How the dinosaurs became extinct — the last languid tanks (part 2)

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

120mm Gun Tank M103 — South American "tankoboyka."
The story of creation and the description of the last languid South American tank.

South American ancestry languid tank M103 can be traced back to the self-propelled assault guns T28, the end of the second World War. With certainty when the need arose storming fortifications band Siegfried came to light a large number of projects, tanks and assault guns. Colorful representatives of the concept of "protection and fire power at any cost" became British assault gun A39 Tortoise and South American T-28.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

self-propelled gun T28

Possessed a nondescript 12 "frontal armor (305mm!) And the 105mm gun motionless in the cockpit, the monster weighed 95" short "American tone, or 86.25 metric. To ensure the applicable specific ground pressure, T28 equipped with a unique chassis with 4 tracks, two of which are outside starred for the transport and combined into a single unit towed. In connection with the termination of war were released only two standard T28, one of which was burned on the tests. But the need for a languid tanks remained, and in August 1945, was approved by the construction of a pilot languid T29 tank with the same 105mm gun T5E2, but in a rotating turret.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

experienced a T29 tank.

According to the initial plan by the end of 1944, it was recommended to release two pilot standard T29, and later required amount of languid tanks of this type in 1200 units. Reducing the frontal armor of the hull to 102mm (inclination 54 °, taking zero for vertical placement), and your forehead tower to 178mm, the use of torsion bar suspension allowed to reduce the weight of the tank to 69 "short" tons (65.6 tons). The gun was located in a large cast turret with shoulder strap widths of 80 "in the world. Filed to the landfill in 1947, the tank is no longer assumed to be a large-scale manufacturing, and served by experienced prototype. Second pilot received a copy of the tower and hydraulic tools, in the modern setting with modified recoil mechanism. Total was created eight copies of T29, with various changes, among which are the revised layout with number 1 on it established the power unit of the engine Allison V-1710-E32 and boxes of CD-850-1 (described below) that require extended housing relative to the start of the project, and the eighth tank which had the designation T28E3. feature number 8 was the presence of the stereoscopic rangefinder in the tower, which was run by the tank commander. Though rangefinder was not connected to the fire control system, the data from his commander manually enter in the gunner's sight , a means of flexible connections, tests showed his need for a tank. Together with two other T29 designed layout — T30 and T34, differing only from the previous tower and weapons. T30 equipped with powerful 155mm gun T7, while armed with a 120mm gun T34 T53.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

experienced Tank T29E3 — perfectly visible range finder.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

experimental tank T30

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

experienced T30 tank, top view (tower deployed to the stern)

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

experimental tank T34

Several variants of these experimental tanks were designed for testing various thoughts and designs, including a gun stabilizer, optical rangefinder, hydraulic dosylateleyi different models of engines and boxes.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

experienced T32 tank.

At this time, the smallest in size model of the T32, armed with a 90mm cannon just passed the tests. The idea was born out of a desire to get a long-term solution for replacing your tank M26 Pershing, with the introduction of an increasing number of tried and mastered in a series of components, but to get at it all tank superior to the original security. Initially proposed by the 90mm gun T15 with the highest initial velocity of the projectile used the shots with a very long length sleeves, causing inconvenience in the proclamation of ammuni
tion. To solve this problem created tool T15E2, which had a separate loading (otherwise similar to the prior). Housing tank was lengthened in the undercarriage of the seventh added support roller, and the standard 23 "caterpillar equipped with optional 5" extender. The corresponding feature of the "longish Pershing" was the use of the box EX-120-type cross-drive, hydraulic torque converter. As expected, EX-120 had a lot of flaws and sought long and expensive surveying and development work for debugging, but specifically it led to a series of CD-850, which has become a standard box of American tanks for a long time.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

the layout of the tank T43

Since the beginning of the "Cold War" were activated develop three main lines of tanks — light T41, T42 and the average grievous T43. Detroit Arsenal Research has shown that taking as a base model of the T34 can reduce the weight of up to 58 ~ 60 "short" tone, if you use a lighter weapon of the same caliber, a few shortened body and increment angles armor.
This project was identified in late 1948 as a "heavy tank T43." The crew reduced by abolishing the charging of the second driver and helper, the turret remained the same (from T34), and the chassis was now only 7 support and support rollers 6 on board. Detroit Arsenal forthcoming study showed that increase the level of security, not going out at all this for the upper limit of the weight of the tank can be molded case if you apply an elliptical shape, with bolshennymi angles. The new design has been reflected in the layout,
Shown at the 1949 conference.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

2nd T43 layout

Proposals have been made to increment the diameter turret ring, and re-introduce a second charging, and set 120mm gun recoil system with the latest T140 concentric type (two cylinders roll recuperator and replaced by one large diameter cylinder placed around the trunk, it gave space savings inside the crew compartment.) November 7, 1950 have been revised notation armored vehicles, and from that moment the project was called «120mm Gun Tank T43». With the start of the Korean War in 1950, a situation similar to the year 1941 — U.S. tank forces were represented in the main models obsolete since the second World War and the small numbers mean M46. With all this work on the T43 is not advanced beyond a full-size layout. In this situation, it was decided to start production of the tank "as is," and the first 80 cars ordered Chrysler Corporation in December of the same year.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

The first pilot model T43.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

The first pilot standard T43 (kept clear elliptical shape of the nose).

Releasing first summer of 1951 on the ground the first pilot model T43, the company is based on the results of tests had brought a huge number of configurations in the project, and the last three pilot standard (there have been built schest) were so different from the first, which was given the designation T43E1. Midst of significant changes can be noted newest gun T123, introduction of new technologies has allowed the barrel to increase the pressure in the breech and raise the initial speed projectiles. So it was decided to return to the ordinary design recoil allocated first judgments on ease of maintenance, repair and overall reliability (brand new installation of the gun was planned only on production machines). The order was soon expanded to 300 units and was completed by a 1954godu. Begun in May 1953 test pilot reference number 6, and the serial number of the tank 8 revealed the hell of the situation — the tank did not meet the requirements of the army and the command of the Continental Army refused to accept it. All tanks have been placed in storage pending a decision. Having examined all prirekaniya the design was recommended to make 98 configurations that were approved in 1956godu. And in April of that year, the tank has been standardized and has received the designation 120mm Gun Full-Tracked Combat Tank M103. Only 74 of the initial 80 tanks T43E1 was brought to the M103 configuration. In 1957godu, at a conference at Fort Hood (Texas) have been put forward final requirements to the tank, to place it in Europe. After the next upgrade and successful passage of the tests, it was decided that the tank meets the required specification and can be put into service of the 7th Army in Europe (the first cars arrived on the mainland in January 1958). Tanks past the second step given the designation M103A1, the layout of this variant was tested as T43E2. In addition to 74 tanks in the army, Housing Marine Corps ordered 220 of the remaining 300 cars produced, too, bringing them up to the level of M103A1. Operation in Europe has uncovered another list of problems of the tank, such as the languid conditions of the crew, the missing engine power and its congestion and boxes, high-spirited barrel wear at unfrequented firing armor-piercing projectiles, and several others. But they left without correction, because the thought that the tank and in such a state can do its intended function. Marine Corps later ordered the last upgrade of the tank — after adopting a main tank M60, its diesel engine and fire control system was fitted and the resulting model is designated as the M103A2. Only a small number of tanks were upgraded — in the U.S. Army, as well as the Marine Corps languid tanks were strongly driven MBT M60.

Description M103A1 tank.

The hull and turret of the tank made a large cast of complex shape with welded flat bottom plates of armor.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

Traditional assembly, aft placement of the unit and the box. In the front part of the body elliptical, a penny post jobs mechanic vodietlya. In follow him fighting compartment housed the tank commander, gunner and two loaders. Located in the aft engine-transmission compartment holds V-shaped 12-cylinder engine AV-1790-5B (-7,-7B or-7C) air cooling, the company Continental, power of 810 hp at 2800 rev. / Min. Additional single-cylinder engine twisted 300-amp alternator, the second that of a generator operated from the main engine. Hydraulic box Cross-Drive CD850-4 (-4A,-4B) of Allison provide two speed walking in the front and one — the rear. Multi-disc brakes that are linked together with a box in a single unit. Suspension of the tank includes a seven-supporting and supporting rollers 6 on board. As elastic parts used torsion bars. The first three and the last two road wheels equipped with shock absorbers. Tracks width of 28 "provide ground pressure in the range of 0.91 kg/cm2.
Armament includes a 120mm rifled gun M58 machine gun with 38 rounds of separate loading, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and a 12.7 mm machine gun on the commander's turret guns ammunition cartridges 5250 and 1000, respectively. Usually ammunition consisted of 18 armor-piercing rounds, 15 high-explosive and smoke 5. It is interesting to note a fairly large percentage of high-explosive shells and the presence of smoke — the fact that the philosophy of the introduction of tanks of the Marine Corps (where most of the tanks M103) to anticipate working closely with the infantry and tank as opposed to FV214 Conqueror did not just anti- puzzles, and producing supporting infantry.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

The fire control system included the commander of the stereoscopic rangefinder (installed in the tower itself, unlike the FV214 Conqueror), ballistic computer (for mechanical and electrical series of early in the M103A1 and A2) and the gunner's periscope sight. Acts tank commander were reduced to target detection and ranging up to it, gunner entered into the computer data about the type of projectile and external criteria by hand, then machine gun mounted on the desired elevation. Additionally gunner can use the telescopic sight, in the event of failure or damage to the periscope sight.
The tanks installed M103A1 polik spinning tower, which facilitated the work of charging, in the unlikely event enforced "dance" around the breech at the corners of the tower on the floor of the crew compartment.

How the dinosaurs became extinct - the last heavy tanks (part 2)

Short tactical and technical characteristics:

Crew — 5 people.
Weight equipped — 56.75 tons.
Overall length — 11.4 meters.
Width — 3.63 meters.
The height of the roof of the commander's turret — 3.55 meters.
The highest rate — 33.5 km / h
Ground pressure — 0.91 kg/cm2.
The stores range — 130km on internal tanks and 230 with external tanks.

Armament:

M58 120mm rifled gun (38 rounds of separate loading).
7.62 mm coaxial machine gun (5250 rounds ammunition).
12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun commander (1000 rounds ammunition).

Reservation:

Forehead case — 127mm/60 ° ° 114mm/50 top and bottom.
Board housing — 51mm/40 ° top and bottom 44mm/30 °.
Forehead Bashi — 127mm/50 °.
Board tower — 137-70mm 20 ° -40 °.

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