Thursday 20 August 2015

KV-7 and KV-8 Trials

"Act of Examination and Practical Gunnery Trials of Experimental KV-7 and KV-8 Prototypes produced by the Kirov Factory

The examination of tanks happened on January 5th, 1942, at the factory #8 proving grounds at Mytishi. Present: [long list of names]

KV-7 Tank

The experimental KV-7 breakthrough tank has a suspension and transmission identical to the production KV-1 tank. Instead of a turret with 360 degrees of traverse, it has an immobile casemate with three guns, two of which are 45 mm guns and one of which is 76 mm (F-34). The guns have horizontal traverse of +/- 7.5 degrees, -5 degrees of depression, and 15 degrees of elevation. The guns have separate triggers. There are also two DT machineguns.
Ammunition: 200 45 mm shells and 93 76 mm shells.
The front armour is 100 mm thick, the turret armour is 105 mm thick, and the gun mantlet is 100 mm thick.
Crew: 6.
After inspection and trials, the following was observed:
  1. The driving performance is satisfactory.
  2. The armour of the hull and turret is insufficient.
  3. The practical rate of fire (5-6 volleys per minute) is satisfactory.
  4. The layout of the guns is satisfactory.
  5. The precision is unsatisfactory.
It is necessary to:
  1. Increase the turret armour thickness to 115-120 mm, increase the front hull armour to 110 mm.
  2. In order to improve gun precision, rework the turning mechanism of the gun mount. Improve the optical sight installation. Improve the firing mechanism in order to fire from all three guns at once.
  3. Consider it necessary to subject one of the January-February production tanks  to further trials according to the UVNA GAU KA standards in order to evaluate the correction of aforementioned flaws in the pre-production batch.
    Trials must be performed before February 15th, 1942.
KV-8 tank

The experimental KV-8 flamethrower tank has a suspension, transmission, and armour identical to the production KV-1 tank. The tank turret has a 45 mm gun with an ATO-1 flamethrower and a DT machinegun instead of a 76 mm gun with a DT machinegun.
The angle of elevation of the armament is 20 degrees. The angle of depression is -5 degrees. The turret can rotate 360 degrees.
Ammunition: 85 45 mm shells. 90 shots (10 meter range) for the flamethrower.
Crew: 4.

After inspection and trials, the following was observed:
  1. The driving performance is satisfactory.
  2. The flamethrower range is satisfactory.
  3. The design of the flamethrower and ammunition storage is satisfactory.
It is necessary to:
  1. Turn off the ignition flame between shots.
  2. Prevent the penetration of gasoline and fire through the gun mantlet into the tank.
  3. Guarantee at least 60 shots from the flamethrower given a normal rate of fire and full tanks.
  4. Check and correct all defects in the ATO-1 automatic mechanism design.
  5. Consider it necessary to provide a January-February production KV-8 tank for trials in order to evaluate the correction of the aforementioned flaws in the pre-production batch.
The commission considers it necessary to develop and install a twin 76 mm gun system on the KV-7, as well as develop more powerful 85 and 122 mm gun systems for this tank.

The design bureau of the Kirov factory is tasked with the design of these experimental SPGs."

The commission's suggestion was taken, and on the next day, Stalin issued decree #1110ss ordering the replacement of the three gun system on the KV-7 with a two-gun system. The same decree approved the KV-8 for production and ordered the development of a KV-1 with a 122 mm howitzer (later indexed KV-9).

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