The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Tanc Romanesc - TR Series

  • TR-77 - modified T-55, w/ 6 vs 5 wheels
  • TR-580 TR-77 w/580 hp engine
  • TR-580M - laser rangefinder over barrel
  • TCZ-580 - Armored recovery vehicle

  • TR-85 - improved TR-77 design
  • TR-85M - TR-85 with bustle on turret
  • TR-85M1 - w/ smoke grenade dischargers
  • TR-85M2 - Minor stowage improvements

  • TR-80 - aka TR-800 ?
  • TCG-80 - ???
  • TR-800 - TR-77 w/800 hp engine
  • TM-800 - Improved TR-580 export model
  • TER-800 - TM-800 Armored recovery vehicle

  • TR-125 - Romanian T-72M/M1 copy
  • TR-125M - Improved TR-125
  • The Romanian TR [Tanc Romanesc = Romanian Tank] series of tanks is confusing. Romania was reasonably successful during the Cold War in limiting the volume of publicly accessible information. If there is an abundant literature on this topic in Romanian, as of 2012 it had yet to appear in translation or online. English language discussions of Romania's military are notably silent on this topic. As Romania's defense priorities have shifted from large-scale set-piece tank battles to supporting peacekeeping operations around the world, the whole question has receded in importance. Matters are greatly complicated by the multitude of designations, entailing two different nomenclature systems, which are applicable to a fleet of tanks which in many cases have no more than subtle identification features, which designations are at best carelessly and inconsistently applied by the bean-counting commmunity.

    Apart from the TR-125, a Romanian T-72M/M1 copy, the Romanian TR [Tanc Romanesc = Romanian Tank] series of tanks is based on a single chassis, heavily modified from the Soviet T-55 design, a design which was licensed to but never produced by Romania. The point of departure in this confusing tale is the fact that the TR tanks may have the T-55 in their genes, but they are not T-55 tanks. The next station on the journey is the three different designation systems used for Romanian tanks. The most commonly encountered sequence - TR-77, TR-80 [?], and TR-85 - provides some rough chronology of the planned initial production or service date for the vehicle. The rather less commonly encountered sequence - TR-580 and TR-800 - references the horsepower of the engine, the earliest Romanian tanks haveing a puny 500 horsepower engine that did not warrant a designation. The third designation, the TR-125, departs from these patterns and seems to be derived from the caliber of the 125mm cannon that is the main armament.

    Unfortunately, matters are a bit more complicated. The designation TR-580 and TR-77-580 may be used interchangeably, and while the later designator seems more technically correct, there is no ambiguity as to which vehicle these two desinators reference. The TR-800 designator is ambiguous. It may reference the TR-80, a designator that may [or may not] apply to a T-77 with an 800 hp engine of domestic design, a model which never entered production. Or it may apply to the TR-85, a design that incorporated a power train with an 800 hp engine of German design. Or it might encompass both.

    L.C. Crawford says that "To write in dramatic form is to take the audience on a journey, so they might share the main character's struggles, achievements and defeats. ... Aristotle believed that only the stories of kings and queens were worthy subjects of drama and that nothing else would interest an audience.... The actions a character takes in pursuit of a goal --- the choices and decisions made --- move the play forward.... the dramatic form includes three parts: a beginning, middle and end. The beginning is an introduction of the characters and the situation. In the middle, the journey, struggle or search begins, with obstacles, setbacks, successes and defeats, culminating in a crisis. The ending is where a climax is reached, and the main dramatic question is answered one way or the other... "

    The beginning of the Tanc Romanesc came in the period 1968-1974, when the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia prompted Romanian dictator Nicholas Ceausescu decided to build domestic Romanian tanks, to reduce dependence on the Soviet Union. The middle of the journey was the effort to find a suitable engine for the tank. The Tanc Romanesc had been designed for an 800 horsepower engine, and remained grossly underpowered with the 500 hp and 580 hp engines that were in fact installed initially in the TR-77. In the 1980s a German 800 hp engine was incorporated in the TR-85, but a satisfactory 800 hp engine of domestic design was never found. The story ended in the new century, when unsatisfactory TR tanks of domestic mantufacture were discarded in preference to half-century old T-55 tanks built at the time of Nikita khrushchev.

    Recognizing the great possibilities of the tank, Romania was among the first countries in South-Eastern Europe which was geared towards the provision of armored army. This need was seen as reflecting politico-strategic conditions, and not to be the "fashion" of the day. To achieve this end, a moment with profound meanings for the history of tanks in the Romanian army weapon was the establishment of the first battalion of the battlefield. Its date of founding is uncertain. In some documents archive is reported on August 1, 1919, in others the 1 October 1919. This first battalion which fought with the garrison in Mihai bravu, was actually the first "school" of the new weapons which entered as Romanian army.

    Since the spring of 1919, the Ministry of war had proposed to set up both a school and a battlefield battalion. A contract was concluded by the Government of Bulgaria with the French, in respect of the acquisition of the new battle. In mid-July 1919, the Commission on reception of the tank, located in Paris, reported to the Ministry of war on the "conclusion of operations for receipt of armored and auxiliary for the creation of the first assault battalion".

    Shortly after the establishment of the battalion, finding that the evidence adduced from Mihai bravu was not conducive to conduct investigations, being almost completely sloppy, lack of access roads, but also the difficulties that exist at the accommodation is not enough space to ensure people (the functioning of both the school and the stock unit), it was proposed that the subunit of tanks to be moved to another garrison. General Ion Rascanu, Minister of war at the time, by visiting the battalion and "Recalling the work above exposed warrants that this change in Tārgoviste, cazarma Regiment 10 Rosiori". On 4 December 1919, the battalion began moving to Tārgoviste, and on 6 December, as a result of organisational measures taken by the command subunitatii, it was installed in the new barracks.

    Considering the level of development reached by tanks in the armies of the Western countries and the actual operational needs of the Romanian army, the existence of only a combat battalion was totally insufficient. As a result beginning on 01 January 1921, High Decree nr. 5276 of 25 December 1920 mandated the establishment of the first tank units of the the Romanian. The garrison of the new unit was established in the city of Tārgoviste.

    The Carelor River Regiment had both increased powers in relation to gather evidence and conducting investigations on tanks in common with other weapons. This led in March 1928 to the establishment an Office of investigations which had the power of: studying and preparing general directives for walking in the body of judicial investigations, the study and preparation of applications on the map and in land preparation program various trageri with all arms Regiment, tracking and reporting at the time of execution of the programme of instruction by the units.

    In May 1929 in front of the Carelor River the unit received a battle Flag. The ceremony took place in the presence of all of the owners of the establishment. On this occasion, the master was a soldier called "tanchisti" to keep with honesty and honor of the battle flag of the unit and to defend the supreme sacrifice.

    In the years 1936 and 1937 the Army was fitted with new modern battle machines imported from Czechoslovakia. As a result of increasing the number of tanks, organic Regiment appeared in the third battalion, both it and the other receiving her name in relation to material equipment namely; 1 Battalion That "fighting" Renault, Battalion 2 battle "R2" (Romania 2 and 3 Which combat Battalion "R2" battle card reader, r. 2 were manufactured in steel mills Skoda from Czechoslovakia.

    The evolution of structures in the organization, collections and qualitative transformations taking place in the 20 years of existence of the weapon and new realities European politico-military led to the decision makers of the military administration of the country to appreciate that there are conditions that require the setting up of new formations that fighting in the Romanian army. Evaluations were made based on the one hand, economic and financial ability of the Romanian State in the period 1930-1940, as well as a restructuring plan was drawn up with the appointment of the army of general Ion Antonescu according to the Chief of staff, on 1 December 1933.

    A first attempt to develop gun tanks in the Romanian army was made by "law on the establishment of frames and flocks army", report of 1932, and then, on 20 April 1934, when the Ion Antonescu sign the report which was accompanying "instructions for motorizarea army", a document of exceptional value for the creation of new units and large units fighting in the Romanian army and technical provision of modern warfare. Through the application of the new law was to be set up four new regimente of the battlefield. In reality, however, only the battle Front 2, which, on 1 November 1939, with the garrison at Tārgu Mures.

    Development of cumbersome tanks as a weapon in the Romanian Army had big business and the arrangement between the supporters of the regular line conservative supporters of maintaining old organizational structures of the army, and the reformers were unfortunately quite puny in the army. An example of this is that of the Council of 30 September 1938 when, although the issue in question was that of accelerating the concept of a module of the Romanian army, were also people who had argued strongly that the old structures and traditional genera of guns, as had been organized and equipped in a period of history already obsolete.

    The improvement of the structures of the Organization of the continued, however, as an integral part of the process of reorganisation and modernisation of the troops, as was boosted in the second world war; he is related to the establishment in October, the Motomecanizate, the first Brigade 1 unit of its kind in the history of Romanian army.

    During the campaign in 1941, armored troops have acted in accordance with the German doctrine, as both United shock significant successes in battles for the issue of Bessarabia. After being made dependent on the Romanian Army 4 and engaged in the operation of the conquest of Odesei, tank troops were used on the sub-units, in support of infantry troops. Since the Romanian soldiers were trained in this type of combat, often tanks remained without support, which gave the hunting of Soviet tanks to act unrestrained. As a result, troops suffered losses in materials, which considerably fighting capability.

    During Anti-Soviet operations, armored troops have many transformations, both in structure and equipment as follows:

    1.Shortly before the battle of Stalingrad at each tank battalion was created by a company that fighting medium-sized enterprises formed as 11 tanks T-3 and T-4.

    2.On 28 October 1943 it was voted the law for the reorganization of the armed forces which provide, inter alia, and organizing the troops.

    3.On 1 November 1943, Commander was created Motomecanizate Troops, body tasked with coordinating and leading motomecanizate in the Romanian army. It was created a duplicate 1 Armored Division, called tall-Dvizia 1, equipped with technical details of the battle of German origin.

    With the increasing number of sub-units and effective and the Organization of new units, since 26 April 1944, the Division's 1st Armoured Division is called "Greater Romania".

    Romanian armor's most heavy duty was at Stalingrad, where 1 Armoured Division was actually decimated, and on the defensive during the battle of Moldova between 19 to 23 August 1944. After termination of the State of war with the USSR, the Division received orders to retire to the South, however, like many other Romanian military units, it was almost entirely captured by Soviet troops in the period 24 August-1 September. As a result of the Soviet-Romanian secret protocol signed on 26 October 1944, the Romanian army was obliged to abolish a number of large units, headquarters and units, among them included 1 Armoured Division "greater Romania".

    After removal of the monarchy on 30 December 1947, the process of transforming the Romanian army, even started on 23 August 1944, has entered into a new phase. Unfortunately, for almost a decade, the army was marked strict directives from Moscow and the presence of Soviet troops in the territory of Romania.

    Transformations within the army in the period between the beginning of 1948 and 1968 covered not only the management structures existing at the central level. They were present in the entire military body, indicating, in equal measure, and in the Organization, and the provision and training troops, processes the-Alliance for almost a decade, Soviet conceptions. Thus, only establishments subordinate Command Troops armored tanks and Mechanized were distributed and printed in 1953, by the General staff, a number of 895 Soviet control of brochures (operation) defence and military offensive, general instruction on tanks and technical properties and fighting, etc. At the same time, by a term paper on questions relating to the Organization and functioning of the headquarters of tanks, requiring different materials for training, conduct investigations and to provide technical, that: "... it is more urgent than all but getting the necessary training materials old frames for learning new material and literature Soviet tanks and specialist (autotunuri)".

    When looking at the whole of the period 1945-1989 it can be said that the gun tanks in the Romanian army has experienced a positive development and that it was, at least until now, the maximum development of Romanian troops, tanks, by the extent of the specific quantity of organisational, local defense industry's ability to produce tanks, the basis of physical training, material expenditure allocated to the training process of the military tanchisti.

    The evolution of the postwar tank in the Romanian army was under the sign of determinations such as objective and subjective, from the political, economic, ideological and military. Of these, however, that meaning detaches: total īnregimentarea first, then part of the military doctrine and strategy of Romania from doctrine and military strategy of the Treaty of Warsaw; trends that were worldwide in the development of a firearm tanks; Romanian economy in General and in particular its industry; the shift to production of tanks and other armored, within the framework of the creation and development of national defense industry; lack of trust management of Romanian State's political allies within the loyalty of Warsaw; political ambition of the leaders of the country, especially since 1965.

    Romania's entry in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union culminated in military terms with integrating them in the Warsaw bloc, this new situation having profound repercussions in the Romanian army had to accept and to join the military doctrine and strategy of the block in which had been integrated Communist. In fact, at first, and then to a lesser extent, doctrine and military strategy of the whole Communist bloc countries accounted for something other than the provision in its entirety, without reservation, to be presented and doctrinal principles and strategic. Even if they had in mind, to begin with, inter alia, that form the basic and the main military action in a future war will be offensive carried out by large masses of tanks and with the use of nuclear weapon, the Member States of the Treaty had no option but to accept them.

    The evolution of the designs in the Romanian army knew influences from the evolution of tanks. They were manifested both quantitatively by proportionarea permanent increase in the number of tanks of army equipment in relation to the average number of existing tanks in the States of comparable size, but, most importantly, by improving the quality of their constant, even though the shortage of resources did not allow never Romania to hold tanks of last generation. Basically, can be said that the tanks have evolved in the Romanian army on the coordinates of the trends that have demonstrated their standing in the evolution of a firearm. Here must, necessarily, to stress the ability of designers, engineers, proven and technicians Romanians to put in practice after 1977, in a short time, Romanian program of tanks, program developed continuously.

    Isolated from the other countries of the bloc after their intervention in Czechoslovakia, Romania, under the direction of its policy, went on a structural level, organisational and arming unprecedented focus with the establishment of new large mechanized and tank units on the more strategic directions and to manufacture means intended for armed defence of the country's mining industry. The first signal that the Romanian State should not stay with the arms of Warsaw Pact in the case of an aggression was given the political leadership of the country's first military measures taken in the plan. In this respect, among the measures taken immediately or shortly after the invasion of Czechoslovakia was to set up new large units and establishments, and others are redislocate on the main directions threatened in the event of armed aggression. The process included the establishment of the second division of the Romanian army tanks, Tank Division 57.

    The crisis of 1968 triggered also an ambitious process of setting up a national defence doctrines, having as its fundamental concept "defending the homeland by the entire nation". For the operation of such a strategic concept in 1968 was the need to speed up the creation of a proper defence industry in Romania, for the manufacture of light weapons not only easy, but also of the range for artillery, tanks, armoured conveyors, aircraft and helicopters as well as the related ammunition.

    At the beginning of the series production of the tank, Romanian at the end of the years ' 70 's and early ' 80 Romania imported, in a small number, T-72 of the Soviet Union, one of the best performing tanks during that period in Europe. Between the years 1987 and 1988, in a very short time, Romania managed the design and implementation of the prototype and a small series of 5 pieces of the tank, Romanian TR-125. It encompass the latest achievements of Romanian researchers and experience of national industry in the period of high water. It is worth noting that, on this tank were mounted by more modern equipment that were in the process of experimentation or assimilation in the manufacturing industry: 125 mm cannon caliber, automatically loading mechanism on your cannon, laser rangefinder, computer balistic, rear opening for the Commission with the new Cannon, the new projector-type l-2, warning against laser illumination of the arc, rocket-launching buoyant smoke and more. At the same time, failed to experimentation and assimilation of new types of ammunition for Cannon, buoyant smoke grenade launchers, etc.

    The process of reform of the military of Romania triggered after 1990 had multiple effects on the development of the weapon in our army tanks, note the dominant role of these being lower tanks, under the influence of trends in terms of organisation and which troops, manifesting itself in the most developed of the world.

    Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

    Page last modified: 14-07-2012 18:58:24 ZULU