Tank WZ-111. Chinese, grave, the only

The newest tank in the Chinese Army, as of the end of the 50-ies of the last century, was the average "type 59" — a licensed version of the Russian T-55. With languid tanks in China the situation was no better — just two hundredths as Russian IS-3. For this reason, in the 59-60 years of China's management has decided to radically renew the fleet of armored troops. The plan was to create a standard and just three tank: easy to spoof of "type 62" medium "type 59" and the languid IS-3.

Tank WZ-111.  Chinese, heavy, single

In the latter case, the Chinese engineers do not have to invent something new and revolutionary begun to develop a new tank, dubbed the WZ-111, with a very probable use of existing components and assemblies tank IS-3. Similarly, do not have to split hairs and assembly machinery, almost completely preserved it, although changing in accordance with the new requirements, a new instrument and equipment. The result of this approach was the appearance of the tank, just like a "source" IS-3 and more than a new Russian T-10. Some similarities observed in development: the case of the tank welded from rolled sheets of armor. The frontal part of the body was made on a "pike nose" and had a thickness of sheets (top to bottom) 60, 120 and 130 mm. In manufacturing casting tower wall with a width of 200 (forehead) to 80 (feeds) are welded 25 mm-mm roof with 2 hatches.

Armament coming WZ-111, like most of the designs were not created from scratch. "The main caliber" of the tank — rifled gun 122mm — was made on the basis of Russian D-25T. However, here the Chinese engineers still did not simply copy the standard one to one and added a kicker. In turn, the shots separately loaded for WZ-111 were copied from the respective Russian samples without noticeable configurations. Additional armament consisted of a 2-machine gun "type 56" (licensed version KPVT) — 1st paired with a gun and 1st zenith.

Power pack compartment, as in most of the tanks as long to WZ-111 was positioned in the stern. It was a 12-cylinder diesel engine, presumably copied from the Russian B-11. Motor power is 520 horsepower, then it is very bad for the whole project. The box with virtually no configurations copied from the IS-3. Chassis WZ-111 was in its composition of seven road wheels on the tracks, three support, steering wheel and driving on the rear. Road wheels had personally torsion bar suspension.

Tank WZ-111.  Chinese, heavy, single

The crew was to consist of four soldiers. The workplace of the driver was positioned in front of the tank, at the center, without bias to the left or to the right. The other three crew members were located in the tower. The gunner, who was sitting on the left of the gun, took the telescopic sight and planetary slewing tower with mechanical and manual actuators. In addition, the electric tower had a system of so-called "Commander's control": When you press a button commanding tower unfolded so Makarov, that gun was turned in the direction in which the commander's periscope oriented.

In 1960, was assembled an experienced model WZ-111. But instead of the tower by the design, it set the cutting of flat sheets, which had the same weight as the tower. There are different views, why not get the most experienced tank tower, but more true of all of them looked follow: large size of the breech of the gun is not allowed tribute to properly build the interior of the tower and the military branch as a whole. Because when the chassis has already passed the tests tower still in development. I must say it in the end and did not. But even with the most experienced tower simulator WZ-111 showed properties are not much worse than the IS-3. Speed 49-tonner on the highway was 35 km / h and the fuel enough to overcome 150 km cross country. But the 520-horsepower engine in the middle of the 60s was no longer enough. Specific power WZ-111 was only 10.4 hp / ton For comparison, in the last languid Russian tank T-10, this figure was about 15 hp / ton — one and a half times more. The third problem of WZ-111 was the case. Although he was almost completely analogous to the body IS-3, the quality of production was significantly worse. For this reason hulls WZ-111 was less rigid than initially planned. Was the attempt to strengthen his ribs or other structural additions, but the expected results are not given.

Tank WZ-111.  Chinese, heavy, single

Tank WZ-111.  Chinese, heavy, single

By 1964, the WZ-111 was never able to get a more powerful engine, a normal ergonomic turret and hull rigid enough. Because of this, China's military government has decided to close the project. Curiously, other programm to create new tanks for the People's Liberation Army of China, the situation was no better. Of the 3 projects to production reached only average tank "Type 69", made on the basis of the "type 59". It must be emphasized that the WZ-111, even with the new engine and the tower is unlikely to be able to become modern tank — there was already mid-60s and in the leading countries of vengeance created the concept of a main battle tank. The only built WZ-111 with a pyramidal tower instead of chopping at the moment is in the museum of armored vehicles PLA. So Makar, WZ-111 became the first and the last Chinese weary of his tank design.

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