Thursday, February 16, 2017

Syrian T-55 Upgrades : T-55AMV & Viper-55 sight

We’ve been over some Syrian T-55 tanks and the improvements introduced to them while they remain in service with the Syrian Arab Army. Today we’re going to address another version of this rugged beasts, The Ukrainian-upgraded Syrian T-55AMV.

The upgrade took place during the 2000s, unknown numbers of Syrian T-55 were fitted with the Ukrainian upgrade kit that includes improvement to protection, accuracy and electronics, in addition to some locally made equipment.

The most notable and visible indicator of the upgrade is of course the Kontakt-1 light-weight ERA plates. Although functional by themselves, the ERA armour fitted on the T-55AMV has performed less than expected on the Syrian battlefield due to the ill-considered installation, the armour units are not fixed very well and they are not maximising the capabilities of the design. And to an extent, the same can be said about the T-72AV.

The AMVs were also fitted with the KTD-2 laser range-finder.

to help implement the tanks into the Syrian doctrine. The Syrian armed forces realized the state of the tank in comparison to modern armour, especially that of Israel. In order to keep the T-55 in service and make good use out of them, they had to follow a rapid-movement tactic, where tank crews are trained and advised on detect-fire-move. Lest forget, these tanks were mostly given to light infantry divisions (called “special op” in Syria), who, in all-out war scenario, would work on inducing damage on the enemy’s flanks and transport routes.

The implementation of the T-55 as light, maneuverable tanks needed one more thing, the outdated gun fitted on the T-55 was no match for modern heavy armoured APCs/tanks/IFV…etc. used by Israel. Therefore, the addition of the barrel-fired 9M117 Bastion ATGMs (AT-10 Sabber) has added to the tank’s firepower and firing range. Each Syrian AMV would carry 4 Bastions.

 We saw Syrian T-55AMV using the Bastion one time ,the reason is according to a Syrian T-55AMV commander is the slow cruising speed of the Bastion leaves the T-55 exposed before the Bastion hits it's target .

And while considering different scenarios these special-use tanks may encounter, the SAA decided to improve the tank’s visibility at night. The Syrian AMV kit originally did not include a thermal vision option, however, a locally made ‘scope’, using a cooled-thermal camera was developed by the SSRC "Syrian Scientific Research Center" ,installed over the laser range finder
, inside an LCD screen was installed for observation while the aiming is throw the scope.

the sight that we will call "Viper-55" gave the tank crew a 4-5Km thermal-vision capability. The Bastion sights are not affected, and remain with the old guiding sights.

The upgrade that was introduced before the current war shows that the Syrian command understands the limitations of its armed forces, and tries to develop its capabilities in any possible way, be it with locally-developed improvements or imported technology and equipment.
Spical thanks to my friend anc co-writer Kane ,and to my friend Zack Vincent Sex 

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