85-mm Divisional Gun D-44 Technical Details
- Years of issue – 1945 – 1957
- In total, more than 12,500 units were produced.
- Caliber – 85 mm
- Weight in firing position – 1725 kg
- Barrel length – 4685 mm
- The length of the threaded part – 3496 mm
- Calculation – 6 people
- Travel speed – 60 km / h
- Rate of fire – 25 rds / min
- The greatest firing range – 15,820 m
- Direct fire range – 1100 m
Angles of fire:
- Horizontal – 54 °
- Vertical – 7 ° + 35 °
85-mm Divisional Gun D-44 Details
At the final stage of the Great Patriotic War, when the Red Army went over to active offensive operations, the front insistently demanded a more powerful divisional gun than the standard 76-mm ZIS-3 cannon of the 1942 model.
The transition to a larger caliber was necessary, since the Wehrmacht had new heavy tanks with powerful armor. During the development work carried out in 1944, several design bureaus at once offered their versions of 85-mm divisional guns, the best of which was recognized as the 85-mm divisional gun D-44, developed by OKB-9 F.F. Petrov at the artillery plant number 9 (“Uralmash”) in the
city of Sverdlovsk. Its first prototype, manufactured at plant No. 92 (named after Stalin) in Gorky, received the designation “ZIS-D-44”.
In the second half of 1944 – at the beginning of 1945, the ZIS-D-44 cannon underwent factory tests and fine-tuning already at plant number 9. The modified version of the ZIS-D-44 entered the Gorokhovets proving ground for field tests – on May 8, 1945. On tests, the gun showed a high rate of fire: with the correction of the aiming at an angle of + 20 ° – 15 rds / min, and the maximum rate of fire without correcting the aiming was up to 20 – 22 rds / min. However, the ZIS-D-44 cannon did not withstand the field tests, including due to the unsatisfactory extraction of the casings. And only after the end of the war, when the gun underwent repeated testing and then military tests, in 1946 it was adopted by the Soviet army under the designation “85-mm divisional gun D-44”.
The D-44 cannon is made according to the classical scheme of an artillery gun, its distinctive features are the compactness of the placement of guidance mechanisms, the low height of the line of fire and the possibility of transportation by mechanical traction at a high speed of movement. The barrel consisted of a monoblock pipe, breech, clutch, muzzle brake and clip. Along with an active muzzle brake, a significant part of the recoil force was absorbed by hydropneumatic recoil devices mounted in a clip above the barrel.When fired, they rolled back together with the barrel, while the normal recoil length was 580 – 660 mm, the limiting one was 675 mm. The gun had a vertical wedge breechblock with a semiautomatic mechanical (copy) type. Its design and use of unitary rounds as ammunition ensured a rate of fire with aiming correction of 13-15 rounds per minute, and a maximum rate of fire without aiming correction – up to 25 rounds per minute.
The barrel was housed in a cradle, which is a cast cylindrical clip attached to the upper machine of the gun carriage. With the help of a lifting mechanism (which had one sector), also mounted on the upper machine, the barrel, together with the cradle, could rotate in a vertical plane in the range of angles from -7 ° to + 35 °. The horizontal guidance angle provided by the rotary screw-type mechanism was – 54 °. The balancing mechanism – pushing type, with a hydraulic air lock, consisted of one column located to the left of the barrel.
A panoramic sight or S71-7 sight, optical sights OP1-7, OP2-7, OP4-7 and OP4 M-7 were installed as sighting devices. The night sights APN-2 or APNZ-7 could also be used.
To protect the crew from small arms bullets and fragments of artillery shells and mines, a shield cover was fixed on the upper machine. On the lower machine of the carriage, two sliding tubular frames were mounted. The height of the line of fire was 825 mm. The undercarriage is two-wheeled, reinforced wheels from a GAZ-AA truck with tires filled with sponge rubber (GK) were used. The combat axis consisted of two straight axle shafts. The presence of torsion suspension allowed the gun to be towed by army trucks (6×6) or high-speed tracked tractors on the highway at a speed of up to 60 km / h.
The time for transferring the gun from the traveling position to the combat position and back did not exceed one minute. The D-44 gun ammunition included unitary shots with high-explosive fragmentation grenades (more than 12 types), reel-shaped subcaliber projectiles, cumulative and smoke projectiles. The firing range of a high-explosive fragmentation grenade weighing 9.54 kg (muzzle velocity 793 m / s) was 15,820 m. An armor-piercing caliber projectile of the D-44 cannon from a distance of 500 m at a target 2 m high at an angle of 90 ° pierced armor with a thickness of 135 mm, and at a distance of 2000 m – 100-mm armor.
From 1945 to 1954, Plant No. 9 (Uralmash) produced over 12,500 D-44 guns.
The 85-mm D-44 divisional gun was in service with the Soviet army and the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact countries, and was also exported. In 1948, on the basis of the D-44, the 85-mm D-48 anti-tank gun was created, which was adopted by the Soviet army in 1952. In 1954, another modification of this cannon entered service with the Soviet army – the 85-mm self-propelled cannon SD-44, created at OKB-9 at plant No. 9 at the end of 1948.The project for its creation provided that it would be transported over long distances by wheeled or tracked tractors, and its movement on the battlefield would be carried out independently using an auxiliary power unit. The carriage SD-44 differed from its prototype in that one of its beds was equipped with a covered motorcycle engine with a capacity of 14 liters. with. The torque from the engine was transmitted to the wheels of the gun through the propeller shaft, differential and axle shafts.
The gearbox, which is part of the transmission, provided 6 forward gears and 2 reverse gears. A seat was also attached to the bed for one of the crew numbers, which performed the functions of a driver-mechanic, and a steering wheel, which controlled an additional, third, wheel mounted at the end of one of the beds. To illuminate the road at night, a headlight was installed at the ends of the beds, and to overcome especially difficult sections of the path, an original device was provided on the cannon – a self-pulling device – a drum on wheels and a cable fixed to the shield.
The mass of the SD-44 gun in the firing position increased to 2250 kg. In the self-propelled mode, the gun moved the barrel backwards, while it housed both the entire crew and part of the ammunition. On the highway, the SD-44 cannon developed a speed of up to 25 km / h, was able to independently overcome inclines up to 27 °, fords up to 0.5 mm deep and snow drifts with a height of 0.30-0.65 m. Cruising on the cobblestone pavement was 220 km.
Over long distances, the gun was towed by a wheeled or tracked tractor with a maximum speed of up to 60 km / h. From 1954 to 1957, Plant No. 9 converted from D-44 cannons to SD-44 self-propelled cannons and produced about 700 new SD-44s. They entered service with the artillery units of the airborne divisions. For the parachute landing of the SD-44, special landing platforms were developed.
In 1957, the gun underwent another upgrade – 150 modified SD-44N guns were equipped with night sights. Currently, the D-44 cannon and its modifications continue to be in service with the Russian army.