«Abrams», «Leopard», «Merkava» …

When in 1913 the lieutenant punter Bursztyn Austrian War Department introduced its own project wheeled-tracked tank, the answer was the resolution «man crazy.» And, of course, if his idea was not supported. Now, almost 100 years later, armored vehicles in the toolbox at least some more or less efficient army. Moreover, the tanks were the main striking force of the ground forces, the personification of their power, and the upcoming development of armored vehicles, many countries are paying great attention. With all the variety of tanks main requirements for them remain constant. The tank should move, shoot, and successfully resist attempts to kill him.

M1 «Abrams»

Today a leading position in the capitalist world in terms of development of armored vehicles occupy the United States. The main tank of the U.S. Army became M1 «Abrams» and its modifications. By drafting this machine started first 1970s. In February 1980, at an army tank plant in the town of Lima (Ohio) was released the first production tank.


Tank M1 «Abrams» has a traditional assembly and has a massive booking welded hull and turret. In front of their parts used multilayer reservations. Upper front hull has a large angle relative to the vertical plane that reduces its vulnerability to armor-piercing shells.

Sides of the hull and the top of the chassis to protect against chemical weapons covered overhead armor shields. Increased attention has been given to the insulation crew from ammunition and fuel due to the installation of internal partitions armor. Automatic fire-fighting equipment in the event of fires triggered almost simultaneously. Extinguishing used LPG.

In the closed hatches a driver, whose office is in the middle front of the chassis, drive a tank through reclining T-shaped control column motorcycle type associated with an automatic transmission through a respective lever. Located in the upper part of the column shift lever set to neutral, reverse and front-running (two positions). Fuel supply is adjusted by turning the control handle tips column.

105-mm rifled gun M68E1, stabilized in 2-planes guidance, installed in armored turret radial rotation. To her left is a place charging, and right — the commander and gunner. The bulk of ammunition gun located in a secluded bay in the turret combat pack.

As a subsidiary of weapons used coupled with the gun 7.62-mm machine gun. Second gun of the same caliber mounted in front of the charging flap, 12.7-mm machine gun mounted on the commander’s turret. For smoke-screens on the sides of the tower mounted six-barrel rocket launchers, there is also laying system.

Tank M1 «Abrams» has a modern fire control system. Laser rangefinder and an infrared imager device integrated into the main gunner’s sight. Subsidiary telescopic sight. The commander has the prefix from the main gunner’s sight, this it can be monitored directly with the gunner, and periscope sight for shooting from 12.7-mm machine gun. Along the perimeter of the commander’s cupola has 6 observation periscopes, which allows radial review. Digital ballistic computer, made by solid-state elements, capable of sufficiently high precision angular count amendments for firing. He gets a gun from a laser rangefinder distance to the target, are also introduced angle axis trunnion guns, crosswind speed, and ambient temperature.

For the first time in the tank manufacturing zabugornom on M1 «Abrams’ gas turbine engine installed ACT-1500 provides the highest mobility of the tank enough. This engine can run on different types of fuel. Coupled with the fact celebrated its shortcomings such as the complexity of air pollution control and excessive fuel consumption. Hydromechanical automatic transmission provides four assists and two front running back. Torsion bar suspension, hydraulic shock absorbers with wing on the first, second and seventh road wheels. Caterpillars have removable rubber pads and rubber mount.

Protection system against weapons of mass destruction, that are equipped with a tank, if necessary, supplies of clean air filter system to masks crew Prevents also hit in the fighting compartment of radioactive dust or toxic substances, creating excess pressure in it. There are also instruments of radiation and chemical reconnaissance.

In August 1985 began the creation of a modernized version of the tank, the M1A1 designation. It is set 120-mm smoothbore gun. In order to improve the protection of the crew in action criteria for contaminated land, together with the introduction of personal funds Tank M1A1 «Abrams» resettled system creation of excess pressure in the fighting compartment. Armor front parts of buildings and towers comprises incorporating depleted uranium, which owns 2.5 times more dense than steel. How to find South American experts at the use of this technology has allowed to increase the armor protection of tanks, including against the cumulative ammunition.

In 1992 he went with the flow assembly further modification of the tank, designated M1A2. Configurations include improved commander’s cupola, a laser rangefinder, thermal unit commander radial observation, thermal monitoring device for the driver, and the latest information system controls the fight or onboard information system. He gives full tank commander groove overview of what is happening on the ground and in the air, as high-end communication with other machines, helicopters, artillery and infantry. Usually by pressing a button on the screen called for previously recorded commands. This is precisely and twice faster than voice. Significantly synchronizes actions with the actions of the commander arrow observation complex. Report a target is detected immediately passed the arrow and start searching for the latest. Accustomed to radio interference, cardboard cards and colored pencils level of equipment M1A2 seems a miracle.


MBT British forces «Challenger-2» manufactured by «Vickers Defence Systems.» It is the third tank, named after the «Challenger». The first was the «Challenger A30» — version of the tank «Cromwell» of the second world war. The second was the «Challenger 1» — main battle tank early 1980s — mid-1990s, took part in the Gulf War.

«Challenger-2» — one of the more heavily armored tanks Western: the tower and the body covered with armor «chobhem» second generation, all the information on which hitherto classified. Complex protection against biological and chemical weapons is inside the tower. Front, on both sides of the tower are 5 rechargeable installations shoots smoke grenades. «Challenger-2» can also make smoke around him Zahav by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust ports.

The main feature of the tank «Challenger-2» was the turret of the latest design. It has the lowest visibility in the radar spectrum. The new 120-mm rifled gun with a barrel length L30 55 caliber designed specifically for promising tank. The bore in order to expand the life of tools made brilliant diameter pins and sockets under their increased to reduce vibrations barrel in azimuth and elevation, and as a result the accuracy of fire growth. Ammunition for the gun includes 50 rounds of separate loading projectiles and charges are stored in the combat pack newest design separately from each other.

Angles pointing guns in the vertical plane from -10 ° to +20 °. Drives turret and pointing guns at one hundred percent electronic. The gun is stabilized in the 2-planes. Left of the gun mounted coaxial with him 7.62mm machine gun «Chain Gang», such as a machine gun mounted on the turret hatches near the loader. Ammunition for the guns 4,000 rounds.

Crew jobs in the newest tower placed subsequent way: right from the gun — the gunner behind him commander (commander’s somewhat elevated above the gunner’s place), loader — left of the gun. For the first time on the British armored vehicle equipped with a standard interface NATO military equipment. It is believed that this will allow dramatically increase the speed of information exchange between different forces, leading martial acts. The commander installed stabilized panoramic periscope sight. In the view of the sight displays information about the location of the tank and its course. For fighting NIGHT MODE has video monitoring unit, which displays an image on the night channel Gunner. Along the perimeter of the commander’s cupola taken eight observation devices, giving the total radial field of view. System management tool is a computer upgraded tank M1A1 «Abrams».


French Main Battle Tank — AMX-56 «Leclerc.» It was created on the basis of joint development of the Franco-German project of the 1980s. «Leclerc» resettled 120-mm smoothbore gun, which uses the same ammunition as the German «Leopard 2» and South American M1 «Abrams», but has a huge barrel length.

Thanks to the stabilization of a 2-tank planes able to conduct aimed fire on the move, and autoloader provides the greatest rate of fire of the gun 12 shots per minute. Ammunition includes 22 shots located in boeukladke in the tower, and 18 — in the case. Additional armament includes twin 12.7-mm machine gun and 7.62-mm anti-aircraft. Nine 81mm smoke grenade can also use fragmentation grenades and IR-traps.

«Leclerc» resettled modern fire control system. The commander has a panoramic sight with a laser rangefinder and an image intensifier, the gunner — thermal sight, while the driver — night vision goggles. In the tank as computerized command and control system FINDERS with color monitor, which displays the digital map of the area. On the map, you can plan routes and maneuvering the nomination, denote its position and the enemy, which simplifies the preparation and conduct of combat operations.

The power plant consists of a 10-cylinder diesel engine capacity of 1,119 kW SACM (1,500 hp..) And an automatic gearbox. Hydropneumatic suspension provides a smooth ride on the highest terrain.

Total until 2007 was released 760 machines. Currently, the creation of «Leclerc» discontinued. In service with the French army are 406 tanks. «Leclerc» — the most expensive in the midst of modern tanks.

«Leopard 2»

The main German tank is one of the more successful and vserasprostranennyh, and by some estimates, and more advanced tank in the world. Today produced about 3,500 vehicles of this type, which are the armies of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Greece and others.

In the Bundeswehr «Leopard 2» began to come in October 1979. Since its creation in 1990 discontinued, but are upgraded already delivered machines. It includes increased armor protection of the hull and turret, tank installation information management system, improved suspension components.

The tank has a traditional scheme of the general assembly. Hatch the driver is in the front part of the body with an offset to starboard. It partly overlaps with the position of the gun turret forward. Despite the large inclination angle of the upper front plate (81 degrees), a driver in firing position operates the machine sitting.

Jobs tank commander and gunner are right of the gun, loader — left. Height from rotating Polikem crew compartment to the roof of the tower is 1,650 mm, which is a little permissible value for the usual criterion of charging standing.

The main armament of the tank «Leopard 2» — 120-mm smoothbore gun developed by «Rheinmetall». The trunk has a heat shield and ejector made of fiberglass. Ejector for barrel length is shifted to the breech, in a zone of high pressures of powder gases to increase the effectiveness of its actions. The inner surface of the pipe stem is reinforced by autofrettage. Barrel life is more than 500 shots.

To increase the accuracy of shooting two brakes rollback placed symmetrically on the gun. Gun ammunition — 42 rounds. Used armor-piercing projectiles solidbody DM23 tungsten alloy and multi-cumulative fragmentation shells DM12. In recent years, the adoption of new weapons armor-piercing projectiles.

After the shot misses the pan liner gilzoulavlivatel mounted on the gun and having a suction powder gases. To remove the pallet from the tank, also used to load ammunition hatch in the left side of the tower.

As a subsidiary of weapons used coupled with the gun and 7.62-mm anti-aircraft guns with a total 4,750 rounds ammunition. Shooting from the AA gun being charged.

«Leopard 2» resettled advanced fire control system. Its main elements are: periscope combined laser rangefinder sight gunner, panoramic periscope sight-surveillance device commander auxiliary articulated telescopic gunner’s sight, electric digital ballistic computer, also electrohydraulic stabilizer.

The main gunner’s sight is aligned with the laser rangefinder has a thermal channel NIGHT MODE for shooting at ranges up to 2,000 meters. Field of view independently stabilized in 2-planes. Range of laser range measurement is 200-10.000 meters. To protect the eyes from the laser irradiation gunner in the optical channel sight mounted filter. When shooting NIGHT MODE Pressing the «Shot» triggers a special curtain covering the field of view to avoid blinding flash own shot.

In the tank is foreseen redundant fire control of the gun from the commander. Commander’s cupola is not turning because the perimeter flap commander has 6 daily prism device for radial angle. Coffee machine ballistic calculator takes into account amendments to the target speed, crosswind, range to the target, gun trunnion axis tilt, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, its speed of the tank and barrel wear. Manually entered temperature correction charge and type of shot.


First tank «Merkava» was officially handed over by the Israeli army in October 1978. Currently, the main tank is the Israeli «Merkava» Mk3. His presentation was accomplished May 4, 1989, and soon he was accepted for service. The main issue in its development was to enhance the protection of the tank.

On Mk3 applied modular armor, which is attached to the body of the tank and tower bolts. Notes a number of advantages that gives the introduction of modular armor. This possibility of substitution of affected parts in the field criteria, the substitution of more advanced modules, facilitating weight of the tank for transportation by removing the extra armor. At the same time weakens the bolted connection structure of the tower and its snaryadostoykost.

Installing the 120-mm smoothbore gun sharply escalated tank firepower. The gun design is similar in almost all German 120-mm tank gun, but the system rollback barrel after firing a small-sized Israeli guns. Shooting from the 120-mm tank gun Mk3 likely all types of American and German ammunition. Standard ammunition to the gun — 50 shots. Shots are stored in personal containers.

The volume of the crew compartment managed several increment in order to improve the criterion of the crew. In front of the tower is installed on the sides of one block Quadruple smoke grenade launchers
78.5 mm. The tank was installed gun control, developed by «Elbit». Gunner got a new sight with independent of the position of the gun barrel stabilization of the optical axis. The sight has
12-fold increase. In sight integrated laser rangefinder. Night Channel Gunner has
5-fold increase. Gunner has automatic tracking device target.

The tank boosted to 1,200 hp diesel air cooling AVDS-1790-9AR. Increasing capacity in the main achieved through the use of latest design and turbocharger
improved cooling system. As an elastic suspension element rollers used twin coil springs. On the first and sixth hardpoints mounted hydraulic rollers travel stops at 4 knots average — hydraulic suspension.

As a result, a huge number of improvements to the third modification of the tank «Merkava» Mk3 worth 2.3 million dollars.

«Type 99»

PLA main battle tank is a tank «Type 99». The program to create a machine developed over fifteen years — since the mid-1980s. The initial goal of the development of the Chinese tank was to make a fighting machine capable of counteracting Russian T-72, but changing realities forced to do the development of more complex machine.

More recent developments of combat vehicles «Type 99» were aimed at confrontation with South American tanks «Abrams». Because Chinese tank copies some technical Ososbenno American war machine. Yet the appearance of the tank «Type 99» had some impact Russian T-72 tank. Branch management is in the head portion in the center and power pack — aft. Complete replacement of warped motor can be made within 30-40 minutes in the field criteria.

Suspension tank everyday torsion type and has 6 rubber wheels on each side, the rear drive wheel. To accommodate additional equipment and anti-tank in tank «Type 99» tower made slightly larger than the previous model. It may be, According to experts, the main drawback in the fight, because when hit by a projectile tower there is a large possibility of separation from the body of the tank turret. In addition, the design of the tank is not very elaborated in case of cumulative penetration projectile armor. In the interior bulkheads have feeble places and in contact with the projectile even the aft crew threatens virtually inevitable death.

The main armament of the tank «Type 99» — 125 mm cannon. This instrument — Chinese private development. Exhibited types of munitions contain armor, cumulative, high-explosive shells. Shooting accuracy is achieved by using a laser rangefinder, a wind sensor, ballistic computer, and thermal barrel jacket. Dual axis stabilization ensures effective firing also on the move.

The commander has six periscopes, allowing stabilized panoramic view. Apart from this, set the screen indications thermal gunner’s sight, allowing commander to fire a cannon without a gunner. «Type 99» resettled onboard information processing system that can collect information from the system GPS, surveillance systems and sensors, process it, and upload to the tank’s computer. Later, this information is displayed on the screen commander, giving him the opportunity to see in real-time battlefield.

Armament includes also a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7mm anti-aircraft gun, which is placed over the flap commander. Any side of the tower has five 76-mm 84-barrel smoke grenade launchers. Tower and tank shell are all-welded iron armor design. Armor packet-modular design allows rapid replace warped departments. Reactive armor can be installed if necessary.


Basic Indian combat armored vehicle — tank «Arjun». Work on the technical design of the tank was started in 1974. Tank has a traditional assembly diagram. The driver’s compartment is located on the right, the tank commander and gunner — in the tower to the right of gun, and charging — left. In appearance resembles a machine, the German «Leopard 2».

The main armament is a 120mm rifled gun. In gun ammunition includes shots with armor-piercing, cumulative, armor-piercing high-explosive, high-explosive shells. Indian designers developed armor-piercing projectiles with exaggerated features of armor penetration. Gun paired 7.62-mm machine gun. Another machine gun mounted on the turret roof for firing at air targets. The fire control system includes a laser rangefinder sight, two-plane stabilizer, ballistic computer and electric thermal sight.

The armor protection bow welded body — combined with a huge angle of the upper front plate. Sides of the hull reserved protivokumulyativnymi screens, front part of which is made of armor material. Frontal plates welded turret placed vertically and are combined barrier.

Blocks smoke grenade placed at the stern. Resettled tank protection system of weapons of mass destruction and a high fire-fighting equipment.

Tank mounted on a 12-cylinder diesel air cooling moschnostyu1.500 hp In the chassis used unregulated hydropneumatic suspension, Dual wheels with external cushioning, and rubber tracks with rubber mount and removable rubber cushions.

According to reports, India continues to work on creating the latest generation tank. It is planned that he will develop a active armor and be able to fight in the contaminated areas. The new tank will develop a 120-mm rifled gun will be able to create and launch anti-tank missiles. With all of this will be only the weight of 50 tons, in other words, he will be 10 tons lighter tank «Arjun».

Tanks coming

Improvement tanks engaged in all major countries. First, global manufacturers are working on weapons. The implication is that the caliber of the guns of tanks coming to an average of 140 mm. In addition, there are intentions to create electrical and elektrotermohimicheskie gun. With all of this shell will develop original speed 4.000-5.000 m / s, which means that the increase in Penetration couple of times.

More fundamental protection for the tank. To this end, there are quite a few options to improve armor. Plans manufacturers equip armor tank e also additional systems to counter. Developers coming tank did not pass and the tank assembly itself. One of the new design concepts of a tank division on 2 huge compartment. One will focus all control, and the second compartment is quite isolated. And finally, what will certainly be embedded in a tank case — LAN communication between all the tanks on the battlefield. Not counting the fact that the crews will be able to talk together, they will all be connected to the command pt.

In fact, the armored vehicles on the verge of the recent revolution. That, in fact, has already shown the exhibition «Eurosatory 2010», held in June in the suburbs of Paris. It showed Israelis tank ‘Merkava »Mk4 with a system of active protection against all types of anti-tank missiles, which was voted the best in the world. Germans — a new «Leopard-2A7 +», whose frontal armor, according to the manufacturer, can withstand all types of hit sabots. They also showed a concept tank MBT Revolution, made, according to the German engineers, «dueling with Russian tanks.» Said at the exhibition and the new Chinese tank armor which is designed taking into account the technologies used on stealth fighters American. Along the edges of its towers in separate sponsons are two six-barreled automatic cannon to defeat the latest anti-tank and low-tech RPG. Main ion cannon 115 mm powered by an onboard reactor Hyperion. How-the-horizon radar guidance system capable of trapping gun reflected electrical pulse from the stratosphere.

Quite obvious that the application of advances in modern technology will allow tank building armored vehicles for the foreseeable future to preserve the role of the 1st of the leading funds in the system of combat arms of the Army.
Creator Andrew Zabolotskikh, «reddish star» 2010


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