T-54/55 Operators and Variants - Models and Variants - International Derivatives - Iraq


  • T-55 Enigma - T-55, Type 59, and Type 69 tanks used by Iraqi Brigade commanders had appliqué armour on turrets and hulls composed of several layers of spaced armour (the technique of choice for the Iraqi Engineers) plates enclosed in steel boxes. It was successful at defeating shaped charge warheads during the battle of Khafji, where one unit is reported to have survived several hits from MILAN missiles before being dispatched by a helicopter.
    • T-55 Enigma with smoke grenade dischargers.
  • T-55QM - T-55 armed with NATO-standard 105 mm L7 or M68 gun instead of the old 100 mm gun. The tank was fitted with a French laser range-finder. The upgrades were done in mid-to-late 1980s.
  • T-55QM2 - T-55 upgraded by Soviet technicians with a Soviet 125 mm/L52 smoothbore gun and French laser range-finder, 1986-1991.
  • Type-72Z - At the International Arms Exhibition, which took place in Baghdad between 28 April - 2 May 1989, a T-55 equipped with the 2A46 125mm gun with fume extractor one third of the way down the barrel from the T-72 tank was displayed. This modernized vehicle was designated as T-72Z, which at first mislead foreign experts since it was believed that the project was based on the T-72 tank. In fact, the number "72" originated from the year of modernization - 1372 according to the Muslim calendar. The loading mechanism of this vehicle was also taken from T-72. The fitting of the loading mechanism required increasing the aft section of the turret. A stub case ejection port on rear of turret. The tank's armour protection was also reinforced through the use of add-on armour on the tank's front glacis. The vehicle also mounted the EFCS-3 fire control system developed by the Slovenian firm 'Fotona' and a new transmission. A set of explosive reactive armour is an optional extra. It is believed that around 200 T-54/T-55 tanks and 150 Chinese Type-59 tanks were brought up to the T-72Z standard.
  • T-55 modified to fire 122 mm rockets by removing the main armament and fitting an multi-barrel-rocket launcher on the rear of the turret. Reloads appear to have been stowed in the turret and passed out through a crudely cut access on the rear of the turret. It has a square sided platform mount with drop down sides and rear.
  • T-54 fitted with 160mm mortar.
  • T-55 fitted with the S-60 anti-aircraft gun in a square sided platform mount with drop down sides and rear.
  • BTS-2 - Rebuilt late production BTS-2 fitted with antiaircraft heavy machine gun pintle mount and additional stowage boxes.
  • BTS-Saddam - Iraqi produced armoured recovery vehicle based on obsolete T-54 chassis. It's equipped with small fixed turret on left of driver fitted with antiaircraft heavy machine gun, large winch in fighting compartment covered with metal sheet framework, earth anchor on rear of hull. Like most Iraqi produced equipment it was named in honour of Saddam Hussein.

Read more about this topic:  T-54/55 Operators And Variants, Models and Variants, International Derivatives

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