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T-55 Variants

The T-54/55 tanks have been produced in greater quantity than any other tank in the world. Seven main production models have been widely used throughout the Warsaw Pact and in many other countries. The T-54/55 series has been manufactured in Czechoslovakia and Poland as well as in China where it is known as Type 59. Due to its long service in the armed forces, many various versions and modifications were developed, both by the original manufacturer and by licensed producers later on, e.g. T-54, T-54/55, OT-54/55, T-54A, T-54B, T-54M, T-55, T-55A, T-55M, T-55AD, T-55MV and others. More than a dozen countries have produced upgraded T-55 variants with similar capabilities in protection and lethality. Due to gradual modernizations, there have been a number of upgrades concerning mobility and immediate protection for the vehicle itself and for the crew. Many countries have upgraded to a larger main gun.

  • T-55 / "Object 155" (1958): T-54 with new turret and numerous other improvements, late production models have a 12.7mm AA MG. Improvements over the T-54 include a larger V-12 water-cooled diesel engine and an increased cruising range of 500 rather than 400 kilometers (600 kilometers with auxiliary tanks). The cruising range can be extended to 715 kilometers with two 200-liter auxiliary fuel tanks which carried on the rear. The T-55 used a completely different turret from the T-54, the most obvious difference being that the T-55 was now without the roof top mushroom ventilator dome and instead has two D-shaped roof panels. Early T-55s also did not mount the loader's 12.7mm DShK AA MG and the loader's hatch was flush mounted with little or no rise above the surrounding turret armor. In 1962 in series prodcuton it was replaced by the T-55A.
  • TO-55 / "Object 482" (1958) - flamethrower medium tank based on the first model T-55. A plant #75 CB and CB plant #174, serially produced at the plant #174 (Omsk) from 1958 to 1962 GG In 1962 it was made on the basis of the T-55A. Out of the Russian Armed Forces weapons in 1993 to ognesmesi tank ammunition was in place next to the driver, the tank is equipped with upper and lower hatch hatch drain.
  • T-55K / "object 155K" (1959) - the commander's version of the T-55. A CB plant #183 (Uralvagonzavod) in 1959 established additional HF radio R-112, benzoelektroagregat AB-1-P / 30, and navigation equipment. Reduced ammunition and shot gun exchange.
  • T-55 "Diamond / Almaz" (1961) - the name of the conditional, the experimental prototype tank "Diamond" TV system. The system is designed to provide monitoring and targeting in conditions of malfunction of the optical means of observation and sighting (underwater nuclear explosion, etc.). In the tank installed three TV cameras (one in the front of the case, two - on the tower) and two TV-screen for displaying information. Sighting range during the day was 1500-2000 meters. The tank commander was placed next to a mechanic-driver, ammunition reduced course corps gun shot. The system proved to be unreliable and not accepted for service.
  • T-55A (1962) - an upgraded version of the T-55, a second modification of the Large series. A CB plant #183, adopted in 1962 in the series from 1963 to 1977. Tank repeatedly modernized in 1970, the latest upgrade - T-55AM. T-55A added an NBC protection system. T-55A used a new anti-radiation lining and PAZ/FVU chemical filtration system upgrade on the same turret. The lining caused the turret hatches to be thicker and no longer flush with the turret surface. Notable features are much larger combing on the commander's and gunner's hatch, and a large blister on the driver's hatch. The T-55A Model 1970 did begin to receive the 12.7mm MG agin, but in a different position than on the T-54.
  • T-55A with a laser rangefinder - probably FTC-1 - from 1974-1975 established including on the tanks of new construction
  • T-55 "Uranus" (early 1960s) - the name of the conditional, experimental tank with TV equipment "Uranus" designed for tactical reconnaissance of the battlefield with the transfer of the image on the collection point on the chassis of the BTR-50 with remote viewing equipment at UAZ chassis 69. Range of image transmission - 10-30 km.
  • T-55 turbine engine (early 1960s) - the name of the conditional, experimental tank with gas turbine engine GTD-3T engine with 700 hp designed by OKB-29 Omsk plant #174 ( "Omsktransmash"). Testing.
  • "Object 612" (1962-1965) - an experienced tank with automatic drive gear electrohydraulic type. A DB-29 Omsk plant #174 ( "Omsktransmash"). Made 3 pcs. During the tests revealed low reliability of new mechanisms.
  • T-55 (early 1960s) ATGM "Baby" - the name of the conditional, with the installation of the tank on the roof of the tower three ATGM "Baby" was tested in the early 1960s.
  • T-55AM (1983) - The basic model of the modernization of the T-55A added bra armor, an armor band around the turret for 180° coverage.. A KB factory "Omsktransmash" by order of the USSR from 25.07.1981, the Tank (upgrading version) adopted in April 1983 was carried out by Modernization remzavodov USSR Ministry of Defense since 1981. The tanks received a set of guided weapons, new equipment, multi screens combination of armor on the turret and additional armor front of the chassis, rubber side shields, in addition Reserved bottom, upgraded engine, etc. The T-55AM designation is sometimes used to indicate a T-55A vehicle with the 12.7mm DShK MG on its new fitting on the loader's hatch.
  • T-55AM2: Variant does not have ATGM capability or Volna FCS.
  • T-55AM2B: Czech version of T-55AMV with Kladivo fire control.The former East German Army [NVA] operated a number of tanks known as the T-55AM2B MBT that is a heavily modified version of the well known original Soviet T-55 MBT. These greatly improved tanks are capable of firing the 100mm laser guided 9M117 ATGM. Although a more modern missile than the T-64B's AT-8, the 9M117 can provide some details concerning this type of weapon. Upon firing, the 9M117 is launched from the barrel by an ejection charge and the missile's control fins are unfolded. The sustainer motor then burns for approximately six seconds and drives the missile to its target. In flight, the missile follows a modulated laser beam that the firing tank directs and zooms on to the target. The tank's gunner is only required to keep his sight on the target until the missile impacts. The maximnam range of the missile is 4,000 meters, with a maximum flight time of approximately 12 seconds. While the capabilities of this missile and the T-55AM2B that fires it may be debatable to some observers, it is apparently not to the German Army. Unlike the bulk of the former NVA T-55s inherited by the Bundeswehr, which have already been sccapped, the missile-firing T-55AM2Bs were put into storage at least for the time being.
  • T-55AM2P: Polish version of T-55AMV but with Merida FCS.
  • T-55AMD: Variant with the Drozd APS instead of ERA.
  • T-55M (1983) - the basic model of modernization of T-55. A CB "Omsktransmash" plant in 1983. The modernization was carried out by overhaul plants [remzavodov / ramzavod] USSR Ministry of Defense. Tanks got a set of guided weapons, new equipment, multilayer screen of a combined armor on the turret and the front of the chassis, rubber side shields, in addition Reserved bottom, upgraded engine, etc. T-55M added the Volna fire control system (with ATGM launcher), improved gun stabilization and sights, improved engine, new radio, and increased protection. That included side skirts, smoke grenade launchers, applique armor, and fire protection. Russia produced advanced T-55M and T-55AM tanks integrating BDD composite armored “eye brows” on the front of the turret and spaced laminate plates to the glacis. The vehicles’ features include updated laser range finders, ballistic computers and sights.
  • T-55AM T-1 (1983) - T variant engine 55AM B 46-5M.
  • T-55M-1 (1983) - T-55M variant engine V-46-5M.
  • T-55AD (T-55A with "Drozd", 1983) - the basic model of the modernization of the T-55A. A KB factory "Omsktransmash" in 1983. The yield on the test tank T-55AD - December 1983 was carried out by Modernization remzavodov USSR Ministry of Defense. Tanks got a complex of active protection "Drozd" (developed from 1977 to 1982 TSKIBSOO), a complex of guided weapons, new equipment, additional armor hull and bottom, side rubber screens, upgraded engine for the T-55AM / T-55M type, etc. . Currently, the first instance of a tank T-55AD is in the Museum of Armored Forces Research Institute of the BT-38 Russian Ministry of Defense in Kubinka. T-55AD in the mid-1980s were part of the troops of the Navy Marine Corps, as well as probably in other parts of the USSR Armed Forces and formations.
  • T-55AD T-1 (1983) - T-55AD variant engine V-46-5M.
  • T-55AMV (T-55A upgraded to "Wave / Volna", 1985) - the basic model of the modernization of the T-55A. A KB factory "Omsktransmash", adopted in 1985 was carried out by Modernization remzavodov USSR Ministry of Defense. Tanks got a set of guided weapons, new equipment including ASUO "Wave", additional armor hull with substitution of ERA for the bra armor, side rubber screens, hinged dynamic protection turret and hull, upgraded engine for the T-55AM / T-55M type, etc. Variants ending with -1 denote replacement of the engine w/V-46 engine from T-72 MBT. The Ukraine and Syria upgraded to the T-55AMV standard.
  • T-55MV (T-55 upgraded with the "Wave", 1985) - modernization of T-55. A KB factory "Omsktransmash", adopted in 1985 was carried out by Modernization remzavodov USSR Ministry of Defense. Tanks got a set of guided weapons, new equipment including ASUO "Wave", additional armor hull, side rubber screens, hinged dynamic protection towers and housing for T-type 55AMV, upgraded engine for the T-55AM / T-55M type, etc.
  • 55MV T-1 (1985) - T-55MV variant engine V-46-5M.
  • Missile tank T-55 (project 1961-1963, GG, CB "Uralvagonzavod")
  • Armored vehicle launched bridge MT-55 / MT-55A (1962 KB "Uralvagonzavod");
  • Armored vehicle launched bridge MTU-20 / "Object 602" (1964, CB "Omsktransmash");
  • Engineering vehicle IMR / "object 616a" (1969, CB "Omsktransmash");
  • T-72Z Safir-74 - An Iranian upgrade to the T-54/T-54 that may have been applied to Iraqi T-54s captured in the Iran-Iraq War. This has a number of improvements including a 105 mm M68 rifled tank gun, computerised fire-control system and a new power pack which consists of a diesel engine, fully automatic transmission and cooling system.
  • "Ramses II" [1987] - the beginning of work on the modification of Egyptian T-54 T-55 - T-54e / 55e - with the installation of American guns and other imported equipment. The first tanks T-54 were delivered to the US for testing modifications. The end of the 1980s Egypt studied the possibility of modernization of the fleet of T-55 with German help. The project Jung Jungenthal upgraded two prototypes. For mass modernization project Ramses-II was supposed to leave part of the tank 100-mm gun D-10T, and make them part of the replacement of 105-mm gun M-68.
  • The MT-55A armored bridgelayer (Mostní tank) is a specially converted T-55A medium tank chassis, with the turret removed and replaced by a special bridge launching equipment. The converted T-55A chassis differs only by the arrangement of the compartments in the hull. The bridge tank is intended for an easy and rapid crossing of antitank barriers (trenches) and other obstacles with the purpose of facilitating the passage of mechanised and tank units. The bridge launching equipment is controlled by a system of hydraulic cylinders; the distribution of hydraulic oil can be controlled both manually by mechanical levers and automatically. The pressure of the liquid is provided by high-pressure piston pumps powered by the tank engine. All mechanisms of the MT-55 used for laying and recovering of the bridge can be controlled by the crew from the inside of the tank, with hatch covers closed. To start the launching procedure, the vehicle stops short of the gap; subsequently, the bridge swings forward and down while its two sections open like scissors.
  • The VT-55A recovery tank is a special armored tracked vehicle mounted on the T-55A tank chassis. It is intended primarily for towing of crashed or damaged equipment in various terrain conditions, for recovery of equipment out of all kinds of impossible positions, with a tractive power up to 75 MPa. Its built-in crane can lift loads up to 1.5 ton. Other applications of the VT-55A include material handling, like transportation of spare parts up to 3 tons to damaged equipment. The vehicle is divided into driver´s, commander´s, winch, and engine and gear compartments. It is equipped with an NBC protection. The crew consists of a commander, driver/engineer and slinger.



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Page last modified: 29-03-2016 20:06:03 ZULU