Main Battle Tank - Russia
The T-55 is a Soviet-made main battle tank, a derivative of the T-54B, which was adopted for service in 1956 by the Russian armed forces. Developed by Nizhniy Tagil under the designation Obiekt 155, this is a T-54 with a new turret without the rooftop mushroom ventilator dome. The hull is completely pressurized.
T-55 MBT main variants:
- T-55: First model of this tank.
- T-55A: new radiation shielding added for protection against nuclear weapons. The 7.62 SGMT machine guns are replaced by 7.62mm PKT machine guns. The T-55A is fitted with an NBC system, an air compressor for starting, redesigned front fuel tanks and ammunition compartment, night vision equipment for the commander, gunner and driver, improved deep fording capability, improved shock-absorbers, an improved fire detection and suppression system, and an anti-radiation lining.
- T-55K: Three versions, T-55K1 and T-55K2 both carry two R-123s or R-123Ms and an R-124. The T-55K3 carries one R-130M, an R-123M, an R-124, and a 10 m antenna.
- T-55M: new passive armor protection, new engine V-55U
-T-55M1: T-55 upgrade with the Bastion (AT-10) laser beam-riding missile system, added passive armor protection, the V-46-5M engine
- T-55MV: T-55 upgrade with the Bastion (AT-10) laser beam-riding missile system, explosive reactive armor protection, a V-55U engine.
- T-55AM1: T-55A upgrade with the Bastion (AT-10) laser beam-riding missile system, additional passive armor protection, a V-46-5M engine developing 690 hp
- T-55AD: T-55M upgrade with the Drozd anti-tank missile system.
- T-55AD-1: T-55M upgrades with the Drozd anti-tank missile system and a V-46-5M engine.
The main armament of the T-55 is a 100 mm D-10T-TS2 gun. The D-10T has a horizontal sliding wedge breech block with the recoil system consisting of a hydraulic buffer and a hydropneumatic recuperator. The main weapon has a maximum range in the indirect fire role of 14,600 m and can fire high-explosive, armor-piercing, and shaped-charge ammunition. A 7.62mm SGMT coaxial machine gun is mounted to the right side of the main armament and a similar weapon fixed in the center of the glacis plate fires forward and is operated by the driver by pressing a button on the right steering lever. The latest variants are equipped with a 12.7mm machine DShKM, mounted at the loader's position to be used against attacks of helicopter or aircraft. The ammunition reserve of its main gun has been increased to 43 rounds including 22 high-explosive rounds, 15 armor-piercing rounds,, and 6 shaped-charge rounds.
|Design and protection|
The all-welded steel hull of the T-55 is divided into three main compartments: driver at the front, fighting in the center and the engine and transmission at the rear. The hull and the turret provide protection for the crew against the firing of small arms and shell splinters. The driver is seated at the front of the tank on the left and is provided with a single-piece hatch cover that swings to the left. They are two-day periscopes provided forward of this hatch, one of which can be replaced by an infra-red periscope which is used in conjunction with the infra-red light mounted on the right side of the glacis plate. The fighting compartment has a turntable.
|The T-55 is powered by a modernized engine, designated V-55, which delivers 580 hp. Major powerpack units have also been upgraded. The engine starting system has been changed: the pneumatic engine starting system is primary and the electric starter is a standby facility. The torsion bar suspension, on either side, consists of five single rubber-tired roadwheels with a distinct gap between the first and second roadwheels. The drive sprocket is at the rear and the idler at the front. There are no track return rollers. The first and fifth road wheel stations are provided with a hydraulic shock-absorber. To extend the tank's operational range from 500 to 650 km, two drum-type fuel tanks can be fitted at the rear of the hull. The T-55 can run at a maximum road speed of 50 km/h and 27 km/h in cross-country. The tank can ford a maximum depth of 1.4 m without preparation and up to 5 m with a deep fording kit which consists of a snorkel mounted over the loader's hatch cover. These snorkels take between 15 and 30 minutes to fit and on reaching the far bank are blown off. The operational snorkel is mounted over the loader's periscope and, when not fitted, is carried disassembled at the rear of the turret, or at the rear of the hull.|
|The T-55 main battle tank is outfitted with smoke generating equipment used to set a smokescreen, which masks the tank from enemy observation reliably for a few minutes. The operating principle of the smoke generating system is as follows. Fuel is injected into the exhaust manifolds, where it is mixed with exhaust gases to form particles of condensate surrounded by water vapor. Standard equipment of the T-55 includes fire control and weapons stabilizer STP-2 Tsiklon, day sight TSh2A-22, night sight TPN-1-22-11, radio equipment, fire-fighting equipment, and NBC protection system. The T-55 is also fitted with an infra-red searchlight with a range of 400 m mounted on the forward part of the commander's cupola and another infra-red searchlight to the right of the main armament with a range of 800 to 1,000 m.|
|One 100 mm gun, two 7.62 mm SGMT machine guns, and one 12.7 mm DShKM machine gun for self-protection.||Protection against small firing arms and shell splinters, 100 mm thick maximum at the front and 80mm for the side hull.|
|More than 70 countries in the world use the T-55.||36,600 kg|
|Russia||50 km/h - 27 km/h cross country|
|Infrared sight, night vision, NBC protection system, day/night vision sight,||500 km maximum |
650 km with additional drum tanks
|4||Length: 9.0 m; gun forward 6.2 m hull |
Width: 3.64 m; Height, 2.35 m
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