tank - 5 units and for the T-64 tank - 50 units.


   On this proposal, we consider it necessary to inform the following comments:


1) None of the tested turrets K22, K23 and K24 was brought to the weight specified by the chief designer,, the internal volume and radius of the sweeping were not maintained.

This data is not in the report No. 005105 from 20-10-67 on the testing of turrets K22, K23 and K24 at KhZTM.

   Available data on the layout of the K23 towers tested in military unit 68054 show that the towers were manufactured with an overweight of 200 kg (according to the conditions for the height dimension of 548 mm +6, as is customary for the manufacturing technology of T-64 and "434" turrets) .

   According to our measurements, the radius of overcasting towers K22, K23 and K24 exceeds the target by 10-20 mm. All this does not allow us to judge the level of protective characteristics and survivability of turrets with ceramics if, subjected to the specified weight and overall dimensions.


2) Despite the overweight of the turrets, their survivability cannot be considered satisfactory. For example, the penetration of a 100 mm armor-piercing projectile into the lower part of the K-24 turret in the vicinity of belts I-II (shot No. 17) caused the formation of a through gap along the lower end 370 mm long with a shift of metal along the crack by 30-40 mm.

Such damagedisables the turret completely.

   No such damage was observed on turrets with aluminum filler and inserts made of high-strength steel. On K22 and K23 there were  tears of the outer layer of armor.

   For example, on the K23 turret, when a 100-mm armor-piercing projectile hit, an armor piece of 300 × 300 × 120 mm in size was obtained in the form of a piece flying off from the turret. Such damage was not observed even on turrets with aluminum filler.


   When tested at the Pavlograd test site of turret number K16 / 17 with ceramic filler 100 mm with subcaliber shells with a tungsten carbide core from the D10T gun, extremely low protection was obtained (report No. 28 dated 25 / 12-67). With 7 hits in all areas of the turret with Vsp = 1400-1430 m / s with a heading angle of ± 35 °, 7 penetrations were obtained with an exit diameter of 70-80 mm. Penetrations were also obtained in those areas of the turret in which the weight of the armor with ceramics in the direction of the sections was equal to the weight of the armor of the K23, K24.


   Our tests of armor samples show that protection against the indicated type of sub-projectile at Vud = 1400-1450 m / s. it is provided when using armor with aluminum filler, fiberglass and inserts made of high-strength steel in thicknesses made on the hulls and turrets of the T-64 and 434 tanks.


   New domestic 100 and 122 mm APS shells with a tungsten carbide core are the same as APDS 105 mm APG shells of the main tanks of the NATO countries - M60A1 and Leopard, and in our opinion, the protection of T-64 and 434 tanks from 105 mm APS shell - a tungsten core is required at firing ranges of up to 1000 m, specified by the tactical-technical requirements of the T-64 and 434 tanks for protection against sub-caliber shells. According to our calculated and other data at a range of 1000 m at Vud. = 1360 m / s. The English APDS shell at 0-35 ° meeting angles pierces up to 350 mm of medium-hard rolled armor and slightly exceeds 100 and 122 domestic sub-caliber shells of this type in armor-piercing ability with equal impact speed.


   Based on the foregoing, the V-2652 considers that the proposal to manufacture 55 turrets with ceramic filler for the T-64 and 434 tanks, put forward by the Malyshev plant and the A-3530, is premature, as it is not supported by the required volume by the corresponding positive test results.


In our opinion, at the moment, with a turret with a ceramic filler it is necessary:

1) determine their compliance with the specified requirements for protection with full compliance of the turrets  with the specified overall parameters, height dimensions and the weight specified in the drawing.

2) It is necessary to determine the level of ballistic protection of turrets with ceramics when fired by subcaliber shells with a tungsten carbide core, since when testing the K16 / 17 turret, the level of protection against these shells was extremely low.

3) It is necessary to carry out work to improve the survivability of turrets with ceramics when firing 100 mm in the lower zone in the zone of belts I-II.

Thus, the proposal for the manufacture of 55 turrets with a ceramic filler can be considered when resolving these issues with a positive result. "



   Ceramic ball with diameter of 70 mm



   In response to this letter A. A. Morozov addressed his deputies E. A. Morozov and N.I. Veselovsky: “What is your opinion? Butov R.I. continues to report good resluts of firing tests. ZhZTM also speaks same. Sort it out and report. "


   Letter written by the director of the All-Russian Research Institute of Steel, it became an occasion for further work to improve the design of the turret, even despite penetration of turret with ceramic filler with one shell, and even as indicated in the letter of the director of the Research Institute of Transmash V. Starovoitov to the site at heading angles greater than 35 °, the original design was far from ideal.


   In the transition from model to full-scale studies, significant problems arose, such as:

  • ensuring the structural strength and survivability of armor, consisting of fragile materials;
  • providing, along with anti-HEAT resistance, protection against kinetic weapons, in particular, against sub-caliber shells with a tungsten core;
  • development of technology for the serial production of combined armor;
  • development of the ceramic filler itself, which meets protection requirements.



   T-64A turret with ceramics



   The first full-scale tests showed that the ceramic filler in the form of cylinders or prisms has a required specific anti-HEAT resistance, however, the structural strength and survivability of the combined armor were insufficient. It also turned out that the rear steel part of the armor plays a significant role in providing protection not only against HEAT, but also against sub-caliber weapons. A cipher telegram was sent from the customer's side to the ZhZTM to prohibit the presentation for test turrets with ceramic filler before making changes to the drawings on the turret.



   Serial T-64A turret, sections



In turret of subsequent manufacture, changes were made characterizing the minimum distance from the outer and inner surfaces of the ceramic filler, eliminating the disadvantages described during the tests. Also, the turret were significantly strengthened by the thickness of the back layer - 200 ÷ 220 instead of 170, rational placement of ceramic balls was ensured. Regarding the current situation, A. A. Morozov wrote: “When will all this end. Is there any way to test another turret, who will pay for it? ”


   At the same time, the chief designer received letters about the positive test results and the compliance of the tested turret with specified requirements, which contradicted the letter of A.T. Larin. All this conflicting information from competing organizations required additional costs of both time and money.

   Answer of the director of VNIITransmash V.S. Starovoitov of February 26, 1968 to the letter of A.T. Larin was quite sharp:



   “We became aware of a letter from the director of the enterprise V-2652, comrade Larin A.T., in which, without any reason, it points out three shortcomings of a turret with ceramic filler for Object 434.


   In this regard, we consider it necessary to state the following:

1. The K-23 turret with ceramic filler is made according to the drawing of R.165-2012-10 of the chief designer and adopted VP No. 333 MO at the heavy factory. The weight of the K-23 part is equal to the weight of the S-10 part with solid inserts, and the sweeping radius and height are in the dimensions of the drawing, as there is an entry in the measurement map.

2. The survivability of the turret, according to the conclusion of the commission that conducted the tests, as well as military unit 68054 and military unit 52682-III, is quite satisfactory (report of military unit 68054 inv. No. 3438 and letter of military unit 52682-6 original no. K / 855668 dated January 12, 1968).

3. A turret of a different design was subjected to shelling with subcaliber carbide-tungsten shells in Pavlograd and, moreover, at course angles greater than 35 °.

Thus, the letter of the enterprise 2652 does not contain a single element of truth, and its purpose is incomprehensible. ”



   View of IVth belt of the serial-production turret 



   Against the background of no less problems with the turret with steel inserts developed at the Research Institute of Steel, the situation looked quite alarming and could lead to a disruption in the production of tanks. According to the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the plant named after Malyshev was supposed to release the pre-mass production batch of the T-64A in 1968, and in 1969 to begin mass production. It was decided to manufacture, test, and accept the cast towers of the T-64A tank under temporary technical conditions. Additional tests of the K-35 turret were also carried out, which provided the level of resistance set by the VTU-4334-68.


   In 1973, a turret with ceramics was adopted for the T-64A. Serial production of those turrets for the T-64A and T-64B tanks continued for 15 years - until December 27, 1987, when the last T-64BV left the assembly line. Nevertheless, the turets with ceramic balls of the T-64A type on tanks of other developers did not take root. The rationale for this was as follows:

  • for the manufacture of turrets according to the type seen on the T-64A tank, it is necessary to create new production facilities for the production of lined corundum balls and baskets for their installation in the mold;
  • the technology for producing turrets with the necessary durability and survivability, the lack of the required margin of increase of durability and survivability of turrets with ceramic elements subjected to softening when pouring molten liquid steel, even in the presence of thermally insulating coating layers, have not been developed.


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   BRDM-2MB "Bekas", modernisation of BRDM-2.















   In the Ruzsky district of the Moscow region, the B-ARMS LLC presented a deeply modernized version of the BRDM-2 - a BRDM-2MB Bekas armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle, work on which began in 2016, said project chief designer Alexei Butrimov.


   “Today we present the modernization of the BRDM-2MB Bekas, which we started back in 2016. The first BRDM-2MS Strizh (Swift) was made, which you could see at the parade in Laos, in Kyrgyzstan and in other countries when transferring cars. In the process of manufacturing the first kits, we made the second modernization, ” TASS reports him.


   He noted that this version is distinguished by improved characteristics, additional armor, an anti-mine protection measures, and is also equipped with a new air conditioning system. Improved performance of the brake and fuel system.


   According to the chief designer, the machine is designed for security, border service and for those law enforcement agencies that need a quick and compact response. BRDM-2MB "Bekas" is well suited for the city and rough terrain. A 136 horsepower diesel engine allows vehicle to easily accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour.

Photo: Andrey Zinchuk / “Equipment and armament, Sergey Bulkin















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Featuring strangely saggy Typhoon suspension. 









Left out the Armata variants because they have their own thread. Video is right there. Its crazy how big the Boomerang is especially driving behind a BTR-82



Moscow V Day parade rehearsal streetside video 



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   Looks like Vikings used by TsSN FSB units will be shown at a parade as SSO vehicles, for some reason.








   Berezhok combat module details. Automatic grenade launcher in the back is removed, but mount and feed sleeve is visible.







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16 hours ago, LoooSeR said:


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Pitty they didn't restore the Czechoslovak /Laos tanks to the WW2 state but I guess 99% of the audience would not find the difference anyway. Seeing sooo many T-34 at once in 2020 must be something. For me it would be probably bigger thing that to watch the T-14... 


T-34 destroying the street... 



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On 6/19/2020 at 7:02 PM, Beer said:

Pitty they didn't restore the Czechoslovak /Laos tanks to the WW2 state but I guess 99% of the audience would not find the difference anyway.

Pity they even wasted time and money on these tanks. They have more than enough T-34s anyway. It would be so much better to see IS-2, ISU-152/122, SU-76/85/100/122, these all contributed greatly to victory, but no, only stupid T-34... :( 

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20 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

Pity they even wasted time and money on these tanks. They have more than enough T-34s anyway. It would be so much better to see IS-2, ISU-152/122, SU-76/85/100/122, these all contributed greatly to victory, but no, only stupid T-34... :( 


Don't they have those as well when even here in Czechia we have at least 3-4 IS-2 (out of which one is in running condition), at least two ISU-152 and one SU-100 (one in running condition)?  

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21 hours ago, Beer said:

Don't they have those as well when even here in Czechia we have at least 3-4 IS-2 (out of which one is in running condition), at least two ISU-152 and one SU-100 (one in running condition)?  

They have some, but who knows in what condition. Some museums certainly have running IS-2, ISU, etc. but they appear only on some events. Really, I dont know why they prefer T-34s on parade. Sure, it was the most produced tank of the red army, that may be a reason. Also the undeserved "legendary" status of the 34. But whatever is the real cause, it seems that restoration of T-34s is always the no1 priority over anything. Sad. Especially when other, far more interesting vehicles just rot away in outside exhibits. Like the KV-2... 

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9 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

They have some, but who knows in what condition. Some museums certainly have running IS-2, ISU, etc. but they appear only on some events. Really, I dont know why they prefer T-34s on parade. Sure, it was the most produced tank of the red army, that may be a reason. Also the undeserved "legendary" status of the 34. But whatever is the real cause, it seems that restoration of T-34s is always the no1 priority over anything. Sad. Especially when other, far more interesting vehicles just rot away in outside exhibits. Like the KV-2... 


IMHO it's simple and understandable. It's victory parade and the T-34 is a symbol of the victory. In the end it's not wrong at all because only the T-34 fought all Red Army battles through the war and bore the main burden of fighting. Those veteran tankers who still live also served mainly with T-34 and not with IS or KV. 


By the way an off topic and unrelated question... Do you have any Turán preserved in Hungary? 

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