Tuesday 18 October 2016

T-43 Criticism

"Factory #183 designed and is currently producing an experimental prototype of the T-43 tank. The T-43 tank is designed based on the T-34 tank with the goal of obtaining a better armoured vehicle while keeping as many parts in common as possible.

The main drawbacks of the T-43 include:

  1. The turret ring diameter is 1420 mm, which is not enough for the crew.
  2. The visibility on the T-43 tank is not improved compared to the T-34. The T-43 will use a cupola that was developed for the T-34 and rejected by the BTU.
  3. The ammunition capacity consists of:
    1. 85 76 mm shells
    2. 28 DT disk magazines (1764 rounds)
      which is grossly insufficient.
  4. In the prototype, it is not possible to remove the torsion bars without removing road wheels, which makes the suspension harder to service.
  5. As with the production tank, the artillery system is mounted from the inside of the turret, which makes installation and removal of the artillery system difficult.
The tactical-technical requirements for the T-43 prototype could not possibly be implemented, as by the time the aforementioned requirements were received, a significant amount of the work was already done.

However, the factory designers knew perfectly well the main drawbacks of the T-34 tank, which were pointed out by the BTU, namely the narrow turret ring and poor visibility from the tank. However, the factory did not correct those drawbacks in their design and instead chose the wrong path of designing a new vehicle with the same drawbacks as the old one. 

While the aim of designing a vehicle with as many common parts with the old one is possible is commendable, the factory must be asked to complete the project with the inclusion of the aforementioned points, namely the issues of widening the turret ring diameter and improving visibility from the tank.

I consider it necessary to propose to the factory that they must immediately begin working on these issues, delaying the production of the T-23 (T-44) prototype tank until they are resolved (the factory has not yet began work on this tank).

As for the T-43 experimental prototype, I consider it necessary to perform factory trials with conclusions. I attach a comparative table of tactical-technical requirements for the T-43 and T-44 projects, as well as characteristics of models currently produced by the factory.

Senior Assistant to the Chief of the 6th Department of the GABTU BTU, Engineer-Major Voroshilov
Senior Engineeer of the 6th Department of the GABTU BTU, Technician-Senior Lieutenant Rozengart"

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