T-74 Borov

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T-74 Borov
T-74A reworked.png
A T-74A in manoeuvers, Rostav SR, 1983.
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  Stasnov
Service history
Used by see users
Wars 1976 Invasion of Luepola
1987 Invasion of Elesar
Bratislavian Civil War
First Rekovian War
Second Rekovian War
Stasno-Dagelian War
Production history
Designer Orelvagonzavod
Designed 1969-1972
Manufacturer Borkov Armaments Industries
Produced 1973
Number built 23,900+
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

T-74 Borov 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

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

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 Cydonia, Republika Srpksa, Sarasir, Sego, and has been copied and produced elsewhere, both with and without licenses.

Stasnovan T-74M3 in Seversk

Licensed versions of the T-72 were made in Cydonia by the Yika Urenograd Tractor Factory, and were essentially copies of their Stasnovan equivalents, with in some cases, the same designation. 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.

Republika Srpska has produced a licenced copy of the T-74S, the M-87, and the neighbouring Republic of Oskorev also uses them in extremely limited quality. 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

First Rekovian War

The T-74 along with some older tanks in Stasnovan service saw action during the First 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

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, the 31st Guards Motor Rifle Division supporting 56th Tank Regiment employed T-74M3s in its 167th and 168th Tank Battalions. 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-74Sim-1 and other variants.

The Dagelian variants were mostly the T-74Sim-1, T-74Bs and some T-74As, though the last didn't see much combat. The T-74Sim-1 was upgraded by Template:COUNTRY for the Dagelian Land Forces, and featured increased ERA implementation, new command and control and GPS navigation system, as well as fire control system with thermal imager and laser rangefinders. Despite all these upgrades, the T-74Sim-1 proved inferior to the Stasnovan T-94A/AM and T-74M3. However, Dagelian T-74Sim-1s proved effective against older T-74Bs and T-62Ms of the South Ossetian militia forces, with several kills documented.

One documented tank duel was between a Stasnovan T-74M3 commanded Lieutenant Ivan A. Kartsev and a Dagelian T-74Sim-1 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 "Zashchita" ERA. Karstev's tank, that was until the second incoming shot unware of the T-74Sim-1 as it was engaging other targets, returned fire with two APFSDS rounds, with one hitting the left track of the Dagelian tank, imobilising it, and the second hitting directly on the right side of the main gun, detonating the ammunition and causing a catastrophic kill.

Combat history

Design

Armament

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.

A dug-in Cydonian T-74B during the Bratislavian Civil War

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

The basic PRB-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

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

Cydonia

The Cydonian Armed Forces were to initially receive a batch of T-74S export variants in 1975, however, a change in Stasnovan military hardware export policy allowed the Cydonians, as well as every Vastava Pact member to purchase the standard, non-downgraded versions of said hardware. Thusly, the Cydonian Army received 200 baseline T-74s, and the Cydonian government also signed a deal with their Stasnovan counterparts for domestic production of the tank, plus the production of their own variants. Cydonia is the second largest operator of T-74s after Stasnov.

Vilats Union

The Vilats Union Armed Forces originally received 100 T-74s in 1977, followed by another 50 T-74As in 1980. In the next five years, the Vilatic Army received 100 additional T-74As, and beginning in 1986, deliveries of T-74Bs also started. In 1991, the Vilatic military also ordered an unspecified number of T-74M1s to also be delived in a single batch, with the deliveries completed by the mid-90s.

Variants

Domestic Variants

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 modersnised fire control system including an improved gunner's thermal sight, "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. 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-72: 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

  • T-74S: Export version of the original T-74. Downgraded armor and fire control system. Command tank version is the T-74SK.
    • C-74US/WRL: The C-74US/WRL, unofficially known as the C-74US or just C-74 is a exported version of the T-74 manufactured under license at the Międzyrzecz Wojskowy Czołg Instalacja (Międzyrzecz Military Tank Plant) in Krosny-Zdzieszowice. The C-74US/WRL was for all intents and purposes simply a T-74M3 with a 1,200hp engine, a upgrade from the T-74M3's 1150hp engine.
    • 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.
  • T-74: Cydonian version built under license by the Yika Urenograd Tractor Factory. Note that Cydonian and Stasnovan T-74s may have the same designation but they differ in characteristics.
    • T-74A: Initial variant introduced in 1976. It is essentially a locally produced version of the Stasnovan export variant offered to Cydonia. It featured a 125-mm gun, "gill" armour skirts, a modified sight, and suspension on the fourth road wheel.
    • T-74AK: Command version, with a R-130M radio and its 10 m (33 ft) telescoping antenna, a TNA-3 navigation system, without antiarcraft machine gun, carrying 38 rounds of main gun ammunition.
    • T-74B: Fitted with redesigned armor, 1A33 fire control system, 9K112-1 "Kobra" ATGM system (NATO code "AT-8 Songster"), TPN-1-49-23 sight, 2A46-2 gun, 2E26M stabilizer and 6ETs40 loader. Later B/BV models have more modern systems 1A33-1, TPN-3-49, 2E42 and a 2A46M-1 gun. From 1985 the T-74B was fitted with stronger glacis armor; older tanks were upgraded with a 16-mm armor plate. Tanks, equipped with the 1,000 hp 6DT engine are known as T-74BM.
    • T-74BV: Features "Kontakt-1" reactive armour and "Tucha" 81-mm smoke grenade launchers on the left of the turret.
    • T-74BM2: "Kontakt-5" reactive armour, rubber protection skirts, 1A43U fire control, 6ETs43 loader and able to fire the 9K119 missile (NATO code "AT-11A Sniper"), 5TDFM 850 hp (625 kW) engine.
    • T-74U: Fitted with "Nozh" reactive armour, 9K120 "Refleks" missile (NATO code "AT-11 Sniper"), 1A45 "Irtysh" fire control, TKN-4S commander's sight, PZU-7 antiaircraft machine-gun sight, TPN-4E "Buran-E" night vision, 6TDF 1,000-hp (735 kW) engine.*
    • T-74BK and T-74B1K: Command versions, with an R-130M radio and its 10-m telescoping antenna, a TNA-3 navigation system and AB-1P/30 APU, without antiaircraft machine gun, carrying 28 shells.
  • T-74CV: Carsodonian version of the T-74S2, this version has all the upgrades of the S2 but also has the Carsodonian Hard-Kill System and the brand new Carsodonian ballistics computer. Also put on it is the M151 PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station .50 cal as a secondary it has also been covered with ERA bricks.
    • T-74CVM2: A upgraded T-74CV with a new and improved hard to kill and soft to kill systems along with upgraded ERA armor and weapon systems. It has been equipped also with a 30mm anti-aircraft gun mounted on the side of the turret. This version is being made for the Carsodonian forces with a co-build b Carlosians and Carsodonian Arms manufactures.
  • T-74MP: Elesarian domestically-produced, modernised version of the T-74. The T-74MP makes use of more moden Elesarian-made FCS and optics, while also featuring the locally-made 125 mm 5A37 smoothbore gun and Yezh-1 ERA, as well as a more powerful 1,100 hp engine.
  • 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.
  • M-87: The M-87 main battle tank is a Srpskan license-built variant of the T-74S. It is in service within the Republika Srpska Ground Force, and a large amount of M-87s has been produced throughout the years.
    • M-87AS: The M-87AS is a more modernized variant of the M-87 main battle tank.
    • M-87AI: Armoured recovery vehicle variant of the M-87, estimated 539 operated by the Republika Srpska Ground Force.

Operators

 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.

 Cydonia: The Cydonian Armed Forces operate 4,000 T-74s. 1,860 are in active service and 2,140 are in storage as of 2014. 400 have been upgraded to the T-74U variant. The rest in active service are T-74BM2. T-74BV and older variants are in storage.

 Vilats Union: The Vilatic Army has rougly 475 T-74 variants in service, delivered between 1977 and the mid-90s. Of those, about 120 are T-74M1s, while the rest are T-74Bs and a small quantity are T-74As.

 Carsodonia: The Carsodonian Military has about 1,300 domestically produced T-74CV variants in service.

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

 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.

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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.

 Republika Srpska: The Republika Srpska Ground Force operated around 100 T-74S main battle tanks, in which most of them have been upgraded to the license-built variant of the T-74S, the M-87. The Republika Srpska Ground Forces currently operates a total of 2,388 M-87 tanks (including the M-87AI variant), with a few T-74S tanks remaining in storage.

 Elesar: About 300 baseline T-74s were originally delivered to Elesar before 1978, before production rights were granted. A further 2,700 T-74A and T-74B variants were locally produced. The Imperial Elesarian Army has a total of 1,900 T-74 variants in active service; 700 are T-74B, 500 are T-74As, and 700 are the locally upgraded T-74MP variant. 800 more older T-74s are in storage.

 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.'