- Tech Tree
- I said no
The TR-77M1 is a variant of the Romanian TR-77-580, and as such it retains many of its original specifications. The primary differences with this variant is an elongated turret bustle, this was done to improve the ergonomics for the crew, as well as increasing the total amount of ammo it can carry, as the first stage ammo stowage is placed in the bustle. This is done to increase the reload rate to ~9 rounds per minute (~6.7 seconds) which does offer a slight improvement over its previous reload rate (same as T-55). Though I am unsure how many rounds can be placed in this bustle, the bustle does not look long enough for them to be stored parallels to the gun, meaning they’d have to be placed sideways.
Looking at photos of this tank, it appears as though the hull had an increase in height compared to the original TR-77, resulting in the upper front plate being at a less steep angle, which despite still being 200mm thick, this would decrease its effective thickness. The side skirts also look to be shorter than the original. I am unsure if the upper front plate achieves 200mm by welding two 100mm plates together, or just a solid 200mm plate like what the TR-85 has.
The images above are to show the diffrence in upper front plate angles, and side skirt proportions between the TR-77M1 (top image) and TR-77-580 (bottom image)
Despite some sources referring to this variant as “TR-77-580M1” I myself hesitate to call it that because the second set of numbers refers to the type of engine it has. for example the TR-77-580 has a 580 hp engine, or the TR-800 with an 800 hp engine. And with the TR-77 already having a horrible power to weight ratio (13.8hp/t) with its 580 hp engine, this upgrade would only make it worse, thus they wanted to wait for the 800 hp engine to become available, which possibly one of the reasons why so few units were built. Thus there is some debate regarding what engine it actually possessed, however for the sake of functionality, I think if implemented in game it should be given a 800 hp engine to help guarantee that this modification serves as an upgrade and not a downgrade.
The tank would be tested in 1979 by the 912th Tank Battalion in Murfatlar, and this vehicle likley helped influence the decision to lengthen the turret bustle of the TR-85 during its modernization to the M1 standard.
Why it should be added:
If a Romanian tech/sub-tech tree is added, this vehicle would could serve as a nice addition with your lineup if paired with the standard TR-77, and or TR-85, serving as a sort of in-between vehicle, being superior to the TR-77, while inferior to the TR-85
Armaments: 1x 100mm A308 rifled cannon (6.7 second reload rate), 1x 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, 1x roof mounted 12.7mm DShK machine gun, two plain stabilizer
Armor: Turret front: 320mm, hull front: 200mm
Mass: between 46-50 tons
Engine/Transmission: 800 hp diesel engine, 4 forward gears, 2 reverse gears
Crew: 4 (Driver, Gunner, Loader, Commander)