Safir-74 / T72Z Main Battle Tank (T-54/55 Upgrade)
***The Following is an Excerpt from "Iranian Military Capability 2011"***
|IRGC Safir-74 (Fars News)|
The upgrade program consists of a new modular power pack with a 780 hp V-46 diesel engine and associated gear box, brakes, hydraulics, steering and cooling system. This compares to the original 581 hp engine on the T-54/55.
The tank was also up-gunned with the HM-49L, a copy the 105 mm M68, the same gun used on the M-60A1. It has been coupled with the Fotana EFCS-3-55 fire control system. Kontakt-3 ERA supplements the original armor. But it lacks any direct smoke discharger's.
The Safir-74 program has substantially increased the lethality of the T-54/55 platform, the M68 gun is accurate out to longer ranges and when paired with a modern FCS, is still deadly. However, you can only upgrade a platform so much and such is the case with the T-54/55, it's too obsolete, and small to compete effectively against modern MBT's.
Iran purchased roughly 200 V-46 engines for the upgrade program, and since this is the limiting factor in this case, so we can assume the total number of Safir-74's in service is around 200, with the remaining T-54/55's being phased out of service. However, this assumes that Iran hasn't attempted to reverse engineer the engines, something well within their capability.
Weight: 36 tonne
Length: 6.45 m
Width: 3.37 m
Height: 2.40 m
Engine: 780 hp V-46-6 V-12
Max Speed: 65 km/h
Armor: 450-480 mm RHA vs KE, 700-900 mm RHA vs HEAT
Armament: 105 mm M68, 7.62 mm coaxial MG, 12.7 mm turret MG
FCS: Fotona EFCS-3