KMDB
Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building
Design Bureau
Ukroboronprom
 
Oplot Main Battle Tank
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evelopment of the research direction worked out when fulfilling the '430U' project later on led to revision of the tank development concept, division of tanks as to their weight into medium and heavy ones was cancelled. Throughout 1953-1955 the projects of a new medium tank were twice examined by high-ranking officials and in both cases obtained a positive estimation. This examination of the project resulted in directive documents issued for organising the work on a new tank: the Decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 880-524 of May 7, 1955 and Order of the Minister of Transport Machine Building No. 0096 of May 13, 1955.

In 1956, taking into account the critical remarks on draft design and according to the specifications issued by the NTK GBTU (by letter NK/840012 of June 8, 1955), the Design Bureau issued a technical design of a new medium tank called the Obiekt 430.

Some changes were introduced into the vehicle design in order to enhance its COMBAT CHARACTERISTICS, viz.:

  • the vehicle was fitted with a more powerful two-stroke five-cylinder 5TD engine designed by the Diesel Design Bureau of the Plant, headed by A.D. Charomskiy, Doctor of technical sciences;

  • an optical range-finder was installed;

  • night vision devices and a night sight were introduced;

  • the running gear featured road wheels with internal shock absorption;

  • the vehicle was fitted with a deep fording kit, etc.

Three prototype vehicles of the Obiekt 430 were manufactured at the Malyshev Plant (by the Decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 20 of February 25, 1957 Plant No. 75 was renamed into the Malyshev Plant) in 1957, and in 1958 it was subjected to a demanding series of trials. The trials were successful and revealed its good qualities, especially as to the design of the running gear of the tank.

Although the tank design was absolutely new and the specifications of the NTK GBTU were fully met, no significant advantages over the characteristics of the T-54 tank were obtained. Taking into account that the T-54 tank was being modernised at that time as well (preparations were under way for putting the T-55 tank into series production), the Chief Designer of the Design Bureau Aleksandr A. Morozov decided that it was not expedient to put the '430' tank into series production, as, giving little advantage in specifications and totally new design of all systems, the '430' tank would create in the army great inconveniences in operation, repair, training, etc. The Design Bureau, without any special order, began an initiative work on considerable increase of COMBAT CHARACTERISTICS of the medium tank.

D

Project 430

Automotive test rig based on OT-54 tank chassis
Automotive test rig based on OT-54 tank chassis and intended for running gear perfomance testing

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