Thursday 30 July 2020

Thickness Problems

"Opinion of a member of the model commission and representative of the Ilyich factory

The following needs to be considered when discussing and making a decision regarding the production of the A-43 tank with thicker armour (50-60 mm):
  1. This thickness will require the use of 7-8 ton ingots to produce the sides of the tank, which the Ilyich factory doesn't have equipment to work with and development of which needs to begin right away.
  2. 60 mm thick armour was never produced by the Mariupol factory and producing armour of this thickness combined with adjustments based on the results of proving grounds trials will take 5-6 months.
  3. The total increase in weight of the armour will require about 20 tons more steel per set of armour. Meanwhile, the Ilyich factory doesn't have enough steel to produce the A-34 and has to receive additional steel from other factories (Taganrog, Kulebaki).
  4. Increasing the weight of the ingot to 8 tons does not allow the armour to be rolled at mill #1 and will require the use of the only mill in the USSR specially designed for rolling thick armour, mill #1250, which is currently used in naval manufacturing and also has a number of extra orders pending (boilerplate, collector steel, etc).
  5. The bending equipment used at the factory was never intended even for the A-34 and works at its limits when bending 45 mm thick armour. Production of 60 mm thick armour will require replacing all bending equipment with more powerful ones and metal shaping presses, which the factory does not have.
Based on the above, I consider it reasonable to produce two experimental A-43 vehicles with 45 mm thick armour without abandoning the idea of transitioning to thicker armour, but it needs to be more thoroughly studied and prepared before it is presented to the government for approval.

Ilyich factory representative, Hodos."

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