T-55A

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

The T-55A in the garage.

The T-55A is a Rank VI Russian medium tank with a battle rating of 8.7. It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica". A moderate upgrade over the T-54 series, noticeably with a stabilizer system and an anti-spall coating under the armour, the T-55 has significantly more protection and fighting capability over the T-54 and T-62 tanks.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

Vehicle characteristics

The T-55A compares to its predecessor with some distinctive exterior features. Firstly is the bore evacuator present on the 100 mm gun on the barrel tip. Another is the two search lights present on the T-55A turret, one on the commander's cupola and the other in front of the loader's hatch, around the DShK mount.

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very familiar to T-54 veterans
  • Powerful gun
  • Small profile tank
  • Stabilizer systems allow for better fire-on-the-move capabilities
  • Noted anti-spall coating reduces shrapnel effect.
  • 12.7 mm machine gun on top for anti-air defenses

Cons:

  • Flat side armour is highly vulnerable
  • Right side of tank is just a huge row of ammo and fuel, as well as loader.
  • Low ammo count for 12.7 machine gun
  • Roof armour of 30 mm will be vulnerable to air cannon fire
  • Low penetration values on stock APDS and APHE shell.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 100 mm D-10T2S cannon (43 Rounds)
1 x 12.7 mm DShK machine gun (350 Rounds)
1 x 7.62 mm SGMT machine gun (3,500 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 100 mm D-10T2S cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 43 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -5°
  • Gun Elevation: 18°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), _._°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 11.1s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 100 mm D-10T2S cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 43 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -5°
  • Gun Elevation: 18°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), _._°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 11.1s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 100 mm D-10T2S cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 43 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -5°
  • Gun Elevation: 18°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), _._°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 11.1s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
3BM-8 299 298 291 272 253 249 APDS 1415 4.1 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 75° 78° 80°
OF-412 19 19 19 19 19 19 HE 880 15 0.1 0.5 1,460 +0° 79° 80° 81°
BR-412D 240 235 211 185 161 141 APCBC 887 16 1.2 15 103.7 +4° 48° 63° 71°
3BM25 335 330 307 290 275 260 APFSDS 1430 3.4 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 76° 77° 78°
3BK17M 390 390 390 390 390 390 HEATFS 1085 10 0.0 0.1 1,590 +0° 65° 72° 75°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
3D3 Smoke 880 16 20 5 25 272
Ammo racks
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
43 XX (X+)  (+)  (+)  (+)  (+)  (+) Turret empty:  () no

Secondary armaments

1 x 12.7 mm DShK machine gun (pintle-mount)
1 x 7.62 mm SGMT machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver

Total: 4 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
  • Armour radiation liner (Interior*)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 100* mm (59°) Front glacis
100 mm (56°) Lower glacis
80* mm 45 mm (16°) Upper
20 mm (71°) Lower
30 mm
45 mm Engine grills
Turret* 130-200 mm (5-62°) Turret front
200 mm (15-69°) Gun mantlet
90-160 mm (6-61°) 66 mm (4-41°) 30 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 100 mm 30 mm

Notes:

  • Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The turret side armour is not all equally the same armour thickness. As it goes toward the rear armour, it gradually becomes thinner with 160 mm to 95 mm.
  • Belly armour is 20 mm thick.
  • *Armour radiation liner coat the interior at 30 mm thickness in the front hull, front side hull, and turret. These are rated to be three times more effective against spalling, but half as effective against shells.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 36.0 ton

Max Speed: 56 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 899 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 24.97 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 28°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 36.0 ton

Max Speed: 50 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 513 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 14.25 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 31°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 36.0 ton

Max Speed: 50 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 513 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 14.25 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 31°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°

Modules and improvements

Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts BR-412D, Horizontal drive
II Suspension, Brake system FPE 3BM25, Adjustment of fire
III Filters Crew replenishment 3BK17M, Elevation mechanism
IV Transmission, Engine ESS Artillery support, 3D3

History of creation and combat usage

Predecessors

During World War II, the Soviet Union fielded the T-34 in large numbers to overrun the German tanks. The initial T-34 variant with the 76 mm gun soon became insufficient due to further German development on potent anti-tank weaponry. The response was the development of the T-34-85 with the more powerful 85 mm gun. However, the T-34-85 was still insufficient fighting against the German "big cats" tanks. This prompted for further tank development to make a more protected medium tank for the Soviet armoured forces. This developed into the T-44, which proved superior to the T-34 in armour, but retained the same 85 mm gun.

Development

The army then requested that the gun on the tank be increased for additional firepower. This developed into adding the 100 mm gun onto the T-44 and was designated the T-44-100. The T-44-100 proved successful in testing, but still suffered drawbacks that impeded its efficiency. It was decided that instead of quickly sending the tank into production, further development and modernization on the overall tank design should be made to make the tank the full transition from a World-War II era tank into the next generation. This developed into the T-54 tank that was accepted into service in 29 April 1946.

The tank would enter production at Nizhni Tagil in 1947 and Kharkov in 1948. However, the initial production was slow as the serial production models underwent 1,490 different modifications. The first model produced was designated the T-54-1 (Object 137), which had a thicker hull armour than its future model. This production model suffered quality deficiency, and was cancelled and upgraded into the T-54-2 (Object 137R) in 1949 that featured a new turret and other changes to the hull, transmission, and track design. In 1951, another change was made to the design and was designated the T-54-3 (Object 137Sh). The T-54-3 design featured a new turret design that removed shot traps. A new gun sight and smoke generating system was also installed into the tank. The T-54-3 would become the basis of future T-54 design, with the turret design staying in all of its successor.

Despite the T-54's great performance in its design, the T-54 did not stop at its base model. The first upgrades done was in 1953 and 1955 when the tank's D-10 gun was given stabilization gear, first with a vertical stabilizer in 1953 before upgrading again with a 2-plane stabilizer in 1955. These tank upgrades renamed the T-54 to T-54A and T-54B for the respective years. While an improvement in the tank's performance, the biggest jump came with the advent of nuclear technology in the Soviet arsenal. When testings show that a T-54 can survive the blast of a 2 - 15 kt nuclear charge at 300 meters (700 m for crew survival), the T-54 was slated for the installment of a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) protection system to protect the crew from the weapons of mass destruction. This project was given to the KB-60 design bureau in Kharkov and this was finished in 1956. Along with many other changes to the tank interior, such as a new engine, heating system, fuel tanks, ammo storage, and new guns sights, the tank became the more common T-55 tank, which would replace the T-54 design in production past 1958. The difference in the T-54 and the T-55 other than the mechanical differences is the presence of a dome-shaped ventilator in front of the loaders hatch, it is a T-54 if present as it was removed in order to seal the tank with NBC protection. All in all, the T-54/55 tank series became the most widely produced tank ever, surpassing the T-34 with an estimated 100,000+ built, many due to the export market and licensed manufacturing the Soviets gave to their allies.

Design

The T-54 is a simple and reliable, yet deadly machine compared to its contemporaries at its introduction. The T-54 retained the same interior compartments as traditional designs, with the driving in the front, fighting and turret in the center, and the engine at the rear. The most distinctive features on the T-54 is the dome turret and the space between the first and second road wheels in the front, which would be absent in its successor, the T-62.

The T-54 simplicity and reliability made it a very easy tank to operate, not requiring a thoroughly trained crew to operate (though a better crew can give a better performance). The T-54 also presents a very low profile compared to the American and British tank, which makes it a smaller target to hit. The light weight of the design at only 36 tons made it very easy to transport around on flatbed. The tank also features extra abilities like a cold-weather starting system and a snorkel for deep-wading that were mostly absent on similar vehicles. Finally, the 100 mm D-10T gun was much better than anything fielded as tank armament, able to defeat the American Patton and the British Centurions, which were their mainstay tanks. Even after the introduction of superior tanks like the M60 tank with the 105 mm M68 gun, the T-54 is able to keep up with new HEAT and APDS rounds.

However, the T-54 design suffered from some of these advantages. The small profile gave the tank a small interior volume, which causes such a constraint to crew space that a height limit had to be set. The low turret silhouette also made the tank unable to depress the gun in a large angle due to the gun's breech hitting the roof, which restricts the T-54 ability to enter a hull-down position. Like other tanks in its generation, the T-54 also had an unprotected ammo storage, which increased the chance of a catastrophic explosion of the ammunition if the tank is penetrated in battle.

Despite that, the T-54 design, upgraded into the T-55, proved very successful as a cost-effective weapon of war that can still stand on its own today. Its utility is further demonstrated by the many variants created from the chassis, such as bridge-layers, fire-fighting vehicles, flamethrowers, armoured-personnel carriers, engineer vehicles, and anti-aircraft vehicles.

Combat usage

Most of the service recorded in the T-54 and the T-55 are interchangeable as the two are essentially identical aside from the NBC protection. They will be referred as the "T-54/55" unless specified otherwise.

The Soviets main tank during the course of the Cold War was the T-54/55 and the T-62 tanks, comprising about 85% of the Soviet armoured force in mid-1970s. The first combat usage of the T-54 was in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. During the conflict, one T-54A was captured by the Hungarian rebels and delivered it to the British embassy. This act inspired the production of the 105 mm L7 gun and the M60 MBT when tests on this T-54 found it superior in firepower and armour. Afterwards, the Soviets did not have many activities with the T-54/55, but they are still in reserve status after being replaced by the Soviet T-72 and T-90 tanks.

The Middle East region saw more usage of the T-54/55 in the conflicts that ensured there, notably in the Israel-Arab conflicts in the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. The Israel were able to beat back the T-54/55 in both conflicts due to superior tactics and air superiority in the Six-Day War, and the presence of superior tanks such as the 105 mm equipped M60 and Centuron tanks, which could more easily deal with the T-54/55 in the Yom Kippur War. Israel were able to capture many T-54/55 tanks intact in both wars and upgraded these tanks with the 105 mm L7 gun, designated as the Tiran-5. The T-54/55 also saw usage in the Jordanian Civil War of 1970 on the Syrian side, the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, and even as recent as Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, a testament to the utility and reliability of the T-54/55 tanks to still be in use 60 years after its introduction despite its inferiority to the American M1A1 Abrams and the British Challenger II's.

The T-54/55 also saw use in the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side, equipping the NVA 203rd Armoured Regiment and many other divisions. The T-54/55 also made appearance in Angola and Mozambique, which were supplied from the Soviets to support the rising Marxist influences in South Africa. These T-54/55s saw use in the South African Border War and Angolan Civil War, but many were lost against turreted armoured car with HEAT rounds. Many other countries in the world used the T-54/55 as well, whether given by the Soviets and their allies or licensed to produce in-country, up to 50 countries in the world used the T-54/55 in their military, including irregular forces in these countries. Notable conflicts using the T-54/55 was in the Indo-Pakistani War in the Indian Army, in the Ugandan-Tanzanian War, Yugoslav Wars, Sino-Vietnamese War, and the Sri Lakan Civil War. The T-54/55 is still being used to day in the modern century, such as the Libyan Civil War in 2011, and the ongoing conflicts of the Syrian Civil War in many sides, including ISIS and the Syrian Army.

Screenshots and fan art

Camouflages and skins for the T-54 series from live.warthunder.com. It does list all skins, as for a longer period there was only one T-54 and the need to add further distinguishable search terms was not necessary. Look for the complete round turret to find the fitting camouflages. http://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23t54

Images

A Czech-manufactured T-55 at Battlefield Vegas.

Additional information (links)

[Devblog] T-55A - The Eastern Menace

References


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ussr_t_55a.png

Icon-country-sov.png T-55A
Nation USSR
Type Medium tank
Rank 6
Battle Rating 8.7

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
36,000 kg
79,366 lb
Number of Crew 4
Hull armour thickness
100/80/45/30 mm
3.94/3.15/1.77/1.18 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
899 hp
513 hp
513 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
___ hp
580 hp
580 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
24.97
25.37
14.25
14.48
14.25
14.48
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
__.__
__.__
16.11
16.37
16.11
16.37
Max speed
56 km/h
35 mph
50 km/h
31 mph
50 km/h
31 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 100 mm
D-10T2S
Cannon
Ammo stowage 43 rounds
Vertical guidance -5°/18°
Secondary Weapon
1 x DShK Heavy machine gun
Ammo stowage 350 rounds
Mount Pintle mount
Vertical guidance -10°/60°
1 x SGMT Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,500 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 380,000 RP
Vehicle cost 990,000 SL
Crew training cost 280,000 SL
Max repair cost*
3,350 SL
4,090 SL
4,630 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
6d 09h
12d
12d
Free repair time (Upgraded)
_d __h
_d __h
_d __h
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