Article made by SovietTenkDestroyer and of course with a bit of help from me, Seb.
Due to the all of the understandable criticism from some of the vehicles “being too new” or out of the time span, I felt like I had to type this and defend one of my tanks. I’ve seen comments criticizing of my choice of tanks in some of the higher tiers. One of these tanks are the TR-77-580. If you look at the date it was created, you would be mistaken that it was an advanced main battle tank firing APFSDS, composite armor, advanced stabilization, ballistic computers, etc. However, it lacks many of these qualities that were later introduced in other variants and other domestic tanks (TR-85. TR-800/TM-800, and TR-125 (Seb’s favorite tank) ). The reason for the lack of technology can be the fault of Romania itself. Understandably, Romania did not want to participate in the Prague Spring (Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia) which ruined relations with the Soviet Union. (Seb: and because of this Romania had a period of appreciation from the Western powers, through us the USA aquired diplomatic relations with China) This caused Romania to not obtain any Soviet weapon exports (In the end they did obtained some T-72s which were kept in total secrecy) and had to rely on reverse engineering for vehicles such as the TR-125 (reverse engineered version of the T-72 that was a bit stronger) and to gain information from the Chinese in order to spite the Soviets. This happened after the TR-77-580 that was already built and put into service. (Seb: or before, not really sure)
The development of this tank is very sketchy. Very little true information exists. Apparently, development first started in 1974 and finally finished in 1977 in a factory named Mizil Mechanical Plant (now MFA) where it entered into service the same year, hence the name. The goal of the tank was to produce a domestic armored vehicle that Romania can produce with some outside influences (notably, West Germany), such as the engine of the Leopard I, but that never happened. After development was done, the production of these vehicles was transferred to the Mârșa Mechanical Plant. The production of this vehicle moved again to another factory called the Special Heavy Machinery Factory or FMGS for short. The numbers of this tank from 1979 to 1985 reached 200 to 600 built. However, these numbers are debatable. Just by looking at the tank, you may be mistaken that it was either a T-54 or a T-55 if you have a small interest in armored vehicles – However, I’ll explain why this isn’t your average T-54/55 that you’re used to seeing. This is basically a T-55 on steroids with double the armor, lengthened hull, a domestic anti-tank gun that looks similar to the D-10T, and two extra pairs of roadwheels that are smaller in diameter. Shortly after its introduction, work on the TR-85 started which pushed the TR-77-580 into obscurity. It suffered from lacking quality control in areas such as the quality of the steel – this was however fixed in later iterations.
The armor is greatly improved from the T-55. It featured a staggering 200mm of frontal upper hull armor (two 100mm plates) and 320mm of frontal turret armor with extra 20mm applique. The armor was theoretically better than the M60A1, T-62, Leopard I, and the Chieftain. However, it became quickly outdated with the introduction of the Challenger I, M1 Abrams, Leopard II, etc (the Soviets already had advanced tanks for the time) in the early 80’s. While on paper it was strongly armored, the steel quality was abysmal and suffered cracking for the first few vehicles. Fortunately for the Romanians, the steel formula was improved in the later versions. It also features sideskirts (which are removable) that don’t look thick, but not thin either.
The TR-77-580 is armed with the 100mm A308 which is a variant of the 100mm anti-tank gun (M1977/A307) which also had a naval version (A430). It fired a 100mm BM 412 Sg ammunition that some sites claim that it is APDS but it’s mainly said to be a form of APFSDS ammunition. This APFSDS came later on when the TR-85 came into service, but I’m not sure if it was used on the TR-77-580. I’m also not sure what Wargaming’s stance on APFSDS ammunition is. For regular armor piercing we have the 100mm BR 412 and its variants. It can serve as regular armor piercing and premium armor piercing while the 100mm BK-412 can serve as HEAT ammunition. For high explosive, we have the OF 412. The 100mm A308 externally looks similar to the 100mm D-10T that is seen on the T-54 and T-55. It is most likely that the 100mm A308/M1975-77 is partially or mainly based on or inspired by the D-10T or from a Chinese anti-tank gun.
During development the TR-77-580 was designed in mind for a German 830-860 hp engine derived from the Leopard I . This was partially the reason why the tank was lengthened and why it has 2 more roadwheels than the T-55. However, for obvious reasons (Romania being a communist nation and Western Germany being a U.S. ally) they never got the opportunity to implement these engines into their TR-77-580s at first. This engine was later installed on the TR-800/TM-800 and the TR-85. Instead they installed a copy of the T-55’s V-55U engine which put out about 580hp hence the name. One way you can tell apart the TR-77-580 and the TR-800/TM-800 and the TR-85 is the engine compartment. The engine compartment on the TR-77-580 is similar to the T-54/55 while the TR-800/TM-800 and the TR-85 has an engine compartment that is similar to the Leopard I. For some odd reason, this surprised me even though it shouldn’t for the reasons stated above. Another way to tell the difference between these tanks are the road wheels. The TR-77-580’s road wheels are evenly spaced out while the TR-800/TM-800 and the TR-85 has 2 widely spaced out roadwheels in the front while the back 4 are very close together. The lack of the 860hp engine caused the acceleration to suffer. Because of this, it was worse than most MBTs for its time with the exception of the Chieftain which it was on par with.
The tank may have saw action against Iran and the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq War, Gulf War, and the Iraq War (least likely) by Iraq. Egypt is also said to have purchased TR-77-580s , but it was apparently just a scheme for Iraq to obtain more tanks for their arsenal. Similar to what happened with Palestine, Poland, and Iraq with T-72s. 100-200 TR-77-580s are said to be given to Iraq. It may have possibly have seen action by Romania against Romania. What I mean by this is that it may have saw action by either the regime or by Romanian revolution. Pictures of the Romanian Revolution provide a great insight of Romania’s arsenal.
Even though this isn’t related to the topic, I just felt like inserting my opinion on Romania’s tank development. At first, Romanian tank development was obviously derived from the Soviet design. It increasingly became more western a little bit before and after the communist regime fell in Romania. You can clearly tell by the turret bustle, suspension, and the engine deck looks. Not only this, but the TR-2000 project and the TR-85M2 are another examples. The TR-2000 was a project in the early 2000’s to construct a new MBT that seems to be based on the TR-125 or the TR-85M1. The turrets and the hulls look very westernized and you can tell that elements of the Leopard II were inserted, considering that the company that was the contractor of the Leopard II co-developed these tanks. I’m not certain what exactly is the TR-85M2. Apparently, it was the name for a TR-85M1 with an Italian Iveco 1200 hp engine but the “M2” might be false.
Will It Work In WoT?
In my opinion, I think it will work whether as a Romanian tier 10, Soviet tier 10, unified Eastern European tree, etc. It will be a tank that has one extreme, but will have to suffer in another area. This will have to be mobility and/or gun performance.
Alternatively, if it’s possible, we can just remove one of the two 100mm plates and give it 100mm of hull armor which will make the front look flat. This will lighten the load but it won’t be too significant. We can give it some AP ammo as normal ammunition and HEAT as premium. If we do decide to give it 200mm of hull armor, it’ll have to have low AP penetration with a variant of the 100mm BR 412 such as the BR 412D or BR 412B which I assume it has higher penetration. If the heavily armored version of the TR-77-580 takes place as a tier 10 medium or possibly a heavy, we can also have a tier 9 version with 100mm hull armor firing the same ammunition. If it was possible in real life, it would be a good idea to remove the extra 20mm of applique armor, but it’s still so much that it won’t make too much of a difference. The cupolas are about medium sized and can be hit if you are skilled.
-Basically, a Romanian Object 430U which our Lord and Savior, Serb, wants to implement.
-Enormous amount of frontal armor that can be further increased if angled
-Low-ish penetration in compensation for the large amount of frontal armor
-Mediocre side and rear armor
-Less than average acceleration
-Above average speed limit
-Decent to good gun stats
-Average DPM compared to other medium tanks in it’s tier
-Possibly poor to mediocre terrain resistances
-Soviet medium tank-like camouflage values and alpha
Health points: 1950
Weight: 42-46 tonnes
Speed: 50 kp/h
Power-to-weight: 12.8 hp/t
Hull traverse: 33-44
Turret traverse: 35
Gun: 100mm A308
Penetration: 220-240/260/50 (AP/AP/HE)
Depression: Mostly likely -5 depression
I think I may have overnerfed it, but these are stats that may look like if such a thing was in WoT. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
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