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Publication numberUS3602088 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date31 Aug 1971
Filing date25 Mar 1969
Priority date3 Apr 1968
Also published asDE1818019A1
Publication numberUS 3602088 A, US 3602088A, US-A-3602088, US3602088 A, US3602088A
InventorsTimo Spring
Original AssigneeContraves Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Armored tank vehicle with antiaircraft armament
US 3602088 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inven or T m pring 3,309,963 3/1967 Salomonsson 89/41 Dubendori, Switzerland 3,362,073 1/1968 Hausenblas et al. 89/40. l 1 X [2l] Appl. No. 810,143 3379098 4/1968 Zurbuchen 89/40.l l [22] Filed Mil. 25, 1969 FOREIGN PATENTS 4 P l I l 5] a ed Aug 31 1971 692,140 5/1953 Great Britain 89/45 [73] Ass'gnee AG 1 I93 399 5/l965 G 89 36 4 Zurich Switzerland ermany [32] Priority Apr. 3, 1968 Primary Examiner-Benjamin A. Borchelt [33] Switzerland Assistant Examiner-James M. Hanley [31] 4993/68 Attorney-Werner W. Kleeman [54] ARMORED TANK VEHICLE WITH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARMAMENT ABSTRACT: A novel armored tank vehicle with antiaircraft 6 Chims 5 Drawing FigS armament is disclosed, such vehicle having at least one antiair- 2 craft gun, a search radar means and a target-tracking radar [5 US. Cl K, i i means mounted on a f l t t bl turret t l t 89/40 89/41 89/41 SW one optical periscope being inserted in the turret cover. In the 1 ll!- i i f th t t at a e rovided for the operatin crew P 8 F4lf23/06 as are periscope oculars and, beneath such oculars, consoles [50] Field of Search 89/36 H, 36 with radar Screens A150 provided in the interior fth turret i 36 41-8; a firing computer functioning to automatically determine the 343/74 872; 73/167; 33/48; 350/301 firing parameters for the guns in dependence upon the target location data as continuously determined by the target- [56] References Cited tracking radar-aiming means. Further provided within the in- UNITED STATES PATENTS terior of the turret are manually operable means as well as am- 2,207,084 7/1940 Bowers 343/872X munition storage areas for the guns. All of the above com- 2,559,714 7/1 51 Duplessis.. 89/36.4 X ponents are provided in such a manner that the armored vehi- 2,857,8l6 10/ [958 Deal 89/4l.6 cle comprises a completely autonomous automotive and ar- 3,0l3,207 l2/196l Schwalbe et al.... 73/167 X mored weapon system for weather-independent antiaircraft 3,223,996 12/1965 Voles 343/73 X operations by mobile fighting units.

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SHEET u 0F 5 INVENTOR TIMO SPRING BY v ATTORNEYS PATENTEI] was] l97l sum 5 OF 5 1 2 1 FIGS 1.20 420 420 420 INVENTOR TIMO SPRING BY M'p dmxux/ ATTORNEYS ARMORED TANK VEHICLE WITI-I ANTIAIRCRAFT ARMAMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION art meet the above general requirements only to a very limited extent. For example, such prior art tanks are normally equipped only with optical sighting installations having associated devices for semiautomatic determination of the location of the aircraft to be attacked, and thus such prior art tanks can therefore not fight fast flying aircraft with a sufficient expectation of success unless such aircraft attack the antiaircraft armored tankin a direct target flight. Thus, what is required are radar-aiming -mechanisms serving to .subsequently switch fully automatic firing element computers for the automatic control of the tank weapons. Armored. tank vehicles having such radar-equipped antiaircraft installations are likewise known in the prior art, yet still do not meet all the necessary requirements since the radar devices provided do not permit a simultaneous scanning or searching of the air space for aircraft and a tracking or zeroing-in of aircraft to thus continuously determine its positional coordinates. Thus, such prior art tanks are blind with respect to the situation occuring in the remaining airspace during the pursuit of a par ticular target object. Further, the changeover from a searching operation to a pursuit operation with such radar units provided takes up far too much time. Additionally, it would be desirable that efficient optical installations be provided with which the tank crew could directly observe the situation in the surrounding area.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, the need exists in this art foran armored tank vehicle capable of meeting the above requirements demanded by-an anti'aircraftsystem and thus eliminating the drawbacks of the prior art, It is the primary object of the instant invention to provide such an armored tank vehicle.

Further, more specific objects of .the instant invention are: The provision of .an armored tank vehicle which combines the benefits of both-a search radar means as well-as a targettracking radar means;

. .The provision of an armored .tank vehicle which enables the operators thereof to optically sight throughout the surrounding area;

The provision of an armored tank vehicle in which firing of the antiaircraftguns is fullycomputer controlled; and

The provision of an armored tank vehicle which functions as a completely autonomous automotive and armored weapon system for weatherindependent antiaircraft operations by mobile fighting units.

The above objects as well," as other objects which will become apparent as the description. proceeds are imple-- .mented by the subject inventive armored tank vehicle having antiaircraft armament, such vehicle being characterized by the features that at least oneantiaircraftgun, a search radar means and a target-tracking radar-aiming means are all mounted on a freely rotatableturret, at least one optical periscope, being inserted in the turret cover. In the interior of the turret, seats are, provided for the operating crewas are periscope oculars and, beneath such oculars, consoles with radar screens. Also. provided in.the interior of the turret is a firing element computer functioning to automatically determine the firing parameters or components for the guns in dependence upon the target location data as continuously determinedby the target-tracking radar-aimingmeans. Further provided within the interior of. the turret are manually operable means, as wellzas ammunition storage areas-for the. guns.

All of the above components are provided in such a manner that the armored vehicle comprises a completely autonomous automotive and armored weapon system for weather-independent antiaircraft operations by mobile fighting units.

Further, it is feasible and within the scope of the instant invention that guided missile launching installations serve as guns. Preferably, rapid-firing guns are used which are vertically adjustable and rigidly coupled withthe turret relative to horizontal movement forv firing medium caliber explosive shells such as 35 mm. shells, for example, each gun having associated with it an ammunition storage compartment or means disposed in the interior of the turret carrying folded ammunition belts inserted therein, the ammunition belts being conveyed through means of a hydraulically operated belt conveyor installation via a channel to each respective gun through a respective trunnion mounted in a rotatable fashion in the turret wall. In this'manner, theguns can fire the entire carried ammunition supply without recharging when the vehicle is in motion and alternatively, such guns are loaded and ready for firing at all times.

Initial velocity or V,-measuring devices of the type known to the prior art are advantageously mounted on the gun barrel muzzles for calculating the initial velocity of the fired shell. The resulting calculations are fed intoa firing element computer for appropriate adjustment of the firing parameters.

The sending and receiving portions of the search radar means preferably are mounted at or in the rear of the turret with the antenna for the radar means advantageously being rotatably mounted on a supporting platform adjustable from a lower protective position into an elevated operational position by means of a hydraulically operable hoisting unit such that the antenna then serves to search the surrounding airspace for aircraft.

The tracking radar means or device preferably is mounted at the forward side of the turret between and underneath the gun barrels, for example, in such a manner that the beam or directive antenna means is vertically mounted in an adjustable fashion at an armored housing which'itself is rotatable relative to the turret around a-vertical axis.Thus, the entire device can be rotated out of. an operative position for automatically tracking and locating a'certain aircraft into a protective position in which the antenna means is then disposed between the armored housing-and the turret wall.

An optical periscope suitably mounted in the turret lid is preferably provided for each of the two intended operators within the turret interior. The driver of the armored vehicle preferably sits in the tank trough in front of the turret. These periscopes are contemplated to have a view direction, however, which can freely be directed both laterally and vertically and in which the magnification can be adjusted and in which the image is always observed. by the viewer in an upright and a correct left-to-right position. Periscopes' of this type are known as such-in prior art, yet are particularly useful for an antiaircraft armored tank vehiclewhose crew must rely particularly as far as possible upon complete recognition of the situation and what is occurring in the surrounding areas. .ln this regard, known stabilizing devices are preferably provided for the movable members of the periscopes as well as for the target-tracking radar means so as to compensate for motions of the vehicle enabling use of these orientation and location means, respectively, even when the vehicle is in motion.

If at least one of the above-described periscopes is constructed as an auxiliary aiming device having suitable angle indicators for the determination and indication of the yaw and elevational angles of the zeroed-inaircraft so as to feed the main computer or an auxiliary computer then, and assuming in addition that an estimated firing distance is set, the firing parameters for attacking the zeroed-in aircraft or for attacking terrestrial or land targets can be determined in an auxiliary fashion in such instances when the tracking radar device cannot be utilized.

For the purposes of measuring the respective deviations from-the vertical line of the turrets rotating axis, a tilt or cant measuring device is advantageously provided, such device being in the form, for example, of an oscillation-dampened pendulum having two-angle indicators for additionally feeding a firing element computer so that tilted positions of the vehicle are taken into consideration in computing the firing calculations or parameters at least when the vehicle is not in motion. Such oscillation-dampened pendulums per se are known in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention itself will be better understood and further features and advantages thereof will become apparent from the following detailed description of preferred inventive embodiments, such description referring to the appended drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 depicts a side elevational view of the novel armored tank vehicle;

FIG. 2 depicts a top plan view of the novel armored antiaircraft tank;

FIG. 3 depicts a side elevational view of the instant invention corresponding to FIG. I but with the turret depicted in axial cross section;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic illustration depicting the construction and operation of a periscope of the instant invention; and

FIG. 5 schematically depicts an ammunition storage and feeding means for an associated gun utilized with the instant invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED INVENTIVE EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 3 thereof, a support ring 11 is disposed mounted in the trough l0 ofa battle tank 1, with a bearing ring 21 ofa turret 2 being rotatably mounted on the support ring 11 in such a fashion that the turret Z is freely rotatably about a normally vertical central axis D of the battle tank. A sending and receiving portion of a conventional search radar means or device 23a is mounted in a projecting housing 23 in the rear of the turret 2, an antenna 3 of such search radar means 23a being rotatably supported about an axis D on the platform of a support member 30. The function of the search radar means or device is to search or scan the airspace surrounding the tank so as to locate aircraft both when the tank is in motion and when the tank is engaged in battle. The drive system for rotating the turret as well as for rotating the search radar antenna 3 on the supporting member 30 cooperatively act upon the yaw angle indication or indicator of the search radar means in such a fashion that the indicator always refers to the deviation from the longitudinal axis of the tank even when the turret rotates relative to the trough in any desirable direction.

The support member 30 for the search antenna 3 is depicted in its operative position and can be lowered with the means of a hydraulic adjustment mechanism 31 into a protective position shown by dotted lines in FIG. 3 such that antenna 3 is protected against damage.

Trunnions 40 are rotatably mounted about horizontal central axes D in the two sidewalls of the turret 2 and respectively serve as support members for one each of rapid-firing antiaircraft guns 4 such that the barrels 41 of both guns can be upwardly rotated to the limits depicted by the dash and dot line of FIG. 1. As will be described hereinbelow in connection with FIG. 5, ammunition belt receptacles 42 associated with both of the antiaircraft guns 4 are disposed inside of the turret 2. the ammunition belt being fed to the respective guns through a feed chute or channel extending through the respective trunnion.

A target tracking and location radar means or device 5 is rotatably mounted about a vertical axis D on the front portion of turret 2. The antenna means 50 of the target-tracking radar means is rotatable about a horizontal axis D The targettracking radar means serves to automatically track the aircraft to be attacked and to continuously determine its polar positional coordinates relative to the tank trough 10 in a polar reference coordinate system so as to determine the angle of yaw, angle of elevation, and radial distance. So as to ensure that the target-tracking radar means is also operative when the tank is in motion, the movable mechanisms of the radar means are gyrostabilized in a known manner in the sense that the swivel movements of the turret 2 and its vibrations are sensed and serve to compensate the determined location or tracking coordinates.

From the operative position depicted in FIGS. I and 3, the target-tracking radar means 5, when not in use, can be rotated into the protecting position depicted in FIG. 2 in which the sensitive antenna means or screen 50 is turned towards the turret wall and placed between such wall and the armored housing enclosing the apparatus.

'Two periscopes 6 are rotatably mounted in the cover plate of turret 2 adjacent an entrance hatch lid 20. Such periscopes enable the personnel for the weapon system, that is the commander and a gunner who sit inside turret 2, to visually observe the entire area surrounding the armored vehicle through each ocular 60, each of which is stationary relative to the turret in that the periscope heads extending above the turret cover can be rotated into any desired lateral position through means of a stick control 61 provided for each, such periscope heads being controllable throughout the elevational direction of the viewing axes D in conjunction therewith. The manner in which this operation is achieved will be discussed hereinbelow with reference to the schematic illustration of FIG. 4. For present purposes, however, it will suffice to state that the movable members of periscopes 6 are also gyrostabilized and act upon angle indicators in such a fashion that such indicators continuously emit or read the values of the yaw and elevational angle of the viewing axes D Consoles or desks 7 are built-in beneath the periscope oculars 60 in front of seats 8 for the tank personnel. The radar screens of the search radar means 3 and the target tracking radar means 5 are disposed in the consoles such that the operating crew can, at all times, compare the optically viewed situation throughout the surrounding area with the general airspace situation as determined by the search radar 3 and the situation of a zeroed-in or targeted aircraft as determined by the tracking-target radar means. Periscopes which are constructed in the manner described above, gyrostabilized and provided with indicators for the yaw and elevational angles, are suitable as auxiliary view finders for feeding a suitable firing element computer which, when also fed an additional estimated firing distance and, where necessary, corrected by taking into consideration a predetermined distance alteration program, can serve to determine the firing calculations or parameters for fighting the aircraft and particularly those aircraft directly attacking the tank and also can determine the firing parameters for terrestrial targets. Firing element computers 90 are known per se in the prior art in that the purpose and construction of such computers is such that they serve to continuously determine the positional coordinates of a zeroed-in target, such positional coordinates being fed into the computer 90 by taking into consideration the ballistics of the weapons and the particular influential parameters of the day as well as initial velocity of the shells and deviation of the rotating axis D of the turret 2 from a vertical line.

Devices 410 which are mounted on the gun barrel muzzles for determining the initial velocity of the shells, are also known in the prior art per se as are cant or tilt measuring apparatus I00 for determining the deviation of the turrets rota tional axis D from a vertical line. Such cant measuring apparatus 100, for example, suitably comprise an oscillationdampened pendulum having two angle indicators for feeding the firing element computer 90 in known fashion.

Further provided in the interior of the turret, for example, are hydraulic elevating apparatus 91 for the guns, gears or transmission 92 for rotating the turret 2, and a slipring column 93 for electrically connecting current-utilizing apparatus housed in the turret with sources of current mounted in trough 10. Of particular importance is the fact that the interior of the turret also serves to house an-ammunition belt storage means 42 associated with the guns 4 from which the ammunition belts are conveyed to the guns via feeding channels 46 through trunnions 40. The ammunition storage means as well as the conveyor or feeding installations for the ammunitions are schematically depicted in FIG. 5 and will be discussed hereinbelow.

Now, by referring to FIG. 4, the construction of periscopes 6 will be described in greater detail. The periscope head 62 has an observation window 63 mounted therein and is rotatable relative to the turret'cover 24 so as to change the yaw angle a of the viewing axis D,,. So as to change the elevational angle A of the viewing axis D a mirror prism 64 is rotatably mounted about a horizontal axis in the interior of the periscope head 62. A lens 65 is built into the periscope head 62 underneath the mirror prism. A carriage 66 is mounted in the turret and is seen to have two inverting and magnification lens systems 66a, 66b for various magnifications such that the magnification of the system is adjustable.

' An ocular 67 which is stationary relative to the turret and to which an ocular eyepiece or member 60 is attached, is directed towards a mirror prism 68 above which is disposed an erecting-prism 69. Through utilization of a servomotor, the observer can turn the periscope heads 62 in a lateral direction and the swivel prism 64 in an elevational direction merely by operating a control stick 61, gyroscopic stabilizers preferablybeing associated with-the servodrive mechanism for these components so as to stabilize the view direction D Accordingly, the observer viewsa selectively magnified upright and correct left to-right image as seen in the direction of axis D and thus the observer can, at all times, compare the optical image with the radar image by merely looking down to the radar screen'on the console 7 disposed beneath the ocular.

Referring now to FIG. 5, an ammunition belt 43 is depicted as being stored in loops in an ammunition storage compartment 42 associated-with: the gun 4. The storage compartment 42 is subdivided by vertical divider walls 420 into a plurality of compartments, one for each of the belt loops, with one deflector or reversal means 421 being mounted on the upper edges of each of the divider walls 420.

One end of the ammunition belt 43 is conveyed to the gun 4 from the storage compartment 42 via a stepwise driven conveyor wheel means 44, deflector rolls 450, as well as a guide roll 45 through a vertical chute 46a and a horizontal chute or channel 46b rigidly connected with the rotatable trunnion 40 and penetrating the same. The housing forming the horizontal chute 46b and the guide roll supported therein accordingly follow the rotating movements of the associated trunnions 40 and the gum, respectively, about the horizontal axis D Gun 4-is provided with a conveyor wheel 47a which is, in turn, stepwise controlled by the firing process. The conveyor wheel 44 in the vertical chute 46a is likewise rotated in a stepwise fashion in unison with conveyor wheel 47a by hydraulic mechanism controlled by the gun and has the purpose of supplying the major portion ofthe output power required to drive the belt. Gun 4 furthermore is provided with asmaller receptacle 48 for an ammunition belt 480 containing special ammunition or ordinance for purposes of battling other tanks, for example. A conveyor'wheel 47b is provided to convey this special ammunition to the gun.

As should now be apparent, the objects initially set forth at the outset of this specification have now been successfully achieved. Accordingly,

lclaim:

1. An armored tank vehicle with antiaircraft armament, said vehicle comprising a freely rotatable turret means having a turret cover; said turret means including trunnions rotatably mounted in the turret wall; two belt-fed guns disposed parallel to oneanother on therexterior of both sides of said turret relative to their horizontal direction; a search radar means and a target-tracking radar means mounted at said turret means; at least one optical periscope inserted through said turret cover into the interior of said rotatable turret means; seats for an operating crew within said turret means, periscope ocular means coupled with said optical periscope and located within said turret means adjacent said seat means, console means having radar screens within said turret means and operatively coupled with said search radar means and said target-tracking radar means, a firing element computer means coupled with said target-tracking radar means for" automatically determined the firing parametersfor said gun in dependence upon target locating data continuously determined by said target-tracking radar means, and manually operable. control members and ammunition storage means for said gun all disposed within the interior of said turret means, whereby the armored tank vehicle defines a completely autonomous, automotive and armored weapon system for weather-independent antiaircraft operations for mobile fighting units, said ammunition storage means including an ammunition storage compartment means disposed in the interior of said turret means associated with each gun, each said ammunition storage compartment means containing an ammunition belt inserted therein in folded manner, means for feeding saidammunition belt to said guns, said means for feeding said ammunition belt including a hydraulically operated belt conveyor means and guide channels disposed through said respective trunnions, a housing means for said search radar means disposed rearwardly of said turret means, a support platform, antenna means for said search radar means mounted on said platform in operative position above said turret cover and rotatable at substantially constant speed relative to the vehicle for scanning the airspace for aircraft, said search radar means being compensated for rotations of said turret means, and hydraulic adjustment means for lowering said antenna into said housing means, a housing for said target tracking radar means rotatably disposed about a vertical axis relative to said turret means, said housing being mounted at the forward side of said turret means between and beneath said .guns, said target-tracking radar means including vertically rotatable antenna means disposed on said housing, and means'for rotating said antenna means from a working position for automatic tracking and locating an aircraft into a protective position in which said antenna means is disposed between said housing and the turret wall.

2. An armored tank vehiclewith antiaircraft armament, said vehicle comprising a freelyrotatablyturret means optionally rotatable about a central longitudinal axis, said turret means including sidewalls, a front wall and rear wall, a pair of oppositely situated substantially aligned trunnions rotatably mounted in said sidewalls of said turret means for rotation about an axis disposed substantially transverse to the longitudinal axis of rotation of said turret means, a respective antiaircraft gun mounted at the outside of each trunnion, a targettracking radar means located externally of and at the region of the front wall of said turret means between and below said antiaircraft guns, said target-tracking radar means including. tracking antenna means and an armored housing rotatable about an axis substantially'parallel to the longitudinal axis of rotation of said turret means, so that said target-tracking radar means can be rotated into a position where said tracking antenna means is located in a protective position between said front wall of said turret means and said armored housing of said target-tracking radar means.

3. An armored tank vehicle as defined in claim 2, further including a search radar housing, a search radar means including a laterally pivotably mounted search antenna means, a support for securing said search radar means to the region of said rear wall of said turret means, means for mounting said search-radar means to be pivotable about an axis parallel to thepivot axis for said antiaircraft guns mounted at said pivotal trunnions such that the search antenna means can be pivoted out of a protective position in which'such search antenna means is situated behind said search radar housing into awork position in which said search radar means is pivoted into a location where said search antenna means can be rotated about an axis substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of rotation of said turret means.

4. An armored tank vehicle as defined in claim 3, further including a pair of seats arranged adjacent one another within said turret means, console means including an inclined console surface equipped with radar screen means operatively coupled with said search radar means and target-tracking radar means, an optical periscope arranged above each radar screen and extending from within said turret means externally thereof, each optical periscope incorporating an ocular which is stationary with respect to said turret means and located forwardly of each seat means, each optical periscope providing a direction of view having a freely selectable line of sight to observe the area surrounding the vehicle.

5. An armored tank vehicle as defined in claim 4, wherein at least one of said optical periscopes possesses angle indicator means for the continuous determination of the momentary directional angle of a moving target which is tracked therewith.

6. An armored tank vehicle as defined in claim 2, further including two stationarily arranged ammunition storage compartment means disposed in the interior of said turret means and operably associated via said trunnions with a respective one of said antiaircraft guns, each of said ammunition storage compartment means including vertically arranged intermediate walls, at the upper edges of which there are provided ammunition belt deflecting roller means, said intermediate walls subdividing said ammunition storage compartment means into a plurality of chambers for receiving a respective loop of an ammunition belt located therein, and means including a stepwise rotatable conveyor wheel means disposed above one of said ammunition belt chambers for advancing the ammunition belt to the associated antiaircraft gun.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification89/36.13, 89/40.3, 89/41.7, 359/402, 89/33.16, 89/41.22, 89/33.4
International ClassificationF41H7/02, F41A23/24, F41A23/00, F41G5/00, F41A9/00, F41A9/34, F41H7/00, F41A23/34, F41G1/00, F41G1/40, F41G5/24, F41A23/04
Cooperative ClassificationF41A23/04, F41H7/02, F41G5/24, F41A23/24, F41A9/34, F41H5/266, F41A23/34
European ClassificationF41H5/26D, F41A23/34, F41A9/34, F41A23/24, F41G5/24, F41A23/04, F41H7/02