There were times when the designers thought that the best protection of the tank against HEAT projectile is … umbrella! Yes, yes, do not be surprised, particularly in the form of an umbrella, wear on the barrel of the gun was manufactured unique protection. So much so, that she even planned to adopt, and tested on various Russian tanks.
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The successful application during the second World War, anti-tank weapons to the cumulative principle defeat armored objects pushed engineers and scientists for the upcoming improvement of this type of ammunition. After the war, armor-piercing shaped-charge projectiles was increased by almost half.
By that time, it became clear that the reservation Russian tanks T-54, T-55, T-62 does not provide protection against the above ammunition. The thickness of the armor parts of our tanks were: upper frontal plate of 100 mm at an inclination of 60 °, the lower front plate 100 mm with a slope of 55 °, the board body 80 mm at 0 ° and forehead Tower 170-90 mm at 23-55 °. Because protection 85 mm cumulative projectile with copper funnel needed to have a thickness of the upper front plate of 215 mm 250 mm of the lower frontal, side hull 250 mm at the same angles. When firing 115-mm shells cumulative these characteristics would be 260, 290 and 200 mm, respectively. Such an increase in thickness of the armor parts of the hull tanks would lead to an increase in their weight by 9-10 tons, which, for obvious reasons, it was unacceptable.
Therefore, for solving the problem of protection of tanks in the direction of the firing and the hull sides in the spectrum of course angles of 25 ° from the cumulative rounds of ammunition and 115 mm in 1964, was developed and passed extensive tests encompassing screen protection ZET-1. It consisted of a mesh windscreen and solid side shields.
Features screens as protection against chemical weapons specifically based on the fact that when hit at this very screen HEAT projectile his break came to the meeting with the armor of the tank, resulting in a jet stream is formed, before you do your tank's armor, flew in the air a significant distance. When driving in the air jet decay occurred, resulting in its penetration decreased sharply, and she could not penetrate the armor.
Weight mesh screen was 60 kg, the small distance between the screen and armor — 1800 mm. Transfer time from traveling to combat was 2-3 minutes, and for the installation of the screen to tank — Less than 15 minutes. The difference screens for tanks T-54/55 and T-62 consisted of only across the base, securing the barrel cannon. Side skirts were sectioned type and made of aluminum. They weighed about 200 kg, a small distance between the sides of the tank and the screen section (section at an angle to the axis of rotation of the tank 30 °) was 1500 mm. Transfer time from traveling to combat accounting for about 1 minute, and the time of installation on podgotovlennny tank — 3 minute.
The emphasis in comprehensive security testing was done to determine its viability during the shelling, and is durable and the operation of the tank.
According to the plan of developers ZET-1, it was to ensure the destruction of only one section of the screen when you hit 85-mm projectile, and 2-sections in contact 100-115-mm projectile. Conducted first 1964 test firing almost completely confirmed plans designers. Additionally noted that the substitution of one section of the field criteria was only 2 minute.
More important step test was to check the reliability of fastening screens. For this seasoned tanks T-55 and T-62 have been running tests (total 500 km) with overcoming various obstacles. At their end was noted that the mounting board as well as the mesh screens are generally quite firmly.
In conclusion, the Municipal Commission noted "a significant increase in the effectiveness of the protection of the tank in the application of the above protection" also recommended "to take on the supply of Russian army frontal mesh screen ZET-1". In respect of side skirts encouraged to review the method of attachment to the tank.
But the mesh screens are not particularly "settled down" — on the orders of the chief of the Head Tank-Automotive managing their implementation provided exclusively in the "period of threat, particularly to the fighting." After adopting the T-64 and T-72 with a fundamentally different structure of armor (multilayer) snaryadostoykosti overestimated the need for mesh screens and completely disappeared.
The T-55, equipped with comprehensive protivokumulyativnymi screen protection (stowed position)
The T-55, equipped with comprehensive protection protivokumulyativnymi screen (firing position)
The T-62, with a comprehensive protivokumulyativnymi screen protection (stowed position)
The T-62, with a comprehensive protivokumulyativnymi screen protection (firing position)
The case of the T-54, equipped with a comprehensive screen protection and prepared for the test firing slug
T-62 tank, equipped with comprehensive protivokumulyativnymi screen protection overcomes plot undergrowth
Tank T-55, equipped with a comprehensive protivokumulyativnymi screen protection (firing position)
Screen status ZET-1 and the upper front plate after hitting the screen 100-mm hollow-fragmentation snayaryada gun T-12
Type of shielding the starboard hull of the T-54 after 4 hits 85mm HEAT projectile with a copper funnel
Type of shielding the starboard hull of the T-54 after the first hit of the cumulative 85-mm projectile