During fledging years, a fairly large amount of equipment was involved into the liquidation of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. First of all, it was military equipment. Decontamination vehicles - chemical lorry, military helicopters, armored personnel carriers, chemical reconnaissance vehicles - armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles and even special tanks. In this article, we will tell you in detail what kind of tanks they were and what functions they performed during the liquidation of the accident.
Armored combat engineer aka special engineering tank aka Object 616. Initially, the monster was called a "rescue vehicle." The progenitor of this monster is the T-55 tank on the basis of which the CMV was created. True, only the lower part remained from the T-55. The turret and tank equipment were removed and instead the tank received engineering equipment. The weight of the iron monster is also impressive - 37.5 tons. Therefore, for such weight, a powerful engine is needed. All engineering tanks are equipped with a twelve - cylinder V-shaped diesel engine with a volume of 38,880 cm3 and a capacity of 581 h.p. With such configurations, the tank can move along the highway with a maximum speed of up to 50 km per hour.
The real work of this machine was found on the terrible days of May 1986 at the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Only then this car was appreciated. IMR turned out to be the only machine capable of operating near a destroyed nuclear reactor. He alone was able to clear the passages to the reactor, perform the necessary measurements, remove fragments of rods with nuclear fuel scattered around the reactor, and the remains of the walls. The machine also began to build a sarcophagus around the reactor, delivered and installed crane equipment.
Almost all of the existing CMV were used in Chernobyl and remained there forever. During its work the armor of the vehicle became highly contaminated. Therefore, hundreds of CMV remained on the territory of burial grounds in the exclusion zone.
Since this machine is considered to be military equipment, and its base is taken from a battle tank, it is equipped with armor and some weapons. The body of the machine is sealed and has protection against a nuclear explosion. The total radiation dose received by the crew is reduced to 10 times. An automatic fire extinguishing system, a radiometer-x-ray meter, a chemical reconnaissance device, and a filter-ventilation unit are integrated on board the tank . Thanks to such equipment, the machine can work on the ground contaminated with toxic and radioactive substances, and the crew in the machine can be without protective equipment. Due to the fact that the machine is fully sealed, it is equipped with an underwater driving system. Due to it, it has the ability to immerse itself into water up to 5 m. In a way, we can safely say that this is a machine for James Bond since it can on purpose create a smoke screen. The tank is equipped with the so-called smoke exhaust system. Diesel fuel is injected through the nozzle into the exhaust pipe of the engine, due to which a very dense and large-sized smoke screen is formed. To control this monster only two people are needed. This is a driver-mechanic and operator, who is usually the commander of the machine. Since this is an engineering tank, and not a combat one, it has no guns and ammunition on board. But for the crew inside the machine itself, a Kalashnikov assault rifle (AKSU-74), 10 F-1 grenades and a signal pistol are provided. The bottom of the hull is reinforced with steel sheets, the turret sheet is changed. On the top sheet of the case is the turret of the driver with small yellow windows. Glass for these windows is yellow and for good reason. It is quite thick and lead-treated. Whereas, such glass provides protection for the crew from exposure to radioactivity.
This tank is designed for laying column paths, creating passages in areas of continuous forest or city blockages, which could have formed after the use of nuclear weapons or mass bombing. To carry out such work, the tank is equipped with a powerful dozer blade and a telescopic manipulator. With the help of bulldozer equipment, the machine can perform such functions: to fill up ditches and funnels, to move large fragments. The width of the bulldozer bucket in the open state reaches 4.15 m. In the forest, this tank can perform laying tracks at a speed of 200 to 300 meters per hour. In urban areas in the conditions of blockages, the tank moves at a speed of up to 200 meters per hour. The manipulator is presented in the form of a telescopic arrow and capture in the form of jaw designed to remove uprooting from the earth various debris (cars, concrete structures, trees, etc.), which are on the way of the iron monster. Despite the rather long boom (8.8 m), its carrying capacity reaches 2 tons. When the machine is in transport position, all of its equipment is folded. For example, the CMV bulldozer bucket rises and throws itself onto the roof of the car, and the telescopic boom folds into itself like an antenna from a radio receiver.
At the very beginning of the release of this tank, the military met her wary. Nevertheless, it was a little expensive; motor resources were also expensive. By the way, on a dirt road, fuel consumption was 280 - 450 liters per 100 kilometers, and on the highway - 240 liters per hundred. We did not dare to use it as BAT-M was used, they were afraid for the strength of the hydraulic locks of the bulldozer equipment. For the most part, a telescopic boom was used. It turned out to be indispensable for carrying out lifting operations when high accuracy was required (for example, lowering casing pipes into a well, installing concrete fencing plates). Experienced operators could grab an arrow to close the matchbox lying on the ground. In our squadron, two warrant officer were to transferring cigarettes from machine to machine, and the one who took the cigarette took it by mouth.
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