“Object 640” (Black Eagle)

Object 640 “Black Eagle” “Object 640” (Black Eagle)

“Object 640” MBT (cut section and top view)

1 - armored hull; 2 - running gear; 3 – turret; 4 - inhabited department; 5 - driver compartment; 6 - combat compartment; 7 - motor-transmission compartment;

8 – engine and transmission unit; 9 - 125 mm caliber gun; 10 - machine gun (mounted above the gun); 11 - automatic loader; 12 - removable armored automatic loader module;

13 - high performance shells of the first stage of application; 14 - breech of the gun; 15 - removable armored jacket; 16 - insulated bay from the powder fumes at gun;

17 - driver's hatch; 18 - commander's hatch; 19 - gunner's hatch; 20 - adjustable driver's seat; 21 - adjustable seat of the tank commander;

22 - adjustable gunner seat; 23 – turret ring; 24 – left side; 25 – right side; 26 – bottom; 27 - upper front sheet; 28 - lower front sheet

29 - aft leaf; 30 – roof; 31, 32 - track shelves; 33, 34 - vertical armor plates installed parallel to the axis of the tank

35, 36, 37 - isolated compartments; 38 - anti-fragmentation lining;

39 - anti-radiation lining; 40, 41 - removable protective screens; 42 – composite armor modules with ERA; 43 – partition;

44 - armored pit of driver's hatch; 45 - composite armor module on the upper frontal plate;

64 - blow-off panels; 66 - active defense system (APS); 67- APS projectiles; 68, 69 – laser warning devices; 72 – tracks

General description

The “object 640” also known as a “Black Eagle” was created in 1990-s by the designers of Omsk KBTM (transport machine building bureau). The tank belongs to a new generation and realizes a lot of innovative constructional decisions and arrangement which differs it from all classical Russian and western tanks. The tank uses the new design turret with low frontal profile and detachable transport and loading module. The armor protection of front hull and turret is modular design. The crew is stationed in the hull below the turret ring and completely separated from ammunition and fuel. The ammo is placed in the autonomous transport and loading module at the rear of turret with explosion redirecting panels for deflection of blast wave (blow off panels). Protection complex offers three levels of protection comprising of countermeasure system, which includes warning devices that detect irradiations of the tank with enemy optic and electronic target acquisition or aiming apparatus and suppression devices that jam operations of the enemy's devices; active defense system with projectiles, which provides detection and destruction of the enemy's projectiles attacking the tank at a distances preventing its damage; differential armor protection against projectiles and other means of destruction including combined armor with detachable armor modules. Tank also has increased mobility.

Conception

According to the opinion of many modern researchers because of the decrease of probability of full scale conflict between major military forces the use of tanks in local and low intensity conflict as a direct fire support means takes the primary role. This requires the increase of mobility, rapid deployment and transportability (including air transportability) of future tank. And this is directly connected with the mass of armor mainly consisting of hull and turret.  According to the conclusion of researchers the maximum weight of a tank corresponding to the above mentioned restrictions is below 50 tons. 

But the requirement to limit the weight should not be achieved to the prejudice of survivability of the tank on the battle field and it’s long term lifecycle.  Ensuring the survivability in general pursue the primary goal of first of all crew survival, the survival of the vehicle in general lowering the non recoverable losses by the use of quickly detachable armor modules and replaceable transport and loading container (TZK).

The general description of tank construction

A tank, comprising the running gear with the tracks, armored hull, including frontal part crew and power-transmission plant compartments. The turret mounted on the hull by means of the race ring. The armament, including high effective ammunitions, the 125 mm (or other caliber) gun with autoloader. Protection complex, characterized in that the outer surface of the turret has rounded low-profile frontal part.

Protection complex offers three levels of protection comprising: countermeasure system, which includes warning devices that detect irradiations of the tank with enemy optic and electronic target acquisition or aiming means and suppression devices that jam operations of the enemy's devices.

Active defense system, which provides detection and destruction of the enemy's projectiles attacking the tank at a distances preventing its damage.

Differential armor protection against projectiles and other means of destruction including combined armor with detachable elements

Frontal part of the hull is divided on three separate sections by longitudinally placed upright armor sheets, central section is used to locate driver's station and is connected with fighting compartment and air-tightened side sections are compatible to locale internal fuel tanks inside. Crew station, in the tank hull are arranged so, that each crew member in its combat position is located low of the turret race ring and separated by armor from the fuel tanks and ammunitions. As well crew is insulated from the powder fumes of gun firing, thanks to location of the gun breach  in an insulated bay, which is outer protected with armored turret. All onboard ammunitions are located outside of the tank and distanced as far as possible from the crew location, the ready-to-fire ammunitions are located at the turret rear over the roof of the motor- transmission plant compartment in detachable armored container.

Mechanized stowage of the autoloader container is equipped with quickly-operated door with opening that corresponds in size to ammunition caliber. Blow-off panels located on the container roof to relieve shock wave of the ammunition explosion in, mainly, upward direction - outside the crew and power plant compartments.

The tracks  of the tank running gear are equipped with detachable wideners that can be mounted on the both sides of the both tracks; and the overall tank width with removed from the outer side of the both tracks broadeners meets to requirements of railroad regulations.

Protection

The survivability of the tank is a possibility to remain combativity on the battlefield and restore it after the effect of enemy actions. The problem of survivability is a complex which influence in some aspects the overall combat properties of a tank.

To keep the tank in the permissible limits a number of design decisions were taken – turret with lowered profile, placement of crew in the hull, three levels of protection including countermeasure system, and suppression devices, active protection and passive (with elements of reactive and hydrodynamic protection). Though the traditional (passive and reactive) protection still plays the main role.

The first level of protection is countermeasure system like “Shtota- 2” , which includes warning devices that detect irradiations of the tank with enemy optic and electronic target acquisition or aiming apparatus and suppression devices that jam operations of the enemy's devices. The countermeasure system provides protection on the distances of no less then 500 and up to 5000 m .

The second level of protection is active defense system (APS). Active defense system like “Drozd- 2” or other provides 360 degree protection. Projectiles of the active protection system are located on the outer side of the turret and detachable armor container and, are able to intercept enemy's projectile attacking the tank from any direction. The projectiles are protected with light protective casings.

The third of tank protection is it’s armor. The armor of the tank is differentiated. The upper hull detail and top of the turret is protected by detachable armor modules. The front part of sides of the hull also have increased protection, the additional protection is achieved by the fuel in the separated tanks and inner vertical walls with equipped with anti-radiation plates, and fragment-proof plates. The side skirts with integrated reactive protections are mounted on the sides of the tank. 

The tank armor protection is equipped with detachable blocks having armor, which upper layers cells filled with elements, which protection effect is based on the attacking projectile destruction such as explosive reactive armor, hydrodynamic armor or other, or a combination thereof.

The tank protection pays significant attention to the protection against top-attack ammunitions like SADARM, BONUS, SMART, BILL-2 and so on. Because of it’s construction the turret provides much better protection against top-attack ammunitions comparing to conventional design tanks.

The hull

The hull of the tank has significant differences from modern classical design tanks. Frontal part of the hull is divided on three separate sections by longitudinally placed upright armor sheets, central section is used to locate driver's station and is connected with fighting compartment and air-tightened side sections are compatible to locale internal fuel tanks inside. Crew station, in the tank hull are arranged so, that each crew member in its combat position is located low of the turret race ring and separated by armor from the fuel tanks and ammunitions.

“Object 640” (Black Eagle)   “Object 640” (Black Eagle)

Hull of “Object 640” MBT (top, frontal and side view).

The working places of the crew in hull are equipped with seats with regulated height. The position of the seats in combat mode are below the turret ring. The tank interior is equipped with antiradiation plates, on the fuel tank side, and fragment-proof plates, on the driver's side. The plates are attached to the upright armor sheets, separating the front part of the hull.

The turret

“Object 640” (Black Eagle)

Drawing of the «Object 640» turret.

The turret of tank is made from a cupola with attached armor modules attached to a common base. The turret is divided into three separated compartments for gun, tank commander and gunner. The turret of tank provides enhanced protection of the tank turret without any increase of its overall dimensions and with a minimum increase of the mass

There is another variant of the turret which is made in the form of two symmetrically spaced armor compartments rigidly attached to a common base. Each compartment is formed by spaced outside and inside lateral walls made in the front contour from the embrasure to the turret lateral axis in the form of truncated cones located in alignment. The angle of slope of the lateral faces of pyramids equals 20 to 30 deg. from the base. The external and internal plates of the turret roof are installed with an inclination from the aft plate to the embrasure and from the turret longitudinal axis to the lateral side at an angle equal to 4 to 6 deg. with provision of a clearance between them equal to 0.65 to 0.7 of the clearance between the side walls.

The turret of tank design is influenced by widely spread top-attack weapon. The top of the turret is protected by the multilayer passive and reactive protection. Overall the turret of «Object 640» provides up to 1,75 -2 times more protection comparing to turrets of current modern tanks with increase of weight of only 25-30%. Another advantage of the turret is same high level of protection in all the +- 35-40o frontal arc including gun mantle.

“Object 640” (Black Eagle)   “Object 640” (Black Eagle)

Drawing of the elements of «Object 640» turret.

“Object 640” (Black Eagle)

Drawing of the elements of «Object 640» turret (option)

Autoloader (replaceable transport and loading container)

The transport and loading container is attached to the turret rear wall is a detachable conveyer-loading container. It consists of a conveyer with rounds, drive mechanisms for conveyer rotation and locking, fixing and releasing of rounds in the conveyer holders and feeding of rounds to the gun.

The autoloader module is mounted outside the fighting compartment, and is at all times isolated from it In the event of the ammunition fire blast panels allow to direct the fire outwards and prevent it from damaging the interior of the tank. The loading cycle consists of a single ramming movement without the need for any complex trajectory.

Replaceable transport and loading container of the «Object 640» tank

Replaceable transport and loading container of the «Object 640» tank

Fire control system

The tank features advanced fire control system with integrated battle management system. The fire control features commanders panoramic sight, gunner primary sight stabilized in both axis. The multi-channel gunner sight includes the optical, thermal and channel for missile guidance. The electronic ballistic computer makes fire solutions including wind, temperature, atmosphere pressure, barrel condition and other factors. The complex can also control the auxiliary tank armament. Positions of gunner and tank commander are equipped with unified electronic monocoque with multifunctional displays. Displays have modes of infrared vision, topographic and tactical situation and information on technical conditions of tank systems.

Output of infrared channel of sight of gun layer is electrically coupled to first input of multifunctional desk of gun layer and second input of multifunctional desk of tank commander. Output of infrared channel of panoramic sight of commander is electrically coupled to second input of multifunctional desk of gun layer and first input of multifunctional desk of commander. This provides enhanced technical and operational characteristics of complex thanks to provision of equal possibilities for gun layer and commander in control over armament, improved functional environment of their positions

Desk is fitted with controls switching over modes and image adjustment, electrical switches are placed on its edges. Lower part has console controlling sight line of sight provided with handles positioned on sides and functional buttons and switches ensuring process of observation and firing.

Chassis and mobility

Chassis of the tank mostly use well tested and produced T-80U tank. For increased mobility the tracks of the tank are equipped with detachable broadeners that can be mounted on the both sides of the both tracks; and the overall tank width with removed from the outer side of the both tracks broadeners meets to requirements of railroad regulations. The general ground pressure of the tank without broadeners is 0,87-0,9 kg/cm2 and 0,80-0,81 kg/cm2 with them.

   « 640»   .

Tracks of the «Object 640» tank with detachable broadeners

Status and perspectives

The test rig of a tank was first demonstrated during the second VTTV exhibition in Omsk in 1997. It was a chassis of the T-80U tank with a new turret installed on it. In the future, a sample was created with a turret mounted on a semiaxial chassis. Both samples are significantly different from the above-described promising tank, both design features and assembly. The tank was created in conditions of the hardest economic situation of Omsk tank-builders. No financing for project was allocated in that time. Few other projects representing upgraded T-55 tank with 6 wheels chassis and bustle autoloader installed on mock-up T-72B turret (representing a new “unified turret” which was only on drawing boards at that time) was an attempt to attract potential foreign customers. The modernization was to complex and along with a new turret included lengthening of tank hull, adding one pair of road wheels.

T-55M6 tank with an unified turret with bustle autoloader.

T-55M6 tank with a unified turret with bustle autoloader.

Upgraded T-55 during exhibition in Omsk

Upgraded T-55 during exhibition in Omsk

“Black Eagle”  tank

2-nd prototype of “Black Eagle” during a military exhibition in Omsk

“Black Eagle”  tank  “Black Eagle”  tank

Another development having elements of the above-described advanced tank is the unified turret. The unified turret was intended for installation on the chassis of various tanks, including foreign ones, with the purpose of their modernization. With external similarity, the main difference is the much lower protection of the roof of the tower compared to the above-described perspective tank. Unified turret design led to a new project financed by Russian ministry of defense called “Burlak”. It included both creation of new turret with bustle autoloader and modernization of existing tanks by means of installation of turret bustle autoloader.

Installation of turret bustle autoloader on T-90 tank

Installation of turret bustle autoloader on an existing T-90 tank turret

Also a new turret module was created featuring modular design of armor, advanced reactive armor, new active protection system “Afghanit” (same as installed on T-95) and a number of other improvements. The main feature of the tank was autoimmunization of all tank rounds.

It included 2 stream autoloader design, one an existing T-72-T-90 autoloader in the hull and another turret bustle autoloader capable to accommodate APFSDS with much elongated core. No unautomatized rounds, which pose the main threat in case of armor penetration were stored in the tank. Overall “Burlak” project was a backup for a technically risky T-95 project. During all period of development no information on “Burlak” were publicly released, but in publications of rivaling Nizniy Tagil design bureau (developers of T-95) a numerous critical mentions about bustle autoloader were published. They mentioned high vulnerability of ammunition stored at high level above shielding terrain mentioning hit distribution statistics during various conflicts.

In 2009 it was officially announced that both project were closed and a new design called “Armata” started.

“Burlak” turret with 2 autoloaders

“Burlak” turret with double autoloader design.

“Burlak” tank test bed   “Burlak” tank test bed

“Burlak” tank test bed during trials in Kubinka ~ 2008-2009

“Burlak” tank test bed

Materials^

RU 2 169 336 C2

RU 2 233 418 C2

RU 2 165 617 C1

RU 2 22 6664 C1

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