Soviet two-gun tank project (490 "Poplar")

 

A future 1980-s tank with maximum protection, firepower and crew safety. One of the most unusual developments of the Soviet tank construction in the post-war period was the project of a two-cannon tank by Evgeny Morozov. The works were carried out in the late 70s and were presented to the customer (Soviet Ministry of Defense) along with other future directions for the development of the design for the future tank.

Among the proposed options were also considered:

- tank with turret and two crew members (490 option 1)

- turretless tank (with limited gun guidance in horizon plane)

- articulated (two-link) tank

- tank with remote weapons.

 

Soviet two-gun tank project (490 "Poplar")

Soviet two-gun tank project (490 "Poplar")

 

The design of the tank was unusual, the hull was divided into isolated compartments, the first - the transmission compartment, the second - the fuel compartment divided by partitions, the third - the engine compartment. The crew consisting of two operators (commander-operator and driver) was placed in the rear of the hull in an isolated stationary (weapon platform rotated while crew stations remain stationary) capsule.

The capsule was installed fixed, the crew, in any position of the turret, was facing the front of the hull, the rotation of the weapons platform with the main armament was carried out around the capsule. The weapons platform with the main armament had a powerful frontal armor, on its both sides 125 mm guns of increased power were installed, also 130 and 152 mm guns being developed and considered as an option.

Ammunition was to consist of unitary shots placed in two automatic loaders with a simple scheme located in the compartments behind the guns, which were fed as the ammunition consumption from the horizontal stacking. In case of penetration of the autoloader compartments and fire (detonation) of ammunition, the likelihood of the destruction of the tank and crew was excluded. With the destruction (or malfunction) of one of the compartments with automatic loader, the tank retained the ability to fire.


   

The second turret was located above the capsule, it had the sighting system of the commander-operator and driver, a static review device and an additional armament unit, which included a stabilized 23 mm P-23 automatic cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun.

The undercarriage of the tank is made using a elements of the object 219 (T-80) and consists of six pairs of dual rubberized support rollers. Hydro-pneumatic high energy adjustable suspension allowed the tank to raise and lower the chassis depending on the combat situation.

 

Soviet two-gun tank project

Soviet two-gun tank project (wooden 1:10 model)


 

 

There are guide wheels in the back of the chassis, leading wheels in the front. During salvo firing from ambush, the guide wheels are lowered to the ground in order to impart greater stability to the loads during firing. hydropneumatic suspension.

Engine - product 29 (1250 hp gas turbine). Transmission - electromechanical or product 29G with GOP [track drive hydrostatic transmission].

 

 

Crew compartment of two-gun tank with a commander-gunner and driver

Crew compartment of two-gun tank with a commander-gunner and driver:

1 - operator's seat (when the tank is moving in reverse); 2 - emergency hatch; 3, 5, 13 - radiation protection and heat and sound insulation; 4 - a set of instruments for controlling fire and movement; 6 - device for monitoring and controlling fire;

7 - a static-type devices for observation (8 pcs.); 8 weapon turntable;

9 - hatch for entry and exit of the crew; 10 - reversible viewing tube; 11 - position of the operator during rest; 12 hull of the tank; 14 - operators seats


 

The crew compartment for two people gave a solution to many of the problems of the modern design of the tank. In the armored volume placed two seats: on the left - the driver, on the right - the commander-gunner. All geometrical parameters of the workplaces meet military-medical (ergonomics) requirements. Both operators are placed stationary relative to the tank hull and have the ability to rotate 180 when moving in reverse motion due to the rotation of the seats. Both seats have the necessary adjustment, including in the position for rest. The 360 observation for both operators is provided by round-the-clock screen-type devices based on fiber-optic optics. Rear visibility, including a march movement, is achieved by hatch in the rear of the crew compartment.

 

Position on the Soviet two-gun tank track assembly in stationary ambush and normal mode.

Position on the Soviet two-gun tank track assembly in stationary ambush and normal mode.

 

The fire control and observation complex provides a quick search for targets by duplicating instruments that use different unmasking properties - optical, IR, radar, sound [as it was in project, but not realized even in further variants]. The change of instruments is achieved by a flip-over viewing tube [10 on the drawing]. Control of movement and fire is carried out from two identical control panels for commander-gunner and driver, switched by the toggle and controlled by the displays.

In the middle there is a radio station and other non-firing controls for instruments or machine movements. For the reverse movement, there is an auxiliary control panel [at the rear of crew capsule]. In the case of an emergency exit from the tank there is an emergency hatch in the bottom of the capsule.

The entire internal surface of the compartment is coated with materials combining anti-radiation/anti spall properties as well as with heat and sound insulation. A relatively small surface ensures sufficient thickness of these materials.

There are no equipment and weapons in the habitable compartment [capsule] that emit heat and powder gases, however, the available volumes make it possible to install a tank conditioner that significantly improves the microclimatic working conditions of the crew. The removal of weapons, ammunition and fuel from the habitable compartment significantly increases the survivability of the crew when a tank is damaged [see VBTT 6. 1980 - The problem of reducing the size of the crew of the main tank].

To facilitate the work of the operators, it is necessary to create uniform consoles connecting the groups of systems and ensuring optimal control of the tank's combat operations. The information display system can be built in such a way that, depending on the mode of operation, only what is needed at a given time appears on it [tank information and control system]. For example, the driver has 13 devices that record the current parameters of the power plant and are partially used during the movement. It is advisable to build a system that automatically registers and processes these parameters so that only the signals on reaching the critical values ​​of these parameters are shown on the display. To simplify the work of the commander of the tank unit, it is necessary to automate the collection and transmission of data on the availability of fuel and ammunition, as well as on the technical condition of the tank, etc., which is not difficult to accomplish with existing systems with sensors of primary information.


For operational control of the battle, the commander constantly needs to know the location and technical condition of the tanks of his unit. The solution to this issue is possible with the help of a special radio channel of communication with coded information. Such a system will ensure the transfer of information from a linear to a command tank with maximum efficiency and minimum redundancy. In the system design of a commander tank, it will not fundamentally differ from the main [line] one, its functionality will be dramatically expanded, and the hardware costs will be reduced.

Reducing the crew to two people (commander-gunner and driver) makes it possible to solve a number of problematic issues in tank construction:

- increased radiation protection,

- duplication of crew work, more complete fulfillment of ergonomic requirements,

- reducing the weight and size of the machine.

However, the reduction of the crew of the main tank requires an integrated approach to research and design development in the very early stages of design.

 

 

Soviet two-gun tank in comparison with German Leopard-2 MBT

Soviet two-gun tank in comparison with German Leopard- 2 MBT