T-74

From Atlas
T-74
T-74 png.png
A T-74 during the Transkarpatian War
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  Stasnov
Service history
Used by see users
Production history
Designer Orelvagonzavod
Designed 1969-1972
Manufacturer Borkov Armaments Industries
Produced 1973
Number built 24,000+
Specifications
Weight 45 tonnes
Length 9.5 metres (Total)
Width 3.8 meters
Height 2.3 meters
Crew 3

Armor Steel and composite Armor
Main
armament
4A76/4A76M/4A74M-5 125 mm smoothbore gun with ATGM capability
Secondary
armament
12.7 mm NSVT/Kord, 7.62 mm PKMT
Engine E-850 Diesel Engine (PRB-72A)
850 hp
Suspension Torsion-bars
Operational
range
700 km
Speed 70 km/h

The T-74 is a main battle tank that served as the primary tank of the Stasnovan Armed Forces from 1974 to the early 2000s. It has had various upgrades over the years, making it a formidable tank even in modern battlefields. It has since been exported to various countries. Its latest uprgades still serve in the Stasnovan Amred Forces in large numbers, and many tanks left unupgraded and are currently in storage will either be up upgraded and returned to service, sold to other states or scrapped.

Development[edit]

The development of the T-74 began as a result of the introduction of the T-67 Veter (Object 267) in the Stasnovan Revolutionary Army for active service. A competition was started by Army Command for the Stasnovan design companies to build a main battle tank that would supplement and eventually replace the T-67. Orelvagonzavod's prototype, the Object 274, was completed before even the rival company, the Tormavkovo Mozhaev Military Design Bureau (that designed the T-67), even put it in production. The Revolutionary Army's leadership was satisfied with the new tank, and decided to adopt it, with the designation T-74.

Production history[edit]

The T-74 formed the backbone of the Stasnovan tank units from the 70s to the early 00s, when the T-94 Kulak was introduced in 2003. It was exported to numerous countries, such as TBD, and has been copied and produced elsewhere, both with and without licenses.

T-74Bs during an exercise

While Vastava Pact nations received non-downgraded versions for the most part, as per Stasnovan policy, non-VP states received downgraded "monkey models", like the T-74S and its variants, and in some cases (such as Sarasir), where allowed to produce them.

Sarasir has built an unlisenced devirative of the export version, the Zuljanah. The tank is estimated to be on par with the T-74S1, and serves only with the elite Sarasir Republican Guard. A number of T-74 variants has also been built in Elesar, before the fall of the Socialist government and exit from the Vastava Pact. The Ordian government was granted production rights for the T-74S1 in 1980 (after 800 T-74S units had already been delivered since 1976), and the production rights for the more advanced T-74S1 and T-74S2 variants were granted later on. Ordia has produced roughly 1,700 tanks.

Service History[edit]

Rekovian War[edit]

The T-74 along with some older tanks in Stasnovan service saw action during the Rekovian War. In the Siege of Grazdnovo, Stasnovan T-74 firing positions shelled the high rise buildings of the city that housed separatists, and effectively used Kobra tank-launched missile to strike targets beyond the range of their main guns. The Stasnovan Revolutionary Army used the T-74 extensively against Rekovian Lord's Army (RLA) armored formations, particularly in the Battle of Kvartira. During the battle, the 2nd Guards Tank Regiment, part of the 2nd Guards Moskvingrad Motor Rifle Division faced off against the "Kvartira" Brigade (officialy known as the 74th Seperate Tank Regiment, a SRA unit that defected to the RLA), commanded by Colonel Georgy Taziev, in an open field outside the town. Both sides were equipped with T-74 variants, though the 2nd possesed T-74M2 and T-74M1 variants, while the Taziev's Brigade- being a reservist unit -was equipped with older T-74A and T-74B variants. The battle was described as the largest tank battle of the war by many analysts and historians. The initial Stasnovan attack resulted in 32 of Taziev's tanks getting destroyed, with only 4 Stasnovan losses (3 T-74M1s and 1 T-74M2), something also attributed to the superior trainning of Stasnovan crewmen and the Stasnovan air superiority. In the urban battle that followed, 13 more of Taziev's T-74B/T-74As were also destroyed/knocked out, with only 2 Stasnovan losses in exchange.

In the urban fights during the Siege of Grazdnovo, the RLA separatists made extensive use of infantry anti-tank weapons, knocking out/destroying 8 T-74M1s and 2 T-74M2s. In all cases, the tanks were destroyed when hit in the side or on the top, the frontal armor was never penetrated, with both of the PRB-74M2 being destroyed by AT mines. According to Stasnovan sources, the Active Protection Systems on the T-74M1s wokred perfectly.

Stasno-Dagelian War[edit]

The T-74 was used by both sides of the Stasno-Dagelian War. The Stasnovan Revolutionary Army's 25th and 31st Guards Motor Rifle Divisions mostly made use of the more modern T-94 Kulak main battle tank, however, other units employed T-74M2s in large numbers. Both T-94 and T-74 tanks, as well as other vehicles in Stasnovan service were fitted Combat Identification Panels (CIP), due to the similarity the bared with Dagelian AFVs. Generally, Stasnovan T-74M3s outclassed the Dagelian T-74S1M3 and other variants.

The Dagelian variants were mostly the T-74S1M3, T-74S1 and some T-7S, though the last didn't see much combat. A number of Dagelian T-74s were upgraded to T-74S1M3 levels by the VSO in 2007. Despite all these upgrades, the T-74Sim-1 proved inferior to the Stasnovan T-94A/M and T-74M2. However, Dagelian T-74Sim-1s proved effective against older T-74Bs and T-62Ms of the South Zevgorian militia forces, with several kills documented.

One documented tank duel was between a Stasnovan T-74M3 commanded by Lieutenant Ivan A. Kartsev and a Dagelian T-74S1M3 outside Chekhavali. The engagement range was more than 2,800 metres, giving the advantage to the more advanced optics of the T-74M3. The Dagelian tank fired three APFSDS shells, with two missing and the third hitting T-74M3 in the front of the turret. The round was deflected by the heavy "Mech-5" ERA. Karstev's tank, that was until the second incoming shot unaware of the T-74S1M3 as he was engaging other targets, returned fire with two APFSDS rounds, with one hitting the left track of the Dagelian tank, immobilizing it, and the second hitting directly on the right side of the main gun, detonating the ammunition and causing a catastrophic kill.

Combat history[edit]

Design[edit]

Armament[edit]

The T-74 is equipped with the 125 mm (4.9 in) 4A76 series main gun, a significantly larger calibre than the standard 105 mm (4.1 in) gun found in contemporary MBTs, and still slightly larger than the 120 mm found in many other modern MBTs. As is typical of Stasnovan tanks, the gun is capable of firing anti-tank guided missiles, as well as standard main gun ammunition, including HEAT and APFSDS rounds. The T-74's main gun is fitted with an integral pressure reserve drum, which assists in rapid smoke evacuation from the bore after firing.

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The T-74 also features a carousel-type automatic loader that can load the main gun is about 6-8 seconds. The autoloader system also includes an automated casing removal mechanism that ejects the propellant case through an opening port in the back of the turret during the following reload cycle. The autoloader disconnects gun from the vertical stabilizer and cranks it up three degrees above the horizontal in order to depress the breech end of the gun and line it up with the loading tray and rammer. While loading, the gunner can still aim because he has a vertically independent sight. With a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer, final aiming takes at least another two to four seconds, but it is pipelined into the last steps of auto-loading and proceeds concurrently.

In addition to the 22 auto-loaded rounds, the T-74 carries 17 rounds conventionally in the hull, which can be loaded into the emptied autoloader trays or directly into the gun.

Mobility[edit]

The basic T-74 is well relatively powered, with a 850 hp. The 0.59 m wide tracks run on large-diameter road wheels, which allows for easy identification of the T-74 and descendants. Different versions of the T-74 have been by more powerful engines. The E-850 can attain a top speed of 70 km/h on the road and up to 50 km/h on rough terrain. The tank is also fitted with an air conditioning system for work in high temperature zones.

Protection[edit]

Armour protection of the T-74 was strengthened with each succeeding generation. The T-74A featured a new turret with thick but nearly vertical frontal armour. The cast steel turret included a cavity filled with sand.

Several T-74 models featured explosive reactive armour (ERA), which increased protection primarily against HEAT type weapons. Late-model T-74 tanks featured heavy ERA to help defeat modern HEAT and AP.

The T-74B, featured improved turret and hull armour. The T-74B used a new "reflecting-plate armor" , in which the frontal cavity of the cast turret was filled with a laminate of alternating steel and non-metallic (rubber) layers. The glacis was also fitted with 25 mm of appliqué armour. The T-74 also featured an anti-radiation layer on the hull roof.

The T-74 also has a comprehensive nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protection system.

Export[edit]

Variants[edit]

Domestic Variants[edit]

From top to bottom: T-74, T-74A, T-74B, T-74M1, T-74M2, T-74M3
  • Object 274: Prototype version.
  • T-74: Original version of 1973, armed with 125 mm smoothbore tank gun and optical coincidence rangefinder. It had flipper type armour panels. Command tank version is the T-74K
  • T-74A: Initiated in 1979, the upgrade added laser rangefinder and electronic fire control, turret front and top being heavily reinforced with composite armour. The T-74A also featured plastic armour track skirts covering the upper part of the suspension with separate panels protecting the sides of the fuel and stowage panniers. Late production T-74As were fitted with Mech-1 ERA blocks, and were called T-74AV. Command tank version is the T-74AK
  • T-74B: Much improved version launched in 1985, with new fire control system, thicker armour, turret front and top was heavily reinforced with improved composite armour, 25 mm of appliqué armour in the front of hull, a new gun (4A74M) with GLATGM system which gives T-74B 9M119 "Svir" laser-guided antitank missile capability, new 4A76M main gun, improved sights and stabilization system, as well as a new E-950 engine with 950 hp. The smoke launchers were grouped on the left side of the turret to prepare for the installation of ERA bricks.
  • T-74M1: Modernization program launched in 1990. Incorporating composite armour in sides of turret, the upgraded Mech-5 ERA, and also had the ability to mount NERA and cage armor. It is also equipped with a new fire control system, a cross-wind sensor, and a better engine (E-1000, 1000 hp).
  • T-74M2: Modernization program launched in 2005. It is also equipped with a new fire control system, upgraded gun (4A74M-5) new ballistic computer to reduce crew firing calculations and improve accuracy, a better engine (E-1000, 1000 hp), and new thermal sight to provide night/day all weather combat capabilities. The T-74M2 also featured a better side ERA layout that provided better protection to the sides. Another important feature of the M2 upgrade is the installment of the Okhrana Hard-Kill active protection systems. These were installed in 70% of T-74M2s.
  • T-74M3: Heavy upgrade launched in 2009. It is upgraded with improved fire control system, "Tryuk" camouflage kit, new 125 mm 4A94 main gun with muzzle reference system, E-1150 1,150 hp diesel engine and new "Zashchita" next generation explosive reactive armour which is claimed to be twice as effective as Mech-5. Another notable addition is the new stabilized, panoramic, independent commander's sight with integrated thermal viewer. The Stena soft-kill APS is also added to complement the Okhrana hard-kill APS. T-74M3K is the command variant. The Stena systems were installed on 55% of T-74M3s.
  • T-74MU: Prototype variant with redesigned turret layout, new firing control system and new autoloader. An upgraded Stena/Okhrana APS suite is also present. Later developed into the T-94 Kulak
  • BREM-74: Armoured recovery vehicle with a hydraulic crane with capacity of 12 tonnes mounted at the front of the hull on the left side. It also has a main winch with capacity of 25 tons which can be increased to 100 tonnes, auxiliary winch, hydraulically operated dozer/stabilizing blade at the front of the hull, towing equipment and a complete range of tools and recovery equipment. An improved version, the BREM-1M was introduced in the 90s.
  • IMR-74: Combat engineering vehicle (CEV). It has a telescoping crane arm which can lift between 5 and 11 metric tons and utilizes a pincers for uprooting trees. Pivoted at the front of the vehicle is a dozer blade that can be used in a V-configuration or as a straight dozer blade. When not required it is raised clear of the ground. On the vehicle's rear, a mine-clearing system is mounted.
  • MTU-74: Bridge layer based on T-74 chassis. The overall layout and operating method of the system are similar to those of the MTU-20 and MTU bridgelayers. The bridge, when laid, has an overall length of 20 meters. The bridge has a maximum capacity of 50,000 kg, is 3.3 meters wide, and can span a gap of 18 m. By itself, the bridge weighs 6400 kg. The time required to lay the bridge is 3 minutes, and 8 minutes for retrieval.

Export and foreign Variants[edit]

Vastava Pact[edit]

  • T-74S: Export version of the original T-74. Downgraded armor and fire control system. Command tank version is the T-74SK.
    • T-74S1: Export version bringing the tank to a downgraded T-74A level. Offered since 1980. It had the option to mount different main gun, coaxial weapon, and HMG. It has downgraded fire control systems and composite armor. Command tank version is the T-74S1K.
    • T-74S2: Export version of the T-74B offered since 1986. Like the original S version, the gun, coaxial MMG and HMG can be changed. The S1 has a downgraded stabiliser and fire controls. It also has the capability to mount ERA blocks, but in limited number. Its ATGM capability has also been limited by downgraded aiming systems.
    • T-74S3: Export version offered since 1992. Like other S versions, the gun, coaxial MMG and HMG can be changed. It has a slightly downgraded firing control system, as well as somewhat reduced night fighting capability due to downgraded sights. Command tank version is the T-74S3K.
    • T-74S4: Advanced export version offered since 2005. It features an export version of the T-74M2's FCS, as well as improved sights. The tank is also equiped with Zashchita-E ERA, an export version of the standard Stasnovan Zashchita ERA.
      • BT-74M: Gorbatovic upgrade package for T-74S4s offered since 2017, It features the installation of a RWS on the HMG, Gorbatovic Nož ERA, and overall improved electronics.
  • T-74ME: Meralan licensed version of the T-74, produced by Empresa Estatal de Vehículos Blindados (State Enterprise of Armoured Vehicles, EEVB). It was equipped with dual 9K111 Fagot ATGMs, dual AGS-17 Plamya grenade launchers, and dual 9K34 Strela-3 MANPADS. It could climb twice the incline of the original T-74, and made use of licensed-built fire control systems, whilst Borkov Armaments Industries (BAI) provided the hull and turret. Command tank version was the T-74MEVC.
    • T-74MEV1: EEVB acquired the license to produce T-74A laser rangefinders, fire control systems and the SG-1000 gas turbine from the T-82. EEVB developed the Escudo (Shield) explosive reactive armour for domestic use, and a new transmission to work with the SG-1000. Command tank version was the T-74MEVC1.
    • T-74MEV2: Removed the dual 9K111 Fagot ATGMs due to the adoption of the 4A74M gun and replaced the dual 9K34 Strela-3s with dual 9K38 Igla MANPADS. EEVB acquired the license to produce the new GT-1250 turbine, hull, turret , fire control system, improved sights, and stabilization system. Command tank version was the T-74MEVC2.
    • T-74MEV3: EEVB acquired the license to produce the new hull, fire control systems, cross-wind sensor and the GT-1250 turbine. EEVB developed the Salvador (Saviour) hard-kill active protection system, a new version of the Escudo ERA, cage armour and second generation thermal panoramic sights for both gunner and driver. Command tank version was the T-74MEVC3. Later models replaced the dual AGS-17 Plamya grenade launchers with dual AGS-30 Atlant grenade launchers.
    • T-74MEV4: Dual AGS-17 Plamya grenade launchers were replaced with dual AGS-40 Balkan grenade launchers, and the dual 9K38 Igla MANPADS were replaced with dual 9K333 Verba MANPADS. BAI provided the "Tryuk" camoufalge kit and the 4A94 gun. EEVB produced license-built E-1300M diesel engines on later models. EEVB heavily upgraded the electronics, including a front and rear camera for the driver, driver digital display, GLONASS navigation system, third generation thermal panoramic sights for both gunner and commander, target-tracking system, and chassis management system. An automatic transmission was installed, alongside a further development of the Escudo ERA, and the Defensor (Defender) soft-kill APS to complement the Protector hard-kill APS. Command tank version is the T-74MEVC4.
    • BREM-74ME: Licensed-built version of the BREM-74.
    • IMR-74ME: Licensed-built version of the IMR-74.
    • MTU-74ME: Licensed-built version of the MTU-74.
  • T-74E Coyote: Estherian modification of the T-74S1 with upgraded fire control and optics. T-74S2, S3 and S4 models are also referred to as Coyote in Estherian service despite being unmodified from their Stasnovan counterparts.
    • T-74E2 Coyote 2: Estherian modification of the T-74S4 based on the BT-74M and T-74MEV4, incorporating a remote weapon system and Gorbatovic ERA, as well as electronic systems and a single AGS-40 Balkan grenade launcher mount from the T-74MEV4. Designed and produced with Gorbatovic and Meralan assistance and expected to begin upgrading existing T-74s in Estherian service in 2023.

Other[edit]

  • Zuljanah: The Zuljanah main battle tank is a Sarasirian, domestically-produced derivative of the T-74. It is in service with the elite Republican Guard corp of Sarasir. It is comparable to the T-74S1.
  • T-742V: Indigenous tank design, based on the Stasnovan T-74S1, with new night vision and thermal devices, improved armour (up to 650 mm) and anti-radiation cladding, rubber side skirts, C4I and IR suppression coating.
  • T-74M2V: Zolevskoyan upgrade for T-742Vs developed in 2003, and entered service in 2008. Upgrades include new night vision and thermal devices, improved armour (up to 650 mm) and anti-radiation cladding, the 2A46ZM cannon that can fire shells capable of penetrating 800mm RHae, DYNAS explosive reactive armor, laser warning receivers, cage armor, automatic fire suppression system, rubber side skirts, C4I upgrades, VEGA fire control system, ballistic computer, panoramic commander sight, and IR suppression coating. Two 30mm AA cannons can also be equipped on the turret.

Operators[edit]

 Stasnov: The Stasnovan Armed Forces operate have about 3,800 T-74s in active service, mainly T-74M2s and T-74M3s, and are mostly serving in Motor Rifle units. About 5,000 T-74 (mainly T-74Bs and T-74M1s) are in storage.

 Dagelia: The Dagelian Land Forces use roughly 450 T-74 variants, mostly, T-74As, T-74AVs, T-74Ss as well as the locally modified T-74Sim1.

 Ségo: The Ségolese Army has received more than 450 T-74 variants in total. The first batches were delivered between 1978 and 1986, and consisted of T-74S and T-74S1 variants, with the latter being only delivered in 1985. A deal with the Ségolese military has been made to upgrade a large portion of the the Army's T-74s to T-74S3 standards, along with the delivery of 40 T-94S tanks.

 Granzery: The Granzery Ground Forces operate 2,072 T-74S1M4 ELŐP, and 100 T-74S1M5 in active service. The S1M5s all serve as part of the 133rd Armoured Combat Regiment. The GGF also has about 2,600 T-74S1Ms in storage. Most in storage are of the T-74S1M2 type.

 Elesar: The Imperial Elesarian Armed Forces operate approximately 2,000 T-97 Korzhevs and 7,000 T-74S1Ms in active, of mostly T-74S1M4 and T-74S1M3 type, but with over 300 of T-74S1M5 type. Approximately 5,000 T-74S1M2s are in storage.

 Oskorev: The Oskorevan National Army operate 35 T-74S1Ms in active, of T-74S1M3 and T-74S1M2 type.

 Sytrica: The Sytrican Army operate 68 T-74S1Ms in active, of T-74S1ME, T-74S1M4 and T-74S1M2 type.

 Tenburg: The New Tennish Army operates 200+ T-74S1M4s that were donated by Granzery during the Tennish Civil War.

 Ordia: The Ordian army received approximately 800 T-74S tanks between 1975 and 1980. However, in 1980 production rights were given to the military and local manufacture of T-74S1 tanks began, and later T-74S2 and T-74S3 production rights were granted. A total of 1,700 T-74S variants were built beginning in 1980 and extending into the 1990's.'

 Estheria: The Estherian People's Army Ground Forces operate 565 T-74 tanks, of mostly T-74S3 type. Most were purchased in the 1980s, while the upgrade program to T-74S3 standards began in 2008.

 Sarasir: The Sarasirian Army operates 1,798 T-74S, T-74S1 and T-74S2 main battle tanks. The Sarasirian Republican Guard operates the T-74S2 as well as an advanced domestically-produced derivative; the Zuljanah.

 Kampenia: The Kampenian Army operates 100 T-74S1s delivered in the 1990s. There have been talks of upgrading the vehicles to T-74S3 standards, however budgets issues have stalled the deal with Stasnov.

 Merala: The Meralan People's Republican Army operates around 1,000 T-74MEs, mainly T-74MEV4s and T-74MEV5s. Older T-74MEs, mainly T-74MEV3s and T-74MEV2s, have been stored or relegated to the Meralan Territorial Defence Forces.

 Gorbatov: The Proletarian Liberation Army operates about 200 T-74s, purchased in the 1997, mainly for evaluation and are used in OPFOR training. As of 2020, a significant number have been converted to RU-74s, Gorbatovic designation for the TOS-1 MLRS, with the rest to be upgraded into the BT-74M variant.

 Zolevskoy: Primary MBT of the Zolevskoyan army since its introduction. T-74S1 and modernized T-74M2V variants are currently in service, but all S1 variants will be kept in reserves and replaced by the Pzr-4a1Z "Ispolin" MBT between 2019-2023.