"Burlak". A unique tower for any tank.
The process of improving Soviet tanks led to the creation of the world's first tank with composite armor. It was the T-64. But the desire to make the tank better led to the appearance of three seemingly identical and at the same time different machines. Nowadays, Russia has the same problem and now there is an acute question of unification.
What is the Burlak project.
"Burlak" is a combat module, which is a welded turret with a developed aft niche, where the automatic loader is located, the potential for improving armor protection using a modular design, the use of the latest sighting means and the introduction of a remotely controlled machine gun.
The module was supposed to be one for three vehicles in service with Russia - T-72, T-80 and T-90, as well as a number of promising vehicles. Burlak is a radical development of the T-90A welded tower with a number of technical innovations, which you will learn about below.
Armor "Burlaka" is a modular design that can be changed depending on the advancement of technology and the invention of new combinations of composite armor.
Comparison of the T-90A turret and the Burlak module.
In addition, the tower was not a rounded cast, but welded, in a shape close to a pentagon. Outwardly, it was covered with dynamic protection blocks, and the location options were completely different, starting with the wedge-shaped scheme familiar to many and ending with a kind of inclined one. In addition to dynamic protection, it was planned to install an active protection complex. Probably a prototype of the KAZ "Afghanit", or an advanced version of the "Arena".
The new combat module was equipped with a Soviet-style 125 mm cannon that was tested in production. But further differences were completely radical. The autoloader was a transport-loading container (TZK) due to its unique design. It was supposed to possibly replace, or supplement the carousel automatic loader.
The TZM was not just a box, but a separate component that could be removed if necessary, replaced, or modernized, and in order to protect the TZM crew, it had knockout panels.
The main calculation was made to supplement the existing automatic loader, in which the carousel was charged with cumulative, high-explosive and guided projectiles, and the TPM was mainly armor-piercing sub-caliber, which were outdated long ago and needed to be replaced with more modern ones. In theory, the TPM could hold 32 shells.
In addition to the stern niche and the long-established cannon, Burlak possessed a new fire control system with a thermal imaging channel for the gunner and a panoramic sight for the commander. In addition, the commander was in command of a remotely controlled anti-aircraft machine gun.
"Burlak" had such a well-thought-out modular design that it was possible to replace almost everything, not counting the welded base of the tower. Instead, "Burlak" was significantly heavier than traditional Soviet towers and increased the weight of the combat vehicle to 50 tons or more.
The reason for the significant weight was innovations in the face of TZM, a new set of dynamic protection and fastening of a modular design.
"Burlak" was planned to be installed on the T-72 from "A" to "B3", T-80, including the current "BVM", T-90A and a promising model Object 195, a near ancestor of the current "Armata".
Where did Burlak go?
Combat module "Burlak" was created in the form of an "iron model" and tested on the chassis of the serial T-72, probably modification "B". Tests and photos date back to 2009, and they hit the Web in 2011.
Comparison of combat modules "Breakthrough" and "Burlak"
«Бурлак» устраивал министерство обороны как перспективный проект, но его конструкцию неоднократно меняли, а цена повышалась без особых улучшений боевого потенциала. В результате, работы по «Бурлаку» свернули, а взамен, наработки использовали в новом образце под названием «Прорыв», ныне устанавливаемый на Т-90М.
Прототип танка Т-90М "Прорыв"
Если взглянуть на «Бурлак» и «Прорыв», то в их концепции есть много общего, а прототипы внешней крайне схожи. Однако «Прорыв» стал более дешёвой заменой с запасом для модернизации. Можно ли в нём заменить композитный наполнитель брони, или использовать второй автомат заряжания вопрос открытый, но ответ на него мы получим разве что лет через 10.