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10.08.2018

T-72A project start

Initially T-72 was a derivation from T-64A construction that was a true revolution of the age with composite armor, compact opposed-piston engine, 125 smoothbore cannon and 28 -rounds autoloader. It was a great machine but too complex to be a “next gen T-34”. So they decided to build a new tank based on T-64 but equipped with standard V-engine (that was a development from WWII soviet tank diesel) and more simplified autoloader. These solutions significantly reduced the cost (by approx. 40%) and increased the vehicle reliability.
Morozov developed a tank to match the weight of 36 tons, which was determined by military. To protect the middle weight tank with more than 205 mm of armor, he was forced to save weight on the chassis. Tank was equipped with 12 narrow wheels of small diameter & width and short torsion bars, which were fixed in the middle of the hull making it completely symmetrical. This gave the necessary gain in weight, but greatly increased the wearout of the running gear, influenced the smoothness of the ride. In addition, the small diameter roller did not protect the side armor of the tank at all.
When T-72 was in design stage the 36 ton limit was extended to 41 ton that gave the designers ability to use more common large diameter road wheels with rubber tires that makes T-72 recognizable among other new soviet tanks.
There were two types of the T-72 roller’s: early version with eight “spokes” and later with six. I’ve made the early version so it will be tank from early 80th