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Tiran 4/5 (T-54/T-55)

The meaning of Tiran [pronounced as Tiy-RAE-N] in Hebrew is beginner. Israel's chronic lack of AFV's on one hand and it's phenomenal victory in the 1967 Six Days War on the other, brought the IDF to adopt captured enemy vehicles for it's use. The Arab armies lost hundreds of fighting vehicles - mostly Egyptian T-54 and T-55 MBT's which were abandoned by their crews.

In order to allow for greater standardization in it's armor corps, the IDF initiated a conversion program. The captured tanks were re-engined and re-gunned (with the standard 105mm gun used in the Centurion and Patton MBT's). Chief was the several hundred captured T-54/T-55 tanks that were taken and modified into the Tiran 4 (T-54) and Tiran 5 (T-55), called Ti-67 (Tank Israeli-1967) in the west. The main difference between the two versions is the main gun armament. The Tiran 4 having a 100 mm main gun and the Tiran 5 having a 105 mm main gun.

The Tiran 5 conversion includes: hollow cast turret with numerous IDF details cast in, empty bustle cast to the turret, IDF modified loaders and drivers hatch, 105mm gun tube. 60mm mortar and spare round box, commanders and loaders m.g. mounts, correct machine guns, .30 caliber and correct ammo boxes. Turret side storage box, four IDF jerry can racks molded empty, five IDF jerry cans, separate, rear hull storage bin with medical box attached, IDF infantry comm. box. Late pattern fuel cells, accurate pattern oil storage box, two fender storage boxes, IDF Pattern driving lights and IDF pattern mud flaps with "rubber" dust guards molded separately.

The first combat use of captured tanks by the IDF was in operation "Raviv" (8-9 September 1969) - an amphibious raid across the Suez channel. Three T-54 tanks and six BTR-50 apc's were used to wreak havoc behind the Egyptian lines.

Tirans were used along Israel's borders - mostly at the Suez front. In the 1973 Yom Kippur war Tirans were used in combat in the southern front - against Egyptian T-54/55 (which caused a lot of confusion).

During the 1973 war the IDF managed to capture the newest Soviet MBT of the time - the T-62. Plans for conversion into Tiran-6 were made, but the relatively small numbers captured, together with the massive numbers of M-60 MBT's supplied by the US brought them to a halt (several prototypes were made, however).

During the early 1980's Tiran MBT's were withdrawn from active duty. Some were sold to foreign states (including, reportedly, to Iran during it's war with Iraq), some were given to Israel's allies in Lebanon and some were converted into the Achzarit APC.

Ironicaly, some of the Tirans supplied to the SLA (South Lebanon Army) militia fell into Hizballah hands after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon (June 2000). In a way, those tanks made a full circle.

  • Tiran 4 first version is distinguished by a few minor additions such as two brackets Jerry cans on the back of the turret and a new communication system. The rest seem to be original, even up to ammunition.
  • Tiran 4 (first standard) is one of several Subversion for each Tiran. It was directly taken from the T-54 and received as main change of the different mud guards to the rear, a cal.30 as well as a box on the rear of the chassis which will remain now on almost all versions of Tiran.
  • Tiran 4 (with cooler) had the particularity to have retained its canon original with cooler at the end. Many of these canon are visible on the Tiran version of the IDF.
  • Tiran 4 (late) second version of Tiran 4 to which were added a few additional changes as antennas door and headlights on the turret, caterpillars of rechage there skates still on the turret but also and especially the change of his canon of origin by a 105 mm M-68.
  • Tiran 5 was the first captured T-55 were used without almost no additions. It can be recognized from the Tiran 4 particularly in relation to the barrel of the 100 mm cannon with with a smoke extractor at the end of canon. However a second generation will be the first turret panels directed while keeping the 100mm barrel with smoke extractor.
  • Tiran 5 (late) second version of Tiran 5, to which were added a few additional but modified as mostly late Tiran 4 barrel M-68 of 105mm easily recognizable externally by its Extractor of smoke in the middle of the gun tube.
  • Tiran 5 (classic) is the second generation of Tiran 5 with the famous cases that often characterize this vehicle and which are arranged on the back of the hull as well as on the sides of the turret. Canon was replaced by the famous 105mm with smoke extractor in the middle of the canon.
  • Tiran 5 Nochri or KMT (Nochri Gimel) is a version of the Tiran 5 Classic with a front mounted mine clearing rig that was used from the 1970s until the 1980s (in however limited number) indeed little Tiran seem to have been equipped with Nochri. This vehicle, used for a large part by the SLA, however, was also used by the Lebanese army or Hezbollah after the dissolution of the South Lebanon Army May 24, 2000.
  • Tiran 5 dozers has exactly the same characteristics as the Tiran 5, with the difference that a dozer blade has been added at the front. This toothed blade was mainly used on this type of gear.
  • Tiran 6 was formed on the basis of the T-62. The Tiran 6 also has the addition of panels on the hull and the turret is larger (a report the size of the device itself) it also has a 60mm mortar and these famous box of oil on each rear side.
  • Nothing established as of 2014 that any T-72 have been used by the IDF. However it is possible, according to rumor, that some destroyed Syrian T-72 would have been towed and then transformed to try to form a Tiran 7 possible. But as rumored project must remain in the State of rumor without confirmation no.
  • In the 1970s/1980s the Israelis decided to transform some of their Tiran to optimize them. Two types of prototypes were developed: the first was the Samovar 1 which had improvements of Merkava. So the canon was changed to that of the Merkava II, and it received a small wire-mesh basket on the side of the turret and in tests he received even from small short skirts in reactive bricks.
  • Samovar 2, the second version of the Samovar, was less developed and pushed less than the previous. Of note is a significant change in the back of the turret as well as an important change of engine which translates visuellemet by a more square crate back.
  • Tiran Blazer is a Tiran 5 version developed for a number of significant gear. Changes are mainly to the addition of brick reactive same ideology (but completely different in design and form) of those present on the Mágach or well yet the Sho't Kal Dalet.

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Page last modified: 05-11-2014 20:18:44 ZULU