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> T-54 and T-55 tanks in romanian army use, history of this tank equipping our army
Mircea87
Posted: February 27, 2012 11:56 am
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QUOTE (Petre @ February 21, 2012 08:27 am)
So, did the romanians really built tanks under T55 license ?


(IMG:http://img184.imagevenue.com/loc654/th_342362503_foto_122_654lo.jpg)


This is the only paragraph that I've found in Urdareanu's journal that mentions something about the origin of the Romanian tanks. Sorry about the quality, it's a mobile phone camera. Urdareanu mentions later in the book that he visited China once, but does not specify for what reason. He was going to visit China again in late 1986 or 1987, but he was cut off from the list.

Based on this paragraph (I don't have the book "Cararile destinului") and the fact that China appears to have delivered Romania only industrial machinery for a tank factory and not documentation, I think the TR-580 was a modified reversed engineered version (similar to the TR-125), not a licensed-built T-55 or of Chinese origin.
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 27, 2012 07:27 pm
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As usual Mircea87, you come with very interesting materials!
My belief about a cooperation between Romania and China in designing the Romanian tank TR-580 was based on constructive similarity between the Romanian tank and the Chinese Type 80 tank, on the adoption of the chinese fire control system (the romanian Ciclop system was a copy of the chinese one, at least so I read!). But what is interesting is that in an old newspaper "Armata Romaniei" from 1994 is described a Romanian modernization program of the T-55 park, accompanied by photos which depict a Soviet T-55AM modernised tank fitted with a Romanian laser rangefinder type Ciclop. In the images found on the Internet, from the newspapers and magazines I have I have seen both Czechoslovak, Soviet and Romanian versions of the modernized T-55. I wonder if it was (as I read) a indigenous T-55 modernization program or just an attempt of our specialist to modify the imported Soviet or Czechoslovak T-55M/AM tanks?
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Mircea87
Posted: February 28, 2012 09:44 am
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I don't think Romania ever bought T-55AM tanks. USSR gave Romania the documentation for modernization and the T-55s were modernized locally between 1984-1989, according to Urdareanu. Documentation for the Volna fire control system, a cheaper and simpler solution, also appears to have been delivered by USSR to Romania because Urdareanu mentions talks with the Russians to deliver the documentation. The thing is the countries involved in the modernization (USSR, Romania, Poland, GDR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary) never quite agreed upon the FCS. Merida was allegedly of poor quality and only Poland implemented it. Kladivo permitted the use of the usual optics found on T-55 and thus was cheaper (in only added a laser rangefinder and a crosswind sensor to the Volna). GDR, Hungary and Romania (small numbers) bought it, while Czechoslovakia produced it.

In 1983 Romania acquired the Kladivo because it's own production of Ciclop was insufficient and seriously lagging behind. The Ciclop FCS, which was produced at Intreprinderea Electromagnetica (in coop with other factories) if I remember, was not really Chinese. The only thing that was Chinese on it was the laser telemeter, which was bought from China simply because we couldn't produce it locally. Ciclop development was ready in 1986, but production was seriously lagging. The Kladivo FCS delivery was two years late. In late 1985-early 1986, when it arrived, it was installed and tested. The performance of the FCS was not impressive, but Urdareanu claims that they "couldn't have produced the Ciclop without buying Kladivo" and that Kladivo could have been transformed later into Ciclop (which I think happened after 1990?)

Initially, the TR-580 was going to have a Swedish FCS built under license. The funds were cut off and so the Ciclop had to be developed. There were also plans to adapt Ciclop to the T-34, but as production was insufficient for the TR-580/800, it never happened. It was not an easy task as the parts did not fit. Apparently, there is more info about the Ciclop in "Cararile destinului".
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 28, 2012 10:48 pm
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Indeed Mircea87, its obvious what you wrote Romania has not bought any T-55 tanks after maybe 1975. Therefore the whole issue is whether modernization of T-55 tank fleet was made ​​in our country or the Soviet Union and/or Czechoslovakia.
Thanks for the details given, I didn't know them! Its also interesting what you say about Merida FCS because on a Polish site that provides very much information and technical data about Polish T-55s, the FCS Merida is presented as the most advanced of the Treaty (the Warsaw Treaty). Poland was one only one who bought it (as it's written there) because it was the most expensive of them all (the soviet Volna FCS and the czech Kladivo FCS), having better performances than Volna FCS and similar to those of the Kladivo FCS. But having no alternative sources I do not argue with what you wrote! Your sources are anyway more reliable than those mentioned there! I recently found in another magazine "Viata Armatei" from 1995 a mention of a Romanian modernization program of T-55 tanks conducted after 1990. There aren't many details about it, just that it used the improved V-55U engine (620 hp), has been retrofitted with the improved R-173P radio system, and incorporates a new gunner's sight and also the new Ciclop fire control system that includes a laser rangefinder, a ballistic computer, a new sight and a modern gun stabilization system (I quote from the magazine).
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