First, a Turret
Initially, the T-60 was to be armed in the same way as its predecessor: a large caliber DShK machinegun with a coaxial DT. By late July, it was discovered that this was impossible. The industry could not produce required amounts of DShK machineguns. A replacement gun was found quickly: the 20 mm ShVAK aircraft autocannon, and the tank TNSh gun was created by combining wing mounted and turret mounted variants. The first gun was trialled in August of 1941. Already, complaints were made regarding the gun's insufficient firepower:
"The installation of a 20 mm ShVAK gun in the turret of the T-60 tank does not solve the issue of improving penetration, especially against modern targets with 15-20 mm of sloped armour. The commission considers it necessary to accelerate work on producing more effective armament for the T-60 tank."
A logical solution was the installation of a more powerful weapon than an autocannon. Work on installing such a gun was initiated by the Artillery Committee of the Red Army Main Artillery Directorate (Artkom). In September of 1941, a meeting was called where representatives from two design bureaus were invited: Molotov GAZ and factory #92. After studying captured vehicles, a decision was made to arm the T-60 with a 45 mm mod. 1938 gun. According to the requirements, the stock turret was preserved.
Initially, work to improve the armament was done jointly by the GAZ and factory #92 design bureaus. However, the designers quickly diverged in their opinions on how the armament should be installed. The result of factory #92's work was covered in a separate article. This article will talk about what the Molotov GAZ design bureau came up with.
- 50 km was traveled.
- Average speed: 13 kph.
- Traveled on other roads: 25 km.
- The combat and tactical abilities of the T-70 tank significantly surpass those of the T-60, components of which are used in the T-70 design.
- All main characteristics of the tank: armament, armour, average speed, maneuverability, performance in the snow and on dirt roads, and visibility surpass those of the T-60 tank, making the T-70 tank a light tank that can combat light anti-tank artillery, light and small tanks, infantry, and enemy mechanized forces, as well as serve as an infantry support tank.
- The light T-70 tank can be accepted into service and put into mass production to replace the T-60.
- All noted defects must be corrected by the factory.
- In parallel with producing the T-70, GAZ must continue testing the reliability of components in spring and summer conditions."