Monday, 31 August 2015

A-20 and A-32 Trials

"Summary of results from proving grounds trials of the A-20 and A-32 from July 18th to August 23rd, 1939

The A-20 convertible drive tank with 6 drive wheels was built according to tactical-technical requirements #284797 composed on May 13th 1939 with the following exceptions:
  1. The flamethrower mount was not included.
  2. The tank weight is 1.5 tons greater than projected.
  3. The underwater driving equipment is not finished.
During trials, the A-20 travelled 4200 km with the following average movement speed:
  1. Highway: 44.4 kph
  2. Dirt: 31.7 kph
The A-20 tank can keep moving on highways, off-road, and over obstacles with only one track while the wheel drive is engaged. The tank can move in a column on a highway at any time of year and on dry dirt roads. The maximum speed on tracks is 75 kph.

During trials the tank demonstrated satisfactory reliability.

The A-32 tank is built according to the same tactical-technical requirements and is armed with a 76 mm gun. During trials, the tank travelled 3000 km and also demonstrated satisfactory reliability.

The A-20 and A-32 have the following advantages of the the BT tanks:
  • The armour is thicker and placed at an angle, guaranteeing protection against 12.7 mm bullets.
  • Tanks have larger internal volume, and it is used better.
  • The tanks are more stable as a firing platform and have a front machinegun in the hull.
  • The tanks have better off-road performance than the BT tanks.
  • The V-2 diesel is less dangerous from a fire safety standpoint, is more economical, works off heavy fuel, gives the ability to drive more in battle, and is easier to service.
  • The crew is increased to 4 men.
  • The A-32 has a reserve in mass, meaning it can be protected by thicker armour.
Drawbacks of the tanks:
  • Insufficiently reliable idler mounts.
  • Fuel and oil leak due to insufficiently robust tanks.
  • The A-20 wheel drive bearings are unreliable.
  • Crew positions and optics are not finalized.
Conclusions:

The A-20 tank is acceptable for use by the RKKA. Include improvement in blueprints based on the results of trials.
The A-32 tank is acceptable for use by the RKKA. Use the mass reserve to increase armour to 45 mm or equivalent. Produce two prototypes that will be sent to military trials.

Chief of the 8th Department of the ABTU RKKA, Military Engineer 1st Grade, Afonin."

RGVA 31811-2-1181

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