The SU-85A is a premium gift rank II Soviet tank destroyer with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/RB/SB). This vehicle was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic" and offered as a reward during the 2018 Festive Quest event.
This tank destroyer was created for testing at the end of 1943, as a potential successor of the SU-76M. The most notable difference was the replacement of the older 76 mm gun with an adapted version of an 85 mm anti-aircraft cannon. Ultimately the vehicle was not accepted for anything beyond testing due to poor mechanical performance.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, superstructure)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 25 mm (59°) Upper glacis
25 mm (25-38°) Driver port
30 mm (31°) Lower glacis
|15 mm|| 15 mm
4 mm Vent
| 25 mm (31°) Front glacis |
7 mm Hull
4 mm Engine access panel
|Superstructure|| 25 mm (24°) Gun shield
35 mm (cylindrical) Gun mantlet
35 mm Gun mount
|10 mm (20°)|| 10 mm
6 mm Door
- Suspension wheels are 10 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 7 mm thick.
- There is an additional inner wall (10 mm thick) separating the driver compartment from the crew compartment.
- There is an additional inner wall (10 mm thick) on the right side separating the radiator from the crew compartment.
Like the SU-76M it derives from, the SU-85A's armour leaves a lot to be desired. The chassis itself is loosely based off of the light tanks T-70 and T-80. As a result, the lower frontal plate is 30 mm RHA, the upper plate and front of the crew compartment is 25 mm RHA, and the gun mantlet is 35 mm. There is a relatively small additional armour plate (25 mm) that is welded onto the upper frontal plate in front of the engines to give them slightly better protection. The sides and rear are 15 mm (hull) and 10 mm (crew compartment), making this vehicle vulnerable to heavy machine gunfire. This vehicle is also open-topped, making it a prime target for fighters looking to strafe an easy kill. All in all, this vehicle is the embodiment of a "glass cannon", unable to defend itself from anything but perhaps a glancing blow.
At its battle rating where one of the most common ammunition type used is APHE or APCBC, this vehicle has abysmal survivability. In most cases, the armour is just thick enough to arm the fuse in these shells- With a large fuel tank, lots of ammunition, and a crew packed into such a tight space, it is likely the shell will do crippling damage or knock the tank out with a single hit.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Based on the chassis of the SU-76M, the SU-85A benefits from the same average mobility: it accelerates rather slowly but steadily and is able to reach a maximum speed of 43 km/h in a dozen of seconds. Braking happens quickly but the hull briefly wobbles afterwards, delaying your targeting process. The lack of neutral steering makes turning on the spot slow (3 km/h): make sure to build a little speed before turning and you'll turn much faster (10 km/h). The reverse speed is poor: it will not get you out of a dangerous situation quickly. The SU-85A reaches 11 km/h when fording and 11 km/h when driving uphill. The tracks will grant you a decent mobility on hard terrain (solid ground, roads) but a slightly poorer mobility on soft terrain (mud, snow, sand). Light and medium obstacles (fences, posts, bushes and small trees) are not a problem but large obstacles (trees, concrete blocks and parked vehicles) will hinder your mobility: avoid them.
The SU-85A has two coupled 70 horsepower motors, giving it a combined output of 140 HP. As it utilizes high-revving gasoline motors, it doesn't have nearly as much torque to move around compared to diesel engines.
Modifications and economy
|85 mm D-5S||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The D-5S gun offers a very good penetration power at its battle rating. Its high muzzle velocity allows for pretty flat firing trajectories. The accuracy drop is noticeable from 1,200 m distance and becomes a handicap beyond 1,500 m. The gun has a very limited traverse on the horizontal axis. This can make the tracking of a target difficult as the gun quickly reaches a stop. You should take that constraint into account when positioning your hull at a firing spot. Furthermore, the rotation speed of the gun is slow compared to other tanks at the same rank or battle rating who can turn their gun in average 2 to 3 times faster than you do.. The elevation angle of the gun is good, allowing you to fire at an elevated position but the depression angle is poor, making it impossible to fire from behind a ridge. Lacking a stabilizer, the tank can't reliably fire on the move. The reload time of the gun is rather long but in line with other Soviet tanks equipped with a 85 mm cannon. The gun recoil is average for a Soviet vehicle and not important enough to throw your gun off target after firing, except when firing at targets beyond 1,500 m.
The available ammunition allows for engaging all types of targets:
- BR-365K: APHE; an armour-piercing shell with good penetration power and an explosive filler that will destroy any tank it penetrates.
- BR-365A: APHEBC; an armour-piercing shell with a reduced penetration power but a bigger explosive filler.
- BR-365P: APCR; a composite round with the best penetration power but no explosive filler and that will only penetrate flat vertical surfaces. It loses its advantage in penetration power beyond 1,000 m compared with conventional shells.
- O-365K: HE; a high-explosive shell useful for destroying open and lightly armoured vehicles.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|42||38 (+4)||31 (+11)||1 (+41)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- Open-topped compartment empty of ammo: 31 (+11).
Usage in battles
In realistic battles, this vehicle plays best from the sidelines in a support role. It does not possess the speed to rush anywhere, even if it is not slow. It does not have the ability to take a hit without enduring crippling damage. It can hide behind walls and relatively low cover and remain hidden where a taller light or medium tank would likely be spotted. Its gun is superior to other guns at its BR range, such as American short 75 and 76 mm guns commonly found on Shermans and German 75 mm guns found on Panzer IV's. As such, the SU-85A can typically penetrate most tanks it battles against through their frontal armour out to distances in excess of a kilometre.
Pros and cons
- 85mm D5-S cannon is powerful against common tanks like M4A2, Cromwell, Pz.IV
- Relatively small target / low silhouette
- Great variety of ammunition to deal with all types of opponents
- Armour is not thick enough to protect the crew from much of anything, making the vehicle a "glass cannon".
- Open-topped (often strafed by planes)
- Crew is grouped tightly together - A penetrating shot that does not result in ammunition or fuel detonation will likely incapacitate several crew members.
- ±8° horizontal gun traverse limit means that it might have to constantly adjust the hull, revealing itself
- Low reverse speed
While working to develop an SPG that could vie with the most modern German tanks, the designers in the GAZ design bureau came up with a simple plan: take the SU-76M, the production of which had already been mastered, and create a new, more powerful weapon based on it. The project was developed with two 85mm cannons, the D-5S and the S-53S. The version with the D-5S ended up being built for testing purposes, and the vehicle came to be called the SU-85A. During testing it became clear that the recoil of the powerful cannon was too great for a light SPG, which led the engineers to install a new gun and upgrade the defensive characteristics of their creation. However, by 1945 the modernized vehicle known as the SU-85B had become decidedly out of date, and the military decided to cancel the project.
- From Devblog
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Vehicles equipped with the same gun
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|Gorky Automobile Plant (Го́рьковский автомоби́льный заво́д)|
|SPAA||GAZ-AAA (4M) · GAZ-AAA (DShK) · GAZ-MM (72-K)|
|ZUT-37 · ZSU-37|
|Light Tank||T-60 · T-70 · T-80|
|Tank Destoyer||SU-76M · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A|
|USSR tank destroyers|
|SU-76M||SU-76M · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A|
|SU-57B||SU-57B · SU-76D|
|T-34 Derivatives||SU-122 · SU-85 · SU-85M · SU-100 · SU-122P|
|Heavy Tank Derivatives||SU-100Y · ISU-122 · ISU-122S · SU-152 · ISU-152 · Object 268|
|SU-100P and Derivatives||SU-100P · Object 120 · 2S3M|
|Airborne||ASU-57 · ASU-85|
|Rocket||BM-8-24 · BM-13N|
|ATGM||IT-1 · Shturm-S · Khrizantema-S|
|Other||SU-5-1 · ZiS-30 · SU-122-54|
|USSR premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||BA-11 · RBT-5 · BT-7A (F-32) · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-126 · PT-76-57|
|Medium tanks||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34E · T-34-57 (1943) · T-34-85E · T-34-100 · T-44-122 · T-55AM-1 · T-72AV (TURMS-T)|
|▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|Heavy tanks||SMK · T-35 · ▂MK-II "Matilda" · KV-1E · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6) · KV-122 · KV-220 · IS-2 "Revenge" · Object 248 · IS-6 · T-10A|
|Tank destroyers||BM-13N · BM-8-24 · SU-57 · SU-76D · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A · SU-100Y · SU-122P · Object 120|
|SPAA||▂Phòng không T-34 · ZUT-37|
|Pilot stars||C. 202D · ▀MiG-23MF|
|Tanker stars||A.C.I · AGS|
|Sailor stars||IJN Hayanami · MPK Pr.201K|
|Pilot stars||Ro.57 Quadriarma · MiG-21PFM|
|Tanker stars||E.B.R. (1954) · Class 3 (P)|
|Sailor stars||Type K-8 No.13 · USS Baltimore|
|Pilot stars||TIS MA · J6K1|
|Tanker stars||QF 3.7 Ram · ▃Merkava Mk.2B|
|Sailor stars||PT-811 · Jaguar|
|Pilot stars||M.B.152C1 · Fw 190 C|
|Tanker stars||SU-85A · T30|
|Christmas Lights||P-43A-1 · Comet I "Iron Duke IV"|
|Pilot christmas toys||P-40C · NC.900|
|Tanker christmas toys||AEC Mk II · Ersatz M10|
|Christmas Lights||Fw 189 A-1 · KV-2 (1940)|
|Pilot stages||Ki-21-I hei · Me 262 A-2a|
|Tanker stages||▃LVT(A)(4) (ZIS-2) · ▂Type 62|
|2015||War Thunder Fulfills Your Wishes!|
|Tanker reward||VK 45.01 (P)|
|2014||Holiday War Thunder Marathon!|
|Tanker reward||M8A1 GMC|
|Rewards||TB-3M-17-32 · XF5F|