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​russians Creating Makeshift Suicide Tank Based on Khrushchev-time T-54/T-55 Vehicles to Burn Them in Ukraine

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T-54/T-55 tank / Open sourse illustrative photo
T-54/T-55 tank / Open sourse illustrative photo

For controlling their suicide tanks, the russian occupiers are using rather old remote control system that was developed in the 1980s. It is believed that this system can be installed on any Soviet tank, but in reality, it functions poorly

The russian occupiers have used a suicide tank against the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the first time during the full-scale invasion. The base of this tank was the T-54/T-55 tank, equipped with 6 tons of explosives. However, Ukrainian forces destroyed this kamikaze tank just 100 meters away from their positions. Most likely, the russians did not utilize the remote control system while blocked the gas pedal instead, causing the tank to move straight forward.

It should be noted that the russians may have remote control systems for Soviet-designed tanks in their arsenal. The initial testing of the systems conducted in the 1980s.р

Read more: Russians Transfers T-54 And T-55 to Ukraine: the Tanks Spotted In the South

Available data from 1982 reveals that Soviet military conducted trials of a remote-controlled T-54 tank. Its control system enabled engine start-up, movement from a stationary position, maneuvering, remote control, turning, and stopping at designated points.

It also known, that several units of remote controlled vehicles were formed especially for training purposes in 1981 and 1983. The units included 120 self-propelled targets totally. The targets had been made on the basis of the SU-100 Soviet self-propelled tank destroyer of World War II time. The functionality of these remotely controlled vehicles allowed not only to control movement but also to simulate firing.

However, it was necessary to first engage the first gear before activating the remote control system, and the control range did not exceed a few kilometers.

Approximate scheme of the Soviet remote control system for the T-72, russians Creating Makeshift Suicide Tank Based onKhrushchev-time T-54/T-55 Vehicles to Burn Them in Ukraine,  Defense Express
Approximate scheme of the Soviet remote control system for the T-72, where the actual control unit is marked under "1" / Open source image

Nevertheless, the USSR perceived even this technological experience positively, leading to the development of a remote control system for the T-72 tank. The control unit was installed in the driver's mechanic's place, and commands were transmitted via radio with a control range of 1-2 kilometers.

There is no available information on the specific designations of Soviet remote control kits for tanks or the number of such systems produced. Only mentions exist that due to "overloading" during training, the radio control channel could handle only one "target tank." The control unit in such systems could be installed on any Soviet tank.

However, even with such "initial conditions," it should not be ruled out that the occupiers will attempt to scale their "kamikaze tanks" usage practice as wel as may use remote control systems dating back to the 1980s for controlling such weaponry.

T-54A tank while carrying to repair plant, March 2023, russians Creating Makeshift Suicide Tank Based onKhrushchev-time T-54/T-55 Vehicles to Burn Them in Ukraine, Defense Express
T-54A tank while carrying to repair plant, March 2023 / Open source photo
Read more: ​The Armed Forces of Ukraine Have Whole Tank Company of Captured T-80 Tanks