Russian engineering company in talks to produce newly modernized version of world’s most popular tank – the iconic Soviet T-55

The legendary Soviet T-55 tank, produced in the 1950s, might be in line for a big upgrade. That’s according to the Russian engineering company Omsktransmash, which revealed it is holding talks about modernizing the iconic vehicle.

The T-55 main battle tank is known for being the first to have the ability to withstand a nuclear attack and was designed to function during a nuclear war. Based on the T-54, which first went into production in 1947, it has been used all over the world, and some claim that as many as 100,000 T-54/55s were produced. It is easily the most common tank ever made.

Demonstration 'Jeeps are not afraid of Tanks' dedicated to the celebration of Defender of Fatherland Day, the military technical site of Mosfilm movie studio, the village of Kalininets. © Sputnik / Ruslan Krivobok

“We have developed various options for upgrading the T-55 tank,” Igor Lobov, the CEO of Omsktransmash, told TASS news agency at the Army 2021 international military forum, held just outside Moscow last week. “We are currently holding talks with various customers. If such a need arises, we are ready to work in this direction.”

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The T-55 is still in use worldwide and is currently seeing active service in the Syrian, Libyan, and Yemeni civil wars. The Ethiopian government has also deployed them in the Tigray War, presently ongoing in East Africa.

Visitors take pictures near a T-55A main battle tank on display at the exhibition of military armored vehicles at the ARMY 2020 International Military and Technical Forum at Patriot Park near Kubinka, Moscow region, Russia. © Sputnik / Alexey Filippov

Omsktransmash is also in talks to modernize the T-80U tank, a Soviet tank that has proven to be less popular. The company wishes to develop the tank for export purposes.

Located in western Siberia, Omsktransmash was initially founded in 1896 as a railway engineering workshop. It switched to military production in 1942, when factories located in the European part of the Soviet Union were evacuated eastwards due to the invasion of Nazi Germany.

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