I reckon the T55 is a pretty nifty tank. The Iraqi Army still use (Type 69) and I believe they will continue having it for at least another 10 years... if not longer for training.
flamming_python wrote:That's not even the beggining or end of it
so many inaccuracies there...
war started 1980 not 1979
Iraqi T62s smashed Iran's chieftains in 1980-81. Iranian armour at no point in the war posed a serious threat to Iraq. (I would say this was the main weakness for the Iraqis, their experience from the Iran war did NOT adequately prepare them for a "proper war" against the US).
Iraq already had T72s before the war in 1980 (soviet built).
95% of the Iraqi T72s were manufactured in Soviet Union / Poland /Czechoslovakia.
The Assad Babil was a licence produced variant from Buman Labedy, and was in fact assembled from Kits starting in 1988 (i.e. after the war with Iran was already over).
Iraq did import armour plates as well as having a specialist armour plate facility at Taji built by Germans in the 1980s. and for example they built the "enigma" armour for the T55/Type69 which was IMMUNE to M1A1 shots..
The T72M1/Assad Babil is based on a T72A not B... and the Iraqis, after buying weapons from around the world for 50+ years were well aware of the difference from the "export" version and "domestic" version (which they weren't happy with, but tried to improvise their own upgrades separately to plug the gap), e.g. imported night vision equipment from Belgium, Dazzler for ATGMs etc...
The T72M1s Iraq had laser range finder, ballistic computer and Image Intensifier (and IR lamp like all T72s). But yes, they did not have the gun launched missiles. and at no point was Iran, Iraq, USA or anyone else under any impression of Iraq having anything like a T72B...
and yes the iraqi made ammo was truly dire. BUT the example of Training APFSDS round is from a SINGLE tank the US captured near an Iraqi training ground in 1991. Iraqis did indeed operate normal APFSDS rounds for their tanks. They're not THAT dumb!
as to why the Iraqis continued using the older T72s... they couldn't get anything better! simple. If they could get 1000 Challenger 2 tanks and some Leopard 2A4s, I'm sure they would have been more than happy to equip their armoured divisions with them (and even saddam the imbecile was aware of that).
Thing is none of the tanks available on the world market (past or present) truly meets the needs of countries like Iraq... except the Merkava