Operator: Status: Number: Cost: Acquired:
Algeria In Service ~275 Unknown – acquired from the Soviet Union 1963-1982
Egypt In Service ~500 Unknown – acquired from the Soviet Union 1961-1973
Iran In Service ~110 Second-hand from Syria and Libya 1981-1982
Iraq In Service ~50 Unknown – originally acquired from the Soviet Union. Additional second-hand tanks from Poland, Romania, Egypt, and East Germany 1954-1985
ISIS In Service <72 Seized from Syrian and Iraqi forces 2014-
Kurdistan Regional Government In Service ~90 Unknown – from Iraqi Army inventory Post-2003
Lebanon In Service ~180 Second-hand from Syria 1992-1993
Libya In Service ~60 Unknown – from the Soviet Union 1970-1978
North Korea In Service <1000 Unknown – from the Soviet Union or domestic production 1972-1982
Sudan In Service ~150 Unknown – Initially from the Soviet Union. Second-hand from Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus 1969-2011
Syria In Service <1100 Unknown – from the Soviet Union 1957-1981
Yemen In Service <550 Unknown – Initially from the Soviet Union with second-hand tanks from the Czech Republic 1972-2002
General Specs
Country of origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer: Uralvagonzavod – Licensed copies were produced in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and China (No longer in production)
Class: Main battle tank (MBT)
Introduced: T-54 prototype completed in 1946 with production beginning 1947; T-55 begins production in 1958; Production ends in USSR in 1981
Combat Weight: 39.7 US tons (36 metric tons)
Length: 29.5 ft (9 m)
Width: 10.8 ft (3.3 m)
Height: 7.9 ft (2.4 m)
Range: 316.9 miles (510 km); with extra fuel tanks: 447.4 miles (720 km)
Engine: V-12 water cooled diesel engine (520 hp)
Road Speed (km/h): 31.1 mph (50 km/h)
Offroad Speed (km/h): Unknown
Loader: Manual
Crew: 4
Armor 203mm steel maximum; later models starting with the T-55AM would receive additional bra armor and track skirts or explosive reactive armor (ERA)
NBC Protection T-54: None; T-55: Yes
Nightvision T-54: None; T-55: Infrared night vision
Laser detection None
Main Armament 100mm U-10TS rifled fully-stabilized cannon (T-54: 34 rounds; T-55: 43 rounds) with 4 rounds per minute rate of fire
Ammunition Carried Armor-piercing (AP), Armor-piercing capped – tracer (APC-T), High explosive (HE), High velocity armor-piercing discarding-sabot – tracer (HVAPDS-T), High explosive anti-tank – fin stabilised (HEAT-FS), and High explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG)
Secondary Armament 1 x 12.7mm DShK coaxial machine gun (500 rounds)
2 x 7.62mm PKT machine gun (3,000 rounds) – one mounted in the bow of the turret, other coaxial mounted on roof
Radar/Sensors: Later models starting with the T-55M included the Volna fire control system
KTD-2 laser range finder
L-4 infrared search light
Countermeasures/ Defenses: Engine could produce a smokescreen. Additional smoke grenade launchers were included on later models starting with T-55M.
Variants: T-55M – upgrade with the addition of Volna fire control system, AT-10 Stabber laser-guided anti-tank missile, improved gun stabilization, sights, engine, and protection
T-55M-1 – fitted with V-46-5M engine from T-72 tank (691 hp)
T-55AM – bra armor added
T-55AMV – ERA armor replaces bra armor
T-55AMD – Drozd active protection system (APS) added


  • Christopher F. Foss, Jane’s Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide, (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000) page 72-75.
  • Training and Doctrine Command DCSINT Threat Directorate, “Worldwide Equipment Guide,” United States Army, 1997, Page 4-11 and 4-12.
  • T54/T55 Series tanks,” Federation of American Scientists, October 27, 1999.
  • T-55 Medium Tank / Main Battle Tank (MBT) (1958),” Military Factory, June 7, 2016.
  • T-55 Medium Tank,” Military Today, Accessed July 11, 2016.
  • Trade Registers,” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Accessed July 11, 2016.

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