How the dinosaurs became extinct — the last languid tanks (part 6)

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

Seasoned and experimental tanks languid Western states.

After adopting the U.S. Tank M103, and the associated problems with this fact, the question of radical modernization of the tank, or the likely substitution. Quite a fascinating solution to this prepyadstviya "little blood" was suggested by Rheem Manufactured Company.
Here we must make a slight digression and see that while in the U.S. and in England the tanks belonged to that particular class or not according to their weight, and by the caliber of weapons. That is, were "heavy gun tanks", "srednepushechnye tanks" and "legkopushechnye." The caliber of "light" guns does not exceed 76.2 mm, "medium" guns had caliber to 83.2-90mm (in Britain and the U.S., respectively), above 105 mm caliber guns were considered "heavy." Because heavy tank (ie, armed with gun 105mm and above are not necessarily for all this with a huge mass) was considered first as a tank destroyer at long range, in the first plan put forward an advantage over its potential enemy tanks in firepower and the first round accuracy over large distances. It was assumed that the fire of the tanks will lead to a greater degree with the place, while in the second band, because M103 did not have the stabilizer arms (gun languid tank FV214 Conqueror was stabilized only in the vertical plane). To provide decisive advantages, required also to increase and rate of fire, because even the use of the stereoscopic rangefinder with the first models of ballistic computer is not guaranteed 100% probability of hitting at long range firing. Additionally, the service life of defense under attack by superior forces of the enemy (especially repeatedly superior, as was the case in the USSR confrontation NATO countries in Europe).

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

T57 tank layout.

Based on these judgments, and has been proposed grievous T57 tank. Housing tank with little or no configuration is derived from the M103, but towerTower … was a two-cast parts are pivotally fastened among themselves. Lower relied on roller shoulder straps and provides horizontal guidance tools, as well as in conventional designs, but the upper part, and in fact is the tower and accommodates the arms, jobs for three members of the crew and the ammunition was carried out swinging on a horizontal transverse axis in order to ensure vertical guidance. Follow a feature of the project was the presence of loading mechanism, consisting of a drum on the unitary 8 shots, has a sloping concrete under the breech of the gun, and the hydraulic dosylatelya in the rear recess of the tower behind the gate.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

sequence of the loading mechanism.

For loading the projectile initially removed from the store and back up, in the tray dosylatelya, then the drive tray into position for loading, alignment with the bore, and shall be sent to a shell in the breech. Shop, rammer and gun swayed together, so no need to output shaft in a certain position, and the process of loading is not dependent on the angle of the vertical guidance.

The gun was a 120mm rifled gun T123E1, but modified for the use of unitary shots. It was especially rigid mounting so large caliber guns in the tower, without any recoil or devices. Because for opening the shutter was used hydraulic drive, automatically triggered after the shot. The role of the loader was replenished store of laying in a housing containing an additional 10 rounds, thus providing Makarov ammunition in 18 pieces.
Crew accommodation spaces in the tower is standard for American tanks — right from the gun gunner behind him a tank commander and loader on the left of the gun. Above the commander posted a small turret with six prismatic observation devices and T36 turret to 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun. Second flap is designed for charging. Both flap mounted on a large plate, up the middle part of the roof of the tower, which could be opened with a hydraulic lift for easy access to the mechanisms of the tower. The workplace of the driver left without changes.
Given the innovativeness of the project, the work proceeded slowly, and by the time the two towers were prepared (one of them is mounted on the chassis T43E1) enthusiasm for the project has cooled. Changing values in favor of the development of small, aerotransportabelnyh tanks led to the cancellation of the project in January 1957, before the most experienced benchmark headed for operational status and could be tested. None of the photos collected layout has been preserved.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

layout languid tank T57

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

section of the tower languid T57 tank.

Already in 1950 it was suggested that T43 and T57 tanks, armed with 120mm guns will be unable to resist Russian tanks languid, and at a conference in October 1951, it was recommended to begin development of the new tank with a 155mm caliber weapon. Initially, it was planned to install tool T80, with high initial speed, but as the top choice of armor-piercing projectiles cumulative and armor-piercing high-explosive shell with Thrashing has permitted to use a lighter weapon. The final choice fell on the modified 155mm gun T7, previously tested on an experienced languid T30 tank.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

T58 tank layout.

So makarom to 18 January 1952 the tactical and technical requirements to obtain the designation T58 newcomer languid tank have been identified and issued a decree on the creation of 2-towers fully loaded, for chassis T43E1. After approval of the project, the contract for the design and construction has received United Shoe Machinery Corporation. Conceptually, a brand new tower repeated the T57 project, with the only exception that the instrument was set with ordinary recoil device (but adjusted to the shortest length of rollback). Changed weapon received the designation T180, from T7 main differences were: vertical sliding wedge gate, ejector and a modified muzzle brake. Besides the barrel wall in the chambers were thickened, and the chamber itself is lengthened by one inch for the ability to introduce new rounds of separate loading with the protruding plastic stopper on Dultsev sleeve.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

circuit loading mechanism T58 tank (you can see the handle rotation of the drum).

Behind the gun, in a niche of the tower horizontally positioned drum-type magazine for 6 shots. To replenish the store charging initially placed in an empty cell pocket, and then with the help of a mechanized stacking shell. Charging choose the requested type of shot turning shop, then liner and the shell being charged at once. After the shot sleeve is ejected back to the cell from which it was removed and placed back in the charging styling. The fire control system was not different from the M103 and T57, it consisted of a stereoscopic rangefinder T50E1 commander, gunner's periscope sight T184E1 and T30 ballistic computer, but on the model it was not installed. Emergency telescopic sight T170 also had to be installed on production tanks, but was absent from the layout. Used by layout T43E1 chassis has been modified to give the ability to sweep the tower of the largest angle of elevation, at first it hurt the roof of engine department, but in general, the differences were small.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

longitudinal section of the turret T58.

Work on the creation of prototypes dragged on, and once with the cancellation of the project T57, were discontinued. A similar tower design was developed and tested including for medium tanks, because it makes it relatively easy to solve the problem of automation of loading, but soon it was abandoned for various reasons.
Along with work on the project T43, T57 and T58 series of conferences on the Question Mark open a discussion question of creation of more effective languid tanks. The main task of the conference was to bring together both developers and users of armored vehicles, to enable them to better communicating directly to find out about the requirements of each other and immediately work out the concept of promising models of armored vehicles.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

models and sketches of H1, H2 and H3

At the first conference, held in April 1952 in Detroit, presented three concepts languid tanks. Two of them differed only weapons (120mm or 155mm gun T123 T7) and represented a tank with a crew of four, placed inside the rotating tower one hundred percent. Interest is the shape and the bow — with reverse slope of 60 ° and a flat roof (ie, the tank seems to be missing the top armor piece, a role which made the bottom width of 127mm, extended to a horizontal roof of the housing). Third layout was different arms of the 175mm guns in a large tower, which is under construction between the ordinary and the crotch sweep (the tower itself, the workplace of the crew and most of the equipment motionless with vertical guidance tools, which together with the mechanism of loading and feeding niche of the tower made swinging) . The driver was placed in the body, a head-booking is made similarly to the previous projects. All three concepts have received codes H1, H2 and H3, respectively, joined voedinyzhdy introduction of the turret ring increased to 2743.2 mm (108 inches) diameter. As shown by preliminary studies, it is allowed not only to increment the volume to accommodate more massive arms and / or charging devices, and to make reservations tower bolshennymi angles. Later, at the site in Aberdeen confirmed the correctness of the findings of samples fire towers. In June 1954 at the third conference (the second was dedicated to the issues of self-propelled artillery) Question Mark introduced several models of promising languid tanks. They are all divided into projects that do not require a huge time incarnation (Up to 2 years) and long-term promising projects. First were called «TS», while the second index obtained «TL» (the words Short and Long, respectively). In the first category were presented the following concepts:

Tank with a 105 mm smoothbore gun T210 — TS-2

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

Assault tank (self-propelled unit with a gun in the cockpit motionless) TS-5 with the same instrument.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

Tank with a 120 mm rifled gun T123 — TS-6

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

Assault tank (self-propelled unit with a gun in the cockpit motionless) TS-31 with the same 120mm gun.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

In addition to all of the exhibited weapons concepts differed assembly, powertrain and booking. Ultimately project TS-31 was chosen as the base for the development of the assault tank to replace the T43, if the project is not crowned with success T43E2. Two long-term project presented were:

TL-4 — a traditional tank assembly with a 105mm smoothbore gun T210 in a tight fitting without an anti-recoil devices

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

TL-6 — Assault tank with rear wheelhouse with the same instrument

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

The choice fell on the TL-4, and soon signed a contract with Ford Motor Company for the development and construction of the tank received a registration number 105mm gun tank T96. As the work in this direction, it became clear that the tower T96 fully suitable for installation on the chassis of a medium tank T95, the development of which was at the time. To save the project's efforts were combined, and from the list of promising models languid T96 tank has been deleted.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

The program of creation of the tank assault on the concept TS-31 has been charged with Chrysler Corporation, and the tank was designated the 120mm gun tank T110. Step by step review of the original concept has identified a number of weaknesses, and in turn the project has gone through several revisions, as the customer, in the face of the Detroit Arsenal and Chrysler did not come to the finish option. Now T110 was a self-propelled artillery, made by traditional way, with the rear placement of the engine compartment and the central fighting compartment, but a driver at all it was located in the wheelhouse. His place was in the front right portion of it, while the gunner was located on the left. Back, left and right of the breech loaders were two, and in the rear of the cabin, the center holds workplace tank commander, the commander's cupola with rotating armed 12.7 mm machine gun.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

scheme languid tank T110

120mm gun without recoil T123E1 devices installed in the plant propeller-type guidance produced by the telescopic gunner's sight T156. Subsequent studies have confirmed the project fear that placing the gunner and driver in the cockpit is not allowed to perform its front armor with bolshennymi angles, which in turn will claim a significant increase of thickness to meet the required security. The same assumption was made that the data mass and dimensions of the project can be done tank with a rotating turret, free from the above-mentioned shortcomings. The new design was very similar to the M103, and generally superior to its only improved SLAs based on the use of optical rangefinder Optar, which could use as a tank commander and gunner. After successful tests M103A1, enthusiasm for the car was gone and all the work on it was stopped.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

charcoal sketch of the layout and languid tank T110 with a rotating turret.

Speaking of American tanks languid period after the war impossible to ignore such an exciting project as «The Hunter». This is a very unusual type of combat vehicle, as you can imagine from the name, was to "hunt" for enemy tanks, quite certain very specific enemy tanks — tanks languid USSR.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

the projection of the tank "The Hunter".

In this small-size car weighing 45 tons especially everything — from the build up of arms and chassis. Progress has permitted to create cumulative ammunition projectiles caliber 90-105mm that can pierce tank armor every conceivable. To shoot a projectile so do not need the highest initial speed — his armor does not depends on the kinetic energy at the time of the meeting, respectively, remain constant throughout the race.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

the layout of the tank "The Hunter".

Due to these features, the idea was born gun-launcher for rockets with shaped-charge warhead, which will allow to make the barrel and slide very easily, and at the same time dramatically increase the rate of fire. A pair of such caliber 105mm guns and weapons were "Hunter", they were provided with a shop on 7 shots each, and were able to free him from the breathtaking pace — 120 rounds per minute! That of the highest rate of fire came in handy to compensate for low precision missiles, especially in the vast distances, on which are also designed to fight enemy tanks with languid. Additionally tank was armed with a pair of 7.62-mm machine guns, paired with the guns and placed on the outside of their trunks. In addition cupola coul
d have a pair of 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine guns, or other armament (One krupnokalibreny and one machine gun caliber rifle — quite armament was not specified). The total ammunition with 14 rounds in the stores of guns and 80 rounds in the body, ie 94 shots.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

assembly diagram "The Hunter".

Assembling the machine as a whole is close to the traditional, but only in the realization that the separation of management, crew compartment and engine-transmission alternately arranged along the length of the car. The driver was sitting in the front of the center of the machine, after it was placed a small tower with a sitting in the center gunner placed on the edges of the same gun. This was in excess of the department was the commander (right) and loader, but because this part towered over the front, firing into the stern was limited and was provided only with the highest elevation angle shafts. In positioned aft propulsion system and hydraulic transmission, but unlike conventional tanks each wheel "Hunter" was the leader. This made it possible to apply a lightweight tracked tape-reinforced rubber. Catchy introduction of composite armor in the project — at that time were extensively research to improve the protection against chemical weapons, and one of the solutions was so called "glass" armor, or «siliceous core». In the actual thickness of 6.5 inches (165mm), consisting of three layers of armor gave similar protection is the same as the thickness of one piece, but weighed as only 4.6 inch (117mm). Frontal part of the hull and turret armor "Hunter" was supposed to make concrete of such armor, increasing their resistance. Another feature was the presence of the tank than usual for the crew hatches a single panel lift armor which covered the top department commander and gunner with power pack. If necessary, it rises or hydraulic cylinder and provided good access to the power plant and ammunition compartments, or cover-up crew when leaving the car in the field.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 6)

longitudinal section of the tank "The Hunter".

But because of the change of values in the direction of light vehicles "Hunter" did not come out of the stage of the outline, although it was pretty well designed. In this examination of American languid tanks can be terminated because proposed at the following conferences Question Mark projects heavily armed tanks (ie, 120mm and 152mm guns) were actually light, equipped with a weight up to 30 tons.
After the release of FV214 Conqueror England visibly lost interest in languid tanks and fighter planes as enemy tanks were considered lighter vehicles, including armed manageable tool. And the project, who gave the ultimate Chieftain equipped with a mass of 52 tons and a 120 mm cannon began as the development of a medium tank, replace the Centurion.

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