GERMAN GRANDPA “ABRAMS” AND “LEOPARD – 2”

MW 70 in Museum of the US army on the ground in Aberdeen, MarylandAn American prototype tank under the index ХМ803 in the Museum of General George. Patton at Fort Knox (Kentucky, USA)In the summer of 1963, the Ministers of defense of the United States and Germany – Robert McNamara and William Hassel had signed a bilateral agreement on joint development of a new main battle tank (MBT) for the armed forces of both countries. The program was called the MBT (Main Battle Tank). It was assumed that in this way it is possible to create a single tank of NATO. First and foremost, this project was caused by the appearance in the Soviet Union T-64 tanks, superior in many characteristics of the machines available then, armed with the NATO countries.

 
Was created the organizing Committee, military experts who in 1964 agreed and formulated tacticities requirements for a promising car. The executor of the Americans chose the designers of the company Allison Division (a division of General Motors Corporation) and from Germany were made by the Corporation German Development Corporation.
 
In 1969 tests were brought against 14 of prototypes, full-size, but designed with one side in Detroit, the other in Augsburg. Separate the construction of these machines, though made in accordance with the General requirements revealed substantial differences, because the Americans were placed on the samples of the American system, and the Germans German. The differences were as weapons and engines, the chassis.
 
A common problem was the inherent increase in weight of the tank by as much as four tons. The Germans tested the automatic loader, the Americans-with the reliability and power of the engine, with the turret. There were other problems, for example, with the development of more powerful ammunition, even with the differences in the design of not only the hulls of tanks, and towers.
 
In the same year the project was overtaken by an unexpected blow. In September the Ministry of defense was requested to report on the work done. The analysis showed that the originally stated project budget of $ 80 million has already been inflated five times, and the further refinement of the MBT-70 and its serial production requires about 550 million dollars. the cost of building one unit, then, was defined as 1.2 million of Such expenses, the U.S. Senate considered unjustified and demanded the closure of the project. The German party also announced its withdrawal from the agreement. From that moment began a separate development of its main battle tanks. In the US, it was “Abrams”, the German”Leopard 2″.
 
However, it should be noted that many innovations implemented in the project samples MW-70, ahead of his time. At least the chassis of the tank, allowing to change the ground clearance and the pitch and roll of the hull, placement of the driver in the independent turning the cab in the tower, engine power 1500 HP, even extremely low silhouette of the tank. According to press reports, experts have developed nearly four-dozen new units and mechanisms embedded in the design.
 
A prototype of MBT-70 - the joint development of USA and the FRG (front and stern)
 
A prototype of MBT-70 - the joint development of USA and the FRG (front and stern)
 
Experienced tank, MBT-70 – the joint development of USA and the FRG (front and aft)
 
In short, the experts noted the MBT-70 as a tank perspective, which used many new technologies and techniques. Sometimes very complex, for example, in the machine control. When discussing the issue of the closure of the project in the government of the United States one of the senators – John. Fulbright noted that “for a ride on this tank, you must have at least a master’s degree in technical Institute”.
 
Designers tank the MBT-70 was, as expected, tracked fighting vehicle with reliable armor protection, have high maneuverability and mobility, equipped with a powerful missile-gun armament. According to their plan, the machine had a non-classical layout. She didn’t have a separate control module. In its place there was put a large fuel tank, and the driver was placed in the fighting compartment in the turret. For him, designed a special cylindrical cabin, which is attached to the roof of the tower at a bearing suspension and with hydraulic drive, which could contrariwise relative to the tower. Thus, it turned out that the cabin was always oriented along the longitudinal axis of the tank, and the driver in which direction the tower is not rejected, always remained face forward. Even when driving-Hiking – back gun – his cabin was rotated 180° relative to the tower and this position was recorded. The seat in the cockpit has adjustable height, so that the driver could operate with an open hatch. In the bottom of the cab was the escape hatch, coinciding with a hatch in the bottom of the case.
 
It turned out that the whole crew, of three, housed in the tower: it was the only car of the inhabited area. Behind her in the enclosure was situated the engine-transmission compartment (MTO).
 
The tower itself consisted of a cast of the internal parts, the front which was a truncated cone, the outer screens of rolled homogeneous armor and rear welded trapezoidal niches with a folding double-leaf roof.
 
The driver was in his cab at the front left – on the turret roof in this place towered the dome observation with the double hatch. Right in the tower there was a hatch gunner and the commander’s cupola. Here was installed observation devices and sights. In addition, in the left side of the tower in the cylindrical compartment placed remotely managed the installation of 20-mm cannon.
 
First us sample tank with a 152 mm gun
 
The first us sample tank with 152mm gun
 
MBT-70
 
MW-70:
 
1 – 152-mm gun ХМ150Е5; 2 – gun mask; 3 – the commander’s panoramic sight; 4 – the niche of the tower; 5 – unit smoke grenade launchers; 6 – engine-transmission compartment; 7 – aft socket; 8 – driving wheel; 9 – a steering wheel; 10 – barrel ejector; 11 – TV camera, forward view; 12 – Luke gunner; 13 – night commander’s sight; 14-commander’s cupola; 15 – a prismatic device commander; 16 – compartment remote control 20-mm cannon; 17 – driver’s hatch; 18 – the sight-rangefinder gunner; 19 – recess coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun; 20 – block prismatic devices of the driver; 21 – the IR Blaster commands; 22 – IR spotlight; 23 – radio station, a 24 – truck grille

 
Armor protection of the tank MBT-70
 
The armor protection of the tank MBT-70
 
Tower tank, MBT-70
 
Turret the MBT-70:
 
1 – 152-mm gun ХМ150Е5; 2 – sight-rangefinder gunner; 3 – hatch gunner; 4 – night commander’s sight; 5 – panoramic sight; 6 – the commander’s cupola; 7 – 20-mm automatic gun RN202; 8 – infrared transmitter KURV “Shillelah”; 9 – driver’s hatch

 
Tower tank with slip blocks of dynamic protection. On the left mask gun - sight-rangefinder gunner, right at the top of the tower - block prismatic devices driver
 
Tower tank with slip blocks of dynamic protection. On the left mask gun – sight-rangefinder gunner, right at the top of the tower – block prismatic devices driver
 
The body of the tank is welded Assembly of castings, rolled steel armor, but some of its elements in order to save weight has been cast from aluminum alloys. The upper frontal part was going from the interior of the cast part and the outer armor plate, thus presenting a spaced armor barrier. Head-sheets – upper and lower – were set at an angle, side and aft – vertical. Back of the case with the MTO a few towered over the front.
 
Differences in views of specialists, the USA and Germany found already in the development phase of the engine. Americans in their samples put the engine Continental AVCR-1100 with air cooling. It was a 12-cylinder, four-stroke V-type diesel engines. They had a system of changing the compression ratio in the range of 1:10 in the development of full power and 1:22 – when you start, which ensured the increase of horsepower and torque, reduced fuel consumption.
 
AVCR-1100 can develop power up to 1475 HP at 2800 rpm. the engine weighs about two tons. Used diesel fuel W-F-800E, DF-1 or DF-2. In the nose tank and two tanks that are installed along the walls of the MTO, it could accommodate up to 1,800 L.
 
In Germany used diesel 12-cylinder, four-stroke engines of the company Daimler-Benz – DB 873ЕА-500, 1500 strong, but liquid cooling.
 
The German version of the tank had a sealed motor compartment. American – bottom of MTO and access hatches to the engine were made of aluminum alloy.
 
In the samples of both countries used combined with the engine into a single unit automatic hydro-mechanical transmission Renk HWSL-354 developed by the West German firm RenK. In it consisted of a four-speed planetary reverse gearbox. As a rotation mechanism, mounted in the same crankcase was used a double differential with hydrostatic drive providing infinitely variable change of radius of turn and minimum radius. The main control transmission – automatic, electrically. In addition, there were backup manual mechanical control.
 
Nomenclature of ammunition 152-mm tank guns ХМ150Е5
 
Nomenclature of ammunition 152-mm tank guns ХМ150Е5
 
 
The peculiarity of the transmission was the installation of a special hydrodynamic retarder (retarder), which served for a preliminary braking razgruzhatel the primary brake system of the tank, especially downhill.
 
The steering mechanism – double with dual supply power with hydrostatic transmission from the engine. Management was carried out with a wire system with the helm of the driver or with the remote commander.
 
Suspension of the MBT-70 consisted of two front guide wheels and two -leading rear, twelve rubber rollers on Board and six supporting. Crawler tracks with rubber-metallic hinges consisted of 78 trucks Dienl 170.
 
Suspension samples are independent, hydropneumatic, portavogie type were manufactured by different firms. In the American samples were a suspension of the firm’s National Water Lift, allowing you to smoothly adjust the ground clearance from 150 to 690 mm (normal operating – 450 mm). Suspension control was carried out with the remote control of the gunner.
 
The Germans took advantage of the suspension of his firm Frieseke und Hoepfner, which differed from the American automatic control speed installation clearance equal to 250, 450 or 600 mm. it was Possible and manual control to the remote driver or gunner.
 
Cabin of the driver in the tower secretly
 
The cabin of the driver in the tower secretly:
 
1 – indicator; 2 – the control of the driver; 3, 4 – adjusting clamps; 5, 6 – levers adjust the height of the cabin; 7 – switch the top lights; 8 – the exit hatch; 9 – prismatic observation devices

 
Equipment gunner
 
The equipment of the gunner:
 
1 – head sight; 2 – multiplier sighting part; 3 – control-bar missiles; 4 – support plate; 5 – the control panel of the gunner; 6 – panel array of ammunition and weapons; 7 – device-restore; 8 – control unit meter; 9 – IR transmitter commands

 
Remotely controlled 20-mm automatic gun RN202, was Installed on the tower permetteranno in a special compartment behind the hatch of the tank commander
 
Remote-controlled 20-mm automatic gun RN202, was Installed on the tower permetteranno in a special compartment behind the hatch of the tank commander
 
We have mentioned that the entire tank crew – commander, gunner, mechanic-the driver – was supposed to be in the tower; and the driver is in a separate cabin. Instead of the usual levers and pedals he used a wheel with two handles, combining the functions of steering, brake and fuel supply. For surveillance of the terrain served three periscopic device, fitted in the hatch, and the television camera front-view of a dead zone in front of the tank; the monitor was to the right of the chair. On the left is the basic instrument panel with indicators, switches, speedometer, gear selector, as above, on the left side of the tower and support panel with standby emergency authorities control secondary devices. Next to it is the control suspension, lighting equipment, spotlight.
 
Place of gunner in the tower on the right. In front of him – the gun sight that had a night channel with illumination from infrared floodlight, field of view sight stabilized in two planes; the the control unit of the laser rangefinder, control arms, a wheel with handles, allows you to make a u-turn tower, vertical pointing guns. There was also a special panel for selecting the type of shot and the mode dial shooting.
 
On the right side of the tower was mounted control panel pre-launch test missiles, as well as supporting a reversal of the tower.
 
A commander’s place was in the right rear of the turret. For observing the environment, the commander primarily used six prismatic observation devices, mounted in a turret on the roof. The tower itself before the hatch was installed panoramic stereoscopic sight, night, optical and TV sights, with a possible stream of the image on the gunner’s station. The field of view of these devices were stabilized in two planes. On the left of his seat were the main instrument panel and radio navigation unit.
 
The control of the tank commander carried his helm. In the German sample of the tank near were also of the auxiliary unit remote control pendant.
 
Special attention of military specialists was drawn to the choice of the armament of the MBT-70. They decided to use the 152 mm gun ХМ150Е5, both as launchers of anti-tank missiles MGM-51 Shillelargh (“Shilela”), and 20-mm automatic gun AR RN202. (At first the Germans wanted to establish in the tanks 120-mm gun).
 
152-mm gun was a modification of what was the American light tank М551 Sheridan (“Sheridan”), but shortened to 30 calibers. It was believed that short, but large caliber cannon has the advantage in shooting cumulative and high-explosive shells in small and medium – distances. At large distances will be active guided missiles.
 
Power unit American tank with a diesel engine AVCR-1100 air cooling and hydrodynamic transmission Renk HSWL354. The power of the engine of 1475 HP (view - back-right)
 
Power unit American tank with a diesel engine AVCR-1100 air cooling and hydrodynamic transmission Renk HSWL354. The power of the engine of 1475 HP (view – back-right)
 
Descendants of the tank the MBT-70. The American
 
Descendants of the tank the MBT-70. The American
 
The descendants of the tank MBT-70. The American “Abrams” and German “Leopard 2”
 
ХМ150Е5 – rifled gun, with piston semi-automatic shutter. In the lower part of the barrel its full length and had a longitudinal groove of a depth of 2 mm, which included a ledge on the bottom of the rocket for correct orientation position in it. The gun had a system of extraction of the powder gases after the shot. She is stabilized in both planes.
 
The automatic loader was located in the rear recess of the tower – the American company General Motors, with the store street on 26 shots. The mechanism of the rammer machine had a chain drive and a telescopic tubular guide. The rate reached 10 RDS./min, maybe it was hand loading with a rate of 4 RDS./min. Used unitary shots with a fully combustible cartridge case.
 
The ammunition was 46 shots. A part of him – 8 shots were in a recess of the housing, between the crew compartment and troop compartment 12 – in the tower – front and back of the cab driver. Used armor-piercing projectiles APFSDS-T with a core of tungsten alloy, as well as the cumulative NEAT-T with flechette ХМ617.
 
To hit targets at great distances tank, MBT-70 had with anti-tank guided missiles “Shilela”, which consisted of weapons tanks and other fighting vehicles of the US army from 1967 First of all, they did then adopted a light tank “Sheridan” – they have equipped nearly 1,500 such cars; in addition, medium 540 M60A2 Patton.
 
“Shillelah” was a rocket with a propellant sustainer engine; in the front of the building housed a cumulative warhead with a mass of 6.8 kg, then the control unit and the gas generator to operate the rudders. In the back was a retractable stabilizer, the blades of which were opened up with the exit from the barrel of the launcher; at the bottom was mounted an infrared emitter and receiver.
 
Rocket launch through the barrel of the weapon with a special charge with a combustible cartridge case. The guidance was produced semi-automatically via infrared beam: the gunner kept the sighting frame on the target during the whole time of its flight. Starting weight of missiles – 28 kg, length – 1140 mm, case diameter – 152 mm., Its penetration is about 500 mm, and range from 500 to 3000 m.
 
The missile itself “Shilela” were a part of the complex guided missile weapons (CURVA), available on the tank. In addition to her, WHORE attitude control device with IR receiver, block the formation of teams, IR transmitter, power supply unit, the unit inspection and management.
 
In the mid 1970s, production of ATGM “Shillelah” was discontinued due to its high cost and poor efficiency.
 
As secondary weapons in MW-70 decided to install a 20-mm automatic gun Rheinmetall RN202 in the remotely controlled installation. She was on the turret in a cylindrical pressurized compartment in the turret hatch for the commander. In the stowed position fell inside the tower and closed the double door, if necessary, firing was nominated over her roof.
 
Gun stabilized in two planes. She had dvuhletie power: in a single tape – armor, the other with explosive shells. Tape was stored in your shopping cart installation. Ammunition – 750 rounds.
 
The fire from it could lead gunner, and the commander of the machine: everyone had their own sights.
 
In addition, American models were mounted on the side walls of the rear niche of the turret smoke grenade launchers, four on each side. For them there were special grenade: incendiary-smoke and smoke М34WР M8-NS, which were filled with white and red phosphorus. Throwing charge they were thrown out at a distance 30 to 45 m in the sector of 60°. Rate of fire – single shots, a volley of four or eight grenades.
 
The German samples were eight 76-mm grenade launchers. They used smoke or fragmentation munitions fired at 50 – 60 m. With a full salvo of eight smoke grenades have formed a smoke screen size 150×20 m and a depth of 30 m.
 
152-mm gun was paired 7.62-mm machine gun M73, mounted right under telescopic gunner’s sight. The gun was developed in USA and adopted in 1950; was produced until 1970 the mass of the gun is 14.1 kg, maximum firing range – 3700 m, the rate – 500 – 625 RDS./minutes His ammunition on a tank – 6000 rounds.
 
The duties of the gunner was firing from all weapons that were on the tank. The tank commander could fire from a cannon and 20-mm guns with a panoramic and night sights.
 
Very advanced fire control system (FCS) on the tank, in addition to sights, rangefinder and stabilization mechanisms, had a digital ballistic computer and a set of sensors: a roll housing, charge temperature, bending the gun barrel, air temperature, strength and direction of the wind. In the MSA included equipment KURV “Shilela”.
 
The PERFORMANCE characteristics of the TANK MBT-70 (United States)
 
The system of collective protection of the tank included radiation knocked out of the habitable volume and equipment create excessive pressure in the tower, devices, chemical and radiation reconnaissance, air conditioning.
 
Fire fighting equipment consisted of four tank for Halon extinguishing mixture, spraying system, six sensors in MTO and two control panels in the tower.
 
As for overcoming of water barriers, the German samples required sealing of the motor compartment and the air for the engine had come from the tower.
 
American prototype could overcome water obstacles depth up to 2.2 m without sealing. Deeper tanks passed from the intake pipes, which were installed on the commander’s hatch to connect the special hoses for supply of air to the engine. With such equipment for underwater driving, cars have been able to overcome the Ford a depth of 4.8 m.
 
Was supposed to be put on the tank radio, HF and VHF bands: AN/VRC-12 or AN/VRC-46, separately for communication with the aviation authorities -AN/VRC-24. Communication between the crew was supposed to be a tank intercom system (TPU) for three people.
 
Despite the fact that the project of the MBT-70 was closed, German and American experts continued their development on the basis of already existing samples. In the United States began construction of a simplified version of the index ХМ803, which is then moved into the manufacture ХМ815, which led, eventually, to the successful M1 Abrams (“Abrams”). In Germany it resulted in the construction of the tank called the Leopard 2 (Leopard).
 
Thus, an experienced MW-70 was the prototype of the main battle tanks of the armed forces of the two leading NATO countries.

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