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Product 416 and 430 Medium Tanks

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Abraham Gubler

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From the Kharkiv Morozov webpage, information on two Soviet medium tank developments of the 1950s.

Product (Izdeliye) 416

The purpose of this development work consisted in creation of a radically new design with ensuring the maximum possible protection for the crew while imposing vehicle weight limits. All the crewmen were positioned in the turret where they could be better protected, with the power pack and transmission being placed at the front of the hull. A prototype vehicle was built and tested. Although initially the design seemed to show some promise, difficulties of ensuring simultaneous vehicle steering and firing led to its not being pursued, and development work on this ceased.

Year of manufacture 1951
Weight 24 t
Crew 4
Overall dimensions:
-length 7,940 mm
-width 3,240 mm
- height 1,823 mm
Armament:
- main gun calibre 100 mm
- coaxial machine gun calibre 7.62 mm
Armour protection 20 to 110 mm
Engine capacity 400 hp
Maximum road speed 50 km/h
 

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Abraham Gubler

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Product 430

Development was carried out in order to create a tank that would considerably exceed the characteristics of the T-54 tank. Design work commenced in 1953. Prototype vehicles were produced in 1957 and tested in 1958. The tank was never accepted for service.

COMBAT CHARACTERISTICS
Year of manufacture of the first vehicle 1957
Weight 36 t
Crew 4
Overall dimensions:
- length 8,785 mm
- width 3,090 mm
- height 2,160 mm
Armament:
- main gun 100 mm
- coaxial machine gan and bow machine gun 7.62 mm
Armour 20-250 mm
Engine power output 580 hp
Maximum road speed 55 km/h
Cruising range 450 km
 

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Rickshaw

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I wonder whether Product 416 fell foul of the same problems the MBT-70 did with the driver placed in the turret?

I see no advantage in Product 430 over the T-55. It has the same gun and approximately the same amount of armour. No wonder it wasn't adopted.
 

Apophenia

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rickshaw said:
...I see no advantage in Product 430 over the T-55. It has the same gun and approximately the same amount of armour. No wonder it wasn't adopted.

I believe that Izdeliye 430-1 (the second version, with the return rollers) is considered a prototype for the T-64 series (Kharkiv/KMDB was involved with both I 430 and the T-64). Whether the T-64 and its supsension qualifies as having advantages over the T-55 is another matter. ;D
 

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rickshaw said:
I wonder whether Product 416 fell foul of the same problems the MBT-70 did with the driver placed in the turret?

One engineering problem, apparently (that is, if I remember correctly), was that the driver of the MBT-70 had to be placed in a "pod", which was counter-rotated with respect to the turret, so that the driver was always facing in the direction of motion, irrespective of turret movement. If this wasn't done, it was only a matter of (a short) time before the driver contracted a really bad case of motion sickness.

One would suppose that the Soviets had the same problem with the 416 ? Or maybe they were betting on improved barf bags and a really good turret air conditioning :p :-X ?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

Abraham Gubler

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The problem with a turret mounted rotating driver’s pod (whether on the MBT70 or Product 416) is that unless its located in the centre of the turret’s rotation circle it’s position will displace as the turret rotates despite maintaining a constant forward face. Say for example the pod is located on the left front of the turret (MBT70) as the turret rotates right the pod counter-rotates left but is moved from turret left to turret right (as the turret points to west) then it will move to the right rear of the turret (as the gun points south) and then to left rear (east) before returning to its normal position after the turret completes a 360 degree rotation. This changes the driver’s relative perspective so they need to be heavily trained to drive the tank from varying positions (try reverse parking for the first time in a right hand drive car after spending the rest of your life driving left hand drive). It also means that the when the turret is pointed to the rear the driver has to be able to see over the rear of the turret and the turret basket.

The Product 416 would be better than the MBT70 in terms of turret profile for driving with the turret facing to the rear but of course is working with 1940s technology compared to 1960s for the MBT70.
 

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Rickshaw

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My understanding is that the MBT-70's driver would become disorientated, quite quickly because it was found that they were using visual cues on their periphery to understand where the vehicle was actually pointing (ie the fender corners just visible on the edges of their vision). When his "pod" rotated, he lost those visual cues and so was unable to instinctively ascertain where the tank was pointing when it was driving along. I'd be interested to see if the Russians found the same result or if they were able to overcome it in some way.

The other problem of course was that the commander's cupola obscured his vision to one side, making driving difficult as it would have, at certain angles made it nearly impossible to see forward.
 

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I wonder if it would still be a problem today, being able to use a remote camera that would be in a fixed and steadied position somewhere on the tank to avoid perspective issues.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The future of armoured vehicles is crew in hull not in turrets and all using cameras to view for their various functions. Cameras are much better than periscopes because they can be positioned where the view needs to be from not where the crew is located. They are also cheaper, more resilient, have night vision options and are easier to replace after battle damage.

Rear view driver cameras as fitted to the Leopard 2A5 and Merkava Mk IV have really improved tank tactical use. Especially in tactical driving to the rear as no longer does the tank commander have to direct the driver or the turret be traversed to the rear to keep facing the enemy which exposes the vulnerable rear armour of the tank. The tank simply reverses at high speed keeping the armoured front and weapons pointing at the threat. By the way this ability would have been something inherent in the driver in the turret designs if they could overcome everything else.
 

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I think you're under-estimating how vulnerable optronics systems are, Abraham. One thing I've noticed in their proliferation in many AFVs is just how vulnerable their large lenses are and how unarmoured they tend to be. All that is required is one large calibre HESH round and there goes not only most of the lenses but also the alignment on them as well.

I agree though, that crew are best placed in the most armoured part of the envelope and that tends to be the hull on MBTs. The only problem then is that the commander is then reliant on those vulnerable optronics systems.
 

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MBT70 had forward-looking camera system, with camera on glacis and display on driver station. In case of XM803 this system was ommited.
 

Abraham Gubler

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rickshaw said:
I think you're under-estimating how vulnerable optronics systems are, Abraham. One thing I've noticed in their proliferation in many AFVs is just how vulnerable their large lenses are and how unarmoured they tend to be. All that is required is one large calibre HESH round and there goes not only most of the lenses but also the alignment on them as well.

I’m not underestimating the vulnerability of driver optics but basing my analysis on actual evidence rather than distant observers’ assumption. Firstly HESH rounds don’t work in the way you imagine them to, a more typical HE round would do a lot more damage to the exterior of a tank than HESH does. Secondly periscopes are not invulnerable to such attacks. Thirdly driver optics are mounted in hardened, shock resistant boxes that can be knocked out but need a direct hit through the armoured glass by an armour piercing penetrator. Depending on the glass thickness the kind of penetrator needed would be above 12.7mm.

Przezdzieblo said:
MBT70 had forward-looking camera system, with camera on glacis and display on driver station. In case of XM803 this system was ommited.

Which raises the question of why even bothering with the rotating pod at all?
 

Apophenia

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This is probably stating the obvious but ... being relatively cheap and remotely placed, multiple cameras can be fitted for redundancy. Not really an option with periscopes.

BTW, for y'all, HESH = HEP. We just call 'em pumpkins ;D
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
rickshaw said:
I think you're under-estimating how vulnerable optronics systems are, Abraham. One thing I've noticed in their proliferation in many AFVs is just how vulnerable their large lenses are and how unarmoured they tend to be. All that is required is one large calibre HESH round and there goes not only most of the lenses but also the alignment on them as well.

I’m not underestimating the vulnerability of driver optics but basing my analysis on actual evidence rather than distant observers’ assumption. Firstly HESH rounds don’t work in the way you imagine them to, a more typical HE round would do a lot more damage to the exterior of a tank than HESH does.

I am very well aware of how HESH works, Abraham. I've been studying military technology for over 30 years.

The shockwave from a HE round is dissipated in all driections, Abraham. A HESH round's shockwave is directed in two directions - inwards and along the surface on which it strikes. The shockwave is strong enough to dislodge a large part of the inner surface of a solid armour plate whereas the penetration from a HE round striking the surface of armour will have neligible penetration. The shockwave from the HESH round will strip surface equipment from an AFV and will cause serious problems with Optronics lenses and their alignments.

Secondly periscopes are not invulnerable to such attacks.

True but where did I suggest they were, Abraham? They tend however, to be much sturdier than most optronics systems. Not being reliant on relatively delicate electronics.

Thirdly driver optics are mounted in hardened, shock resistant boxes that can be knocked out but need a direct hit through the armoured glass by an armour piercing penetrator. Depending on the glass thickness the kind of penetrator needed would be above 12.7mm.

Irrelevent. Driver optronics still rely upon glass (or plastic) lenses and are not easily replaced from underarmour if they malfunction whereas periscopes can be.

Przezdzieblo said:
MBT70 had forward-looking camera system, with camera on glacis and display on driver station. In case of XM803 this system was ommited.

Which raises the question of why even bothering with the rotating pod at all?

An effort perhaps to reduce disorientation caused by being in a pitching/rolling turret >2 metres above the ground? I susect the camera was a late addition to the MBT-70.
 

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Chronologically, drive-in-turret was earlier idea than drive-in-turret with camera support. It was proposed in 1950`s, tested on some M48 and T95 decede later and used in MBT70 - but with additional hi-end camera system.

There were at least two problems with such configuration:
1) disorientation and "seasickness" because on eccentric position of driver`s "capsule"
2) obscuring of vision by elements of rotating turret
Not sure if using camera and monitor combo is enough to avoid motion sickness. Driver still senses moves of rotating turret...
Also, found one more possible problem with drive-in-turret. While the gunner was tracking a target, driver still sensed those movement and instincly tried to react - by changing direction of vehicle movement. And this lead to problems of gun laying.
 

Abraham Gubler

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rickshaw said:
I am very well aware of how HESH works, Abraham. I've been studying military technology for over 30 years.

Man its moments like these I wonder why I bother with expressing or correcting opinions on the internet. Yes HESH/HEP works the way you described it. However the passing of a shockwave through solid steel is not necessarily going to effect an armoured box with a camera mounted in it attached to the exterior of the tank's armour via a shock proof or even gunfire only shock proof mount. The exterior blast wave of the HESH detonation is just going to pass over the camera box. Whereas a HE round with a splintering casing or preformed fragmentation is going to have something quite considerable to impact with said box.

Everyone in AFV design is moving to camera boxes to replace optics because of all the reasons mentioned. Back in the late 1970s when the first trial vehicles with electro-optical situational awareness vision devices appeared it was fair enough to say they were less resilient than periscopes. But the huge advances in consumer electronics have resulted in cameras that are much cheaper than periscopes and also less complex and much tougher combined with the inherent advantages they offer in situational awareness. The only reason periscopes are still being fitted to the XM1200 series, only two per vehicle down from around 20 on the M2 Bradley, is that some people just haven’t got the message yet.
 

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In 2003, during OIF, there was a FF accident when 120 mm HESH hit in open TC hatch of British Challenger 2. Because of round explosion (which finally lead to total loss of tank and death of 2 men) TC cuppola was literally removed. Hard to see any chance for light structure (f.e. box with camera) attached to main armour surface to survive in place there in HESH/HEP blast radius.
If glacis of MBT70 would ever be hit by HESH or HE of big calibre, I guess not the splinters would be the problem for camera.
 

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That is the case of a direct hit. As I said in an earlier post unless there is a direct hit on the camera box it will be more resilient compared to a periscope.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
rickshaw said:
I am very well aware of how HESH works, Abraham. I've been studying military technology for over 30 years.

Man its moments like these I wonder why I bother with expressing or correcting opinions on the internet.

You know, Abraham, I feel the same way at the moment. Funny that.

Yes HESH/HEP works the way you described it. However the passing of a shockwave through solid steel is not necessarily going to effect an armoured box with a camera mounted in it attached to the exterior of the tank's armour via a shock proof or even gunfire only shock proof mount.

"Shock proof" mountings are rarely sufficiently sturdy to withstand the direct application of ~2.5kg of RDX, Abraham. The shockwave would rip the "shock proof" mounting off its mounting, rather as the commander's cupola was ripped off the turret of that Challenger that was hit by a HESH round. A near miss would be sufficient to damage the electronics and the optics. You have rather a touching faith in this. Have you any direct military experience to base it on?

The exterior blast wave of the HESH detonation is just going to pass over the camera box. Whereas a HE round with a splintering casing or preformed fragmentation is going to have something quite considerable to impact with said box.

You say that rather glibly, Abraham. Having worked in Ordnance I have seen the direct effects of HE, HESH and HEAT rounds on armoured vehicles. If it was only as easy as you say.

Everyone in AFV design is moving to camera boxes to replace optics because of all the reasons mentioned. Back in the late 1970s when the first trial vehicles with electro-optical situational awareness vision devices appeared it was fair enough to say they were less resilient than periscopes. But the huge advances in consumer electronics have resulted in cameras that are much cheaper than periscopes and also less complex and much tougher combined with the inherent advantages they offer in situational awareness. The only reason periscopes are still being fitted to the XM1200 series, only two per vehicle down from around 20 on the M2 Bradley, is that some people just haven’t got the message yet.

It might also be that they've read the message and disagree with the contents, Abraham. One of the reasons why military designers tend to be resistant to rapid innovation is because the users prefer systems that work to systems that are fragile and fail.
 

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Przezdzieblo said:
In 2003, during OIF, there was a FF accident when 120 mm HESH hit in open TC hatch of British Challenger 2. Because of round explosion (which finally lead to total loss of tank and death of 2 men) TC cuppola was literally removed. Hard to see any chance for light structure (f.e. box with camera) attached to main armour surface to survive in place there in HESH/HEP blast radius.

Yeah, but in that case it seems like worrying about your cameras remaining in working order would be the least of your problems.
 

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Not necessary. MBT70 glacis was configurated as spaced armour, with pretty thick external screen. HESH then would not work as against homogenious plate. Spaced, layered and screened armours are that what made finnaly HESH/HEP rounds obsolete as main anti-tank round.
Lets back to mentioned above friendly fire incident - effect of one hit was catastrophical, round explosion only was enough to blown the cuppola (which is added structure, mounted probably with bolts) off turret roof. But the second (well, chronogically, the first) round, which hit second Challanger 2 into rear of hull, did, de facto nothing bad (against tanks; it set some crew members on fire :().

Btw. 155 mm round explosion about 30 meters from tank target (which was in one case T-72) is enough to mobility kill, with tracks and road wheels blown off. And note that it is not because of splinters, but blast itself.
 

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rickshaw said:
"Shock proof" mountings are rarely sufficiently sturdy to withstand the direct application of ~2.5kg of RDX, Abraham. The shockwave would rip the "shock proof" mounting off its mounting, rather as the commander's cupola was ripped off the turret of that Challenger that was hit by a HESH round. A near miss would be sufficient to damage the electronics and the optics.

How did my viewpoint about the resilience of armoured box cameras suddenly became them having to be able to survive a direct hit by a 120mm HESH round? What I have been referring to and has been the easily recognisable reference point at the start of this ‘debate’ is that would a hit by a HESH round onto a tank’s armour result in the knocking out of cameras that were fitted to the tank. I have argued that the shockwave generated by the HESH round would not pass from the solid armour through the attachment fittings and their shock absorbers into the armour box of the camera and then into the box to destroy the camera. This is basic physics.

The exterior effect to the camera of a HESH round is limited to blast with minor fragmentation, while all this is heavily dependent on the exact alignment of exterior fittings to the exploding round given a reasonable correlation between the round and the armoured box you are not going to have much effect. However a HE round with splinters exploding under 1-5m away from a camera box only armoured against 12.7mm is going to penetrate the armour with its splinters where it might not penetrate the tank’s main armour.

Przezdzieblo said:
Btw. 155 mm round explosion about 30 meters from tank target (which was in one case T-72) is enough to mobility kill, with tracks and road wheels blown off. And note that it is not because of splinters, but blast itself.

There is no such thing as being within 30m of a 155mm HE and not being hit by splinters. Also the resilience of T-72s produced in low quality control, bulk build Soviet era arsenals is not very comparable to that of NATO standard western tanks like the M1 and CR2. I don’t mean this just in the case of armour but of components and things like road wheel fixings that are likely to snap under pressure.


rickshaw said:
You have rather a touching faith in this. Have you any direct military experience to base it on? You say that rather glibly, Abraham. Having worked in Ordnance I have seen the direct effects of HE, HESH and HEAT rounds on armoured vehicles. If it was only as easy as you say.

Dear Rickshaw, yes I have military experience and in artillery where I’ve seen plenty of thing shot up. And as you know I’m a respected professional military analyst. If you bothered to find out more about me that searching on wikpedia then you may know these things.

You have personalised this discussion to a level that I think is unacceptable in this civilised forum. You took some criticism of you viewpoint as a personal affront and have been itching to get back at me in everyway possible. The personalised tone and direct personal attacks of your messages reflect someone who lacks the maturity to contribute to this forum and would perhaps be more comfortable somewhere else like milphotos.net.
 

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Rickshaw, Abraham, it is possible to disagree about things without resorting to personal attacks. Please try to be more civil. Also this discussion is way off topic now, perhaps a new topic about Electro-Optic device survivability would be in order.
 

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Are we still allowed to comment?
Abraham G said
I have argued that the shockwave generated by the HESH round would not pass from the solid armour through the attachment fittings and their shock absorbers into the armour box of the camera and then into the box to destroy the camera. This is basic physics.
I have no experience of watching explosions, but I am (was? retired) a physicist.
This is not basic physics, but sophisticated engineering.
Basic physics does an experiment. If the camera still works after the tank is hit by a HESH round I shall pay tribute to the engineer who designed the shock-proof mounting. If it happens twice, to rule out luck, I should be really impressed. My wife's digital camera was dropped about 3 feet on to the carpet, but the slight displacement of the lens meant a new one, as repair was uneconomic.
There is no such thing as being within 30m of a 155mm HE and not being hit by splinters.
But the comment said that the damage was caused by blast, not splinters. Whether splinters hit the tank as well is irrelevant if the comment is correct. AG should deal with the point made.
wheel fixings that are likely to snap under pressure.
They are more likely to snap subject to tensile forces. That is basic physics.
However the passing of a shockwave through solid steel is not necessarily going to effect an armoured box with a camera mounted in it attached to the exterior of the tank's armour via a shock proof or even gunfire only shock proof mount.
not necessarily affect? but that is the whole point at issue. Does it?
How much testing is done?
 

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This place is like a debating society... My apologies to the Moderator but the thread hasn't been locked and I can't turn the other cheek to some of these accusations.

smurf said:
I have no experience of watching explosions, but I am (was? retired) a physicist. This is not basic physics, but sophisticated engineering.

Umm basic physics? That a shockwave passing through one medium does not necessary transfer into a separate medium?

smurf said:
Basic physics does an experiment. If the camera still works after the tank is hit by a HESH round I shall pay tribute to the engineer who designed the shock-proof mounting. If it happens twice, to rule out luck, I should be really impressed. My wife's digital camera was dropped about 3 feet on to the carpet, but the slight displacement of the lens meant a new one, as repair was uneconomic.

Is it 'basic physics' to assume that one type of camera built as consumer electronics is going to be the same as another built for combat use on a tank. Its basic stupidity... to bring the scientific method into such an assumption based paragraph is an insult to its definition.

smurf said:
But the comment said that the damage was caused by blast, not splinters. Whether splinters hit the tank as well is irrelevant if the comment is correct. AG should deal with the point made.

The comment that the damage was caused only by blast is flawed because there is no way a 155mm High Explosive (HE) artillery round detonating at 30m away from an object is only going to only cause blast damage. Everything within 30m is going to be hit by splinters.

smurf said:
They are more likely to snap subject to tensile forces. That is basic physics.

Tensile forces? And how are they applied to the object, by magic or by force, ie pressure?

smurf said:
How much testing is done?

As to testing, enough has been done to make people in the business of building tanks to fit them all with video cameras for situational awareness. Functional performance specification writers are still putting in requirements for periscopes but in decreasing numbers and with less emphasis as the cameras prove themselves over and over again in testing and in combat. The US has just contracted this week for some 8,000+ cameras for MRAP vehicles...
 
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