I’ve come across some images of different Finnish T-55Ms with upgraded armour, and I wonder if anyone has any more information on them? As far as I know, the T-55M upgrade focused on the new FCS, new tracks, etc. and didn’t upgrade the armour.
But here’s a T-55M with the upgraded “Brow” (BDD) turret armour, but no upgraded hull armour.
Here’s one with ERA(?) on the hull and turret front.
And here’s one with upgraded hull armour but no turret armour.
So, what’s going on? Are these all just prototypes testing out different armour variants?
This is most likely because we upgraded both T-54 and T-55s to T-55M standard, but they both got same T-55M name. Also if im not wrong middle picture is prototype that used MEXAS armor rather then ERA. I think only one was build.
So in service you could see T-54,T-55 and T-55AM all called T-55M in Finnish service after upgrade.
In total we upgraded 74 T-55 (10 of these command variants T-55K) and 42 T-54s.
Finland had T-54s and T-55s yeah, but they didn’t have any armour differences between them. The only ones that upgraded the armour were the Soviet T-55(A)M’s, which added both the BDD turret and hull armour at the same time (and not separately like the images show), and I can’t find anything saying Finland imported those variants.
Image 2 is probably MEXAS I agree, the very few mentions of it online seem to also assume it’s MEXAS.
I also can’t find anything from Finnish sources.
Looks like t-55 262-25 is unique in Finnish army. Only info I can find is some speculation from 2009 that it might be add-on armor bought from Russia to create “FINMOD” T-55M, but that is only speculation.
Okay the original T-55s that we bough came from Poland and they seems to have made some T-55s that have turret armor addon, but no hull armor added. Could it be that it is one of these?
Amazing, thank you! After looking up Polish modifications, they had the T-55AM ‘Merida’, which was essentially a T-55AM just with some slight differences, but then also the T-55AMS as a variant of that, which only had the turret applique (like in your pics), only one of them per tank company, and were the ones that could mount mine-clearing systems or dozer blades. I assume those are the ones Finland imported.
I’m then guessing that these were also upgraded as T-55Ms with the new FCS and tracks, but they kept the armour on…
Edit: although, the timelines don’t match up. Your table shows them importing them in 1969 and 1973, but Poland made the T-55AM(S) in the 80s…
This is probably the same 262-37.