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Uralvagonzavod T-54M Main Battle Tank

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Developed right after World War II, the T-54 is still a viable combat weapon, used today by over 50 countries and armies around the globe.  The T-54 and T-55 series remains the most-produced tank of all time, with over 100,000 units, including Soviet, Chinese, Polish, and Czech versions.
 
Heavy, dependable, and readily adaptable, the T-54 has seen combat in many areas of the world, most notably Vietnam, the Middle East, and Iraq.  An improved version of the tank, the T-55, was developed in the late-1950s and could withstand heavier nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks.  The T-54M (M for “modernized”) included the T-55’s improvements along with upgraded weaponry and an improved engine.
 

History of the Artifact
The T-54 is relatively small and is equipped with a notably squat turret holding its powerful main gun.  The tank’s compact frame has advantages in combat, but a few disadvantages too.  The vehicle is notoriously cramped inside and an average crew can fire just four rounds a minute.  (A modern Western tank can fire six or more in the same amount of time.)  The small turret also restricts the depression of the gun to no lower than 5 degrees.  As a result, T-54 crews cannot easily conceal the tanks in the traditional “hull down” position in which the vehicle’s chassis is concealed behind a hillcrest or berm.
 
 

Date Artifact Appeared on Display: 11/10/2018
General Statistics
Width:  10 ft 7 in
Length:  29 ft 5 in
Height:  7 ft  9 in
Weight: 72,000 lbs
Engine:  12-cylinder V-54-6 diesel
Engine power:  520 hp (388 kW)
 
Performance
Maximum speed:  30 mph
Range:  249 miles
 
Armament
1 x 100 mm DT-10
1 x 14.5 mm AA machine gun
Up to 3 x 7.62 mm machine gun