Designation:

T-55

Info
Manufacturer: Jung Jungenthal GmbH  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Modernization of the vehicle  

Development/Description

Early in 1991 Jung Jungenthal completed the first prototype of an upgraded Russian T-54/T-55 MBT that it developed to meet the requirements of the Egyptian government. Although the prototype is based on the T-54/T-55 chassis it is also applicable to the Chinese equivalent of the vehicle, the Type 59 MBT.

The T-54/T-55 has been upgraded in the key areas of armour, mobility and firepower.

Battlefield survivability has been considerably improved by the fitting of additional passive armour onto the glacis plate of the vehicle while the frontal 180 of the turret has a horseshoe-type armour array which is similar to that installed on some T-54/T-55/T-62 MBTs. This armour provides both Chemical Energy (CE) and Kinetic Energy (KE) protection.

The original T-54/T-55 is not fitted with side skirts but the modernised T-54/T-55 is provided with these, with those either side of the driver's compartment being armoured. These hinge up vertically to allow access for maintenance purposes.

The engine and crew compartments are fitted with a fire detection/suppression system provided by Deutsche Graviner.

The original 100 mm D-10 series rifled tank gun is retained although a 105 mm L7 or M68 rifled tank gun can be installed if required. A 7.62 mm machine gun is 12.7 mm machine gun is mounted on the turret roof for local and air defence purposes.

A bank of four German-type electrically operated 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers can be mounted either side of the turret firing to the front of the vehicle.

The original gun control equipment has been replaced by a new all-electric gun control and stabilisation system developed by SIG of Switzerland which gives a higher first round hit probability. A new turret race ring has also been fitted.

The torsion bars for the T-54/T-55 have been retained but new GLS hydraulic bump stops have been installed and the original tracks and roadwheels have been replaced by those fitted to the T-62. New ZF final drives have been fitted.

The hull now has a different shape, with new Superflexit bag-type fuel tanks installed under armour protection along the sides of the vehicle. These contain 1,200 litres of diesel fuel, which is an increase in capacity over those fitted in the standard T-54/T-55 MBT.

The original diesel engine has been retained but the manual transmission has been replaced by the German ZF LSG 3000 series fully automatic power shift transmission which has been in volume production for some years.

The power pack is fitted with the improved Behr cooling system and new combustion air filters. Like the original T-54/T-55 MBT, the upgraded vehicle can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlet.

The company is now considering a number of upgrades, including the engine, for the Russian T-72 MBT used by many armies.

Other programmes

In addition to upgrading a single prototype of the T-54/ T-55 MBT, Jung Jungenthal has also been involved in a number of programmes to upgrade MBTs into Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) or Armoured Vehicle-Launched Bridges (AVLBs):

M48 MBT into ARV

This uses recovery equipment from the Leopard 1 ARV and is in service with Germany (eight), Greece (three) and Turkey (four).

M48 MBT into AVLB

One prototype of this has been completed.

Leopard 1 MBT into ARV

One prototype has been completed by the company and series production is now under way. This uses the same recovery equipment used in the Leopard 1 ARV.

Leopard 1 MBT into AVLB

The first prototype of this was completed in May 1994.

This has been developed to meet the requirements of the export market.

Status

Prototype. In 1999, the upgraded T-54/T-55 MBT remained at the prototype stage. So far all of the trials of this vehicle have taken place in Germany.

Specifications:
Property Value
Crew
4
Weight (kg)
41000
Length (mm)
9000
Height (mm)
2400
Ground clearance (mm)
500
Max. road speed (km/h)
48
Measuring range (m)
400
Fuel capacity (l)
1200




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T-55