«Armata» has become even worse for the «Abrams» and «Leopards»
Scientific and Production Corporation «Uralvagonzavod» named After F. E. Dzerzhinsky» Protocol of the General meeting approved and published the annual report for 2018. It, in particular, said that «by the end of 2018, the enterprises of the integrated structure of JSC «Research and Production Corporation «Uralvagonzavod» exported about 37% of the world’s exports of tanks.
But this is not all information about armored vehicles and other weapons. So, in section «14.1. Information on the main results of the company’s work in terms of priority areas» it is particularly noted that in the field of military products «all the work planned for 2018 has been completed», including «modernization of the 125-mm 2a82−1M gun» for the latest Armata tank.
Even in 2015, about the gun 2A82−1M wrote, how about weapons that can bring the «Armata» as the undisputed leader among modern tanks, of course, if «Uralvagonzavod» will reach the stated goals. The aim was to increase the muzzle energy and the initial velocity of the shells, which should be greater by at least 15% than that of the basic NATO tanks «Abrams» and «Leopard-2». At the same time — which is especially important — was to increase the wear resistance to 900 shots, while the best German tank, this figure is less than 180 shots.
Recall, when T-14 became a sensation, much has been said about that, along with 2A82−1M seems to be getting the secret development of more powerful 152 mm Russian gun 2A83. There were no official details, except for the notification «that the project was terminated». But still the topic of «large tank caliber» was widely discussed and is still popular, both in the media and in the expert community. By the way, sounded skeptical voices, they say, it is unlikely that Russian gunsmiths will create a wear-resistant barrel with a pressure of gunpowder gases at the level of 7000 ATM, because, for example, in a 125 mm gun this figure is half.
However, the annual report of UVZ for 2018 separately stated that the experimental design work «on the deep modernization of SG 2S19M2 («Masta-S»). The aim is to create a 152 mm self-propelled howitzer with tactical and technical characteristics corresponding to the best world standards.»
It is interesting, first of all, the fact that the basis of the prototype 2A83 lays howitzer 2A65, which is the base of the previous complex «Msta». It was her trunk in the smoothbore version installed in the framework of the Soviet project «Object 195» on the T-72 tank. The initial speed of the projectile, by the way, was fantastic 1980 m/s, which allowed to hit direct fire at targets at a distance of 5100 meters. All, however, rested on the resource: wear resistance does not exceed 280 shots.
Therefore, the report appeared a message about the deep modernization of the SG 2S19M2, which is also carried out on UVZ, it is logical to link with the work on the tank 152 mm gun 2A83. There is no doubt that if engineers and specialists of the Corporation cope with the first task, they will solve the second one.
And this, in turn, will bring «Armata» to a fundamentally new level. Not only will it be possible to shoot enemy tanks at a distance inaccessible to an artillery duel, the barrel will be used, among other things, for launching cornet missiles, which in modification «D» is capable of destroying high-speed air targets flying at speeds up to 250 m/s at a distance of up to 10 km.
On the other hand, before the «Almaty was» the 152 mm gun for the tank was clearly over the line, although the war with Nazi Germany, the Soviet self-propelled guns SU-152 and ISU-152, called «Deerslayer» and «the can opener», fully proved its effectiveness. At the same time, almost insurmountable problems with ergonomics did not allow to extend this experience to post-war tanks.
Despite the technical difficulties, the Soviet army thought about how to implement this controversial idea. In addition to the «Object 195», there was also a project «Object 292» on the basis of T-80. Worked at the Leningrad Bureau of the Chelyabinsk Kirov factory and research Institute «Transmash». In spite of big doubts, the only option has proven itself well during the tests Rzhevsky. A twofold increase in muzzle energy compared to the 125 mm caliber, by the way, did not lead to a significant return: it remained about the same. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent major cuts in the defense budget, object 292 was not brought to mass production.
In Ukraine (then still Soviet) in parallel works on the project «477 Hammer» was conducted. It was assumed that it will be used Perm gun LP-83, but, in addition, that scare the Americans, who hastened to call the Kharkiv monster «Future Soviet Tank-2», nothing happened. Not enough time and money.
Only in the «zero», there was an opportunity to return to a serious reserve in the framework of the project «Object 195». It was he who formed the basis for the development of the T-14, although not directly. This means that the 152 mm gun 2A83 is not only compatible with the «Armata», but also is the most optimal caliber.
The West is aware of the threat and responds to it. Under the contract with the Federal office of arms supply of the Ministry of defense of Germany, the German company «Rheinmetall» produced six prototypes of 140-mm smoothbore guns and ammunition. This development was carried out within the framework of the NATO program to create the main gun of the tank of the future FEMA, which is jointly implemented by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States. It was designated NPz K-140 and is designed to increase the firepower of the German main battle tank «Leopard-2».
This is the maximum that NATO tanks are capable of today, although with the NPz K-140 gun other characteristics, primarily speed, will suffer. To make it clear, we give an example: in the United States at the time was developed 140 mm gun XM291, which provides better ballistics than the base gun. The insurmountable problem, however, was that the 30-round ammunition occupied a volume of about 3 cubic meters and weighed 1.2 tons, which was about twice the size of the 120 mm caliber. In this case, «Abrams» would have weighed another 15 tons and actually turned into an armored turtle on the battlefield.
As a result, the US continues to operate old tanks, which, despite multiple upgrades, are far from modern challenges, as evidenced by the recent losses of Iraqi «Abrams» in the battle with the Islamists. In Europe, the aging model «Leopard 2», though gradually improved, but even according to NATO experts, have a dubious combat value.
Thus, on the potential battlefield, the newest Russian tank will be enough and 125 mm gun 2A82−1M, which, incidentally, is almost twice lighter than 2A83 — 2.7 tones against 5 tons. Apparently, in so many times and cheaper. In short, scientists, engineers, and specialists of Uralvagonzavod once again confirmed that they keep a high brand and even work ahead of the curve. However, there are also disturbing trends.
The annual report of UVZ says that last year the key performance indicators of the updated program of innovative development of the Corporation were not fulfilled. In particular, the increase in revenue per employee for the reporting year was lower than the approved figure. The targets for the number of new and modernized high-performance jobs (as a percentage of the average number of employees in the core business), as well as revenues from the sale of innovative products, works, and services, have not been achieved. The most unpleasant — frustrated plan for the share of innovative products in total sales of products, works and services (revenue).
It turns out, on the one hand, to create advanced models of military equipment, which is not equal in the world, on the other — even the leader of the Russian military-industrial complex can not increase the number of high-performance jobs. The bad thing is that the competitiveness of our tanks is mainly achieved due to low wages, and revenue is largely related to the material consumption of products.