Object 279 Heavy tank
“Object 279” is an example of an “extreme” design approach, when one technical indicator of a combat vehicle (in this case, resistance to a shock wave of a nuclear explosion) is sacrificed by all the others. The slightly flat body resembled a flying saucer in shape. Such a design was supposed to prevent the machine from turning over by a shock wave from a nuclear explosion.
The onset of the nuclear age and the risk of starting a war with the use of weapons of mass destruction set new tasks for tank designers. It was necessary to create a machine that was ready to complete the task without any problems in terms of the use of nuclear weapons. A special machine was needed, which, firstly, was to protect the crew from radioactive radiation, secondly, to be able to easily overcome any obstacles on the ground, dotted with holes and craters from the projectiles, and thirdly, weigh no more than 60 tons, and all this possess powerful weapons.
By the mid-1950s, the situation with heavy tanks in the USSR was rather difficult - those samples that were already in service or outdated (IS-2 ), or would be too expensive to manufacture (IS-4) or have poor performance (IS-3), or not well protected against modern anti-tank weapons (T-10). In other words, at the moment when the country’s arsenal already consisted of as many as 4 types of heavy tanks, each of which had certain disadvantages, the Main Armored Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Defense announced the requirements for the fifth model. One that was supposed to combine the best features of previous models.
As of 1956, the “ideal heavy tank” was supposed to have a mass of no more than 60 tons, and to have a 130-mm cannon as the main armament. The development was entrusted to the design office of the Leningrad Kirov and Chelyabinsk Tractor Plants, with the selection of the best sample on a competitive basis.
In 1957-1959 Three prototypes of a heavy tank reached the prototype stage: "Object 770" (Chelyabinsk), "Object 277" (Leningrad) and "Object 279" (Leningrad). At the same time, the Leningrad "Object 277" represented the development of the T-10, but the "Object 279" was a completely new development, and so bold and interesting that so far it is considered one of the most unusual in the history of world tank design.
The works on "Object 279" were headed by L. S. Troyanov (who had previously worked on IS-4). This car stood out literally for everyone, but the most characteristic detail, of course, was an unusual undercarriage consisting not of a pair, but of two pairs of caterpillars placed under the bottom of the tank.
Unlike the other two prototypes, "Object 279" had an enviable maneuverability on rough terrain, almost absolute protection, and could operate in conditions of radioactive contamination of the terrain.
The heavy tank “Object 279” had a classic layout, the body of the machine is made in the form of a cast structure of four massive parts connected by welding. Spaced curved profile steel screens were installed on the side surfaces of the hull, providing additional anti-cumulative protection and streamlined shape of the hull.
Tower - one-piece, hemispherical, oblate. In contrast to the “Objects” “277” and “770”, which had rather differentiated security of the tower, the tower of “Object 279” had a uniform powerful armor belt along the entire perimeter with a normal thickness of 305 (319 according to other data) mm and a slope of 30 degrees ( reduced thickness - 352 mm). At the course angle 0, the armor of the tower at an angle of the turn of 45-65 degrees reached 500-800 mm! As a result, "Object 279" received an unprecedented, record level of protection achieved without the use of a combined reservation. The extremely powerful frontal armor (192 mm) was inclined by 60 degrees and had a turning angle of up to 45 degrees: which provided the equivalent of armor already up to 550 mm thick. The protection level of “Object 279” ensured the inoperability in the shelling from any tank weapon of that time, even at the closest distances. The tower of the tank was hemispherical solid, had a uniform powerful armor belt along the entire perimeter with a normal thickness of 305 mm and a slope of 30 degrees.
The armament of the tank consisted of a 130-mm rifled gun M-65 and a 14.5-mm KPVT machine gun coupled with it. The muzzle energy of the gun reached 15-16 MJ - 1.5 times more than the modern 120-125-mm smooth-bore guns. The loading of the gun is semi-automatic, providing a combat rate of up to 7 rounds per minute.
The equipment of the “Object 279” included:
- Two-plane electro-hydraulic stabilizer "Thunderstorm".
- Stereoscopic rangefinder TPD-2C with independent stabilization.
- Night sight TPN, combined with the device IR illumination L-2
- Semi-automatic fire control system.
Almost half of these innovations appeared on serial combat vehicles only by the mid-1960s. Additional equipment of the tank included a radio station R-113, thermal smoke equipment, a system of radiation, chemical and biological protection, a fire extinguishing system.
The chassis of the tank was completely unique, its units were mounted on two supporting structures (at the same time - fuel tanks), passing under the tank bottom, and included 4 track chains, 24 single support rollers with internal damping on an adjustable hydropneumatic suspension - 6 each for each crawler, 12 small supporting rollers of similar design, 4 sloths and 4 driving wheels. Thus, the actual absence of ground clearance was achieved, the impossibility of landing on the ground and the extremely low specific pressure — 0.6 kg / sq. cm.
Another interesting fact is that despite the apparent massiveness of the 4-track undercarriage of the “Object 279”, due to the original design, it was even lower by 500 kg of the “usual” 2-track undercarriage of the heavy T-10 tank.
For installation in the "Object 279", two diesel engines were worked out: DG-1000 with a capacity of 950 liters. with. at 2500 rpm and 2D-8M (1000 hp at 2400 rpm). Both diesel engines - four-stroke, 16-cylinder, N-shaped, with horizontal placement of cylinders (to save space in the low hull) - reported the speed of the highway along the highway at 50-55 km / h with a range of 250-300 km. Instead of a mechanical transmission, the Object 279 was equipped with a single-flow three-speed hydromechanical transmission. The planetary gearbox was partially automated. The undercarriage design provided the tank with an almost complete lack of ground clearance, the impossibility of its landing on the ground and a relatively low specific pressure of 0.6 kg / sq. cm.
However, the design was too unusual, and as a result, too "raw." According to the results of tests of the “Object 279”, which took place in 1959, a number of serious deficiencies in the running gear were revealed. Thus, its adopted device entailed low turning power, loss of efficiency when driving on viscous soils, the complexity of repair and maintenance, the complexity of manufacturing and the impossibility of reducing the overall height of the tank. Already at that time it became clear that the "Object 279" was not destined to become a production vehicle: the most ambitious, highly specialized and expensive of the three experienced heavy tanks, it had to give way to Object 277 or Object 770. Nevertheless, the project was not rejected, and most likely it was even supposed to finish it up to a more “conditioned” state.
However, on July 22, 1960, at a demonstration of new technology at the Kapustin Yar site, N.S.Khrushchev categorically banned the adoption of any tanks weighing more than 37 tons.
The career of “Object 279” was put to an end, and the work on the car rolled up. The only surviving heavy tank of the “Object 279” type is currently on display at the museum of armored vehicles in Kubinka. An interesting fact is that until the T-80U appeared, the “Object 279” remained the most protected and powerful tank in the world, having a record level of protection achieved without the use of dynamic protection.
|Developer||LKZ Leningrad Kirov|
|Date of issue||1959|
|According to the hull||6.77 m,|
|Armor, forehead||93-269 mm|
|Armor, board||100-182 mm|
|Armor Tower||217-305 mm|
|Engine||1x diesel 2DG8-?, 950 hp|
|Stroke range||250 km|
|Maximum speed||55 km / h|
|Armament||1x 130-mm cannon M-65 (24 shots), 1 × 14.5-mm machine gun KPVT|
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