“DRAGON” TANK DESTROYER

Question about creating a tank with a missile weapon for the first time raised the Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, V. A. Malyshev at the meeting with representatives of the tank industry on 31 January 1956 in Itself the idea of equipping tanks missiles was not new. Back in the 1930s on the tanks of the BT experiment was set starting devices for large-caliber rockets (RS) during the great Patriotic war base light tank T-60 was used to install reactive systems of volley fire (MLRS); the work was carried out on equipment of heavy tanks KV-1 TO the short tank rocket artillery system (KARST), but it remained at the stage of prototyping. The allies some American tanks “Sherman” had the rockets as secondary weapon. All the tanks weapons missile weapons was to install an unmanaged type RS, ERS-132.

 
However, by asking the chiefs of tank design Bureau: “which one of you is engaged in the installation of missiles in tanks?”, V. A. Malyshev was referring to a new generation of weapons, namely: managed anti-tank missiles — ATGM, combining a high probability of hitting the target and a huge amount of armor penetration cumulative warhead (KBCH).
 
The first ATGM was developed in 1944 — 1945 in Germany, and by the end of the 1950s they were armed the armies of all developed countries. Firing range ATGM was up to 6 km thickness punctured their monolithic steel armor protection reached 600 mm. the New anti-tank weapons immediately tried to equip and tanks. In 1959, the French engineers first in addition to the 75-mm gun its a light tank AMX-13 was equipped with a battery of four ATGM type SS-11. By the early 1960s, these extra weapons were equipped with British tanks “Conkeror”. Installation ATGM were placed on the armored French “Guccis”, American М59 and M113. Because of the complexity of reloading launchers (PU), they were equipped with batteries ATGM-type multi-barrel MLRS.
 
Already in the 1950s it was believed that the ATGM should either complement the conventional tank weapons, or can be placed on the mobile unit to strengthen anti-tank defense as infantry and tank units.
 
The rapid development of ATGM in those years even led some political and military leaders to the idea that the era of tanks ends that served food to the wrong conclusions in the direction of the development of the domestic tank. Was discontinued development and research work that promised much earlier to approach the creation of a main battle tank, development of its missile and gun armament.
 
In early August 1956 V. A. Malyshev once again we held a second meeting on “rocket” theme, inviting industry representatives, and the Chief of the Main armored rakotoarisoa offices. At the meeting, V. A. Malyshev all present have specifically been tasked together to create a fully armoured tracked vehicle armed with ATGM. All interested persons should gather in working order and to prepare a draft joint Decree of the CPSU Central Committee and Council of Ministers. The main condition was: missile weapons must be under the armor. This ruled out the use of multicore PU and required the installation of special machine loading.
 
L. N. Kartsev, a former chief designer of the tank, CB (Department 520) in Nizhny Tagil, in his book “My fate — Nizhniy Tagil” recalled those years: after that meeting, “began grouping developers. Despite the reluctance of A. A. Morozova a new business, it is to him first connected the developers of rockets J. Kotin, on the contrary, burned with a desire to install missiles in the tank. He also picked up associates. Organized team and the chief designer of the Chelyabinsk tractor plant p. P. Isakov. I was left with nothing to do. I was just “not enough” firms-developers of missiles. Naturally, I became excited and was aloud to resent discreditation attitude, gbtu to our KB. Suddenly, sitting next to a stranger said, “And let’s try and we are with you!”. This man was Alexander Emmanuilovich Nudelman, a well-known designer of aircraft automatic weapons of the war years, who decided to convert their KB for the creation of anti-tank missiles. He asked me to connect it to the consultant on future rocket firm of academician A. A. Raspletin.
 
Conceived by V. A. Malyshev the Resolution of Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a long time and was published only in may 1957, after his death.”
 
A. A. Morozov, skeptical about the idea of “missile” tank, from the task virtually eliminated. Chelyabinsk and Leningrad were treated the matter more interested and tried to create a “missile tanks” (this name insisted J. Kotin) on the basis of their experimental machines (objects 757, 772, 775 282, 286, 277, 278). However, the triple load — simultaneous lapping of the tank and the installation of a new weapons with automatic reloading — was for them unbearable. All these teams developed missile tanks never went beyond the creation of prototypes.
 
The only accepted on arms manufactured and commercially, was the rocket tank the it-1, created in KB of the Ural car-building plant. F. E. Dzerzhinsky in Nizhny Tagil under the leadership of L. N. Kartseva.
 
When working in a new direction in KB Uralvagonzavod decided to create missile tank based on serial instead of a gun to install missiles, placing it in the newly designed fighting compartment.
 
The major subcontractors managed missile weapons in the initial phase was OKB-16, and KB-1 led by A. E. Nudelman and A. A. by Rsplatinum. Subsequently, all the work on the control system of the tank controlled a missile (TOURS) led CB-1 of the State Committee on radio electronics under the guidance of A. A. Raspletin. Chief designer of the rocket complex has been designated by A. I. Bogdanov; the control system of the complex was engaged in Y. P. Yakovenko, shell — D. L. Tomashevich, in addition to which along with CB-1 work was carried out in the CDB-14 (instrument design Bureau) under the direction of chief engineer B. I. Chudolinska. Sighting devices for the complex was developed in CDB-393 (CDB KMZ). Work on missile guided weapons, dubbed “Dragon”, was held under the theme № 2.
 
Fig. 1. Tank destroyer it-1
 
Fig. 1. Tank destroyer it-1
 
Fig. 1. Tank destroyer it-1:
 
1 light FG-125; 2 — 7.62-mm machine gun PKT; 3 — illuminator, L-2R; 4 — TOURS ЗМ7 (on the front and the back conventionally not shown); 5 — the mechanism of delivery; 6 — antenna of the radio station R-123; 7 — flange of the exhaust manifold of the engine for attachment of the valves, OPVT; 8 — marker light, rear; 9 — brackets to install a 200-l fuel drums; 10 — headlight with svetamaksimova showerhead FG-127; 11 — tow rope; Of 12.17 — external additional fuel tanks; 13 — night sight 1ПН12; 14 — cover of the operator-gunner; 15 — the manhole cover in the country, TOURS to CP; 16 — cover for pipe installation, OPVT; 18 — protective mesh on the weekends louver fan; 19 — protective mesh on the inlet louver on the water cooling radiator of the engine; 20 — a cover of the hatch of the tank commander; 21 — prismatic observation devices commander; 22 — observation device TKN-3; 23 — driver’s hatch; 24 — prismatic observation devices of the driver; 25 — day sight 1-OP2; 26 — antenna transmission control system TURS “Dragon”; 27 — tow hook, front; 28 — position lamp, front; 29 — seat driver; 30 mechanized rack TURS; 31 — operator-gunner; 32 — a first-aid kit; a 33 — stores-boxes for machine gun PKT; 34 — MTO; 35 — support roller; 36 — Board-resetpoint; 37 — the control lever of PMP; 38 — gaiter; 39 — periscope surveillance device of the driver; 40 — course 7.62 mm machine gun PKT; 41 — sight of the operator-gunner; 42 — rack-container TURS; 43 — diesel-54; 44 — the exhaust manifolds of the engine; 45 — water radiator of the cooling system of the engine; 46 — transmission; 47 — fan 48 — towbar, rear; 49 — a log for recovery

 
The initial draft missile tank, which received the designation “Object 150”, developed on the basis of the initiative of the prototype (sample) of a medium tank “Object 140”, using components and assemblies motorostroitelnoe Department (procurement) of the serial medium tank T-54. The project was completed in December 1957 and Subsequently due to the failure of KB to continue the work on the experimental tank “Object 140” (the only sample which produced in 1958), further work on the fighter tanks continued in relation to the basis of the serially produced by the plant of the T-55. Then missile tank was transferred to the base T-62, developed by Nizhnetagilsky began in late 1958 — early 1959
 
Made according to the technical project, the new tank had only missiles — retractable PU with ammunition of 15 TOURS ЗМ7 “Dragon”, 12 of which were placed in the automated stacking, carrying out the movement and flow of shells to the PU. Semi-automatic guidance system of the missile with command transmission by radio beam to ensure the conduct of fire during movement of the tank and hit targets at ranges from 300 to 3000 m.
 
TURS were performed on the aerodynamic configuration “duck” and packaged with a launcher rack-a container with a mass of 15 kg and consisted of CBC with golovanovym piezoelectric fuse snap action with remote arming; hardware compartment, which housed the station of the armed forces-And reception of control commands, autopilot, power supply, air-reinforcing block (VAB) and the handlebars; two-chamber engine; stabilizers and block the tracers.
 
Using 1 — 1.5 s after the start of the TOURS of the bottom of the safety-detonating mechanism was ready to work to undermine CBC. If the slip and fall of a shell on the ground CBC did not work, it was being undermined through the 35 — 45 s after the start from the liquidator. In addition, CBC had antiblikovoe device, protects it from being eroded in the fall TOURS in the vicinity of the tank.
 
Station all-And were intended to receive high-frequency signals and convert them to control voltages of low frequency to adjust the autopilot course and altitude.
 
Autopilot consisted of a gyroscopic unit and two servos. Because in flight, the projectile was rotated with a frequency of 2 Hz, the gyro unit is laid out the course and elevation commands for steering servos in accordance with the angle of rotation of the projectile.
 
PSA provided the servos are powered by compressed air and resurretion gyroscopic unit. The PSA consisted of a steel cylinder, gearbox and elektrozapalom. The air pressure in the cylinder was 220 kg/cm2, it is reduced to 10 kg/cm2, with which the air is fed to the steering servos and gyro when arson elektrozapalom on the “start”command.
 
The power supply was designed to provide electricity to station armed forces and autopilot; it consisted of three batteries of the T-170M with solid state voltage stabilizer, DC.
 
Starter motor for 0,4 — 0,9 dispersed with TOURS to the speed of 217 m/s, and the sustainer support it constant on the trajectory for the 12 — 15 seconds.
 
An annular block of tracers were placed around the nozzle and provided the reverse light line connection with the tank destroyer. It consisted of five segmental and two day twilight tracer: the first was used in daytime conditions, the second — only in the twilight. Switching was carried out in the tank by changing the polarity of the ignition.
 
The positive qualities of the project were: the use of core nodes MTO a serial T-55 tank, tight layout of the crew compartment, good protection of the frontal part of the armor, machine equipment systems, OPVT, the groove and the thermal flue apparatus (TDA), the reduction of the total height of the machine compared with the serial T-55 tank. The advantage of the developed control system was the high trajectory of the projectile on the main leg of the flight, excluding the impact of the projectile on local obstacles.
 
However, the complex guided weapons was characterized by some disadvantages. First of all, they were associated with the large size of the projectile when folded (1250x230x230) and the expanded tail (tail swing 850 mm), which led to difficulties in placing a projectile in the machine, the design of systems of mechanization, start and etc. in addition, this has led to the increase in the height of the line of fire. In this context, the question was raised about the need to research the possibility of launch of the projectile the Dragon with folded wings.
 
Another disadvantage was the presence of each projectile heavy guide rail has a container with a mass of 15 kg, dropped from PU after the shot. This fact increases the weight of machine 225 kg (respectively, reduced the ammunition). The location on the roof of the turret is poorly armored units, including PU, increased their vulnerability to enemy fire as in marching and in fighting position: at the start are not protected by a shell about 6 was on the firing line at a height of 2438 mm, which could lead to his defeat by splinters, bullets, etc. in addition, in the event of failure of the elements TOURS in combat produced his discharge with PU in the direction (that is, expensive shell is simply thrown away), which was irrational, because the failure could be caused by minor easily avoidable defects.
 
The need for stabilization of TOURS to PU on the angle of roll has led to considerable complication of the PU and reduce the reliability of its work, and the mechanized mounting of the rack and the number of blocks of the control equipment of the projectile in the body of the tower has reduced the reliability of their combat operation when hit by a shell in the tower.
 
In addition, the project was a system for manual loading of PU and in case of failure of the mechanization of loading for any reason, the crew could not use the main armament of the tank. The presence of not fully mechanized ammunition of Tours (three shells were in the fore laying) led to the fact that overloaded their power rack was only possible at a certain position of the tower.
 
The designers of the KB-1 and CDB-14 had to work hard on developing a reliable and effective system of missile control. Tailcone under the leadership of L. N. Kartseva the main focus of his work was devoted to the creation of original die-cast low-profile turret and the fighting compartment.
 
The first prototype missile tank almost fully assembled by mid-1960, In June 1960, “Object 150” sent to the landfill in Kubinka, and from there a factory sample of the tank was taken to the Kapustin Yar in the Astrakhan region, where on July 22 the same year, he, along with other new weapons revealed at the site members of the government headed by N. With.Khrushchev.
 
After demonstration of the machine the government began long-term (within three years) the debugging process and debugging of various systems, primarily the system of missile control. Along with the improvement “of the Object 150” on the basis of average tank T-62 1961 — 1962 in KB Nizhny Tagil factory, under the leadership of L. N. Kartseva was designed and manufactured the prototype of a medium tank “Object 167” properties of protection against weapons of mass destruction. It was assumed that the Soviet Army will be adopted not medium tank T-62, and a new, more perfect — “Object 167”, on the basis of this “Object 150” and was transferred to the base of the tank. But the plans of nizhnetagilski went awry. In view of the failure of the government to adopt the tank “Object 167” adopt further work on the missile tank “Object 150” at its base was terminated and continued on the machine on the basis of average tank T-62.
 
In April 1964, two prototypes of the tank were transferred to the joint tests, during which they produced 94 controlled start-up TOURS “Dragon”. During the next display of military hardware on 11 September 1964 tank missile “Object 150” pleasantly surprised H.With.Khrushchev three tours with a distance of 3000 m destroyed one after the other three targets (tank shot the young officer NIIBT polygon G. B. Pasternak).
 
In March 1965 he completed the state tests of the complex guided weapons “Dragon” in field conditions and conducted tactical military exercises. Shooting out of the tank “Object 150” was carried out in wide range and variety of conditions: with a move, when moving on different tracks, at stationary and moving targets of various types, in different weather conditions and at all times of the year. The targets used shield (frontal and side view) of the hull, remote-controlled tank and sloped armor shield to armor penetration rating.
 
Comparison of results of firing at stationary and moving targets when firing with stroke showed that the speed of the target and the speed of the firing tank had little impact on the effectiveness of shooting the Probability of hitting teletank in different conditions was 0,889. In the process of operation, running and firing tests, it was found that basic parameters of the weapon system stability. In the high temperatures of the ambient air missile armament worked reliably, and the radio line transmission of commands of the complex showed resistance to electronic jamming.
 
Given the positive results of control tests, the Commission, headed by the Chief Marshal of armored forces by P. Rotmistrov, recommended “the Object 150” into service in the Soviet Army. Resolution of the CPSU Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers from 3.09.1968 and the order of the Minister of defence of the USSR of November 6, 1968 tank “Object 150” complex “Dragon” was adopted under the name “tank destroyer it-1”.
 
A great contribution to the development and creation of prototypes, and the development of mass production it 1 made many designers, researchers and workers of pilot production: the Deputy of chief designer I. S. bushnev and V. N. Venediktov, Yu. A. Kipnis-Kovalev, E. E. Krivosheya, V. M. Bystritsky, V. I. Etmanov, G. G., Ostanin, N. G.Izosimov, Y. G. Gancho, A. N. Skornyakov, A. O. Dobisov, M. G. Kizin and many others. The chief designer L. N. Kartseva for this work was awarded the title of laureate of State prize.
 
The Ural car-building plant. F. Dzerzhinsky produced the first serial of it 1 in 1968 and continued their production in small series in 1970 over the years the production was released 220 machines. Tank destroyers entered service of separate battalions, one of which was in Belarusian, the other in the Carpathian military districts.
 
In the process of testing and operation of the complex showed high reliability (to 96.7%). But for all its virtues fighter tanks proved difficult to manufacture, and in operation. Its design flaws (large size, mass of the instrument Board in the tank was 520 kg, outdated element base, a large dead zone, etc.) and the absence of a cannon on a tank was the reason for removing the it-1 production in 1972 — 1973.
 
After the removal of the tank destroyer arm its database used for the production of armored trucks BPS-4. Refurbishment of tanks it 1 in tractors BTS-4V was carried out in the factories of major overhaul of gbtu MO.
 
However, despite the removal from service of the tank the it-1, in Vniitransmash under the leadership of V. S. Starovoitova was studied the advisability of the transfer tank missile complex “Dragon” on the base of the T-64A while improving the characteristics of the complex. But it turned out that the preparation for the installation of this weapon system could not be finalized until 1972, when he won’t be able to compete with promising TOURS.
 
The work done by designers KB Uralvagonzavod headed by L. N. By karawin in collaboration with the groups KB-1, CDB-14, TSNII-173 and other organizations, was not in vain Use the experience of creating complex guided weapons “Dragon” and other anti-tank systems, as well as the need to increase the main armament Russian tanks in the range of defeat of designers led to the creation of the rocket-gun tanks T-64B, T-80B, T-72B and their modifications. Set as primary weapon of the launcher with the complexes of guided weapons “Cobra”, “the Reflex” and “Svir” made it possible to hit modern armored vehicles a potential enemy with a range of 4 — 5 km. And the creation of complexes of guided weapons “Sheksna” and “Bastion” helped to modernize the Russian tanks in the first post-war generation of T-54, T-55 and T-62, increasing their combat capabilities to the level of the tanks of the second post-war generation. In addition, in recent years, the Russian army adopted the combat vehicles, created on the basis of the light-armored towing vehicle MTLB multi-purpose and combat vehicles of infantry BMP-3 with the use of new management principles and latest achievements in the field of element base — anti-tank guided missile systems “Sturm-C” and “Chrysanthemum”. However, they are inferior to the tank destroyer it-1 on the level of security and possible firing of a stroke. These requirements are most completely met by the newly designed fighting machine tank support — BMPT, in the complex weapons which is similar to anti-tank weapons. The name of this car says about its purpose for itself
 
M. PAVLOV, I. PAVLOV
 
(To be continued)

Noticed mistape? Highlight it and press Ctrl+Enter, to inform us.

Recommend to read

  • “DRAGON” TANK DESTROYER“DRAGON” TANK DESTROYER
    Designers Uralvagonzavod im. Dzerzhinsky, overcoming many difficulties, has created an entirely new fighting machine of the it-1 was the first domestic tank with high-precision weapons....
  • “SHERMAN” WITH “LONG HAND”“SHERMAN” WITH “LONG HAND”
    The defeat of the English troops on the European continent and the loss of almost two thirds of their tanks forced the British to seek the assistance of the United States. To make up for...

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: