PB-4, Amphibous BA-3 armoured car

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Caid’s suggestion # 96

I would like to suggest an interesting armored car for Russia, the PB-4

Following the failure to produce the BAD-2 amphibious armored car. The Izhora Plant started in 1933 a new project that would simplify the general design of the BAD-2 to allow real production. The main issue with the BAD-2 on the production was the many large pieces of curved metal that needed to be accurately curved and welded together to ensure the vehicle’s float ability. The PB-4 was proposed as a simpler chassis that would make the factory capable of producing more easily the needed parts. The project was designed by the special projects (KBS) of the plant under the guidance of N. Ya. Obukhov. the vehicle was designed to share a lot of parts in common with the BA-3 armored car while retaining some parts of the BAD-2. This allows for the vehicles to be easier to produce and also cheaper. The multi-turret concept was abandoned in favor of a central turret that carried both the main gun and the machine gun using the new turret designed for the T-26 light tank.
3 prototypes were built in the end of 1933 which showed to have overheating problems and poor mobility. Ater a series of improvements, 3 others were built to be sent with the previous prototype in different army units to go in more operational trials and comparisons with the different parts they had as they did change some parts to solve the known issue. The turret proved unbalanced, the mobility was very poor, the engine overheating was solved but the crew compartment was often reaching over 40°C and there were also a lot of reliability issues. The amphibious capacity was pretty much all it had to offer as advantages and this was when the vehicle was well assembled as they had issues properly assembling the vehicles in a way the hull would be waterproof. It turned out that the vehicle was just not good enough for full production. In 1935, the project was cancelled. Of the 6 PB-4s built, 1 was sent to the shooting range to test its resistance in shelling even before the others were sent to the army for further testing. One survived and was preserved up to this day at the Kubinka Tank Museum, the others were scrapped.

Firepower
The main armament was a neat improvement over the BAD-2. It was the 45mm 20-K which is a well-known tank cannon for the players who either play the Russian or against them. The gun features a great penetration with an APHE and a great post-penetration damage amounts to the early tanks of the game. The vehicle carries 52 rounds for the 45mm and the turret been the T-26’s turret is the same as the one used by the BT-5 in game (minus the radio bustle at the rear)

Mobility
The vehicle mobility is the biggest flaw that led to his cancellation. As you can guess, It wasn’t great. Still, on the road, it will be decent enough. The vehicle could achieve 50 km/h which for wheeled vehicles is not great. The vehicle weighing 5.28 tonnes will only allow a theoretical off-road speed of around 30 km/h which is not great but still acceptable. It is also amphibious but the design been too simplified does not allow a great speed in the water, with only around 3 km/h it is nothing that would be impressive.

Protection
The protection of this vehicle is slightly better than the BAD-2. It mainly reallocated the armor of the less exposed part to protect the vertical part. as the armor was very thin to start with, this does not make much difference as the vehicle will remain vulnerable to LMG at close range. The turret however is a real improvement, with 15 mm on all sides, it will be immune to LMG fire. The crew of 4 men is decent. 2 are in the turret, and 2 are in the driving compartment. The engine providing a cover to the crew in the driving compartment will help a lot to its survival.

Sources

2 Likes

boat but boxy

A floating T-26! +1

more like floating BA-3

1 Like

True, true.