T-55A

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Chinese A-5C Pack
This page is about the Soviet medium tank T-55A. For other versions, see T-54/55 (Family).
ussr_t_55a.png
GarageImage T-55A.jpg
T-55A
AB RB SB
8.0 8.0 8.0
Class:
Research:180 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:500 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The T-55A is a rank VI Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica".

After active development of nuclear weapons, the T-54 was tested against nuclear charges. It was evaluated that the crew could survive only at distances of over 700 m, so it was decided to create a new tank that would have a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system, or Protivoatomnaya Zashchita (PAZ). The initial designs for this tank were completed in 1956, however, that was without additional NBC protection. In 1961, the development of an NBC system began, and it was introduced in the new T-55A variant. Among other upgrades, the T-55 had an increased ammunition supply with 18 more rounds being stored in the fuel tanks.

The T-55 became a replacement for Soviet heavy tanks (IS series and the T-10). Armour was sacrificed for better mobility and a better gun. Currently, the T-55A is one of the only vehicles at its rank to still have an AP shell with explosive filler, which can easily knock out most vehicles in a single shot from the sides and some from the front (notably, Leopards 1). Unfortunately, the T-55A is relatively slow compared to other medium tanks at its battle rating.

General info

Survivability and armour

ESS
Creation of a smoke screen in the direction of movement of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull100 / 80 / 45
Turret200 / 160 / 66
Crew4 people
Visibility83 %
X-Ray view of the T-55A when viewed from the side. Note how packed the tank interior is of critical components, ammunition, and crew.

The T-55A has moderate frontal protection, with 100 mm plates for upper front plate (UFP) and lower front plate (LFP) placed at angles 59° and 56° respectively; effective thickness frontally comes up to ~180 mm and ~200 mm, respectively. At a perfect angle, the T-55A can bring its frontal effective thickness to ~200 mm and ~220 mm for the UFP and LFP, while having ~250 mm of protection at the angled sides. However, the additional 20 mm of armour will rarely save the tank from APFSDS, or even APDS, shells that are flying around at this rank.

As for the turret, the T-55A has slightly less protection than the T-62 and combined with a generally larger turret, it is easier for opponents to hit and penetrate the turret. The thinnest spots are right next to the cannon breech, at 200 mm, which rather slowly becomes over 300 mm when moving further away from the breech.

The T-55A's weakest area to be attacked at is the port side; or when looking directly at the T-55A, its right side. This is because three of the four crew members are neatly lined up into a row. A well placed APFSDS shot to this area through the UFP will one-shot the T-55A.

Despite this vulnerability, it will do well for the T-55A's overall survival if it does not get hit at all during its lifespan on the battlefield. Due to how packed the interior is, any penetrating shot is sure to cripple or outright destroy the tank.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Gun mantlet)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 100 mm (59-77°) Front glacis
100 mm (56-59°) Lower glacis
80 mm 20 mm (61°) Upper
45 mm (16°) Middle
20 mm (71°) Lower
30 mm General
45 mm Engine grille
Turret 130-200 mm (14-39°) Turret front 100-160 mm (15-73°) 66-110 mm (4-41°) 30 mm

Notes:

  • Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick
  • Belly armour is 20 mm thick.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB56 / 9 km/h
RB and SB51 / 8 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight36.0 t
Engine power
AB1 107 hp
RB and SB580 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB30.8 hp/t
RB and SB16.1 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 56 9 36 899 1107 24.97 30.75
Realistic 51 8 513 580 14.25 16.11

The maximum speed that the T-55A can reach is listed as 56 km/h (AB) and 50 km/h (RB/SB). That is ~15 km/h slower than the Leopard A1A1. However, the amount of firepower that the T-55A brings to the battlefield, coupled together with the ability to withstand shots sometimes, that speed is decent. Backwards, the T-55A can go at up to -7 km/h, which won't let you back out of tricky situations often.

The T-55A cannot turn in neutral gear, which makes it difficult to manoeuvre in close-quarter encounters, which often occur in urban environments. The acceleration is good, the T-55A can get to 25 km/h from a standstill on flat, rough terrain in a few seconds, and turning is decent on flat ground.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 100 → 3 055 Sl icon.png
RB2 880 → 4 190 Sl icon.png
SB2 700 → 3 928 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications150 300 Rp icon.png
260 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 400 Ge icon.png
Crew training140 000 Sl icon.png
Experts500 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 000 Ge icon.png
Research Aces890 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 160 / 200 % Sl icon.png
214 / 214 / 214 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
7 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
7 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
8 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
8 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
2 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ussr.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
ESS
Research:
8 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
100mm_BR412D_ammo_pack
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
8 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
100mm_3BK25_ammo_pack
Research:
7 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
7 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
100mm_3BK17M_ammo_pack
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
8 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
100mm_ussr_Smoke_ammo_pack
Research:
8 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
8 700 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png

With a default APDS round available, the T-55A is somewhat viable in a downtier to assist going through the modification research. Aside from getting the survivability upgrades in the "Parts" and "FPE" modules, unlocking better ammunition choices should be prioritised in order to access the more potent APFSDS round and the HEAT-FS shell in the "3BM25" and "3BK17M" modules respectively. The "NVD" module should also be researched early in order to survive the possibility of the next ground battle being at night time.

Armaments

Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition43 rounds
First-order18 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
11.1 → 8.5 s
Vertical guidance-5° / 18°

The T-55A houses a 100 mm D-10T2S rifled anti-tank gun, which is equipped with an ejector and two-plane stabilizer arms. In-game, the T-55A has a 10.3 s reload rate, which is similar to its successor, the T-62. This rate of fire doesn't allow the T-55A to rush into battle and fend off waves of Leopards or M48s and M60s, but it is sufficient to defeat one or two opponents in quick succession with good shot placements, granted you shoot first.

100 mm D-10T2S Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 43 -5°/+18° ±180° Two-plane 14.3 19.8 24.0 26.5 28.2 11.05 9.78 9.01 8.50
Realistic 8.9 10.5 12.8 14.1 15.0

Ammunition

The stock round (3BM-8, APDS) allows the T-55A to penetrate MBT-70 and KPz-70 frontally, as well as deal with all other major threats, notably the Leopards (which you can penetrate anywhere), and Chieftains (LFP, or UFP/LFP with the APFSDS round). One of the major advantages that the T-55A has over the majority of rank VI vehicles is its APCBC shell, which has the potential to knock out any opponent it penetrates in a single shot. It is advised to flank your enemies and when given the opportunity, easily destroy oncoming enemies with this round.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
3BM-8 APDS 299 298 291 272 253 249
BR-412D APCBC 239 236 220 202 186 170
3BM25 APFSDS 335 330 307 290 275 260
3BK17M HEATFS 390 390 390 390 390 390
OF-412 HE 19 19 19 19 19 19
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
3BM-8 APDS 1,415 4.13 N/A N/A N/A 75° 78° 80°
BR-412D APCBC 887 15.9 1.2 19 93.94 48° 63° 71°
3BM25 APFSDS 1,430 3.4 N/A N/A N/A 76° 77° 80°
3BK17M HEATFS 1,085 9.96 0.05 0.1 1,440 65° 72° 77°
OF-412 HE 900 15.6 0 0.1 1,460 79° 80° 81°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Screen radius
(m)
Screen deploy time
(s)
Screen hold time
(s)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
3D3 880 15.6 20 5 25 272

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the T-55A
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
43 42 (+1) 37 (+6) 33 (+10) 21 (+22) 19 (+24) (+42) No

Notes:

  • Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
  • Rack 6 is a first stage ammo rack. It totals 18 shells and gets filled first when loading up the tank.
  • This rack is also emptied early: the rack depletion order at full capacity is: 6 - 1 - 2 - etc. until 5.
  • Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1-5 into rack 6. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready racks.
  • If you pack 19 (+24) shells, it will keep most of the hull empty of ammo.

Machine guns

Ammunition350 rounds
Belt capacity50 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Vertical guidance-10° / 60°
Ammunition3 500 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min

The T-55A has a roof-mounted 12.7 mm DShK machine gun, which allows it to fight low-flying aircraft or helicopters. However, it is not effective against jets. It is recommended to use this machine gun against lightly armoured ground targets and to check whether or not a tank is alive or not, by shooting its tracks (which can also be done with the coaxial machine gun).

12.7 mm DShK
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 350 (50) 600 -10°/+60° ±180°
7.62 mm SGMT
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,500 (250) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The T-55A usage in battle is very similar to the T-54 tanks prior to it. Aside from some minor design differences, the general armour layout of the T-55A is similar to that of the preceding T-54 (1951). The mobility is slightly better due to a more powerful engine, enabling a higher hp-to-ton ratio despite the small weight increase. The firepower of the T-55A compared to its predecessor is what makes it stand out, with access to the 3BM25 APFSDS ammunition that can penetrate 335 mm at point-blank range (compared to the T-54 (1951)'s point-blank penetration of 299 mm with the 3BM-8 APDS and 380 mm with the 3BK-5 HEATFS shell). The high-velocity and penetrating APFSDS shell allow the T-55A to more easily reach out and destroy long-range enemies. The option to use the BR-412D APCBC shell is also available to use in order to cause devastating post-penetration damages, especially against the Leopard 1 tanks that the APCBC shell can penetrate frontally. However, the presence of other tanks with enough armour to protect against the APCBC shell mean it is only situationally useful. Other helpful differences the T-55A has over the T-54 (1951) is a faster turret traverse rate and stabilizer, the latter of which is very useful when reacting to enemy targets on the move.

The T-55A is suited for a variety of roles and actions when assaulting or defending a point. In these roles, the firepower and mobility is sufficient, but the armour may not stand up against the enemy due to the prevalence of HEATFS and APFSDS ammo at this battle rating. As such, all these tactics should emphasize avoiding being seen and destroyed by the enemy.

A weak spot of the T-55A's is a shot through the upper front plate, which can knock out three of the four crew members easily.
Assaulting

The T-55A should use its mobility to advance with its allies towards the point. Unless in a downtiered match, try not to take point in the attack to avoid catching a shell right into the upper front plate, which could potentially knock the T-55A out. Avoid hilly terrain (due to the poor gun depression) and close quarter battle in urban terrain as the tank's reload and traverse speed are not sufficient to react to surprise enemy encounters, and the T-55A's rather poor reverse mobility makes retreat difficult, especially in an enclosed area.

The open plain is perhaps one of the better terrain to use the T-55A. The APFSDS dart can allow the T-55A to reach out at enemies that attempt to snipe from a distance. The low profile of the T-55A can even make use of the plain's depression and hills as cover and concealment as it moves closer to the enemies for a better shot.

The T-55A has enough mobility (when upgraded) to try larger flanking manouvers against the enemy on more open-spaced maps. Use the T-55A's profile to conceal its advance with the terrain. Use this to get the jump on enemy when they start receiving APFSDS shots from a direction they didn't expect the T-55A to be. Do note however that the T-55A can also encounter enemy flankers like the Leopards, which are faster and have enough firepower to end a T-55A should there be an unexpected encounter during this manouver.

Defending

The T-55A has a turret traverse that can cover an angle of fire rather quickly, and the APFSDS means it can reach out and hit enemies from a long way before the enemy could get a good visual of the T-55A's position. Establish a zone for the T-55A to cover, preferably one with a choke point that enemies have to funnel through. Coordinate with allies to try and cover all necessary sectors against enemy advances onto a point as while the T-55A can deal with one or so tanks sporadically appearing in its zone, a coordinated attack by the enemy could very quickly overwhelm the T-55A's capacity to defend itself and the point.

Specific enemies worth noting

Although the T-55A can make short work of most enemies with its APFSDS round, some enemy vehicle in an uptier can be quite difficult to handle:

  • XM-803/Leopard 1: These tanks are highly mobile and have a sufficiently large enough gun to take out the T-55A. As such, these are enemies to expect to encounter on the T-55A's flanks or when the T-55A is flanking. Although, their armour configuration are thin enough that an APFSDS round can still take them out, so try and spot these tanks first before they could spot the T-55A
  • Chieftain: The armour configuration on a Chieftain requires more precise aiming than just a general "aim-at-center-mass" attitude. The largest weak point for the Chieftain tanks are their lower front plate, but this could be easily obscured if the Chieftain is acting in a hull-down position. Given their 120 mm guns can reach farther and faster than the T-55A's 100 mm, they can deny a much larger zone from tank travel, making it difficult for the T-55A to approach them when they're defending.
  • T-64: Although this is only encountered in mixed battles, these tanks feature armour array on their hull and turrets that can easily resist the T-55A's gun. Try and take them by surprise with a side shot.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good mobility
  • Good gun with a wide ammo choices (APDS, APFSDS, APCBC, HEATFS and smoke)
  • Roof-mounted machine gun for anti-air defence
  • An 18 round ammo rack near the driver are located in the fuel tanks, giving it some kinetic and chemical protection
  • Comes with a stabiliser, unlike its older series the T-54

Cons:

  • Can easily be destroyed if penetrated through the turret, can directly hit three of the four total crew members
  • Stock performance is quite lacklustre
  • No rangefinder
  • Poor zoom distance, only 3.5 and 7 times magnification
  • No smoke grenade launcher
  • Paltry 100 mm front plate
  • No chemical protection
  • Abysmally weak sides on the hull (80 mm) and worse at the back of the turret (66 mm)

History

The T-55A is a variant of the extremely-popular T-55 main battle tank produced by the USSR after the Second World War. Along with the earlier T-54 main battle tanks, the T-54/T-55 MBT family is the most-produced tank series in history. The T-55 MBT design featured numerous improvements over the prior T-54s, including additional NBC (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical) protection systems, a new heavier turret, more ammunition, and improved equipment. The T-55A was a late modification of the earlier T-55 MBT, including improved NBC systems.

The T-54/T-55 family of main battle tanks were among the first main battle tanks to be introduced. The tanks were designed as a follow-up to the T-34 and T-44 medium tanks. Notably, the new T-54/T-55 tanks were fitted with a 100 mm rifled gun that was capable of penetrating the most heavily-armoured western tanks of the time but had a faster reload compared to the 122 mm guns used on the IS-series of heavy tanks.

The T-55 was designed as an evolutionary development of the T-54 MBT and included numerous changes compared to the previous tank model. Notably, the T-55 received NBC protection equipment designed to protect against tactical nuclear weapons. The T-55A further improved on the T-55's NBC protection system by introducing a full chemical weapon filtration system along with an anti-radiation lining inside the tank. These improvements greatly increased the crew's survivability against nuclear or chemical warfare. Compared to the T-54, the T-55 had its total shell capacity increased from 34 to 45; the T-55A was able to carry six more shells, through the removal of the hull machine gun.

The T-55A began production in 1963 and continued until 1977; numerous improvements were developed, including the T-55AM, a modified version of the T-55A featuring composite armour. The T-55 family served extensively with countries of the Warsaw Pact and was exported to many other countries. The T-55 family was retired from the Russian army in 2012 with remaining vehicles sold off to other countries; variants of the tank remain in service with numerous countries.

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links


USSR medium tanks
T-28  T-28 (1938) · T-28 · T-28E
T-34-76  T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1940) · T-34 (1941) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34 (1942) · T-34E STZ · T-34E
T-34-57  T-34-57 · T-34-57 (1943)
T-34-85  T-34-85 (D-5T) · T-34-85 · T-34-85E
T-34-100  T-34-100
T-44  T-44 · T-44-100 · T-44-122
T-54  T-54 (1947) · T-54 (1949) · T-54 (1951)
T-55  T-55A · T-55AM-1
T-62  T-62 · T-62M-1
T-64  T-64A (1971) · T-64B
T-72  T-72A · T-72AV (TURMS-T) · T-72B · T-72B (1989) · T-72B3
T-80  T-80B · T-80U · T-80BVM
T-90  Т-90А
Trophies/Lend-Lease 
Germany  ▂T-III · ▂T-V
Great Britain  ▂МК-IX "Valentine"
USA  ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2