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Engines For Armored Vehicles

The effectiveness of vehicles and their armament is governed to a large extent by the power plant and its accessories: fuel lubricating ,air-induction, cooling ,exhaust , and starting systems.
     The engine characteristics of an armored vehicle dictate its combat readiness, especially at subzero temperatures, maneuverability, operational radius of action, reliability, disclosure and fire safety.
     The basic characteristics of the engine are: weight, overall dimensions, fuel and lubricant consumption, time to take load, reliability, ease of maintenance.
     The total weight of armored vehicle and accommodation space for the crew and armament are dependent on the weight and size of the engine and its systems.
     An increase in the engine fuel economy reduces the required fuel reserve stock, as well as fuel supplies to army units, accounting for up to 70 per cent of the total material logistics.
     Since WW II the main engines for armored vehicles of Russia's Armed Forces have been light high- speed diesel engines, type V-2.
     The V-2 pioneered the best tank of WW II , T-34. By virtue of its characteristics , the V-2 was so efficient that attempts were made in Germany during the war to replicate the engine. The power- augmentation potential embodied in the engine design until the 1980's.


1. V-84 diesel engine

     The V-2 is a V- type twelve- cylinder four- stroke block- cast diesel with a common head for six cylinders, measuring 15x18 cm (cylinder diameter and piston travel). The engine had an open combustion chamber, overhead valve arrangement (four valves per cylinder ), block fuel pumps with built- in centrifugal governor.
     There are modifications of the V-2 engine : unsupercharged and supercharged by a drive centrifugal supercharger or free turbo- superchargers.
     The current modifications of this engine are multifuel, i.e. designed for different fuels: diesel fuel, aviation kerosene and motor petrol.
     These diesels can be started at a temperature of -25 (C without using special preheaters and require 3 to 5 min to take load. When installed of armored vehicles they have a service life 0f 1,000 hours.
     Various modifications of the V-2 engine are employed by different armored vehicles ranging from light (six- cylinder version) to heavy ones. The V-84 diesel, for instance, is installed on the current T-72 tank.
     In the post- war period the depowered versions of the V-2 engines were applied extensively in various sectors of the national economy. The service life of the engines ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 running hours.
     The Chelyabinsk ChTZ Joint Stock Company is the developer and main manufacturer of the V-2 engine. The engine modifications produced are rated at power ranging from 200 to 800 kW with the specific fuel consumption not exceeding 240 g/kW h.
     The ChTZ JSC design bureau has recently developed a new family of four- stroke diesels designated 2V, in 6- 12- and 16- cylinder versions measuring 15x16 cm, with high turbo- supercharging. These engines are rated at power ranging from 300 to 1,200 kW and feature good weight- and- overall dimensions characteristics and fuel economy.


2. GTD-1250 tank engine

     Since the war, the Barnaul TRANSMASH plant has launched mass production of the V-2 diesel engines. In the 50-60s the plant design bureau established an independent development line of promising diesel engines represented by a family of unified tank diesel engines (UTD).
     The base engine of the UTD family was the four stroke diesel measuring 15x15 cm. This increased the rotation speed and cylinder power and reduced the height of the V-type version. The engine employs a one- piece crankcase with rolling main bearings enhancing appreciably its rigidity. Forked connecting rods used in the crank mechanism decreased the diesel longitudinal dimensions. With the combustion chamber somewhat changed in configuration compared with the V-2 diesel chamber and with valve mechanism retained, the latter was driven via a set of cylinder gears which are easier to manufacture and more reliable to operate than the bevel ones. Engine prototypes containing 6, 8, 10, 12 cylinders and more, both unsupercharged and supercharged, have been developed.
The power of the UTD family ranges from 150 to 1,200 kW with specific fuel consumption not in excess of 240 g/kW h. The engines installed on armored vehicles have a service life of at least 1,000 running hours and 15,000 -2000 running hours on depowered commercial versions.
     The six- cylinder UTD-20 diesel found application in the BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles. It was mass produced at plants in Barnaul, Tokmak and in Czechoslovakia.
     The unsupercharged ten- cylinder UTD-29 diesel is mounted on the BMP-3 infantry combat vehicle.
     Further research led to a family of high- speed multipurpose engines featuring a variety of power ratings from 74 to 965 kW. These engines are designed for installation on different commercial vehicle, and can also be used in armored vehicles, as they qualify under the specific requirements.
     Owing to industry conversion and sharp reduction in armaments production , the development of multipurpose engines has a great future.


3. UTD-29 diesel engine

     The quest to reduce the armored vehicle power plant space led to the development of gas turbine engine, owing to experience in aviation engine building and gains in solving the specific problems concerned with tank engines (engine braking, operation in dust- laden conditions, etc.).
     By virtue of weight and overall dimensions, the gas turbine engine surpasses considerably diesel, does not need a bulky cooling system, is easier to start, but economizes less fuel and is more costly.
     The gas- turbine engine significantly surpasses diesels at the engine power exceeding 800-1,000 kW.
     The tank GTD-1250 engine, rated at 920 kW, was developed at the Klimov research and production company in St. Petersburg for use on the T-80 tank and was mass produced by KADVI Joint Stock Company in Kaluga.
     The GTD-1250 employs a double- shaft gas generator with centrifugal compressors and an annular combustion chamber. The gas generator operates on a free power turbine with a reducer.


4. UTD-20 diesel engine

     The power plant with the GTD-1250 engine is designed as a monoblock unit with built - in air- cleaning and oil - cooling systems.
     The engine employs a unique system for removing dust deposit from nozzle blocks and gas generator turbine blades.
     The tank gas- turbine engines continue to be developed to enhance their power and improve fuel economy, using compact heat exchangers in particular.
     The Moscow engine research institute updates engines for armored vehicles.
     Owing to its extensive experience, vast scientific and commercial connections, highly skilled personnel and state-of-the-art base, the institute can perform comprehensive research on diesel and gas- turbine engines and their certified testing.


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