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> T-54 and T-55 tanks in romanian army use, history of this tank equipping our army
ANDREAS
Posted: February 19, 2012 02:43 pm
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From the materials I have read and the informations I have received, the first T-54 soviet medium tanks entered the Romanian Army use in 1958, probably equipping the Mechanized Division from Constanţa. From unverified informations, provided by an enthusiast (like me) in this field, in 1962 already exist in this division over 100 T-54, when the first T-55s began to be delivered to our army! First major units which seems to receive the new T-55 tank are the Mechanized Divisions from Timişoara, Iaşi and Bucureşti. The T-55 tank remains the backbone of our tank forces until the 1980s, when, theoretically, was to be replaced with more modern (theoretically) TR romanian made tanks. At least numerically It would remain the most numerous tank even in 1989, and even later, when the theoretically most modern romanian TR-77 and TR-85 tanks, were to be cut first, when reducing the number of tanks equipping our army was a necessity!
Feel free to add details or informations on this tank who equipped so long time the Romanian army!
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Petre
Posted: February 19, 2012 04:45 pm
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Someone wrote on Wikipedia (romanian version) :
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Utilizare īn Romānia
850 de tancuri T-55 au fost comandate din Uniunea Sovietică īn 1969, fiind livrate īntre anii 1970 și 1977. Romānia a obținut licență pentru fabricarea a 400 de tancuri T-55, denumite TR-77-580, īntre 1977 și 1981. (...) Potrivit Institutului Internațional pentru Studii Strategice, īn 2010 Armata Romānă avea īn serviciul activ 164 de tancuri T-55, 42 de tancuri TR-580 și 93 de tancuri TR-85M1

This was spread on the NET (romanian and english), although something seems to be wrong

This post has been edited by Petre on February 19, 2012 04:46 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 19, 2012 05:43 pm
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Well Petre I don't believe in this numbers! Why? First because many other sources (f.i. in found in old numbers of the newspaper of our Ministry of Defense called Armata Romaniei (1997-1999)) gave several times information about T-55 tanks as entering in service in 1962 (in our army service, of course!), in the 1993 number of World Defence Almanac and a french militay magazine called Raids from 1995 they said we had 757 T-55 tanks and no T-54, I saw photos of the military parade held in Bucharest in 1964 with T-55 marching...
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Petre
Posted: February 19, 2012 06:15 pm
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Mircea87
Posted: February 19, 2012 08:38 pm
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QUOTE (Petre @ February 19, 2012 04:45 pm)
Someone wrote on Wikipedia (romanian version) :
QUOTE
Utilizare īn Romānia
850 de tancuri T-55 au fost comandate din Uniunea Sovietică īn 1969, fiind livrate īntre anii 1970 și 1977. Romānia a obținut licență pentru fabricarea a 400 de tancuri T-55, denumite TR-77-580, īntre 1977 și 1981. (...) Potrivit Institutului Internațional pentru Studii Strategice, īn 2010 Armata Romānă avea īn serviciul activ 164 de tancuri T-55, 42 de tancuri TR-580 și 93 de tancuri TR-85M1

This was spread on the NET (romanian and english), although something seems to be wrong

I think I wrote those numbers a year or two ago; they are not always accurate and I haven't updated that article for some time. The info about those 850 T-55 tanks and the licensed-built TR-77-580 are based on SIPRI arms transfer database. The 150 tanks delivered to Irak via Egypt (actually, they were delivered to Egypt, according to Romanian sources and some foreign ones) are also based on SIPRI, but in fact the TR-77 tanks exported to Egypt were ex-Romanian ones, hastily refurbished. There was a big scandal with the quality of the tanks as they weren't supposed to be exported, only to train tank crews. Also, they were not adapted to desert conditions. The 2010 data is based on The Military Balance 2010, which is not actually very accurate. UN Disarmament database is more accurate (we never had 93 TR-85M1 tanks...the exact number is actually 54; I think they were 56 with prototypes included, but one was delivered to MMN and another one probably to the tank school in Pitesti). I also have some data about some 423 T-54A tanks from Poland (http://www.jurnalul.ro/jurnalul-national/nicolae-ceausescu-si-programele-industriei-de-aparare-507253.htm), which I can't confirm, and some 250-320 tanks which were going to be acquired between 1976-1980 according to a 1973 document (source: Petre Opris, again).

This post has been edited by Mircea87 on February 19, 2012 08:52 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 19, 2012 08:45 pm
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Thanks Petre,
I saw that in the pdf document it's mentioned that T-54 tanks entered our army service at the end of the 6th decade (maybe in 1958) of the XXth century, and the T-55 tanks at the beginning of the 7th decade (maybe in 1962)! Exactly as I knew! We have a start here!
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 19, 2012 09:06 pm
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Thanks Mircea87,
The data you mention seem more credible (so worthy of consideration!) than the almost science fiction story I heard recently! According to this Romania received a number of T-55 tanks from ... Israel, after 1968, when the Soviet threat was very high! This story tells that from 1968 until 1970 no Warszaw Pact country was allowed to export tanks to Romania, and since Israel had a big number of captured egyptian T-54 and T-55 they deliver us a number of these! This story is not serious because as I read a big number of MiG-21 fighter were delivered in this period to the Romanian aviation, so why then put an embargo on tanks? I just mentioned the story to show how rich is the popular culture regarding even the tanks.
Right now I found something interesting here:
http://www.glasul.ro/view_article_numar.ph...umar=2008-12-02
The interesting element is that this Tank Regiment was formed in autumn 1968, probably in a period of 1-2 years. But intriguing is the fact that they found T-55 tanks to equip this new unit! From what I've heard the newly established units from 1968 received T-34-85 tanks at their beginnings!
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Petre
Posted: February 20, 2012 09:11 am
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 20, 2012 11:21 pm
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In a russian book called "Soviet armored equipment 1945-1995" published in 2000, are mentioned several countries that have used T-54 tanks, including Romania. The first interesting information is that the model referred to has been supplied by the USSR to Romania was the T-54B (who entered in the soviet army service in late 1956), and the second interesting information is that, apparently, the T-54B get out of our army endowment in the '80s. No numbers given by the book regarding Romania's T-54.
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Petre
Posted: February 21, 2012 08:27 am
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So, did the romanians really built tanks under T55 license ?
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 21, 2012 05:01 pm
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Petre, according to these books, no! The Soviets said (I also believe it's true, though officially our specialists who were involved in our tank program said no!) that we enjoyed some support from China (without detailing what kind!) in the design and construction of our first tank, known as TR-77/-580. From their point of view, our tanks (both TR-77/-580 and his descendent TR-85/800) were in the same class as T-55, not in the class of their T-62 tank, regarded as superior by the soviets. Their opinion is questionable, if you ask me!
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Florin
Posted: February 26, 2012 12:14 am
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QUOTE (ANDREAS @ February 19, 2012 09:43 am)
...................It would remain the most numerous tank even in 1989, and even later, when the theoretically most modern romanian TR-77 and TR-85 tanks, were to be cut first, when reducing the number of tanks equipping our army was a necessity!
.............................

Why after 1989 was the Romanian made equipment deactivated before the older imported equipment? The Romanian tanks were made at 23 August (former Malaxa), right?
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Petre
Posted: February 26, 2012 08:49 am
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I think that is proof the T were the most reliable, and I think I'm not wrong. And also, those with worse technical condition left first... The tankmen know...

This post has been edited by Petre on February 26, 2012 09:15 am
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Mircea87
Posted: February 26, 2012 12:54 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ February 26, 2012 12:14 am)
Why after 1989 was the Romanian made equipment deactivated before the older imported equipment? The Romanian tanks were made at 23 August (former Malaxa), right?


The TR-580 and TR-800 were not at the same level as the T-55 in terms of reliability, quality and actual combat performance. The Romanian tanks also had high fuel and oil consumption. The tanks were assembled at 23 August plant (FMGS section, Fabrica de Masini Grele Speciale). The turrets were casted there, but the rest of the components came from different factories (Brasov, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Iasi etc). Also, the T-55s were modernized locally during the late 80s to T-55AM (though not all of them). The T-55AM is a far more potent weapon than the TR-580/800, though in comparison with modern tanks, it was already obsolete in the 1980s. The Romanian army undertook tests in the late 80s with a modernized T-55AM and found out that:

- a TR-125 could perforate the frontal mantlet of the turret with standard ammunition (not even advanced sabot rounds, the usual AP ammo of the T-72M...)
- a Malyutka AT rocket can perforate the armour (it wasn't even an advanced AT rocket)
- a 7 kg mine could do a lot of damage to the reinforced floor.

This post has been edited by Mircea87 on February 26, 2012 12:55 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 26, 2012 06:40 pm
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Mircea87,
I do not contest the result of firings carried out ​​on T-55M/AM (model 1983) but in the book called "Soviet armored equipment 1945-1995" published in 2000 its written that in combat actions taken in 1992-1994 in Georgia and Nagorno Karabakh, they have often proved a serious opponent for the most modern T-72 tanks (obviously when they were lead by well trained crews). More than that tests conducted after 1992 by Bundeswehr on East German tanks valued as superior the protection by armor of the T-55M/AM tanks than the one of T-72 tanks (except reactive armor from T-72AV/BV tanks). In any case the T-55M/AM were superior to our TR-580/-800 not only in armoured protection but also in targeting systems not to mention the reliability in which even the older T-55 and T-55A stood better than our tanks.
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