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MBT M-95 Degman

The MBT M-95 Degman brings out a successfully accomplished combination of the M-84 tank and modern trends and solutions. M-95 Degman is the most modern Croatian main battle tank, developed in the factory uro akovic specijalna vozila d.d., located in Slavonski Brod, Croatia. In mid-1999, Croatia revealed its new Degman Main Battle Tank (MBT), which is an enhanced version of the Yugoslav (today Serbia) M-84A MBT. It is also known as the RH-ALAN Degman, and is sometimes referred to as the M-95,. The uro akovic factory is best known for its principal role in the production under licence of the M-84A which was manufactured in Croatia. The M-84A MBT is an improved version of the original Yugoslav M-84 which in turn is based on the Russian T-72M1 MBT.

In overall layout the T-95 Degman is identical to the M-84/M84A with the driver at the front, two-person turret in the center and with the diesel power pack at the rear. It is distinguishable by its low silhouette, small mass, high density power train and powerful main armament. Implementing advanced gun fire controls with thermal imaging sights and MCS, improved turret drives, RRAK explosive reactive armour, protection systems, communication equipment and other, have created a tank with impressive characteristics. The Degman MBT is unique in that it was designed for both rebuilding Soviet T-72 and Yugoslav M-84 tanks, or, new production. It features Israeli-designed modular ERA armor on the turret and glacis and lighter reactive armor packs on the track skirts.

The principal improvement over its predecessor M-84 is the application of spaced composite/laminate armor on top of which explosive reactive armor was added, hull front and side skirts are covered, giving extra protection against HEAT shaped-charge munitions. The Russian T-72M1 and the M-84 MBT both featured a welded steel armor turret that incorporated advanced armor. The latest T-95 Degman MBT has a new turret of all-welded steel armor that is easier to manufacture and easier to fit with additional armor due to its flat sides. In addition to the baseline armor package, the new turret of the Degman MBT also has a new Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) package called RRAK developed and supplied by the RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems of Israel. An ERA package is also provided over the frontal arc of the chassis covering the nose, glacis plate and side skirts to provide a high level of battlefield survivability.

A separate ammunition bustle compartment at the back of the turret adds protection for the crew if tank is hit from behind, and added protection is given by additional slat armor in form of wire mesh with chains, main purpose being to prevent any rocket propelled grenades that might be used to penetrate weakest points at the back of the tank.

uro akovic thermal imaging allows enhanced night activity. The optics were developed by Fotona and were a joint Slovenian/Croatian project. The LIRD-4B warning system is installed, this alerts the commander if the tank is being illuminated by a rangefinder or the guidance beam of a laser-guided missile. The Fotona-type LIRD laser warning system is used in conjunction with the two banks of three grenade launchers mounted on either side of the turret.

Main armament comprises a 125 mm smoothbore gun that is fed by an automatic loader, which first loads the projectile and then the charge. The autoloader has been redesigned and has a higher rate of fire than both the T-72 and M-84. The Degman's autoloader is 15% faster meaning 9 shells can be fires in a single minute instead of 8 shells which is M84 norm. It is also compatible with the 120mm gun of the M-1 Abrams tank; the designers hope that former East Bloc nations now allied to America may opt to upgrade their T-72s with the Degman package and American gun. The automatic loader holds a total of 22 projectiles and a similar number of charges with another 20 being carried in reserve. A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted co-axially with a 12.7 mm machine gun on the roof on the right side that can be aimed by remote-control. The secondary machine guns are fitted with an automated Israeli system which allows them to be fired remotely from inside the hull.

A NATO-standard NBC filtration system is installed, as are NATO-compatible radios. An optional 1,200 hp (890 kW) engine increases the power to weight ratio to approximately 27 hp/t. There are numerous smaller changes in fire control, communications equipment, track etc.

For trials purposes, the new computerised fire-control system was tested in the current M-84A, and it was expected that in the future - funding permitting - the whole Croatian M-84A/Degman MBT fleet would be brought up to a common fire-control system standard. In 2003 Duro Dakovic Specijalna Vozila completed the first all-up example of the Degman MBT, developed to meet the requirements of the Croatian Army. It should be noted that RH-ALAN is a marketing company. Production is undertaken by Duro Dakovic Specijalna Vozila. As of early 2012, it is understood that quantity production of the Degman MBT had not yet commenced. Kuwait held a drive-off between the Degman and an upgraded M-84 in 2006 in which the Degman won. Eventually the Kuwaiti force would be 215 Degmans, of which 66 will be new-build. In early 2008, Libya expressed interest however no orders were forthcoming.

Combat weight 44.5 tonnes without reactive armour, 48.5 tonnes
Armor Composite armour plus Reactive armour
Crew 3 (commander, driver and gunner)
Length 10.1 m (33 ft 2 in)
Width 3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)
Height 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
Ground clearance 428 mm (16.9 in)
Drive 12-cyl. diesel 1,200 hp ( 735-890 kW)
Power/weight ratio 27 hp/tonne
Transmission two gear-boxes with side transmission in gear-box axes
Suspension independent, with torsion bars, 6 hydraulic dampers, 6 road wheels and 3 return rollers per side
Steering system hydraulic
Operational range 700 km (430 mi)
Top speed 70 km/h (43 mph)
Armament 125 mm smooth bore tank gun
Secondary armament Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station
7.62 mm PKT Coupled machine gun
12.7 mm Antiaircraft machine gun
Gun loading automatic
Firing speed 8 shells per minute
Fire control System automatic, electrohydraulic



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