Over several years, since 1934, NII #3 worked on arming tanks with rockets. Despite several advantages of this type of armament, no real success was achieved, all work was limited to experimental projects and blueprints.
The main advantages of rocket artillery are:
- Simplicity of use and production, both of the shell and weapon.
- Low weight of the system.
- Negligible cost of the launcher.
- Lack of recoil or any other forces that happen as a result of using conventional artillery.
Drawbacks include reduced precision and lower muzzle velocity than with conventional artillery.
The conditions of modern war present an artillery system with many tasks. Rocket artillery cannot solve those tasks on its own. A tank armed with only rockets would be infeasible. A rocket launcher should be installed on a tank only as supplemental armament.
The issue of installing supplemental armament on a tank exists as a result of striving to increase the firepower of a tank. Usually, this can be done as a result of increasing the gun's caliber or the amount of shots fired at once (or in a burst). Increasing the caliber results in increased recoil, which impacts the tank's stability, and also in a heavier gun, which decreases the tank's performance. The rate of fire is limited by the crew's physical capacity, which is confined to the cramped fighting compartment. Additionally, in battle, a burst of many shots is often desirable, which cannot be achieved with a conventional gun.
A simple and cheap rocket launcher can be installed on a tank in addition to existing armament, and fire a barrage in any desirable pattern.
In order to develop this theory, a project for additional armament for a KV tank has been developed. The main component is the rocket launcher (fig. 1, 1), a two-level design. Slots (4) are cut in the upper and lower level for the guiding fins of a rocket. Each rocket has two fins per side. The top level rockets (2) lie on top of the guide rail, the lower level rockets (3) hang off it. The rockets and launcher are the 132 mm type, already mastered by our industry. Both sides of the tank (fig. 2) have three of these launchers installed (1), for a total of six rockets (2,3). In total, the tank has 12 rockets. The rockets are contained in armoured casings (4), which have hatches in the rear and front walls (5,6), opened automatically before firing or manually from inside the tank. The front hatch (5) consists of two halves. The launchers are fixed at an angle of 5 degrees, which gives a range up to 1500 meters. The launchers are affixed on three carriers, two near the rocket casing (7), one near the front of the launcher (8). From the sides, the launchers are covered with armoured plates (9).
Firing is performed using a remote control in the radio operator's compartment, on the left side of the hull. The control panel is connected to the electric launcher mechanism by an adapter. The remote allows the launching of a configurable number of rockets per burst (not simultaneously, but with a very short delay, depending on how fast the launcher flywheel is spun, all rockets are launched within one full rotation). The weight of this device is 1500 kg, which should not negatively impact the tank's performance.
Here is data on the rocket artillery mount for the KV tank:
- Rocket type: RS-132
- Caliber: 132 mm
- Rocket length: 1300 mm
- Explosive filler: 5 kg
- Number of shells: 12
- Total explosive: 60 kg
- Length of the system: 3000 mm
- Weight of the system: 1500 kg
This launcher does not require any special modifications, aside from the removal of extra tanks on the rear of the wing, the use of which in battle conditions is unlikely.
In this way, using a very simple 132 mm x12 rocket launcher, we can increase the firepower of the KV tank without at all weakening its primary armament.
The proposed project was developed by the scientific research department of the academy.
Enough parts have been shipped to us to assemble one rocket launcher system. Everything is ready to equip one of the academy's KV tanks. Approval from GABTU is needed to begin this work.
Scientific Research Department, Brigade Engineer Davidovich
Military Engineer 2nd grade, Aleksandrov"