T-74 instead of the T-80

Cjc

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Who would it effect western tank design?
Now for those that don't know heres a thread that tanks about the T-74


But he TLDR is that the T-74 was one of the contestants for the replacement of the T-64 for th high end of the Soviet tank force. It was built very much like the T-14 armata vaper ware we see russia showing off to day. Unmanned 152mm turit, 2 person crew in the hull. Specifically designed to be less then 40 tons (less then the most modern verents of the T-64) and simpler to build and maintain as well (3,000 less parts to make!).

Now interestingly enuff the T-74 was actually in the lead during most procuring prosses, the T-80 was considered by Andrei Grechko (head of the red army) as a tank that couldn't do anything that a t-72 couldn't but with a fuel intensive engine, wille the T-74 had both better armor and a better gun. not that it was considered perfect, putting the crew in a box at the bottom of the tank wasn't a issue sense the Soviets considered any war to happen in a nuclear hell hole so nobody was going to have good vision, but they didn't like the idea of a tank with out a comander, leading to the tank being changed over the years into the object 477, also known in the west as FST-2 which the block III abrams was going to face.Unfortunately he died before the program was completed and his successeser decided to go with the T-80 design. Mostly because the lenengrad factory didn't have a tank in production wille the keyv factory (wich made the T-74) had the T-64 (indeed they were still producing them until like the 90s!) And the other one had the T-72. Theres also the fact that the us had gust made a terbine powered tank and this is the same leadership that made a copy of the shuttle despite not really understanding why we biult it the way we did.

Now what I'm curious about is what the west would do if Russia did choose the T-74 over the T-80. While the T-80 was really a small abrams and a increase in gun caliber from 105mm to 120mm was enough to handle the better armor, the T-74 is a very different beast. Not only dose it have a much more powerful gun (like how do you even fier that thing, they use it for artliarly for gods sake) but much better armor, enough that they can't be sure 120mm can handle it (at lest until they fight one anyway). Now the smart answer would really be the abrams block III but haveing already had to pull teeth inorder to get congress to pay for the abrams, I doubt congress is going to turn around for a basically brand new tank (name not withstanding). Plus what are Germany France and Britain going to do? Maby will finally get a euro tank (after all that program wasn't canceled until 82)?

Block III abrams

 

Foo Fighter

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How would the gunner in that 'suspended below the gun' seat bug out? Looks to be practically impossible in a moment of need.
 

skylancer-3441

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2 person crew in the hull.
3, including gunner sitting below unmanned but not remote-controlled (to full extent of the word) turret, and rotating with it.
but they didn't like the idea of a tank with out a comander, leading to the tank being changed over the years into the object 477
Commander was sitting side by side with the driver

So with regards to layout - nothing like T-14.


Now what I'm curious about is what the west would do if Russia did choose the T-74 over the T-80
...one might consider first what Russia would do if such tank was put into serial production.
It took ~10 years to iron out serial production of engine of T-64, and several years to iron out bugs of tank itself. All that - while other factories, which were supposed to produce T-64 along with Kharkov, just like when they all produced T-54/55, - were doing everything they could to avoid such fate, in favor of designs of their own.
And here's yet another "revolutionary tank" to deal with, and say ironing out that part of autoloader which actually moves ammo to gun and loads it - could take some time, even if such design survives all the way to serial production.

...which is not guaranteed, as for example by 1975 Morozov's view on next gen tank layout have evolved in favor of completely turretless rather-Strv103-alike-design, this time with crew of 2
here's picture:
and here's description:

Quite a change, but not for the first time -
432 as envisioned in 1960 looked quite different from one proposed in 1961, and even more so from one put into production in 1964, and there were more severe examples both from Kharkov and from other design bureaus - such as 775 for example, which was proposed as conventional 3-man tank, but prototype have become 2-man tank with crew in turret.
 

skylancer-3441

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And here's yet another "revolutionary tank" to deal with, and say ironing out that part of autoloader which actually moves ammo to gun and loads it - could take some time, even if such design survives all the way to serial production.

...which is not guaranteed, as for example by 1975 Morozov's view on next gen tank layout have evolved in favor of completely turretless rather-Strv103-alike-design, this time with crew of 2
As it turned out (from scans of pages from Morozov diaries available there http://btvt.info/2futureprojects/1973_komponovka.htm ) - 450 as shown in 1972, which layout is known to us from scalemodel, was abandoned quite soon, and Morozov' employees studied at least 3 more layouts in following 10 and a half months.


I used some pictures from Vestnik BTT (Armored Vehicles Gerald, restricted acess magazine of Soviet tank industry) article from 1991 on autoloaders and layouts to somewhat visualize them.

1 - one he proposed in 1972, and only one for which pics of scalemodel are available

2 - autoloader behind crew was replaced by circle autoloader on the roof level. 24 rounds; where exactly were stored 36 more - was not mentioned, along with location of fuel.
All 3 members of crew were still sitting in one compartment, somehow next to each other. It's unclear to me whether anyone was rotating along with gun in this version

3 - designers switched to traditional layout, with driver in front (to the left or in the middle - nor mentioned), and two members in turret basket to the left and right of the gun. Still autoloader under roof, but this time with 30 rounds (not 32 like on my picture); 30 more were somewhere else.
It's kinda close to 225, and weight was either about the same - barely fit into 42t, or more /44t were mentioned/

Г-shaped two-piece ammunition on pictures depicting variants 2 and 3 is based on this Morozov's drawing from published edition of his Diary which presumably depicts variant 3.

4 - so they dropped an idea of such autoloader, and switched layout again - back to autoloader behind crew, 34 rds, but with another smaller 8 rds autoloader below turret basket, replenished from larger one. No mention whether driver was on the left or in the middle.
Idea was to further improve it by fitting more in each autoloader, going to 12+38
477 would reuse that idea again, though this time smaller autoloader would occupy portion of turret basket itself
 

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