Monday, 30 June 2014

ZiK-20

I posted about proposed heavy SPGs before, but let's take a look at a specific one, the Kalinin factory version.

"Main elements of the tactical-technical characteristics and production of an experimental 152 mm self-propelled howitzer.
  1. Outline
    1. The 152 mm self propelled howitzer is a self propelled gun with the oscillating part of a 152 mm model 1937 corps howitzer (ML-20) installed on a KV tank chassis in an immobile prismatic turret.
  2. Tactical purpose
    1. The 152 mm self propelled howitzer supports motorized and infantry units when penetrating enemy lines and fires on counterattacking enemy forces.
    2. The 152 mm self propelled howitzer largely fires directly at close ranges, moving in shorts bursts from line to line. In rare cases, the vehicle opens indirect fire. Firing on the move should be seen as a rare case.
  3. Technical requirements
    1. The SPG is produced with minimal changes to existing designs (152 mm ML-20 howitzer, KV-7 tank).
    2. The dimensions of the vehicle should be as close as possible to the dimensions of the KV-1. The increase in height and bore axis height should not be greater than 100 mm.
    3. The mass of the vehicle with crew, ammunition, and a full load of fuel should be within 45-50 tons.
    4. Primary characteristics of the SPG:
      1. Caliber: 152 mm
      2. Vertical range: -2 degrees to 15-20 degrees
      3. Horizontal range: +/- 5-6 degrees
      4. Aiming speed: 30-45 minutes in one rotation of the flywheel
      5. Recoil length: no more than 850 mm
      6. Recoil resistance: no more than 30-35 tons
      7. Maximum rate of fire with correction of aim: 8 RPM
      8. Force on aiming mechanism when vehicle is stopped: no more than 3 kg
      9. Ammunition capacity: 30 shells
  4. Usage requirements
    1. The SPG is serviced by a crew of 6: commander, mechanic-driver, gunner, loader, breech operator, radio operator/machinegunner.
    2. The oscillating armour should allow for easy access to recoil mechanisms.
    3. The gunner's workspace (seat, aiming mechanisms, sight) should be usable freely and allow for convenient and non-exhausting aiming of the howitzer when in place or in motion. The effort required to operate the trigger mechanism should be no greater than 8 kilograms. It is desirable that the trigger mechanism be placed on the handle of the elevation flywheel.
    4. The commander's workspace should be equipped with a stock cupola from the KV-1S.
    5. The howitzer should have a guard rail, a collapsible tray for readying a shot, and a blocking mechanism to prevent firing until loading is completed. When developing the tray, ensure that it is positioned in a way to make loading take the minimum amount of energy.
    6. The ammunition rack should be robust, resistant to deformation, and provide free and comfortable access to ammunition with the goal of maximizing rate of fire.
    7. The placement of ammunition should take into account the actions taken by the loader and breech operator: the loader prepares and places a shell into the breech, the breech operator opens and closes the breech, as well as inserting the propellant into the breech.
    8. The manual extractor, wrenches for installing detonators, and the rammer are secured on the walls of the turret.
  5. Requirements for the turret and its devices
    1. The rear of the turret should have a hatch for the crew, loading ammunition, and emergency ventilation.
    2. The sides of the turret should have ports for firing a pistol and submachinegun, as well as slits for additional observation. The rear wall should have a ball mount for a DT machinegun.
    3. The crew's personal weapons should be kept in a reliable and convenient holder next to their workspaces.
    4. The roof should have a hatch next to the commander's workspace for firing signal flares, and the rear wall should have a hatch suitable for throwing hand grenades through.
    5. The lights within the turret should provide for comfortable gun maintenance and combat action.
    6. Communication is performed through a stock tank radio and a TPU.
    7. The front turret armour should be no less than 90 mm, 50 mm side and rear. The sides should have a slope of 30 degrees from the vertical. 
    8. The commander's workspace should allow for convenience when working with a map or a clipboard.
    9. Each crewman should have a comfortable seat for travel and rest. The seats of the loader and breech operator should be folding, and should not constrict their actions in battle.
    10. The inside of the turret should provide storage for a first aid kit, emergency rations, and a supply of drinking water."

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