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WZ132 light tank

In the mid-1960s, Sino-Soviet relations were in a state of extreme tension. At that time, the Soviet army had all achieved armored mechanization, with tens of thousands of advanced combat vehicles such as T-62 tanks. Facing the strong military strength of its northern neighbors and the aggressiveness of millions of soldiers in the border areas, our army, guided by the strategic policy of active defense, took the "Three Norths" (Northeast, North China, and Northwest) directions as the strategic defense focus to form A large defense system in depth with strong positions in the border area as the main body prevents enemy tanks from advancing directly; in the southeast coastal direction, a defense system with the "two peninsulas" (Shandong and Liaoning) as the barrier and the Yangtze River and the lower reaches of the Pearl River as the support is formed.

Landing operations are arranged to prevent large-scale landings that the enemy may carry out on us. However, at the current time of the enemy, the Type 59 medium tank, Type 62 light tank, and Type 63 amphibious tanks that have just been equipped by our armored forces all have the problems of "spear disadvantage" and "shield is not strong". It is difficult to fight against aggression. China defeats the enemy and wins.

In order to compete with enemy tanks, my country began to develop advanced tank and armored vehicles such as Type 69 medium tanks, WZlll heavy tanks (which will be introduced in the next issue of this issue), and ultralight paratrooper combat vehicles in the early and mid-1960s. In response to the urgent needs of anti-landing operations along the southeast coast, it was decided to develop a new generation of light tanks (the development code is WZl32) to change the passive situation of weak firepower of the southern "Iron Cavalry" troops.

The development of this type of tank lasted for nearly 10 years. The entire development process was divided into four stages: the first stage was from 1967 to 1969, which mainly carried out the combat requirements research and initial design of the tank; 1970 was the second stage, Under the influence of the WZl 32 light tank, which was tested by the "Ultra-Left" thought in the rice fields of the southern water network, the development of the tank had "overheating" problems, and the development work went a detour; 1971-1972 was the third stage, and the tank resumed normal development; The fourth stage was from 1973 to 1975. Due to a series of problems such as technical instability and immaturity, the development work was gradually terminated.

In Beijing from March 28 to April 3, 1967, the arrangement of the Armored Forces of the Military Commission, relevant departments organized a demonstration meeting for the development of a new generation of light tanks, and officially launched the development and battle project of a new generation of light tanks. The meeting comprehensively studied the main deficiencies of the Type 62 light tanks that have been equipped with troops, and focused on the improvement of the fire system and power system of this type of tank. At the same time, the experts at the meeting also discussed the fire control devices and new materials to be used in the new tank. The issues were deliberated and discussed separately.

After the meeting, the "132 Tank Three Combination Demonstration Group" was established immediately. The demonstration team then went to headquarters, troops and related scientific research institutes to conduct extensive research on the combat requirements and main tactical technical indicators of the new generation of light tanks, and on this basis, the general layout and main components of the new generation of light tanks were formed.

The preliminary idea of ??the demonstration team is that the new tank firepower system will adopt an improved 85mm tank gun and install a laser rangefinder; the power system will adopt an 8V135 engine, and the walking system and optical and electrical equipment will also be prepared in the 62 light type. On the basis of the tank, major improvements have been made to bring the comprehensive combat technical indicators of the second-generation light tanks to a new level. After the plan was reported, it was quickly approved by the superior authority. Beginning in February 1970, the factory began to carry out the overall design of the new tank in accordance with the combat technical indicators issued by the superior.

In the process of designing the scheme, the "Treasure Island Incident" that shocked China and foreign countries occurred in the border area between China and the Soviet Union in 1969. Facing the rampage of powerful enemy tanks, there was an increasing demand from inside and outside the military that newly developed light tanks must be able to destroy enemy medium tanks. Therefore, the factory undertaking the development task began to consider the possibility of light vehicles "carrying" artillery in early 1969, and began to conduct ground-breaking tests of large-caliber artillery on light tanks. The research work progressed very smoothly. In the spring of 1970, scientists and technicians successfully installed a 100mm tank gun for 59 tanks on a Type 62 light tank. The live ammunition test showed that the 62 lightly loaded large-caliber artillery is basically feasible. For the sake of caution, scientific and technical personnel conducted more systematic and comprehensive stability tests on light tanks equipped with large-caliber artillery. The effort paid off. After 111 shells were fired from the test vehicle, the light tank withstood the test of the powerful recoil impact. The chassis and other systems were basically intact, and it was basically feasible for the light vehicle to "carry" the artillery. The results of this experiment greatly encouraged the vast number of scientific and technological personnel.

While the scientific and technical personnel were conducting scientific design and strict and orderly experiments on the new tank, due to the influence of the "ultra-left" thinking, the relevant departments suddenly put forward unrealistic high index requirements for the new tank's combat technique index (called "Twenty-four instructions"), and set up a "two-four" battle office to lead the development of new tanks. At the same time, relevant units undertaking the development task are required to organize a "three-in-one" battle to develop and develop in the spirit of "launching satellites." A new generation of high-performance light tanks. To this end, relevant departments immediately organized and established a "three-in-one" battle team composed of more than a dozen units including factories, research institutes, universities, and troops.

Under the influence of the "ultra-left" thinking, the combat technical indicators of the new tanks have soared, and some indicators are not lagging behind. The file is recorded as follows: the combat weight of the new tank is controlled at about 18-20 tons; it is equipped with a 100mm smoothbore cannon (its barrel length is 4.7 meters, shorter than the Type 59 medium tank), and the ammunition is based on the original vehicle ammunition. Increase speeding armor-piercing projectile and armor-piercing projectile; equipped with 4 anti-tank missiles; adopting two-way stabilizer, daytime visible light sighting, night low light level night sighting (or thermal imager) and laser ranging three-in-one sight ; Vehicle commander day and night integrated low-light commander; installed ballistic computer; installed 430-450 horsepower multi-fuel engine; tank maximum speed 65 km/h, cross-country average maneuvering speed 42-47 km/h; installation adjustable Liquid-pneumatic suspension device.

The power system is mainly air-started and hydraulically assisted; it has amphibious capability and can be floated; it is equipped with a silencer for the engine exhaust device; it has the collective "three defenses" capability; the communication system is equipped with the most advanced cwT one 176-type unilateral belt or more advanced broadband tank radio station (currently rare); adopts nickel-chromium-free thin armored steel plate, low-alloy high-strength cast track shoes, cast aluminum alloy rubberized road wheels, and plastic ball turret seat And the command tower seat and so on. According to historical records, the new tank involved 28 high indicators, and these technologies had basically no technical reserves at the time. However, under the influence of the "ultra-left" ideology, these unrealistic high targets require that the spirit of "launching satellites" be implemented in the development of new tanks.

Under the ideological guidance of "launching satellites," the factory launched a high-target battle for new tanks in an all-round way. Beginning in late March 1970, the combat unit began to design the overall layout of the new tank. By June, the technical design was completed, and the first prototype was trial-produced in September. The prototype is equipped with an 8V150 longitudinal engine, a hydraulic power assist system for the control device, an adjustable liquid-pneumatic suspension device that can realize the pitch of the tank, the overall rise and fall of the tank, and the left and right tilt of the vehicle, and a 100 mm short-tube smoothbore gun. Soon after the prototype was prototyped, it participated in the shooting performance in Beijing on September 21 of the same year. During the performance, apart from the prototype cars outstanding performance in live ammunition shooting, five rounds and five hits, which left a deep impression on the visitors, there were piles of problems with other systems of the car, and most of the 28 supporting technologies had not been developed. In fact, it has a false name. For this reason, the relevant departments promptly denied the unrealistic high targets of the new tank, and required the overall design of the tank to be overthrown.

In order to correct the "overheating" problem that occurred during the development of the new tank in the second phase, on October 5, 1970, the "Twenty-Four" Battle Office held a "105" meeting to seriously summarize the experience and lessons of the previous phase of tank development. At the same time, according to the fact that the "three-liquid" system (that is, hydraulic transmission, hydraulic control, and liquid-pneumatic suspension system) and other components that are ready to board the vehicle in the "satellite release" are not yet mature or cannot meet the predetermined indicators, the conference will begin to brew. Adjust the high combat technical indicators of the vehicle.

On October 24, the "Twenty-fourth" Campaign Office held another research and development work meeting. In the spirit of seeking truth from facts, the meeting made major adjustments to the combat technical indicators of the new tank, changing the "three liquids" to "three machines" (that is, the use of mechanical transmission, mechanical control, and torsion bar spring suspension). At the same time, the new tank was proposed. The development guiding ideology must embody the "two salients", namely highlighting firepower and firepower control; the combat technical indicators must implement the "four requirements", that is, sturdy and durable, easy to use, easy to learn, easy to use, and it is required to overcome the first one. If the prototype has many meters, pipes, wires, and buttons, it should be simple and practical.

With the changes in the guiding ideology, the overall design of the new tank has also undergone major adjustments-the engine is changed from an 8V150 multi-fuel, supercharged diesel engine to a 12150L-7 horizontal 550-horsepower diesel engine with synchronization. The mechanical gearbox of the engine is still operated by hydraulic power, and the aluminum road wheels are changed to steel. The hydraulic-pneumatic suspension system continues to be tested on the first prototype vehicle, but other prototype vehicles are temporarily not equipped with the system; reduce the height of the turret, temporarily There are no two-way stabilizers, and 4 missiles are still retained; in order to strengthen the tank's air defense and strike capabilities against ground targets, it is prepared to replace anti-aircraft machine guns with 20 mm aerial guns; the artillery is prepared to use automatic loader.

At the same time, the relevant departments also clarified that if the vehicle cannot achieve floating, it will adopt the submerged crossing plan and require the vehicle to be used as a "gift" project. The redesigned new tank will be assembled before March 1971. In 3 months Complete the 10,000-kilometer test mission within the project, and strive to finalize the model on July 1, 1971. The adjusted guiding ideology and specific plans for the research and development were approved by the Central Military Commission and the State Council.

After the October meeting, in accordance with the general requirements for the development of "winter grabbing" put forward by relevant departments, the research unit used more than two months to complete the design of the new tank master plan again, and at the end of January and March 1971 , And completed the trial production task of the second and third prototype vehicles. After the trial production of the two prototypes, the researchers immediately set out to conduct various tests in accordance with the "132 Light Tank Design Finalization Test Outline (Draft)" issued by the leading agency. The test mileage of the two prototypes reached more than 9,000 kilometers. There are as many as 75 items. On June 11, two prototype vehicles underwent a large-scale bottom-out test of the firepower system. A total of 234 shells were fired, which achieved good test results.

Subsequently, the two prototypes were first tested in the Northeast in winter, and then in the Luofushan area of ??Boluo County in Guangdong Province and Daqing in Heilongjiang Province in summer. At the same time, after the original first prototype vehicle was modified, its adjustable liquid-pneumatic suspension device was also tested for 300 kilometers in the Luofu Mountain area. The test results show that the performance of the chassis of several prototype vehicles is stable. The main problem is that the generator hydraulic coupling on the engine breaks the shaft, the hydraulic booster control device has the phenomenon of cylinder wear in the later stage of the test, and the air start is not working properly.

Reliability, short life of air compressor and other issues. According to the test situation of the two prototypes, the factory immediately organized scientific and technical personnel to solve the problems in the test, and from the end of 1971 to the beginning of 1972, the test situation, the degree of completion of the indicators, the existing problems and the future work arrangements of the factory were reported to the "Twenty-Four." The battle office made a report and applied for the finalization of the new tank design.

After months of testing and continuous improvement, most of the new tank's combat skills reached the design requirements, but there are still some problems. In order to be responsible to the troops and to win the future anti-aggression war, the relevant departments once again organized a series of large-scale tests on the prototype vehicles, and continued to adjust the combat technical indicators according to the test conditions. For example, in December 1971, the relevant authorities clearly stated that the muffler to be installed on the exhaust pipe should be cancelled and the ballistic computer will not be installed for the time being.

On August 19, 1972, the "Twenty-Four" Campaign Office issued a notice again, and made some adjustments and modifications to the new tank's combat technical indicators and plans. Among them, the main changes in combat technical indicators are: the total combat weight is 21-22 tons; the main types of ammunition are speeding armor-piercing projectiles, armor-piercing projectiles, and shell (ratio 3:3:4); still equipped with 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine guns, two-way stability The vehicle and gunners night vision night sight device still adopts low-light type; the engine power is 520~550 horsepower; the maximum climbing degree is not less than 35 degrees; the diving depth is 4~5 meters, and the diving distance Not less than 800 meters; communication distance not less than 30 kilometers; installation of "three-proof" devices, etc.

The main changes of the overall technical plan include: temporarily not installing missiles, temporarily using the A-220 radio of the original 62 tank, canceling the hydraulic power control device, retaining the thermal smoke screen system, installing the old 12.7 mm machine gun, and installing the 59 type 7.62 mm parallel machine gun. The old-fashioned instrumentation of the original 62 tank is used, and the night vision and night sight system of the 69 type medium tank is used.

According to the changes in indicators and plans, the factory adjusted and modified the prototype again, and conducted necessary supplementary tests. For example, in view of the safety and muzzle velocity of the speeding armor-piercing projectile, the scientific and technical personnel conducted the fire system bottoming test from mid-January to the end of January 1973. The test items mainly include: the accuracy of shooting against a vertical target, the value of the muzzle shock wave, and the reverse recoil. The resistance of the device, the stress and stability of each component, and the reliability of shooting while traveling. A total of 77 shells were fired in the test. The results show that the new tank has good firing stability and can be used for on-the-go shooting. The main problem is that the shock wave value is high when shooting with a muzzle brake, the welding strength of this part is not enough, and the distribution of individual shells is relatively high.

For another example, in June 1973, scientific and technical personnel conducted a shooting test on a prototype vehicle with a ballistic computer installed in Daquanzi Township, Bin County, Heilongjiang Province. A total of 9 shells were fired. The test results show that the performance of the mainframe of the ballistic computer is stable, but the accuracy of the artillery is not high.

In order to enhance the ability of light tanks to overcome obstacles in rivers, during the development of the new tank, four large-scale floating tests have been carried out. The first three tests were carried out using an inflatable floating bladder. During the test, inflatable floats were installed around the new tank, and the tank was paddling in the river with tracks. The result of the test is that the floating speed of the new tank is only 1 to 1.5 kilometers per hour by adopting the method of inflatable floating bag. The fourth time was the floating test using fences. The experiment was carried out in Songhua River. Before the test, the scientific and technical personnel added a large encirclement (similar to an inverted umbrella. This method is used when the American M2 infantry fighting vehicle floats) above the tracks of the new tank. When the new tank floats by means of enclosing, the speed on the water is significantly increased. During the test, the tank is fast like a canoe, reaching a speed of 7.3 kilometers per hour on the water, and successfully crossing the Songhua River.

In the battle for the development of a new generation of light tanks, a number of scientific research projects such as liquid-gas suspension, rubber-mounted track shoes, flat rubber-mounted road wheels and ballistic computers achieved certain results, and automatic loading machines have also been carried out. The design has achieved preliminary results. After 1974, in view of the problems of 100mm short-barreled smoothbore guns, especially after the mid-1970s, the former Soviet Union successively equipped more advanced T-72 tanks to face a new generation of composite armor equipped by opponents. The main battle tank, the 100 mm short-barreled smoothbore gun is even more inadequate, and it has lost the significance of continuing to develop it. At the same time, because the two-way stabilizer and other problems were difficult to solve for a while, the development and design of the WZl32 light tank was gradually shelved. In 1975, the issue of the improvement of the Type 62 light tank was brought up again. Because the index of the new generation of light tanks was similar to the improvement of the 62 tank, the relevant departments gradually turned their attention to the improvement of the 62 light tank.

The last version of the WZl32 light tank still retained the original Type 62 light tanks elegant appearance and smooth lines, the difference is that the cars artillery is a 100mm short-barreled smoothbore gun. The gun is improved on the basis of the Type 69 medium tank (WZl21) 100mm smoothbore gun in accordance with the installation requirements of light tanks. The anti-recoil device is placed down, and the three types of ammunition are common to the Type 69 medium tank. From the appearance, the gun is about the same length as the 85mm gun of the 62 light tank, but the muzzle is equipped with a brake, which forms a sharp contrast with the smooth muzzle of the 62 light tank. In addition, like the 69 tank, searchlights with infrared night vision devices are installed above the artillery shield.

The overall internal structure of the car is basically the same as that of the 62 light tank. It is also a structure with a cab at the front, a battle room at the middle, and a power transmission room at the rear. The entire vehicle has four occupants, that is, the driver is on the left front of the vehicle. On the side, the commander, the gunner and the loader (the army is accustomed to call the second gunner) are all located in the battle room in the middle of the car. The gunner sits on the left side of the artillery, the loader sits on the right side of the artillery, and the commander sits on the right side of the artillery.

In addition to the main gun, the auxiliary weapons of the vehicle are the same as the 62 light tanks, namely 1 12.7 mm high-level dual-purpose machine gun, 1 7.62 mm parallel machine gun, and 1 7.62 mm heading machine gun. The crew's self-defense weapons are 2 submachine guns (the original car only gave the second gunner a submachine gun), 2 pistols (the original car commander, gunner and driver are all equipped with pistols) and 16-20 shells.

The vehicle carried 41 rounds of shells, including armor-piercing shells, armor-piercing shells and shells. The placement positions of the shells are: 4 rounds on the rear side of the turret, 2 rounds on the right side, 2 rounds on the left deck inside the car body, 4 rounds on the right deck, 13 rounds between the battle room and the engine, and the honeycomb fuel tank ammunition rack on the right front of the battle room. (That is, the bomb rack fuel tank introduced before) loaded 16 rounds, a total of 41 rounds (later changed to 39 rounds). There were 2,400 rounds of 7.62mm machine gun rounds and 500 rounds of 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun rounds.

The vehicle has been trial-installed with a basic semiconductor ballistic computer, and used the same bidirectional stabilizer as the 69-type medium tank. The sighting devices mainly include: the gunner's three-in-one laser rangefinder sight, the commander's infrared night vision device, and the driver's infrared night vision device.

Judging from the performance of the fire control system and the sighting device, the car is more advanced than the 69 tank: first, the 69 tank does not have a ballistic computer, and the car has been tested with a ballistic computer; secondly, the 69 tanks laser rangefinder is externally mounted. It was not a real integration of measuring and aiming, and the laser rangefinder main unit of the WZl32 tank is integrated with the scope, so the main unit cannot be seen outside the turret.

The biggest highlight of the vehicles power system was the installation of an air compressor. As long as the engine is started, the air compressor can automatically inflate the high-pressure air cylinder, ensuring sufficient starting air source and realizing that the engine is started mainly by air. Electric starting is supplemented. The basic principle of air start is as follows: the high-pressure air from the high-pressure air cylinder enters the air distributor through the air passage, and the distributor sends the high-pressure air to each cylinder in time according to the working sequence of each cylinder, pushing the cylinder piston to move, and starting the engine. The biggest advantage of air start is that the start is fast and smooth, and there will be no problem of the starter motor gear and engine gear not meshing.

Operators encountered the problem that the motor gear and the engine gear did not mesh when the 59 tank started (the crew called the "top gear". Whenever encountering such a situation, the driver has to repeatedly pull the joystick and push the clutch to make the engine gear move to "engage". If these methods do not work, one occupant has to open the blinds of the transmission, step on the cooling fan at the rear of the transmission, and drive the engine gear through the fan transmission to solve the "top gear" problem. Although this method is simple, it works best. Of course, whenever this happens, no one who has already sat in the tank is reluctant to go out and step on the fan.

Although the development of the new generation of light tanks had gone through hardships and ended in fruitlessness, some of the achievements in the development of parts of the parts obtained in the years of development were later applied to other new tanks and armored vehicles; the vast number of scientific and technological personnel accumulated valuable in the development process Experience has also been used in the development of other tanks and armored vehicles. Looking back on the past, the development of the vehicle has long been history, and the technical materials filled with warehouses have also become dusty memories. However, this is the only second-generation light tank research and development process in my country so far, but it also left us a lot.

During the development process of the car, affected by the "ultra-left" thinking, there had been a phenomenon of "launching satellites" and high overheating of indicators. A large number of new technologies that are difficult to overcome in a short period of time had been installed, which violates equipment scientific research. This made the development work take a long detour, invisibly prolonged the development cycle, and lost all the technical advantages that could have been obtained. As a result, the development of a new generation of light tanks that had no technical advantages at all had to be suspended. At present, the development of a new generation of armored equipment at home and abroad is basically based on the use of mature technologies in main components and systems, or technologies that can be overcome in a short time, in order to save development costs, shorten the development cycle, and ensure the availability of new research equipment. Feasibility and reliability. Key technologies that are difficult to overcome in a short period of time are generally broken through through pre-research, and technical reserves are made for the next generation of new equipment.

Second, the inaccurate positioning of the combat requirements at the beginning of the development of the vehicle was not focused on solving the innate deficiencies of the Type 62 light tanks weak firepower, but simply pursuing the improvement of the combat technical performance of the vehicle, which led to the deviation of the development work. "Liquid" and others have poured too much enthusiasm, and they are also diligently seeking the floating ability that should not be a light tank, which is a bit of a "taste" of abandoning the last. In the later development work, the problem of fluctuating combat requirements appeared again, and the indicators were changed and there was no fixed number.

Third, when the Type 62 light tanks were just equipped with troops and the technology had just matured, it was a bit too hasty to rush to develop a new generation of light tanks. The first is the lack of new technology reserves, and the risk of rushing to the new generation of light tanks is too high. In fact, the development of the WZl32 tank was fruitless, and it was precisely because of the risk, because the problem it was trying to solve was also the problem of the later 62 light improvement. Secondly, under normal circumstances, the development of a new generation of tanks generally takes ten years or even longer, and the improvement of existing equipment requires a much shorter period. Therefore, in order to meet the urgent needs of military struggles, priority should be given to 62 light tanks. Make improvements. In fact, from the beginning of the development of the WZl32 tank to 1975 to no avail, and the development of the WZl31-1 light tank during the same period was also discontinued in 1969, the southern armored force has not been able to compete with the enemy's medium tank in the past ten years.

In the mid-1960s, Sino-Soviet relations were in a state of extreme tension. At that time, the Soviet army had all achieved armored mechanization, with tens of thousands of advanced combat vehicles such as T-62 tanks. Facing the strong military strength of its northern neighbors and the aggressiveness of millions of soldiers in the border areas, our army, guided by the strategic policy of active defense, took the "Three Norths" (Northeast, North China, and Northwest) directions as the strategic defense focus to form A large defense system in depth with strong positions in the border area as the main body prevents enemy tanks from advancing directly; in the southeast coastal direction, a defense system with the "two peninsulas" (Shandong and Liaoning) as the barrier and the Yangtze River and the lower reaches of the Pearl River as the support is formed. Landing operations are arranged to prevent large-scale landings that the enemy may carry out on us. However, at the current time of the enemy, the Type 59 medium tank, Type 62 light tank, and Type 63 amphibious tanks that had just equipped China's armored forces all have the problems of "spear disadvantage" and "shield is not strong".




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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:07:12 ZULU