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TO-55



Overview


TO-55

Forward view of TO-55 flamethrower tank.
Source: www.btvt.info - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Fire support vehicle
Entered service
1961
Status
Obsolete
Development
Mid to late 1950's
Developer
Soviet Union
Production
1958 - 1962 (10 prototypes)
1958 - 1973 (820 vehicles)
Producer
Soviet Union - Kharkov plant (1958 - 1962)
Soviet Union - Omsktransmash (1968 - 1973)
Number produced
830, including 10 prototypes
Designations
TO-55 / Танк огнемётный 55
Russian for "flamethrower tank 55"
Object 482 (GABTU index)
OT-55 (incorrect name often found in publications)
Notable users
Soviet Union

Description


Introduction

The TO-55 is an early Cold War era flamethrower tank of Soviet origin. It is a fire support vehicle to be used by specialist units in support of infantry pushes against reinforced defensive positions.

Design

The TO-55 has a similar design as the earlier OT-54, but is based on the newer T-55 tank and has an improved flamethrower design. A regular T-55 is fitted with a modified turret housing the ATO-200 flamethrower coaxial with the main armament. The ammunition storage in the bow next to the driver is replaced with a 460 liter fuel tank. The flamethrower is operated within the vehicle by aiming the turret and main gun.

Firepower

The TO-55 is centered around the ATO-200 flamethrower. There are 12 pyrotechnic charges to fire the flamethrower. Each burst consumes about 35 liters and may reach up to 200 meters. The 100mm rifled D-10T2S stabilized main gun is retained can be used as if it were a regular T-55. The ammunition load is reduced to about 20 rounds. A 7.62mm SGMT coaxial machine gun is present, for which 1.500 rounds are carried.

Protection

The armor protection is of a similar level as a regular T-55 main battle tank. The ATO-200 flamethrower probably introduces a weak point in the turret armor. But as a whole the TO-55 has good armor protection. The flamethrower is operated from under armor protection. An NBC system is present.

Mobility

The T-55 chassis provides good all terrain mobility. The TO-55 is of a similar weight as the regular T-55 and mobility characteristics are identical. The V-55 diesel engine produces 581 hp, allowing for a maximum speed of 50 km/h on road.

Users

The TO-55 was adopted by the Soviet Union in 1961. However, serial production started only in 1968. Over 800 vehicles were produced. In Russian service the TO-55 was officially removed from service in 1993. Some are likely to remain in storage.

ATO-200 flamethrower


TO-55

Close-up of ATO-200 flamethrower on the TO-55 flamethrower tank.
Source: Unknown author - © Copyright lies with original owner

TO-55

Line diagram of the ATO-200 flamethrower installed in the turret of the TO-55 flamethrower tank.
Source: www.btvt.info - © Copyright lies with original owner

Details


Facts TO-55
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Fire support vehicle
Crew
4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
Dimensions
Weight
36 t combat load
Length
6.37 m hull
9 m gun forward
Width
3.27 m
Height
2.35 m to commander's cupola
Main armament
Type
100mm D-10T2S rifled cannon
Mount
Main gun in turret
Ammunition
20 rounds
(some sources indicate 25 rounds)
Elevation
-5 to +18°, powered
Traverse
360°, powered at 17°/s
Stabilizer
Yes, both axis
Flamethrower
Type
ATO-200 flamethrower
Mount
Coaxial with main armament
Ammunition
460 liter
12 flame bursts of 35 liter
Effective range
Up to 200 m
Rate of fire
Up to 8 flame bursts per minute
Traverse
360°, powered at 17°/s
Fire on the move
Yes
Coaxial armament
Type
7.62mm SGMT machine gun
Mount
Coaxial with main armament
Ammunition
1.500 rounds
Traverse
Elevation and traverse as main armament
Stabilizer
Yes, both axis
Chassis
Chassis type
Tracked chassis, five roadwheels
Chassis layout
Idler front, drive sprocket rear
Tread
2.64 m
Track width
0.58 m
Track on ground
3.84 m
Ground pressure
0.81 kg/cm²
Suspension
Torsion bar
Automotive
Engine model
ChTZ V-55
Engine type
38.9 L four-stroke liquid-cooled V12 diesel
Power output
581 hp at 2.000 rpm
Transmission
Manual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel
960 L
Mobility
Speed
50 km/h on road
Range
460 km
650 km with fuel tanks
Power to weight ratio
16.1 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.43 m
Wall
0.8 m
Trench
2.7 m
Gradient
60 %
Fording
1.4 m unprepared
5 m with snorkel
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Armor thickness
203 mm turret front
150 mm turret sides
64 mm turret rear
39 mm turret roof
97 mm hull front
79 mm upper hull
20 mm lower hull sides
46 mm hull rear
NBC system
Yes
Smoke system
Exhaust diesel injection
Equipment
Night vision
Yes

Media