Even during the second World War, the German military industry revealed how she loves all kinds of innovation and okolofantasticheskie projects. On the one hand, it eats up a lot of money, so fundamental for a country at war, and on the other — a lot of the then later found the concepts of the present application. After the War of German designers have not abandoned their own desire for new products and, among other, were among the first to work on the unified armored platforms.
More precisely, as is usually the case, the military conducted a series of consultations in their own environment and with the engineers made the approximate form of armored cars of the future and the coming selected all of these activities in a separate topic titled NGP (Neue Gepanzerte Plattform — Bimbo armored platform). However, skeptics wits almost immediately came up with the latest transcript: NieGebaute Panzer (tank, which is not yet completed). It happened in the early 90-ies of the last century. German military could realize — thought a single database for the entire line of vehicles for different purposes and 20 years old and not considered to be promising. In addition, the Bundeswehr did not want unnecessary spending, and unification is just a very great impact on the money side of at least some of the project, in particular the project, which implies a complete rearmament.
Dates for the work were discussed followed by this: before 1996 and developed a work plan view of a platform, a 99-mu was necessary to make the terms of reference and begin to develop competition. Until 2005, it was planned to bring the tank up to the brain, and before 2009, and BMP based on it. By the 15th year, was scheduled to start arming troops with new tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, and after the 20th to add to them and the rest of the family car NGP (ARV, anti-aircraft self-propelled gun, machine support of tanks, combat engineer tank, etc.).
First, the engineers have to work out the question of the crew. At the time, automatic loader has permitted to reduce it. Based on this logic, it was assumed automate and other parts of armored vehicles to reduce the number of people coming into the tank. In 91 test module was built, two-seat cockpit. Naturally, we had to work closely to automate various processes, but ultimately failed to reduce crew Up to 2 tankers. But all this would require huge costs of time, and this experienced crew compartment module entitled KRM was ready only in 1997.
Along with the crew module, matters related to defense, weapons and accessories. At the same options were considered even fantastic: seriously considered using an electric gun on NGP caliber 140 mm. But the idea pretty quickly abandoned — by completely impartial reasons, the world’s population will not have long-term suitable for mobile equipment designs such weapons. So tank NGP should to carry an old good «powder» gun. With the caliber long not hesitate — have opted for conventional 120 mm, although were thinking about promising a 140-mm cannon.
As project calculated for the future, it was decided to find new methods to improve protection. Of the several options chosen modular reservation. So Makar, chassis, which has its own armor, can be «covered» by additional armor plates that improve protection. Accordingly, the BMP family of NGP, not curb additional armor, could have the lowest weight and the driving characteristics that are typical of this class of equipment. Tank, in turn, at the factory must be equipped with the respective panel thickness. With all of this considered the possibility of their removal to facilitate the transport aircraft tanks: tank flying separately from the extra armor.
What’s all the same to the engine, then, without further insidiously, decided to choose a comparable small-sized motor respective capacities. Small size motor was not a fad but a necessity. The fact that the engine compartment on the platform initially planned to make NGP aft. For a tank that’s not scary, and fighting machine infantry in this case are at risk of losing office for the landing. Accordingly, the engine should be small and not to interfere with the placement of a fighter. However, while Germany still had the motor with suitable traits, but in the Bundeswehr about not grieved: time to create NGP was pretty and engine builders have time to just in time.
In 1996, when the Bundeswehr determine with a view of the future machine to work was immediately attracted a number of companies: Krauss-Maffei, Mak Systemgesellshaft, Henshel-Wehrechnik and others. By the time the NGP looked kind of followed this:
— modularity. Base of the entire line. Allows you to set the chassis on one set of units designed into a machine.
— combat weight of about 55-60 tons for the heavy infantry fighting vehicles and 55-70 for a main battle tank.
— compacted assembly. Due to it planned to provide the greatest amount of payload (ammunition for tanks and troops to BMP) or small size of the machine.
— accommodation of the crew inside the body and the desert tower. For this and created a module KRM.
— engine capacity of more than 1800 hp Particularly that of diesel should was to provide the desired properties have been driving the heavy machinery.
— multilayer modular armor. As already stated, was to provide and protect, ease of production and operation, also facilitate the transport of cars available resources.
— active protection. All machines of the family, except for the subsidiary, had to carry the active protection. What’s all the same to repair and recovery and other devices based on NGP, then they then still just not doing so in the future, and they could not get enough protection.
— modern electronics, providing management tool mnogokalibernym tank and small-caliber gun BMP. Of course, a different set of equipment for each machine.
Overall, at the time NGP looked very exciting and promising project. The matter even reached the armored vehicle demonstration EGS, which have been combined in a compact, excellent handling properties and the crew module. Among other, EGS showed how useful a modern tank is a small front silhouette and as well to reduce its impact accommodation of the crew inside the housing.
But … In 1996, on the NGP «spun off» programm PUMA (Panzer Unter Minimalem Aufwand — armored car with a low price). The requirements to determine its comparable rapidly, and by the end of February 98th Bundeswehr issued a document regulating the development of German armored vehicles.
Unfortunately, NGP it was assigned to the smallest role than we would like. Namely, it has affected the financing of the newest armored bay. And by 2001 it was clear that PUMA has enormous potential and cost even less than the creation of the BMP family. Because NGP was closed, and a number of developments, including the modular reservation, ran across the «inherited» newcomer project. So Makar, giving almost all modern car, «Tank, which is not built yet, «was the» Tank, which will not be built. » But from a unified bronesemeystva refused exclusively in Germany. Other countries — Sweden, the U.S., and even our homeland Poland — intensely engaged in this direction. Understand whether their techniques fate NGP, is not yet clear.