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MEDIUM TANK CENTURION

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    In West

    tank manufacturing tanks not so much with the title of tank soldiers, Centurion and just takes in this list is one of the first places. Some representatives of the British military circles repeatedly expressed opinions on the advisability to be armed with one of the main battle tank type. The same opinion was expressed by Field Marshal Montgomery in September 1945, speaking at the conference officers tankers British Rhine Army, in particular where they suggested the ball need to be armed with military tanks of two types: basic - for combat and lightweight - for intelligence purposes. At the same meeting it was also suggested that the creation of a modern tank as the main tank can be used Centurion. The idea of creating the main tank for fighting Montgomery was confirmed in January 1947, when he was Chief of the Imperial General Staff. Development of the construction of the tank Centurion, which was supposed to combine the properties of infantry and cruiser tanks, was launched in 1943, and the first examples of this tank appeared in the spring of 1945.

    Although new car did not have time to smell the gunpowder World War II, to war but it still had: in Korea and Vietnam, in the wars in the Middle East and the Indo-Pakistani conflict. AVAILABLE from 1945 to 1962 (it was released around 4500 tanks) Centurion became the main battle tank in 14 countries and had 13 major modifications (from Mk1 to Mk13), as well as several so-called subvariants (eg Mk5 / 2). Core samples were tanks MK3 (the mass version), Mk7, Mk9 and MK10. MK3 tank entered service in 1952, Mk7 - in 1954 and Mk9 - in 1958. Simultaneously with Mk9 in 1958 was launched MK10. The main armament is also varied from 76 mm gun (on the first prototypes) to 83.8 mm at the first mass-produced cars, and finally the late '50s tanks were equipped with 105-mm gun. There is no doubt that such a mass-produced tank in the West, and were in service in many countries, including NATO countries, reflecting a recent achievements of science Russian tank 50s, could not interest our intelligence. Therefore, various attempts have been getting samples, this certainly contributed to the war in Korea. The first sample for the study was in MK3 version of the USSR in 1952. The machine was delivered together with other samples of foreign military equipment seized as booty on the Korean peninsula.

    Tank was not screwed and was badly faded due to the detonation of ammunition remaining. Therefore, the first acquaintance with the Centurion tank was purely visual. In the study sample were clarified thickness of the reservation, the metal structure, composed of opinion about the layout of the tank and partially explored damaged engine and the remaining whole observation devices. During the study it was found that the characteristic of the tank dimensions are significant at a relatively weak armor protection and low-power engine (with machine weight 49.8 tons). The special features of the design of the machine frame our experts attributed the frontal part of the body with sloping armor plates and inclined at an angle of 12 degrees. Side Panel applied the first time in English tank building. However, the presence of trapezoidal cross-section body, tapering towards the bottom, led to the complication of the layout as a whole and increase the size of the tank height. The tank Centurion unlike captured American M26 and M46 machines, is also being tested in our country, fundamentally different arrangement made office management. As noted, the tank Centurion no place for the driver's assistant, and in this volume, the British put the ammunition from the gun (25 shots), batteries and fuel tank. As a result, as a positive quality, increased useful usable volume of the crew compartment. The very layout of the crew compartment also differed from the American cars: the tower housed the four crew members and unlike the M26 and M46 tanks floor of the crew compartment may be rotated. In the engine compartment of the total fuel quantity (550 liters) was 460 liters, which was taken on to the two tanks 280 and 180 liters, arranged on both sides of the engine.

    rest of the fuel, as already mentioned, was placed in the department of management. As can be seen from the table, comments on dimensions of the tank, even with respect to heavy tank IS-3, are unnecessary. Centurion tank weapons because of its uselessness, as the rest of the tank as a whole, has undergone a visual inspection. As a result, the following conclusions: despite the considerable height of the tower, the power of a small artillery system. On a heavy tank IS-3, which is easier to tank Centurion, set at almost the same diameter of the turret more powerful (122 mm) gun, and the height of the tower is almost half a meter below. Installing guns are not presented for our experts is nothing new and was basically similar to the installation of tank guns on domestic tanks.

    However

    noted as a positive setting, again for the first time in England, stabilizer arms, which, because of unfitness check failed. Was not possible to get a full idea of the aiming devices and surveillance. Optics Centurion tank was badly damaged or missing altogether. Was found in only one observation periscope, mounted in the commander's cupola, but it was badly damaged. Therefore, the representation of the sights and observation devices were purely theoretical, we must pay tribute to the professionalism of our tankers, their theoretical layout relatively unexplored systems were confirmed in twenty years.

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    familiarity with Centurion tank was more productive. In 1971, our country got two sample tank modifications and Mk9 MK10 armed with 105-mm. gun L7A1. The machines were in perfect condition and on the go. Now, our experts can get a better idea of the tank, although by that time already Centurion is not something new: we had a T-64, and in England Chieftain. Is that the 105-mm gun, which became at that time the main tank gun in the West deserved attention. Nevertheless, the cars were subjected to scrutiny, as it Centurion tanks with a 105 mm gun at the heart of armored forces, the IDF who fought essentially against our T-54 and T-55. To test tanks were the following objectives: - to identify and study designs that are of interest to the domestic tank building - Definition and study of the operating and technical indicators. To perform the tasks in the tank version MK10 was subjected to laboratory and special (radioactive) tests and Mk9 was dismantled to study the structural features.

    Briefly I would like to stay at the design features of various modifications tank Centurion. So for Mk1 tower was fully welded. On the Mk2 and MK4 was installed already cast turret, with integrated top sheet roof, they had the same reservations. On IOB, Mk5 E MK8 set the same cast turret, but somewhat increased in size, which was due to the installation of larger caliber gun - 83.8 mm, their reservation was also the same. On the turret, since Mk7, installed rotating commander's cupola. On Mk9 and MK10 turret installed several large, it was caused by the installation of a 105-mm cannon. Tower MK10 differed from the turret version Mk9 unit commander's cupola, form and seal mobile bookings front of the tower. Commander's turret hatch closed Mk9 round solid cover, and MK10 similar but consisting of two halves. On the left side of the roof of the tower has a rectangular hatch charging. Luke closes the lid of the two halves.

    Over

    driver-mechanic in the roof hatch body had trapezoid with rounded corners. Luke closed lid consisting of two halves. In the left side and aft walls towers tanks Mk1-MK8 hatches were to eject spent cartridges. Similar hatch Mk9 and MK10 had only the left side of the tower. Centurion Mk9 unlike Mk1 MK10-MK8 and had two types of reservation upper bow 76 mm at Mk9 / 1 and 121 mm Mk9 / 2, where a sheet of 76 mm welded sheet 45 mm thick. The armor protection corps Mk1-Mk9 / 1 consisted of the same thickness. Body armor protection Mk9 / 2 and MK10 different from previous versions, except for increasing the thickness of the upper front plate, increasing fodder booking sheets. As was explained by armor protection, tanks Centurion serial inferior domestic T-54/55/62 tanks (except the upper fore body parts), and for the protection of on-board projections (because of screens) against chemical weapons melee surpassed our tanks .

    himself body armor was welded all modifications of rolled homogeneous armor of medium hardness. The left front of the chassis is a niche boeukladki, which is separated from the driver's compartment with a solid steel wall thickness of 5.5 mm, welded to the body, and the rear has a removable steel baffle similar. Between the engine and fighting compartments installed steel baffle 16 mm thick. Special protection against weapons of mass destruction had Centurion tanks. Protection of the crew from ionizing radiation was provided only for observation, the other - Telescopic - for guided weapons to target. The driver has two prism periscopes observation number 23 Mk1 installed in the roof hatch. A similar observation device number 15 Mk1 is available for charging. To determine the distance to the target is used included adjustment gun. However, compared with rangefinders Soviet tanks such a decision, as determined by comparison, significantly increases the time to prepare the first shot out of a cannon.

    undoubtedly aroused great interest from our experts armament stabilizer tank Centurion. Was determined by comparison with domestic stabilizers English had a significant fundamental flaw: a big gun care from a predetermined position, which is especially sharply expressed in collisions with gun turret stops when the tank over rough terrain. While the gunner eliminate these treatments using the built-in sight adjustment potentiometers was not much armor plate body armor and turret, units and units of the power plant and chassis. Level Radiation Protection English tank was 2 times worse than the Soviet T-62 tank. The tank was installed complex monitoring devices, providing the opportunity to direct the tank commander gun at a target with the same accuracy as the gunner. The commander of the tank installed: - periscope - Scope number 25 Mk2 - number 8 Mk1 projector, designed to control the accuracy of the commander of the target aiming weapons gunner - Binocular device tank commander, attached to the commander's cupola and six prismatic observation devices.

    Workplace gunner periscope sight mounted combi number 30 Mk1 with two optical systems. one of which is a prism used feasible. As a result, to keep the aiming mark on the target, the gunner had to constantly adjust its position in both planes using hand controllers, which caused a very strong disadvantage and high fatigue in combat. In collisions with the same gun turret gun stops automatically at specified gunner position did not come. Therefore, when the gunner side chamber had to restore the position of the sighting mark again, and this, in comparison with our tanks, dramatically worsened the conditions of observation and increased the time pointing guns at a target when firing on the move. Another negative point was that the provision of stable regime in the horizontal plane was ensured only by holding down on the controller drive tower, which also contributes stiffness and fatigue in action Gunner.

    However, a number of design decisions still deserve attention, so. in particular, apart from the already mentioned decisions were noted: - installation of smoke mortars, providing smoke disguise enemy fire - solid screens to increase the protection from airborne projections ATGM: - Installation blackout blinds on observation devices tank commander: - manual priotkryvaniya drive hatch tank commander by up to 70 mm (except MK10) allows the tank commander, not leaning out of the hatch, navigate the terrain in the resulting gap - hydromechanical cleaning safety glass Gunner - widespread use of sealed connectors for individual legkorazemnyh low-voltage circuits (control circuits, signaling, control and measuring devices) - Charging petrol unit that provides power to consumers of electric energy without starting the main engine; - the principle of activating the fire suppression system outside the tank (with two handles located on the fender ).

    In the third and last time our experts familiar with the Centurion tank in 1973. It would seem that you can learn about the new tank Centurion, thoroughly investigated in 1971, but interest has caused not the actual tank. The fact that our hands were two English versions of the tank in MK3 and Mk7, upgraded in Israel, judging from the date on nameplates fuel tanks in late 1972 - early in 1973. When upgrading a tank were installed articulated in a single block engine and hydromechanical transmission, electrical system of fire fighting equipment and communication facilities, borrowed from American M60A1 tanks, and 105-mm rifled gun British L7A1, stabilized in two planes Centurion tanks models Mk9 and MK10 . As a result of modernization Enhanced Centurion tank, and it is the name he received in Israel, on the effectiveness of the fire approached the M60A1 tanks, the mobility he excelled all the English versions of the tank (meaning the version to MK10), but conceded M60A1 tanks reservations front parts of the hull and turret. Reader asks why it happens comparison with M60. The fact is that in addition to our Centurion tanks as a trophy by the Syrian army was brought American M60A1 tanks, who was at that time the main battle tank of the U.S. Army and also standing armed IDF, who fought at the time against Syria on the Golan Heights. This comparison is happening with this tank. Modernization contributed to the large dimensions of the tank as a whole and the engine compartment, in particular. To install new equipment into an Israeli tank Centurion produced only minor alterations to the hull and turret, with installation of the new engine was redesigned roof over the MTO, which together with the metal duct formed over the transmission of the heat dissipating device, principle of operation is similar to the device M60 tank.

    objectives of projects to test Israeli cars were: - the study of the device as a whole tank - Evaluation of the combat capabilities of the tank - tank design in identifying vulnerable areas and parts to the effects of anti-affecting funds available at the time we have. Visual inspection of the Intensified Centurion, in addition to installing a 105-mm cannon, were marked by the following features: - Installation open AA gun on a rotating commander's cupola - no night sighting devices; - availability of ammunition, much of which is available in hard combat pack and awkward to use - installation of the power unit - the diesel engine and hydromechanical transmission taken from the M60 tank, and the inability to implement a quality of this unit is operable at MTO flooding (as in M60) due to lack of preparation design of the tank as a whole to overcoming deep water obstacles ford - cumbersome, unreliable Chassis not provide more speeds tank on marches - to the power unit features include the use of a mechanical drive brake control, which was used on the M60 tank, and required much effort mechanic the driver to stop the tank and hold it on the climbs (the pedal must be influenced by two feet).

    Since the whole tank was studied in sufficient detail, the main focus was on sea trials to study the mobility of the tank changes. Was subjected to the test tank weapons, as with the British ammunition shells were obtained from the American-made 105-mm tank gun M68 (installed on the M60A1) and their Israeli counterparts. As shown by sea trials, the use of the power unit tank M60A1 increased mobility of the Israeli version of the tank Centurion. However, inherited and drawbacks of the mobility M60A1 tank. In particular, despite the use of dual-stream transmission scheme, the overall efficiency it was sufficiently low compared with the mechanical, did not provide a good efficiency of the motor even when driving on unpaved road dense. In addition, the presence of two gears not made it possible to implement the full range of towing tank qualities when driving on roads with different state. Cruising obtained by running test on a concrete road with the new power plant, was 324 km at an average speed - 37.9 km / h. Application of the tank Centurion cumbersome, designed for low speed running gear significantly reduced driveability modernized version and did not allow to implement all the features borrowed power block.

    addition obsolescence design chassis during testing was set low reliability. So in particular, it was noted the appearance of cracks in the body and shoe destruction fingers caterpillars as well as bend arm portions lug shoe, which excluded the possibility of knocking fingers at Traka disconnection or replacement caterpillar tracks themselves. (As a lyrical digression for modelers, create a variety of diagrams, it is worth noting that at the upgraded Israeli Centurion tanks of each cantilever sixth Traka be cut, as the design provides for the replacement of track on six tracks, although the trouble may be the only one.) As noted above, the second question in the test tank stood his armor. Enhanced Centurion was fitted with a 105 mm tank gun L7A1, coaxial machine gun Browning M1919A4 "7.62-mm machine gun, and the same set on the open turret commander's cupola. Tank gun barrel was connected to the breech thread sector type, which greatly accelerated the replacement of the barrel without dismantling the tower (the tank Centurion this time was 15-20 min., And the T-62, not having such a structure, 11 hours).

    symmetrically located recoil device, as shown by tests, created favorable conditions affecting marksmanship, although inherited deficiencies English stabilizer significantly restricted these conditions when firing on the move. In the tank for the gun shots were used L7A1 English production: - shots with armor-piercing discarding sabot projectile (BPS) with a detachable tray L28A1; - shots with armor-piercing high-explosive shells L35A1 and L37A1 and smoke shells SMKBE. Gun ammunition was 72 shots and had, as we have seen, a pronounced anti-orientation. Placement shots in the tank, as already noted, it was inconvenient for them to use a lot of time required for loading the gun and special attention as loader, gunner and as a tank commander to avoid injury. Placed on a rotating Polikey shots hampered action loader, and their vertical considering all large ammunition and weak booking significantly increased the vulnerability of the tank at a penetration of the hull armor. Ekstraktirovanie casings from a gun inside the tower charging forced to spend time removing them from the tank through the hatches or mounted in free styling, it increases the fumes in the crew compartment and the deteriorating conditions of the crew.

    When firing tests from a tank gun at targets at ranges of 1400-2400 m and 1100-2200 BPS m for armor-piercing high-explosive projectile, the cost of time to first hit the target, respectively, accounted for 112 and 123 s, which was significantly higher than domestic tanks. When tests revealed that Israeli-made ammunition, which were in the tanks along with English, have low reliability. Thus, 28% of the number of spent sabots Israeli production had high deviation from the flight path and did not reach the goal. Similar results were obtained in separate shots cumulative projectiles, also made in Israel. When shooting at a range of 2,000 m in 7% of Israeli armor-piercing high-explosive projectiles (such as L35A2) fuses did not work in contact with the ground. When shooting on the range at 100C m such failures was already 54%. As was explained, BPS L28A1 past 80 mm monolithic armor of medium hardness, set at an angle of 68 degrees. at a distance of 2,000 m (at T-54 tank booking forehead body is 100 mm at the same angles and forehead Tower 200 mm). Armor-piercing explosive projectile L35A2 and his Israeli analogue when ingested monolithic armor thickness of 80 mm, set at an angle of 60 deg., Gave spalling on the back surface of the armor in the form of a disc diameter of 200 mm and a thickness of 20 mm, which defeats the inside of the tank as secondary projectile. Separated and combined barrier tanks T-64 and T-72 armor-piercing explosive projectile were not affected. Were marked by low fragmentation armor-piercing high-explosive projectiles hit the ground. In addition I would like to add that similar tests conducted on the American ammunition (M392A2 BPS) showed even lower penetrating power than the English projectile. In this light, questioned reports about the alleged Israeli military killed thousands of Syrian and Egyptian tanks T-54 and T-55 during the Yom Kippur War in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

    Tests on the efficiency of modern Western ammunition while showed them, to put it mildly, a low ability to knock down Soviet tanks at ranges of real tank battle. Coming to the third question test, it should be noted that both Israeli tank Centurion, let us call them number 1 and number 2, arrived in our country, with varying degrees of battle damage that facilitated the work of our specialists to ascertain the combat effectiveness of the anti-tank when exposed to The armor protection. When their inspection found that Centurion tanks had 4 hits anti-tank shells. ATGM hit the right side of the gun mask tank number 1. Cumulative jet pierced the armor and went inside the crew compartment. Inside the tower jet penetration occurred right recoil device, and destroyed some parts of the device. Through the hole was leaking fluid and was lost ability to fire a cannon. In addition, the broken shards of a cumulative jet destroyed electrical cables armament stabilizer, while the equipment gunner were traces of blood may gunner was wounded. Tank, on the conclusion of the commission, loss of combat capability.

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    ATGM in the left aft turret number 2. Jet broke bracket spotlights in its stowed in the stern, very stern tower and went inside the crew compartment. Inside it has destroyed the radio and the radio, optical sights of the commander and gunner, with a direct hit jets were both killed. Fragments of the projectile body armor and was lit and blown box of bullets to the gun, which was in a basket on the stern of the tower. Tank just lost the combat capability. HEAT projectile hit gun from T-54 tank in the left part of the turret board number 1. Jet broke board tower and collapsed, hitting the seat bracket installation loader, destroyed wiring stabilizer on the right side of the tower. It was deformed guard gun at the gunner and broken radio faceplate with its complete destruction. On the domestic equipment tower revealed traces of blood, speaking of the defeat of the crew members in the tower. HEAT projectile hit gun from T-54 tank in the bottom of the screen left side tank number 1 in the area of the 5th track roller. Tumbler itself, probably in the process of further movement, was thrown off the balance. Fragmentation projectile torn outer half of the 4th track roller body and was knocked Hydromount third left suspension assembly.

    third suspension unit to malfunction since the spring elastic suspension element with the loss of track roller lost one of the two points of support and became inoperable. From the analysis of combat damage tanks was noted that four of the first 3 hits led to loss of combat capability of the tank, and the latter - to decrease. The greatest damage is brought into contact with the body or turret. At a penetration of armor crew got injured while in the defeat ATGM jet gun mask and armor fragments were detained tightly arranged and massive equipment, which led to a slight flying into small fragments in the fighting compartment, and after hitting the turret ATGM its equipment were stopped only small fragments of the projectile and the jet, while the bulk of the jet direct hit defeated crew. It was confirmed that a dense arrangement of equipment, presence of barriers, shields and massive equipment in the crew compartment restricts expansion of the fragments in the armor penetration and reduces the chances of failure of the crew (in the tank M60 everything was done exactly the opposite). Arising from the results of the cumulative impact on the tanks shells and rocket systems it follows that the power of their action was sufficient to defeat tanks type Centurion when hit in the side of the tower, shaped charge reliably hit those tanks when hit by any of its projection. In conclusion, I would say that all the subjects are Centurion tanks tank museum exhibits NIIBTVT, namely the Korean version MKZ, MK10 variant and one of the Israeli tanks Centurion with a spotlight on the tower.

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