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    T-55 and BTR-T your views

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    d_taddei2
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    T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  d_taddei2 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:40 pm

    Hi all, I am looking to engage in peoples views on the T-55 and BTR-T.


    First off the T-55 tank, being the most produced tank of all time and with many still in use around the world today, and with some notably the Egyptian Ramses 2 tank having some serious upgrades and modifications and Ukraine offering upgrade packages for the T-55, giving the tanks some equipment found on modern tanks. But just how effective are these tanks on a modern day battlefield with and without the upgrades????????? and are the upgrades worth it or does it make more sense to buy upgraded T-72B??????


    OK now onto the subject of the BTR-T, being designed for a small trooper carrier with urban combat abilities in mind and multiple weapon choices. With all the T-55 tanks still in many armies inventories, and the increase in terrorist activity in urban areas, you would think this conversion would be ideal, and cheaper than buying new vehicles and make use of the older T-55 hulls, but yet no orders (that i know of please share if you know of any). Also any views on the vehicle itself i.e what do you think of its capabilities etc. I know that the BMPT is also a urban vehicle but want to keep this out of this thread as this will appear in a future thread i will post.




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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  flamming_python on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:16 am

    It's like with that FROG discussion we had

    A heavily upgraded T-55 can be a formidable foe

    But if given the choice, and if you don't have any T-55s to upgrade in the first place - you might as well go with the T-72

    Larger main gun calibre, more modern ammunition (I think only Israel has produced cutting-edge 100mm smoothbore ammo as of late), greater availability of ammo and spare parts (T-55 stuff is getting old and being withdrawn more and more from service), autoloader (not always an advantage if the crew is experienced, but the T-55s small crew compartment may exasperate difficulties for the loader), better armour and a probably a load of other specifics that I'm not knowledgeable about.

    The Kharkov's plant T-55AGM is probably the most extensive upgrade; it even replaces the main gun with a modern 120mm or 125mm calibre.

    But at the end of the day it's still just a T-55 no matter how pimped out. The market for upgraded and modernised T-55s came and went in the 80s.

    The T-72 is a newer frame, and what's more it's got a lot more upgrade options. Most of the newest Russian upgrades for urban warfare tanks or conversions into BMPTs or support vehicles - are for the T-72 models. There are some that exist for the T-62 and T-54/T-55, especially from the other ex-Warsaw Pact or ex-USSR nations; but the options are considerably fewer. And the price difference won't be significant. Probably in the case of the T-55AGM; it would actually end up being more expensive than most T-72 upgrades.
    Whether you gut the frame of a T-55 and replace it all with high-tech, or do the same with the T-72; the cost won't be much different.

    The main way it would be worthwhile is if you already have some T-55s in decent condition along with many crews and officers experienced with them, a supply/repair network already in place for them and no threats in the vicinity that would require larger gun calibres.
    For a country like Vietnam, or Peru it could be worthwhile to upgrade their T-55s instead of buying T-90s or T-72s let's say.
    Romania is pushing it; as their T-55s, even with reactive armour and Israeli shells - will be severely outclassed by Russian T-90s; but then they probably don't have the money for much else and want to support their domestic industry, so it makes sense as a stop-gap at least for them too.

    However, for any new buyer; the T-72 is the only sensible option. And secound-hand T-72s won't cost much more than secound-hand T-55s; there are massive amounts lying around of both models.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  GarryB on Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:15 pm

    The Russians have thousands of T-54/55s plus all the parts and spares to keep them operational, but at the end of the day unless you already have lots of them then it does not make sense to buy them cheap and then upgrade them... it might end up marginally cheaper than an upgraded T-72 but it will be an order of magnitude less effective too.

    I think the best Russian upgrade was the T-55M2 or something that had the hull extended with new more heavily sloped armour to offer better protection, new engine, new lighter wheels, plus the turret of a T-72BM.

    At the end of the day there are enough T-72s around for a cheap tank to upgrade and I would go for a Burlak upgrade myself where there is no ammo in the crew compartment... it is all in the under floor autoloader system, and the turret bustle with 22 rounds under floor and a further 31 rounds in the rear turret bustle including long penetrator rounds.

    The idea of the BTR-T is as a use for all those existing T-55 chassis, so basing it on the T-72 or later model would make more sense as commonality of parts and systems would make it cheaper.

    It makes sense to go for a modern gun so 120mm smoothbore western gun or 125mm smoothbore Russian gun makes the most sense in terms of operational use as you can use all the latest ammo without having to develop your own.

    The key point is that if you want a capable upgraded vehicle then the things that are going to be expensive like thermal sights and fire control systems are going to be about the same price for any vehicle you buy it for... the difference is that while they will all be able to see a similar distance and communicate the same way with less than 120/125mm guns they wont be able to shoot as far as effectively... so a 100mm rifled T-55 gun might be effective to 1.5km, with the large calibres being more effective to double that range. While the armour of the T-55 might protect the vehicle from 4km range hits with the T-72BM level vehicle the protection might require enemy vehicles to get within 2km to be effective... the obvious difference as shown in Desert Storm... an enemy can stand outside the range of your guns and still penetrate your armour... though with modern optics you will be able to see it all happening...

    T-55 was a good solid reliable tank, but when you don't have any in service it is not the best choice as a new tank even with upgrades.

    Upgraded T-72s or T-90s would be a better basis for an armour park and you can make BMPT and BTR-T vehicles and indeed MSTA vehicles based on them to take advantage of shared components/engines etc etc.


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    Post  d_taddei2 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:53 am

    Hi thanks for the replies.
    Obviously if an army has loads of T-72 tanks it makes sense to convert them to BMPT and loads of T-55 tanks to BTR-T its just a shame that no army has decided to do this i think these conversions are really usefull, especially at supporting tanks in urban areas, and with the current threat of terrorism. Even just having a company or two would make a difference you wouldnt lose as many tanks and men. And both platforms are decent, and can have armour upgrades. They also have the bonus of having spares and maintainence knowledge. It baffles me as to why amries havent adopted these upgrades. I think the Syrian armed forces would have welcomed such upgrades while fighting the terrorist/rebels. Just a shame they didnt have these systems in place before if all kicked off.


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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  GarryB on Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:43 am

    Most of the armies that have them have neighbours with similar vehicles so the need for upgrades is not pressing.


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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  Regular on Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:01 am

    Not to mention that even if they are in need of upgrades not all the countries can afford even keep them running in good order. Other armies have incompetent or weak leadership and they are left what they have for years and years to come no matter if situation have changed. Syrian war should be an example to other ME countries to emphasise less on conventional warfare and more on insurgency. With strong interior troops Syria wouldn't have to experience full out war.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  runaway on Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:14 am

    Syrian army troops would need the BTR-T, its just perfect in the role there. Also as Syria have lots of old T-55 which doesnt stand up in Tank role, as IFV it would be great. Send 100 T-55 to Omsk and get 100 BTR-T back, that would be a good test and a real boost for ground troops.

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    Post  d_taddei2 on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:03 am

    runaway wrote:Syrian army troops would need the BTR-T, its just perfect in the role there. Also as Syria have lots of old T-55 which doesnt stand up in Tank role, as IFV it would be great. Send 100 T-55 to Omsk and get 100 BTR-T back, that would be a good test and a real boost for ground troops.

    Its a real shame that they didnt get them upgraded before it all kicked off, i think the rebels/terrorists would be having a hard time if they had them. They would have been usefull in Chechnaya aswell.

    I wonder if they will include such a vehicle when the Russians bring out there new set of vehicle boomerang etc.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  Regular on Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:39 pm

    Russia don't need HAPC for Chechnya or other Caucasus region or in any near future. Kamaz Typhoons are perfectly suited for Caucasus as interior troops are doing all the fighting. You can't really roll in a tank anymore and people still have to use roads.
    But for countries like Syria and for Israel HAPC is a must.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  medo on Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:58 pm

    d_taddei2 wrote:
    runaway wrote:Syrian army troops would need the BTR-T, its just perfect in the role there. Also as Syria have lots of old T-55 which doesnt stand up in Tank role, as IFV it would be great. Send 100 T-55 to Omsk and get 100 BTR-T back, that would be a good test and a real boost for ground troops.
    Its a real shame that they didnt get them upgraded before it all kicked off, i think the rebels/terrorists would be having a hard time if they had them. They would have been usefull in Chechnaya aswell.

    I wonder if they will include such a vehicle when the Russians bring out there new set of vehicle boomerang etc.
    BTR-T was ans idea from the nineties, but T-55 is just to old for anything. But if needed Russian army still have BMO-T vehicles based on T-72, which could be used as heavy APC.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  flamming_python on Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:43 am

    Regular wrote:Russia don't need HAPC for Chechnya or other Caucasus region or in any near future. Kamaz Typhoons are perfectly suited for Caucasus as interior troops are doing all the fighting. You can't really roll in a tank anymore and people still have to use roads.
    But for countries like Syria and for Israel HAPC is a must.
    It would definately have been useful in Chechnya in the 90s; when mass urban warfare was a reality and there were constant ambushes. An APC with near MBT-level protection could have saved many lives.

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    T-55

    Post  Pugnax on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:59 pm

    The T-55 gets a bad rap for being vulnerable...its an old platform but deserves a place of honour.Morozovs T-55AG would be a great asser in countries where fire support is required and a threat by western powers unlikely.Surprisingly a large number of 55s that were knocked out in GW1 were repairable whereas 72s were obliterated.It might simply be that the 72s were overkilled but the old 55 soldiers on.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  flamming_python on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:10 pm

    Pugnax wrote:The T-55 gets a bad rap for being vulnerable...its an old platform but deserves a place of honour.Morozovs T-55AG would be a great asser in countries where fire support is required and a threat by western powers unlikely.Surprisingly a large number of 55s that were knocked out in GW1 were repairable whereas 72s were obliterated.It might simply be that the 72s were overkilled but the old 55 soldiers on.
    The T-72s that were unrecoverable were overwhelmingly Lions of Babylon or Saddams. These are downgrades of downgrades of downgrades.

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    T-55

    Post  Pugnax on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:20 pm

    I have read the accounts of how tragic a down grade they were.The glacis wasnt even hardened armour on many of them.Saddam really cut corners and deceived his own troops.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  flamming_python on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:40 pm

    That's not even the beggining or end of it


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    T-55

    Post  Pugnax on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:48 am

    Thanks for the video,it supports what i have read about Saddams army.T-55 however is still one of my favourites.The 72 will be around just as long,a tough ,reliable beast of war.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  BlackArrow on Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:25 pm

    Still, a lot of Syria's T-72s are been knocked out quiet easily today - or even completely obliterated by internal explosions. We also have the example of Georgia's T-72s in the August 2008 war. I think it's accepted that the basic T-72 design has issues to deal with.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  flamming_python on Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:47 pm

    BlackArrow wrote:Still, a lot of Syria's T-72s are been knocked out quiet easily today - or even completely obliterated by internal explosions. We also have the example of Georgia's T-72s in the August 2008 war. I think it's accepted that the basic T-72 design has issues to deal with.
    Not really.

    Later T-72 variants held out very well in Chechnya; with some even taking dozens of RPG and ATGM hits from a variety of models
    T-72s in Syria aren't doing bad either from the reports; many are taking many multiple hits. But when one does get knocked out or suffer a catastrophic explosion; it's video is posted of course.

    Georgia's T-72s were knocked out because they lost the engagement. You know, how in any battle how you have those who win, and those who lose. If you look at the loser's equipment, it's generally either captured, knocked out or escapes.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  TR1 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:23 pm

    BlackArrow wrote:Still, a lot of Syria's T-72s are been knocked out quiet easily today - or even completely obliterated by internal explosions. We also have the example of Georgia's T-72s in the August 2008 war. I think it's accepted that the basic T-72 design has issues to deal with.
    Any other tank of its vintage has the same issues with ammo detonation.
    Actually even Leo-2 would burn just fine if hit from flanks like most Syrian T-72s were.

    It's not really an issue as much as legacy design without upgrades + being shot up from flanks.

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  GarryB on Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:05 am

    It also comes down to the way it is used as well... If the Syrian soldiers want to load up with a full load of 40 main gun rounds then only 22 will fit in the under floor autoloader... the rest have to go in the crew compartment... which means they are vulnerable to penetration and fires.

    Used correctly they are as safe as any other tank of its era.

    It is logically pretty obvious... fill the crew compartment with highly explosive propellent with combustible shell cases and any penetration that involves hot burning material will set off the ammo, which in a confined space will of course be devastating.


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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  BlackArrow on Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:11 pm

    flamming_python wrote:
    Later T-72 variants held out very well in Chechnya; with some even taking dozens of RPG and ATGM hits from a variety of models
    I don't believe that - fantastic claims require fantastic evidence.
    How do you explain any tank being able to survive 'dozens' of hits from antitank weapons?

    T-72s in Syria aren't doing bad either from the reports; many are taking many multiple hits. But when one does get knocked out or suffer a catastrophic explosion; it's video is posted of course.
    I'm not saying that the T-72 is not an effective weapon system - but it is just a tank.

    TR1 wrote:Any other tank of its vintage has the same issues with ammo detonation.
    Actually even Leo-2 would burn just fine if hit from flanks like most Syrian T-72s were.

    It's not really an issue as much as legacy design without upgrades + being shot up from flanks.
    I can agree with that.
    The T-72 is from the same era as the Leopard 1, Chieftain  or M60. They usually wouldn't survive a direct hit from RPG-29 either...

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  GarryB on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:34 am

    I don't believe that - fantastic claims require fantastic evidence.
    How do you explain any tank being able to survive 'dozens' of hits from antitank weapons?
    Most anti tank weapons are not rifle accurate... they can manage hits on tank sized targets but there are plenty of places you can hit a target where even full penetration makes no difference.

    Equally a warhead that penetrates 600mm of RHA wont necessarily penetrate anywhere near that thickness of armour if it hits at the wrong angle or if the fuse doesn't go off at just the right time... armour is angled to improve its performance but you can rotate the armour in 3 dimensions to acerbate that effect further... the tank might have crew kit on it that might dud the fuse of the incoming weapon.

    Very simple if one missile fails to penetrate then ten more hits with the same missile type are not any more likely to penetrate either.

    The reason ERA is so useful is that one hit might take out a block or two but very few AT weapons are accurate enough to allow that empty area to be targeted accurately enough to exploit that.

    On a moving target even a very accurate weapon would have serious trouble.



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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  sheytanelkebir on Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:18 pm

    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 Very Happy

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    Re: T-55 and BTR-T your views

    Post  collegeboy16 on Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:15 pm

    sheytanelkebir wrote:
    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 Very Happy
    if by that you mean you mean tanks that are best used as static pillboxes, hull-down behind couple of feet of earth and sand then yes, merk is best. However if you want to bring the fight to an equal enemy, then T-72/90s are excellent in that regard. However if you are up against superpowers, then you would need armata mbts. Of course tanks alone would be nothing if they are used on their own and without skills.

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    t-55

    Post  Pugnax on Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:11 pm

    Merkava is undoubtedly a very solid design and as collegeboy says is a very defensive oriented construct.It also has never operated in an area where air superiority was contested.Mobility and combined arms proficiency are key to success.

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