Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: 85M1, Al Zarrar, T-54A, T-54AK, T-54B, T-54M, T-55A, T-55AD, T-55AGM, T-55AM, T-55AMD, T-55AMV, T-55M, T-59, Type 59 and ZTZ-59
KMDB and Malyshev Plant
Parent System: T-54
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1949
Total Production: 50,000
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Description: The T-54 was developed beginning in 1946 as a replacement for Soviet T-34 Main Battle Tank (MBT). It entered service three years later equipped with a 100mm rifled gun as primary armament. Since then, approximately 50,000 T-54/T-55 were produced in Russia and all over the world under license. It was produced in large numbers for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) under Type 59 designation. T-55 is an improved version with a fully tracked chassis. T-54/T-55 were the backbone of the Soviet Army during three decades.
T-54/T-55 main battle tanks saw combat in many conflicts fighting against western MBTs. Overall, T-54/55 performance was deemed below to those of M47, M48 and Centurion. Currently, T-54/55s are obsolete but large numbers of this tank are still in service in many third world countries. The Al Zarrar is an upgraded tank derived from the Type 59 model and developed by Pakistan with improved armor and a 125mm smoothbore gun. Pakistan plans to upgrade 600 of its Type 59 tanks to the Al Zarrar standard.
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