What Pakistan will do with obsolete T-55 tanks?
Moscow, Russia: There is news in international media that Pakistan is buying former USSR made 282 T-55 obsolete tanks from Serbia.
Contradiction or confirmation of the news is yet to come from Pakistan Army while Serbian army confirmed that it is going to sell 282 standing T-55 tanks but did not share the name of the country, stating that deal will ink within one week. Though T-55 was once a main battle tank but obviously Pakistan Army will not use it for this purpose while having and developing its own state of the art indigenous Khalid Tank series.
If Pakistan is really buying T-55, it can only use this tank for different purposes other then as main battle tank. These purposes can include, usage for cleaning land from mines, using it as armored personal carrier and exploiting it as bulldozer in restive tribal areas where Pakistan Army is fighting a war against terrorists who use improvised explosive device (IED) to attack army vehicles. T-55 is best known for above mentioned purposes.
The BTU dozer blade kit can be mounted to in less than 1 hour on every T-55. The ALT-55 is a permanently converted bulldozer, with a new superstructure and an angular concave dozer blade with hydraulic rams. Another variant of the T-55 dozer is a tracked armored excavator, turretless, with a rotatable armored cab with a boom and a bucket. The ubiquitous IMR (Inzhenernaya Mashina Razgrazhdeniya) is the main engineer version, turretless with a modified superstructure, hydraulically operated crane with capacity of 2 tonnes, convertible to an excavator, dozer blade and searchlight for night operations.
BMR-2 mine clearing vehicle
The BMR-2 (stands for Boyevaya Mashina Razminirovaniya) Mine cleaning system was installed in T-55 during 1987 modernization of this tank for mine clearing. This vehicle had a fixed superstructure armed with an NSVT light MG, a KMT-7 mine clearing set and tried many mine roller designs.
BRT-T armored personal carrier
T-55 is also works as convoy escort vehicle and is being used for fighting in the Caucasus region.
History of T-55
T-55 was scheduled for production on 1 January 1958, replacing the T-54 and accepted into service as the T-55 in the Red Amy by May, 8, 1958. Overall, 27,500 T-55s were built until 1981, as many upgrades followed along the sixties and seventies. Most T-54s were upgraded along the same lines as the T-55, ended as hybrid series collectively known in NATO as the T-54/55. With combined production, this series remained the bulk of the Soviet conventional force until the fall of USSR, and was also largely exported. The T-55 production eventually ceased at Kharkov in 1967 (replaced by the T-64) and at Nizhni Tagil in 1971 (replaced by the T-72). It was continued at Omsk (mainly for exports) until 1977.
Upgrades packages for the T-55s & T-55As comprised:
The “Volna” fire control system
The 9K116-1 “Bastion” ATGM system & 1K13 BOM guidance system
The “Tsiklon-M1” gun stabilization system & TShSM-32PV sights
The upgraded V-55U engine
Improved suspension and RMSh tracks
Increased armor, anti-mine, anti-napalm & improved anti-radiation protection
R-173/173P radio set
A laser range-finder in an armored box fitted over the main gun
Soft side skirts & rear RPG screens (used only in Afghanistan)
81 mm (3.19 in) “Tucha” smoke grenade launchers
BDD turret brow armor and glacis appliqué armor
The T-55M1 was a sub-variant fitted with a new 691 hp (515 kW) V-46-5M engine derived from the T-72 and rendered compact enough.
Dimensions (L-w-h) 6.27 (9 m oa) x 3.15 x 2.40 m (20.6 x 10.4 x 7.1 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 36 tons – 36.4 long tonnes (72,000 lbs)
Crew 4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
Propulsion V-55 12-cyl diesel, 581 hp (433 kW)
Top speed 55 km/h (34 mph)
Suspensions Torsion bars with hydraulic arms
Range (with extra tanks) 501 (960 l) to 600 km (311 to 370 mi)
Armament Main: 1 x 100 mm D-10T2G or D-10T2 rifled (3.94 in)
Sec: 1 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) DSHK AA (back in 1972)
Sec: 1-2x 7.62 mm (0.3 in) PKT & SGMT machine guns
Armor Frontal glacis 120 mm (4.7 in), sides 80 (3.15 in), rear 45 (1.77 in), turret front 200 (7.87 in), roof 30 (1.18 in), bottom 20 mm (0.79 in)
Production (USSR only) Approx. 27,500