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Tifon-2A: The Peruvian-Ukrainian Storm
History:For a very long time and up to this very day, the Peruvian Army has relied on increasingly ancient T-55 tanks to be their primary MBT. While it is unlikely Peru will ever face off against an opponent these tanks will not be able to defeat, they are getting very old and are becoming less and less mechanically sound as the years go by, and parts and ammunition are getting harder and harder to acquire. As a result, Peru has made several attempts over the years to modernize and upgrade their fleet, though none of these have been followed through with as of the current day. One of these proposals, the one which has gotten the closest to consideration, is the Tifon (Typhoon) 2A (also sometimes known as the T-55M8A2). The Tifon is a joint venture between the Peruvian firm Diseños Casanave Corporation S.A.C (DICSAC) and the Ukrainian Kharkiv Morozov Design Bureau (KMDB). The project, initiated by Peruvian engineer Sergio Casanave Quelopana, is based on the Ukrainian T-55AGM upgrade package and is designed to bring the T-55 to modern standards. Sergio had previously designed at least two other T-55 upgrades for the Peruvian Army, known as Leon (Lion) 1 and 2, but neither were accepted for service. Despite going through trials and performing well, the Tifon-2A would not be accepted by the Peruvian Army either. Though not accepted by Peru, DICSAC continues to offer the tank as an inexpensive upgrade to international customers, and reportedly it has been considered by Algeria, Angola, and Cambodia, though only the Spanish Wikipedia entry lists this, so take it with a grain of salt. As for the Peruvian military, it seems as though they will be sticking with the T-55 for now, though plans to acquire either the T-90S or MBT-2000 have been floated.
Description:The Tifon-2A, while based on the T-55, is effectively a new tank, aside from the base armor and chassis. Everything has been changed or upgraded, including the armament, electronics, propulsion, FCS, and external protection. First on the list is the gun, which has been upgraded from the old 100mm D-10T rifled gun to the Ukrainian 125mm L/48 KBM-1M smoothbore gun. This gives the Tifon-2A equivalent firepower to any modern Eastern tank, such as a T-72, T-80, T-84, or T-90. It is capable of firing any 125mm ammunition, including the Ukrainian "Kombat" GL-ATGM. Featuring an effective range of 5km, a tandem warhead with 750mm of penetration after ERA, and laser guidance, it gives the Tifon-2A a significant boost in firepower.
According to one source, it would primarily use the 3BM48 APFSDS, 3BK29 HEAT-FS, 3OF26 HE-FS, and Kombat GL-ATGM, but theoretically any 125mm ammunition will work. Up to 30 rounds can be stored in total, with 18 in the turret bustle autoloader. A significant improvement over the traditional carousel autoloader found on most Soviet-style tanks, this autoloader is retrofitted to the rear of the turret, extending the length significantly. In the case of a failure to feed or the turret bustle being shot, the gun can be manually loaded as well. The autoloader can fire at a maximum rate of 8 rounds per minute and at full movement speed, removing the need for a fourth crew member.
The vehicle is also armed with a roof-mounted 12.7mm KT-12.7 heavy machine gun mounted in a remotely operated weapon station. Equipped with the PZU-7M AA sight, it can engage targets in both day and night out to 2.5km with a magnification of 1.2x. 450 rounds are carried, and the operator is fully protected inside the tank. The machine gun is controlled using the 1ETs29M fire control computer. Lastly, the coaxial machine gun is replaced with a modernized KT-7.62 with 3000 rounds of 7.62mm ammo.
The main fire control system is the LIO-V ballistic computer. It is linked to the tank’s sensor suite, including the DVE-BS weather mast and 1G46M gunner’s sighting and laser range-finding system. The computer is also linked to the 2E42M two-plane stabilizer for enhanced weapon functionality. This system allows the tank to engage targets at a maximum speed of 65 km/h regardless of the ammunition type, day or night.
The gunner’s sight is fully and independently stabilized in both planes and can operate in day and night conditions. It features a laser rangefinder as well as the laser guidance system for the GL-ATGMs. The laser rangefinder has a measurement range of 400-5,155 meters with an error of +/-10 meters at maximum range. Magnification is variable from 2.7-12x and has a field of view of 20-4 degrees. A digital display shows the measurement, type of ammunition loaded, and the angle and shooting data. Aiming time is listed as 0.05 deg/sec by one source, though I’m not sure if that refers to turret traverse. If it is, then that seems slow, so if anyone can help clarify, it is greatly appreciated. The commander is equipped with an AGAT-CN sighting system, integrating a PNK-5 day/night sight and a laser rangefinder. The PNK-5 has 8x magnification in the daytime and 5.8x using passive night vision. Daytime sighting capabilities are out to 4000 meters, though nighttime detection is reduced to just 800 meters. The laser rangefinder can function between 400-5000 meters. Both the gunner and commander have access to the Buran-Catherine Tank Thermal Sight. This system utilizes the PTT-M thermal camera from THALES of France with two view modes. Wide view at 9x6.75 degrees with 2.5x magnification, and narrow view at 3x2.25 degrees with 6x magnification. Both can also use 1.5x1.12 degrees electronic zoom. Maximum detection range is 12km, maximum for recognition is 5km, with identification out to 2.5km (2.0 in adverse weather).
Moving on to protection, the base armor has not been changed from that of the standard T-55. This is perhaps the biggest flaw of the vehicle, as it remains the simple rolled and cast steel from the 1950s. External armor has been added, however, which adds protection in multiple ways. The first of these is DEFLEKT ceramic composite armor. Placed all around the tank, DEFLEKT consists of layered steel plates, ceramic tiles, and polymer blocks. These layers can not only neutralize HEAT-FS rounds, but also significantly reduce the velocity of or outright stop APFSDS rounds. As another layer of defense, Nozh (Knife) ERA has been added. This is a highly capable ERA which affects both HEAT and APFSDS projectiles. These two armor add-ons combined were able to completely stop 120mm NATO APFSDS and HEAT-FS shells out to 2km in testing. As an added bonus, the Tifon-2A features a laser warning system linked to twelve smoke launchers. This system, known as Linkey-SPZ, has four laser sensors which cover the tank and can trigger the smoke grenades when a laser beam is detected. The smoke launchers can also be manually triggered. An engine smokescreen is also present.
Regarding the engine, it has been upgraded to the Ukrainian 1,050HP 5TDFMA 5-cylinder turbocharged multifuel engine. The engine has a maximum RPM of 2,800 and produces up to 1,461 ft/lb of torque at 2,050 RPM. It is coupled to a mechanical-electro-hydraulic planetary gearbox with 6 forward gears and 3 reverse gears, allowing for a top speed of 78 km/h and a top reverse speed of 32 km/h. The suspension has been improved with new torsion bars, three return rollers per side, new shock absorbers, and new tracks with neoprene pads for better grip.
Lastly are the ancillary electronics. The Tifon-2A is equipped with the TIUS-NM navigation system which can use both GPS and GLONASS for guidance. It is operated by the commander, and can coordinate with other vehicles in the force and communicate location data to them. The communications system is centered around the new R030U digital radio. It is fully encrypted and can operate on multiple frequencies. Finally, the tank is equipped with the advanced A-9620 Narada BMS. Acting as a command, control, communication, and computers center for each tank, it allows the vehicle to fully integrate with every element of the armed forces for successful battlefield maneuvers.
Main Armament: 125mm L/48 KBM-1M smoothbore tank gun, fully stabilized
Secondary Armament: 1x 12.7mm KT-12.7 heavy machine gun (RCWS on roof), 1x 7.62mm KT-7.62 machine gun (coaxial)
Armor: Base armor identical to T-55 (100mm frontal plate, 80mm sides, 45mm rear, 30mm hull roof, 20mm hull floor, variable thickness cast turret). Additional DEFLEKT composite armor and Nozh ERA covering turret, hull front, hull sides.
Ammo Count: 30 125mm rounds (18 in bustle autoloader, 12 in storage), 450 12.7mm rounds, 3,000 7.62mm rounds
Engine: KMDB 5TDFMA 5-cylinder turbocharged multifuel, 1,050HP
Transmission: Mechanical-Electro-Hydraulic, 6 forward/3 reverse gears
Top Speed: 78 km/h forward on-road, 60 km/h forward off-road, 32 km/h reverse
Thermals: Gunner and Commander
Smoke: Engine smokescreen, 12x smoke grenades (manual or LWS)
Crew: 3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander)
Gun and Ammo:
Propulsion and Suspension:
Electronics and Comms: