Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Object 141

The development of the Object 141 began on September 12th 1952 by decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR №4169-163. The design of the tank was headed by A.V. Kolesnikova. In July 1953 Factory №183 produced a full sized wooden mockup. The 100mm D-54(which was designed by F.F. Petrov) was not received until March 1954. It was not until January 1955 that a prototype underwent test firing at the Rzhevka artillery range in Leningrad. Testing continued until November 1955 when it was halted to revise the stabilizer, after testing in the summer of 1956 further work on the stabilizer was stopped to due to the satisfaction with the stabilizer.

The point of the Object 141 was to mount the new 100mm D-54. Because of this the Object 141 only differed from the T-54 model 1954 in only the gun and minor changes in the turret to accommodate the gun. The gun was powerful, it fired a 16.1kg shell(total weight of the round is 33.8kg) which enabled the D-54 to penetrate 240mm at 1000(or 85mm at 60 degrees from vertical) meters. The D-54 was aimed by a TSH-22A telescopic sight and was stabilized by the "Rainbow" stabilizer. The increased power of the D-54 did not come without cost however, the weight of the gun was 2515kg vs the 1950kg of the D-10T. This increased the weight of the tank to 36.6 tons and lowered the tank's top speed to 48km/h. Due to the length of the one piece ammunition(1060mm) the Object 141 only contained 28 rounds of ammunition.

The 100mm D-54 from the Object 141

During testing on the NIIBT testing ground in late 1958 it was suggested by Factory №183 to increase the range of the tank to mount three 100 liter fuel tanks. After testing it was revealed that fuel tanks did not interfere with the firing angles of neither the main cannon nor the 12.7mm AA gun. However the increase in range that the fuel tanks offered was not deemed necessary.
The external fuel tanks mounted on the Object 141

In February 1959 the Object 141 was sent to Factory №183 and in March the D-54 was replaced with the smoothbore 115mm U-5B(also designed by F.F. Petrov) which was designed for use in the Object 166 tank destroyer. During tests held from April to June the accuracy of the U-5B was found to be unsatisfactory compared to a U-5B on a ML-20 carriage. The reasons were mainly due to the fact that gunner was not inside the tank due to safety reasons and the imperfections in the early APDSFS ammunition.

The Object 141 had a long life; however it was quickly obsoleted by the more modern Object 140, Object 139, and Object 165. The Object 141 did mount the new D-54 which later be mounted on the T-62A and would form the basis of the U-5TS on the T-62. Unlike other Soviet tanks the Object 141 was not cancelled outright, it faded away.

The Object 141 as represented in World of Tanks

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