The T-64 is a Soviet main battle tank, introduced in the early 1960s as a replacement for the T-54/55
About this creation
The T-64 was conceived in Kharkov as the next-generation main battle tank of the USSR by Alexander A. Morozov, the designer of the T-54 The T-64 incorporated an automatic loader for its 125-mm gun, allowing a crewmember's position to be omitted, and helping to keep the size and weight of the tank down. This was the first time a auto-loader had been fitted into a mass produced tank and therefore caused a stir among NATO and the West
The T-64 was intended to be used only by the Soviet Army and was never exported, unlike the T-54/55. The T-64 was superior to the previous T-54/55 tanks in most qualitative terms. The T-64 was only equipped to elite and regular formations in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The first T-64 model was deployed with East Germany's Group of Soviet Forces in Germany in 1976.
The T-64B improved on the standard T-64A model by doing away with the previous main gun and replacing it with the improved 125 mm D-81Tm gun. This new gun had the ability to fire the new 9M112 "Kobra" radio-guided missile (NATO code "AT-8 Songster"). Other improvements included an updated stabilizer, a faster auto-loader and a new fire control system. This new system added a ballistic computer, a cross-wind and a new gun sight with laser telemetry to aid in targeting
Externally the T-64 is very similar to the T-72, the two being almost indistinguishable. However, the The T-64 did not share many drawbacks with the T-72: the automatic loader is hydraulic and not electric, is much faster and more reliable. Long periods of driving are much less exhausting for the crew, thanks to assisted controls and a more flexible suspension. The ammunition is transported at the lower point of the turret shaft, minimizing the risks of destruction by self-detonation. Protection, excellent from the beginning and constantly updated, remains able to stop modern shells thanks to the ERA.
However, the T-64 was not without its drawbacks. Early versions of the autoloader lacked safety features and were dangerous to the tank crews, limbs could be easily caught in the machinery, leading to horrible injuries and deaths. The turret is poorly configured for manual loading should the autoloader break. In such situations the rate of fire is slowed to an abysmal one round per minute due to the cramped space. The T-64 was also criticized for being too mechanically complex, which resulted in a high breakdown rate. Problems were worst with the suspension system, which was of an entirely new and advanced design on the tank.
Weight - 38 tons
Length - 9.23 m (gun forward)
Width - 3.42 m
Height - 2.17
Crew - 3
Armor - 20–450 mm of composite armor. ERA optional
Main armament -D-81T 125 mm smoothbore gun/launcher
Secondary armament - 7.62 mm PKMT, 12.7 mm NSVT
Engine - 5DTF 5-cyl. diesel w/700 hp
Range - 500 km, 700 km with external tanks
Speed - 60.5 km/h