THE SOVIET T-64B TANK: AN UPDATED ASSESSMENT (SW 84-10069X)

Created: 10/1/1984

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Theank: An Updated Assessment

An inlclllfmcr AlKtnnrM

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS9

This papci was prepared bi

, Office of Scientific and Weapons Research. Comments and queries arc welcome and may be directed

OSWR,

wfrtreT-

TheB Tank: An Updated Assessment

Judgments

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ank (figure Dean fire both antitank guided missile* (ATGMslsrKJconventionat link ammunition through its main gun.ai only minor external changes and is thus indistinguishable at normal combat rangesilometers) from4 tanks that do not firehe ATGM-designatcdy NATO-appear* to have been developed sfjccificatly for firing from tanks. TrseT-odBowerful kinetic-energy lank destructionC

< ciieveinc AIUM probably "asa secondary fiVlyinf. aircraft

missile is loaded by ihe automatic loader like ihe convemtonal ammuniiton and ihus. like ihe conveniionii ammunition, is in two parts to fit ihe loader. Wc believe therobably replaces IheamiUok(HFATi rounds tarried in Soviet non-missile-firing tanks. Those tanks carry rive io AT rounds and thus we believearries five to six missiles.

ft*

assess ihe

,ruK protection to be identicals except for the ICO armor

T-6dBlohaveancwrife-conlrol

system lhai

Provides semiautomatic, command-to-line-of-sighl guidance for theTGM.adiofrcquency command link.

ft.rfe/

"

Probably hislaser rangctindcf.

ew ballistic fire-conlrol computer (or greater accuracy in firing conventional muniiiom The new compuicf. like lhc laicst Western tank computers, compensates for ballistic variables in addition to range to improve accuracy. Pievious Soviet mnk computers accepted only range inputs Tor ira>cciory calculations

3 night sights arc not

linked to theuidance system. The sight used to guide thean be used only during the daytime or ai night with auxiliary !ii-'idThus, ihean only be fired undet these conditions

we assess Ihat lheT*nB*s

auic-motrve components and otherights,m: cf Ike luioleader pins air the same

Theank: An Updated Assessment (u|

chose to drop this ce-xern in favorun/mimic tyiiem.iti.it retained theA llS-milli-nvtlcr (mm) gun. By choosing theun gun. the Soviets derive significant tactical advantages First, they gain the capability to score bats at harag range without sacrificing the ability io fire high-velocity kinclie-energy IKE) rounds at shorter ranges.ompare* Ihe fait probabilitiesypical ATGM and KE munitionunction of range lo illustrate this point. Second, because missile-firing tanks would be virtually indistinguishable riternally from non-maiilc-firing tanks, exponents would have to be cautious and neat all i as if ihey wcic equipped wiib ATt'iMi

0 NATO observers spottedhe Soviet Southern Group ofThe new tanit were -itce the1 aimilai unks werein ihe Croup or Soviet Forces,and given ihe NATO detienatoithai the -'. ace* in the SGf

and GSF'G were the same type of tank) Thechanges in these tanks fromere side skirling plaitsangle left optic lor the fire control system (see figure It Ihe useol an enlarged gunner's opiie indicatedchange in ihe llie-coniroi system from thai of. possiblyo and guide ATGMs

vnlencc was available by Sepiem? so assessissile-(Snag tank, calledB by ihe Soviets, did caiti and was deployed in ihe GSFG Wr ennclurlerl thai the isnkso NATO2 re theB tanki

and Al 8li.fi'ieneril

1MBih* powCvi kituht* ofmi -hn*i. fifingnigc

roand.cau prncirsic ISO mm of toakdirmtxwctei lange. Wcit'll tr* lainound.kitowrt loin iht CSIG. an nrielrale 4

erf

We estimate thaiB'sled thenrji ofnd can be guidedeter ranre

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.'inure 5

Probability of Hit: Comparison of Soviet ATGMni Munitions

iki

We believe theissilecondaryhdicoptera and low-flying aircraft. Theprobable maximum range is longer thanaverage tank-to-tank engagement rangeCentral European battlefield, indicaiing thatbe fired at airborne targets. Soviet trainingATGMs aaainst helicopters has beenind the Soviet press and other

open sources have indicsied that some Soviei ATGMs are intended for an ant .helicopter tole.ede is further suggested0 publication tanks and

tank troops, edited by Chief Marshal of tbeTroops A. Kb. Babadthtnyan, which ststes:ank with ATGMs increase* its capabili-Ues of hitting at ecunssderableoving antitank weapons, including

2 wc assess lhcarmor protectionidentical to ihe

utoloader's ammunition

handling cooipcrcnti are identical io'snot bean modified foe ATGMs. Theroll are slightly dtlleieoi fromutoloaders

indicating ihai ihe AT-Ia

iwo-nin missile. iC

Al-H

missile lystcm in) uses semiautomatic, com ail nd lo-linc-of-ltf hi (SACLOSl (uidanee wilh an RT commandeehnaejue wed iandystems. The ATmimic ii commanded bytT fuc control system in fly 'owaid lhc line of tight between) (untighiarget. All ihe gunner needs,ei firing

ihs MOV is keep (he gunsight on laigctunner's position sic continent withof Kuidincc (figure 7)

}

Anoa.

mourned to lhc gunnel's left on the luttrt wall and hassoda led wilh ihe ATGM. autoloader, rangefindci, computet, and gyroscopes used with the gun-drive stabilitcc.TflM.launeh bmion isis undesignated box

Seetei^"

Targei sighting ind ATGM tracking probably it* accomplished byparallel optical channels intidc the diytimc gunsighi (GTN-JS) The optical head (or the gunstght. seen outside the totrtt. hatlenses We telfOT one km is lot theisual sighting and timingargete singk eyeprcct of the gunuglil. and lha. the Otherot aa inlrarcd (IR1 channel thai Hacks ihe ATGM at it Diet down range The IR channel probably it sensitive lo IR rays inMcioat iciionesigned toright IRcmiuing lamp on the ATGM. The funs-thi does nota mght-firinaj capability because the gunner can see only into ihe moil channel, which hai no IR capability The gunner probably uses the control handles under ihe guniighi to keen a" aiming mark nn the largct imngr in ihe visual channel The

IR channel probablyignal indicating ihe deviation of ihe ATGM'i IR beacon from the aiming mark

C LOS guidance systemc:pttand gener-

equence ol command*teer theihe line of sight Theuidance systemT-MB evice

u'obably is ihe guidance comnuic

The RF iranimiiiciloaned behind ihe gunaveguide eiio Ihe luni-niiiirends iciixi lhc lunci ceiling io ihe anicnn.ii housing mountedpi nghl side of the liitKIheodulate* inurrier with the nuke-coded coinmindi lioin the command generator. The command'moduli)(cd Rl' signal1 indinicnna ind ismined io ihe atgm

Tbc freouency of the commandnknown.posiulaieil ii is* he in theiorange.

ma) be small enough to operate il(MMWi rie^tcne.cs uboui J! GHr> Tbeareumber of military MMW devices, but. because of our assessment of lhc oWelor-meni period fot the Al".would be sarpctscd if MMW tech oology wis available i* lime io be incur pcaied iniolhcollrGHrlinkhe same missile syslcm performance because the ncccsiai) cnoumnd* could be carried on other frojsjf ncy rang.

-ji-nP-

We believe that Iheommand tignil would be

ommand tignat of ihe So- ri AT-2C

ATGM. which consists of pulse utenets using pulse-position modulation to Convey command information.

Wc foilelieve thai4 F> guarxghaaseravei ranfcr<ndcr can provide more accurate ringe readings than other lypea of rar.gef indcri used in unit, bui may also provide false range readings Gunners can be namedelect the mosi likely readings

L

1

and s

raining manual referssighl/rangcfindci" in connection svith Article *'ldBlingeftndcr must operate out of Ihe single optical head of theaser or stadia metricould meet this requiiemcnt C

B gunner's control handles probably are used in the same manner as those ofith the handle movements controlling twirct traverse and gun elevaiion. ihr triggci on the fronts of the handles firing lhc main gun aad coaisal machirtegua. and the thasnb buttonsthe handles

Kiiui u.bStcl Saati srnsllrr as at range from ihrhuh am a

nngelWei mraiuicsilltMl in drnrmoi ri<ia ihr nhini

mi the tank rangcfindcn Ihe only ei cent sunthai ihe thumb buttons in2 Operate cmrexkneend ibe thumb buttons inrobably lire and reset the laser targe finder

Theprobably docs not aie the same computer fornal ammuniticM ballistics and ATGM guidance. The nature of the calculation and Ibe calculi ting speed requirements for conventionaland missile guidance are different. L

c

64B's ballistic computer for fifing convenlionilit more complicated thanAI ori (figure icj The input panel rs mounted on the comma ruler's Side and has knobs for atmospheric pressure, air temperature, ammunition tempera tore, mui(Ic-velocity vaisilioa. manual range estimate, and an unidentified measurement. These variablesballistic irasectories. Soviet firing liblca foi the ]li ir tn gun used42 tanks Itsiangle! ai functions of range and includefactors for the variables other lhan range. The ballistic computers innd1 aie mechanical cam shafts ihai accept range at ihcit sole eilernil input Other aiming corrections have to be mimatcd by ihe gunner using the firing tibles The C m'. is the first device wc have seenoviet tank lhal pec-odes for the ea>try of variables Othei lhan range imo the ballistic compuier.thaiore complicated fire-conirol algotiihm thinndcaieni tanks lypically use mull ink-in put algorithms io' finely accuracy than range-only algorithms.

'Coinelacneemeaiure lhc smillr belaern ihe Knra rf tight from in upamedsnie) toiddtinl obieci fhi angle isth- (uriltii ingle in) dtcrctsct with the range

la the abject

^SeetfT^-

1

Because at tbli paooabk simiLarity. we believe ibe ckvaiaoar gyroscope steadies ihe gunner's view (hiougb the gsuuighi as the lank moves. The gyro-scope probably Is directly linked to lite minor Inside the guuiighu eaasiej ibe mirror w> remainteady inertial cle-ratioe

The imperfect potr.ti.ig. tracking, and italicizingof thea dim probably lire* the accuracy Improvement afforded by the new ballistic computer. Wcew tun drive system will appear on future Soviet Unki to foliv ei jfoit the capabilities of the new comroter

ight-firing capabiliiies arc lower thancapabilities because its aighl sightlinked to Ihe ballistic computer or thesystem. Night filing or conventionalis conducted byimpledac Bight light. The ATI missive Cannotat night without visible artificialSoviets mayighl sight that canto theuidance system to give thenight firing capability without artificialThe day gumiEht used to guide the AT-8have any night capability (other than providingreticle for twilightod thereother sights ia lb-used lor aught

firing of the ATGh*

The T'MB probably has slightly better gunner's night vision than tbe IWAD of these tanks have theight sight. The sigh amplifies IR lightavelength o!icion reflectedarget. The tightource of artificial IR light. The TMB has an IR searchlight, deaignated the MA;A'ts original IK teirchlightt were designated-A maycavao luberighter iaaiicrort region lhan the lungnen bulb of. IfA

is brighter than, tlieT-eHB has ajflpger nighl-viiion range thanoviei manuaL specify the maiimum range for the gunner's night sight withearchlighteters. The specification does not further qualify the target or ambient iliuniimt ion characteristics or indicate whether the rangecteciioo. recogaitioc,on. or eaigsgernent range. The night sight used withA Inrobably does notange much greatereters because the nig hi-tiring range table inovers theranges specified in

fa

1 ni .gunner nas one more electrical switch box on the tuirei wall that has noi been seenA

tanks. Tbe switch boa is simplea knob, three (witches,ie" button. We befieve this boa is foe filing thesmoke grenades, with the knob and twitches providing for selectablerfirings of tbeaternaJ launcher

ATCM laiad

We do noi know the number of ATGM*D will carry in iu basic load of ammunition, bui we believe each tank probably would tarry fiveimmunition itowageimited inside, and the bask load of ATGMt hat to occupy (pace allocated lo standard ammunition inhe cumber could rangeinimum of three to five missilesaximum ofhe maximum number is based on ihe assumption lhat ibe basic Ine*1 nuniiion it replaced by ATGM

1 Oil ml

Appendix A

B Arnvcr Analysis

Engincciing analysis of the armor protection ofA.1 hai continued-hen .ndicated in*

lankaminate (tacit and cored turiei

NilXall sletl aad contains hollow space* ihai are filledoaaavsial-lie material, presumably {tats or eeeamte. The eui-mated protection leveh arc baaed on aa analysis of imcrnal space requirements, eiierior dimensions, and comparison! wiih2 lank Wc do noi know why2 lank, which entered pioduciion lis years afterill uses the laminate (tacit armor bu; noi ihe cored-tui ret armor tike the 'We attest thai thecoicd turret provides moie protection atainsi HF.AT maniiions than an equal weif hi of stee

1

assess it* flaot toechnology similar to lhat of' Wc believe, however, that the center layer olacitore elTeetive material thao the glass-reinfoicedcenter layer ofs glacis.lacis probablyrotection level similar to lhai cfa turret's cored armor. Modern armors, like those used ins glacis and turret, provide better protection against some muaiinrts lhan It HA ofctgfci. Tk: degrees of protcaioa to KE-iype rounds or HEAT-lype rounds lhat art caterediven modern armoi are different.l armor, like the,ieed proteeiion against HEAT round'

3

BLANK PAGE

Appendix B

TGM Analysis

Therogram probably wai influenced byWesternATGM and the US SWIFTIE ATGM.neither of Ihese missiles washrough Iheheable io observe considerable Westernand envelopment eflon related towith gun-launched missiles. Both theIhe SWIFTIE were supersonic,The ACRA was designed to beam gun. and thedesigned lo be fired from the slanoard UStank gun. ACRA development beganemonstrated to potential buyers,. The SWIFTlE was in, and was intendedollow.onShillelagh. It was designed to beesser degree,

aircraft, in addition to its aniiarmor role

Range and Velocity

In view of the effectiveness of standard lanklom range, ihe useank-launched guided missileange lesseters would be unlikely. Likewise, considering thenvironment where the ATI would be used, and considering line-of-sightsngc greaterCO meters probably would not be usefulround-launched missile firedround target. If. however, ihe missile is intendedecondary, amihclicopterreater range, perhaps

meters, might be expected, which it longer than the expected average tank-lo-tank cngaj>cmajii range on lhc Central European battlefield

Soviet military writers state thai one drawback of ATGMs is Ihai their long flight times make Ihe launcher susceptible to counter measures and allow ihe large! to take evasive action. We expect the AT-8'* velocity io be high to minimize this drawback. The Soviet heliborneupersonic. The advantages of supersonic velocity, the demonstrated capability of Ihend Ibcconlernporarydevelopment of the supersonic ACRA andlfc systems support the supersonic post ula lion.

Propulsion

A feasible propulsion system for theissile wouM include an eject charge tooft boost. This charge would eject the missile from the gun tube al abouteters per second. The missile motor would then ignite, providing an average velocity ofeters per second,oost-sustainoost-coast thrust profile.

Guidance

Wilh SACLOS guidance, the gunner is reootred only io track the target with his optical sight. An electro-optical tracker aligned with the gunner's optical sight tracks an IR beacon on the rear of the missile and determines Ihe missile's deviation from the gunnel's line or sight to the target. Launcher electronicthen computes flight correction commands, which arem the missile by the radio command link

Asihe Soviei ATd ATGM. lhc tracking beacon probably it noi modulated: theiherelics on very narrow missile tracker fields of view fur protection from IR counter measures.

The RFcommand link for theTGM on the SovietIP-Eanddicoptersimple horn antenna having an apenure of approximately SO bym. The antenna housing mounted on the tight side ofurrel (the same location where one optic of Ihe coincidence rangefinder was installedank models) probablyimilar horn antenna. The shape of the antenna housingelatively narrow beam width in aitmulhroad beam width in elevation

This estimatem is based oncurrently fielded Soviet shaped chargeand is probably conservative: lhcmay exceed Ibis bound.

Dwt believemaythe

thai new missiles with new designators may ciisi. Evidence of other warheads would indicate anto improve system lethality by use of more sophisticated shaped-charge technology in response lo Western armor developments, or to increase system fkiibiliiy by riecrviding multipurpose warheads with, for eiample. enhanced antipersonnel or ant {helicopter capabilities. ** "

Warhead

Estimates ofarhead performance can be reasonably bounded by the known capabilities of Other contemporary Soviet antitank missiles and4 tanks conventional chemical-energy tound, lhc BK-K, fieldedonvenient means of nor-maliiing penetration data to allow comparison of warheads of different diameters is Ihe measure of armor penetration in charge diametersather than in total millimeters of pcnetiation COis lhc total armor penetration divided by the diameter of the shaped charge. Theound, then hasCD peoelraiion capability.

mm shaped-charge diameter for thearhead (the shapcd-chaige diameter is slightly smaller than the oveiall missile diameter) and Ibc lethncJosjy available laDenetration boundsm of RHA are calculated. Wc believe, however. Ihat the AT-K'i penetration capability is probably ai ihe upper end ol this boundary, inmse thes an earlier development

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