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Rambler's Top100

3

T-60: modifications Print E-mail
Light Tanks
BM-8-24 rocket launcher based on T-60's chassis
BM-8-24 rocket launcher

The T-60 was an excellent base for many experimental projects. An armored self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle was needed to protect tank units and staff vehicles, and at the end of 1942 a new tank was developed and manufactured at the GAZ Factory. That tank was named "063" or T-60-3 (the "3" meaning third modification). Some post-war sources also claim the tank had the "T-90" designation, although I didn't see this designation in archival documents.

Experimental T-60-3 tank
Experimental T-60-3 tank.

Rumanian SP gun based on T-60
Rumanian SP gun based on T-60.

This tank had the hull, the chassis, and the engine taken from the production T-60, but the tank had a new turret with double 12.7 mm DShK anti-aircraft machine-guns installed. Because of some technological troubles, GAZ was unable to manufacture the turret's traversing mechanism with proper precision (which is required for anti-aircraft combat). This was the main reason why the "063" wasn't accepted for service.

The BM-8-24 multiple rocket launchers were based on chassis of T-60 tanks as well as on T-40's. They were accepted for service in October 1941. In autumn 1941, Soviet engineer O.K. Antonov offered to develop a simplified glider with a hull taken from the production T-60.

The glider was intended for transport by the four-engined TB-3 bomber or by the twin-engined DB-3F bomber. After landing, this vehicle had to drop its wings and empennage (tail) and thus, be ready for immediate combat.

Antonov's project was supported by General S.A. Afonin (Director of the General Tank Directorate), and at the end of 1941, Antonov's Design Bureau received an official order to develop this vehicle. The project was completed in only three weeks and by the summer of 1942, the very first experimental tank was manufactured in the glider factory in Tiumen. This tank received the "KT" index which meant "Kryl'ya tanka" (Tank's Wings). Please notice, that "Krylatyj Tank" (Winged Tank) is a wrong name, but still in use by some sources. Several other sources use the designations "A-T", "AT-1" or "glider A-40."

KT tank in flight
KT tank in flight.

The wingspan of the KT was 18 metres, and the length was 12.06 metres. The tail was managed by a driver through special hawsers. The tank was lightened (weight decreased to 5800 kg!) by removing armament, ammunition, headlights, and was left only a very limited amount of fuel. The final flight weight of the KT was 7804 kg. A test flight was performed in the autumn of 1942. The KT was transported by the TB-3 bomber. S. Nanokhin was the driver of the KT, and he reported that idea of the flying tank was quite realistic and could be successful. However, because of the poor aerodynamics of the KT, the transportation of the tank was a huge strain on the TB-3, its engines overheated, and to avoid crashing, the KT was ditched in an emergency.

However, the KT glided very smoothly and successfully landed on a rough field near the Ramenskij Airfield. After landing, the wings and tail were dropped, and it successfully returned to its base at Monino. But because of a lack of sufficiently powerful airplanes, further work on the KT were cancelled and never resumed.


KT tank with removed turret. 1942
KT tank with removed turret. 1942.

Sources:
V.Shavrov "The history of the airplanes construction";
"Bronekollektsiya", #4 1997

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