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S-103 tactical nuclear recoilless gun

The recoilless guns S-103 was established under the leadership of V.Grabin, but the tests were not completed because of an accident.

The second half of the 1950s was the era of worldwide nuclear artillery, rockets remained still in its infancy, and delivering tactical nuclear warheads was something necessary. At the same time the widely known "capacitor" and "Oka" have a common drawback, terrible impact that made practical use of machinery difficult - no VEHICLAR recoil device could not withstand such. Therefore, a well-known designer VG Grabin attempted to construct a recoilless gun * for nuclear missiles.

Cannon S-103 was constructed as follows: The powder charge is burned in a special chamber at a pressure up to 2,000 atmospheres. Part of the gas received through the hole in the barrel and push the projectile, and the other part through a complex system created nozzle reaction torque balancing out. Trunks of a caliber of 280 and 420mm (according to other sources - 406mm) were mounted on special chassis, created from a heavy tank, similar to what drags "capacitor", and begin to choose from a large caliber, Soviet nuclear physicists were not yet ready to trample down the atomic bomb in 280mm projectile.

Barrel 420mm caliber was designed Grabinsky CRI-58 and made to plant ?221 November 1955. After that, the trunk was sent to CRI-58, where it was combined with the breech and mounted "0114BU" in a test of a ballistic installation. Tests have begun on Rzhev landfill January 13, 1956 and lasted until January 18, when at six shots cannon collapsed on the first turn of the thread, connecting the breech with the barrel. In this case the barrel flew forward, and breech - ago.

The defect has been identified, removed, and received only cosmetic damage to the trunk was bolted to a new breech. May 16, 1956 and resumed shooting with a break (17 July - 29 September) continued until 29 November. But on November 29 in the 101-m shot to the trunk and 95th - to set the gun was torn again, so much so that even blown tank chassis. On this topic 420mm bezotkatki to fire nuclear missiles in the Soviet Union was closed, and soon matured rocket almost covered the subject of years of atomic guns on 20 ...

The advent of nuclear weapons to radically change the military's views on promising technique. For example, already in the early fifties the beginning of consideration of possible large-caliber artillery shells, capable of firing missiles with nuclear warheads. In the Soviet Union, the original bold idea came to the realization in 1954. It was decided to create several types of "superorudy" of various types. At the landfill were to exit self-propelled mortar, self-propelled gun and recoilless gun. The latter received the designation C-103.

Work on the subject of prospective recoilless guns on self-propelled the chassis started in the CRI-58 (in 1959 attached to the OKB-1, now RSC "Energia"), under the leadership of V. Grabin in 1947. "7940" The project involves the development of an "active-reactive" 280 mm caliber cannon. The project remained on paper, but some of his ideas were later used in the development of self-propelled "0842" with a 406-mm recoilless rifles. It was this project in 1954 was the basis for ACS C-103, designed for firing nuclear shells.

Recoilless rifles of great interest both for designers and for the military. Created in the early fifties, self-propelled 2B1 "Oka" and 2A3 "capacitor" had extremely high rates of return, which places special demands on the design of the instruments and the basic machine. Given the caliber and the required power propellant recoilless scheme seen sufficiently convenient and simple solution to this problem.

As the chassis for prospective self-propelled artillery installation of C-103 was considered a heavy vehicle on the basis of the T-10M. In the mid-fifties Leningrad designers have created two such chassis, designed for self-propelled guns, "Oka" and "capacitor". They had to develop and landing gear for the C-103. It is known that in the prototype tools C-103 trials used some self-propelled chassis, but the details of it are missing. There is only a drawing showing a self-propelled assembly.

At a certain stage of development of the project C-103 appeared a proposal to make the so-called Artillery duplex, two self-propelled guns with guns caliber 280 and 420 mm, with the greatest possible degree of harmonization. It is known that the 420-mm gun was designed and built for testing. 280 mm caliber cannon could also be built, but due to problems with the larger caliber gun and remained on paper.

Both recoilless gun developed in the framework of C-103 were to have a similar construction. On the proposed crawler mounted artillery system with mechanisms of horizontal and vertical aiming. Unlike other nuclear "superorudy" SAU C-103 did not need serious recoil device or in the base plate to compensate for the extremely high returns.

Needless weapon was to consist of a rifled barrel and breech of a relatively complex construction. To ensure effective throwing the heavy 420-mm projectile impact and compensation design tools had to use a number of interesting decisions. Thus, the projectile was proposed to put into the breech of the barrel separated from the chambers for propellant-wall diaphragm. A similar partition was to be in the back of the chambers for the charge and to separate it from forkamory with nozzle openings. To avoid damage to the breech of the gun had to have a relatively thick wall.

Shot guns of this design was to be as follows. Propellant powder charge is combusted in their separate chamber forming pressurized at 2,000 kg / sq. cm. Part of powder gases through a hole in the front baffle, the diaphragm goes into the barrel and pushes the projectile. The remaining gases through another baffle and fall into forkamoru leave the instrument passes through the nozzle. Through the right combination of holes in the partitions sizes and dimensions of the nozzles intended to achieve the most efficient use of the energy of powder gases and full compensation benefits.

ACS Project S-103 was extremely difficult. He demanded a lot of tests and practical test different ideas. For these purposes, CRI-58 were designed so called ballistic installation: experimental recoilless rifles "0132BU" and "0114BU". The first had a caliber of 280 mm, the second - 420 mm. Test perspective "artillery duplex", it was decided to start with the larger caliber system.

In 1955, the plant #221 (now ON "Barricady", Volgograd) was requested to produce the barrel and breech "0114BU" ballistic installation. Production of these units was completed in November. Shortly thereafter, specialists CRI-58 combined with the barrel breech and sent them to the landfill Rzhevka near Leningrad.

The first prototypes of the shooting were carried out using a free stand pullback. Cannon "0114BU" installed on the bench and prepared to fire. The aim of the first shots was to determine the optimal propellant and development of trunk balance. The first shot gun made January 13, 1956. During the first phase of testing was done six shots, including two blanks.

The sixth shot fired January 18 ended in failure. Design tools could not stand the pressure and collapsed. Cannon torn along the groove of the first threads. Breech was thrown a few meters back, and trunk fall forward. Fortunately, the serious damage received only breech of the gun. The barrel with minor injuries, does not affect its characteristics, can be used in further work.

Testers and designers have identified the cause of the accident and have made a new breech with minor modifications. It was combined with the remaining trunk. At this time, a tool assembly mounted to the landfill does not stand, but on a self-propelled crawler.

May 16, 1956 to resume testing. Firing continued until July 17, when the cannon was sent to study and revision. Tests slightly modernized version of the C-103 self-propelled guns were conducted from 29 September to 29 November of the same year. "0114BU" weapons tests completed in late November because of an accident. In the next shot gun again tore. Unfortunately the sponsors, this time the damage was much more serious than in January. Restoring damaged ballistic installation was impossible, and the construction of a new thought impractical.

Prior to the first installation of accident "0114BU" made 6 shots (including emergency). The fatal shot November 29 became the 95th in the series, which began in May, and 101 m to the trunk.

Analysis of data collected during the tests showed that the continuation of the project C-103 does not make sense. Recoilless gun, with all its advantages over other "superorudiyami" at that time, had the dubious prospects and was too complicated. Shortly after "0114BU" ballistic test installation is complete, VG Grabin and employees CRI-58 stopped all work on the project.

It is noteworthy that the disappearance of a competitor in the face of ACS C-103 had no effect on the fate of mortar 2B1 "Oka" and self-propelled guns 2A3 "Kapacitor". In the late fifties, this technique has been tested and even took part in the parade on Red Square on November 7, 1957. However, "Oka" and "capacitor" and did not become serial. They were too complicated to manufacture and use, and the characteristics seriously inferior tactical missile systems, the development of which began at that time. As a result, the C-103 and other nuclear "superorudiya" and remained interesting developments, which have not led to any practical results.

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