TR 85 M1 Main Battle Tank

TR 85 M1, or Bizonul, is a main battle tank (MBT) produced by ROMARM for the Romanian Land Forces. It is an upgraded variant of the TR-85 MBT. It is operated by a crew of four including a driver, commander, gunner and a loader.

The MBT has a length of 9.96m with gun forward, width of 3.43m and a height of 3.1m. The combat weight is 50t.

TR 85 M1 main battle tank modernisation

The Romanian General Staff issued an order in March 1994 to commence a modernisation programme for upgrading the TR-85 tank to NATO standards.

The programme received approval from the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT) in April 1994. The development began in 1996 and 56 tanks were upgraded between 1997 and 2009.

The modernisation improved the firepower, protection, mobility and communication systems of the vehicle. The programme added new electronic equipment for fire control systems, observation and detection systems, engines, transmission and a braking system.

The programme was completed in collaboration with foreign companies including Aerospatiale Matra, Sagem, Kollmorgen-Artus, Racal and several local firms including the ROMARM military consortium, METRA, Electromagnetica, FAUR,  Elprof, UM Resita Aeroteh, IOR and Joel.

TR 85 M1 Bizonul battle tank variation models

"TR 85 M1, or Bizonul, is a main battle tank (MBT) produced by ROMARM."

DMT 85 M1 is an armoured engineer vehicle designed based on the TR 85 M1 chassis. The battle tank was designed using the same power unit, suspension and other onboard systems of the TR 85 M1 to ensure the similar capabilities of crew carrying capacity, protection, mobility and performance.

The DMT 85 M1 has a 6.5t crane and a mine clearing plough for specific missions. It is armed with a remotely controlled weapon station. Five vehicles were built by the Mechanical Factory Bucharest in 2007-2009.

Bizonul armament and weaponry

The primary armament of the tank is a 100mm A308 rifled barrel gun. It can fire four to seven rounds a minute, with a maximum range of 4,000m. The projectiles can penetrate armour of 350mm thickness.

The TR 85 M1 is also mounted with a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun and a 7.62mm PKM twin machine gun.

Onboard ammunition includes 41 projectiles of 100mm, 4,500 coaxial machine gun rounds, 750 rounds for anti-aircraft machine gun, six flares and 24 smoke grenades.

Observation and fire control

The driver is provided with a day sight telescopic periscope with built-in laser range-finder and a passive night sight with light intensifier. The commander has a panoramic sight equipped with a second generation image intensification system. The tank is also equipped with laser illumination warning sensors.

The effective aiming at targets is achieved with the assistance of Ciclop-M ballistic fire-control computer.

The system ensures a hit percentage of more than 95% for an object less than 2km away and more than 75% for a target within 2 to 3km range. The computer aided stabilisation system improves the accuracy and performance of the main gun.

Self-protection and armour

The hull of the TR 85 M1 is covered with 200mm layered armour and the turret features 320 + 20mm add-on armour.

"Primary armament of the tank is a 100mm A308 barrel gun."

The tank is fitted with side skirts to protect against shaped charges.

The driver compartment is further protected to withstand the blast of mines and improvised explosive devices.

TR 85 M1 is also equipped with NBC protection and rapid fire suppression system.

Countermeasure technology

TR 85 M1 has electronically operated smoke grenade launchers and flare launchers mounted on each side of its turret. The system can block the vision and thermal imaging of enemies by creating a thick smoke around the tank.

The smoke grenades / flares also interrupt the guidance systems of thermal and infrared guided missiles.

Engine power

TR 85 M1 is powered by a 8VS-A2T2M 4 stroke, 8-cylinder, turbo charged direct injection diesel engine coupled to THM-5800 hydro-mechanical transmission. The engine, developing a power output of 860hp, provides a maximum road speed of 60km/h and a range of 400km.

Mobility of the Romanian TR 85 M1

The tank is equipped with a torsion bar suspension system which includes torsion bars and telescopic hydro-gas shock-absorbers.

TR 85 M1 has two bolt tracks with metal-rubber articulations, and six aluminium alloy road wheels with front idler and rear sprocket wheel, as well as four return rollers on each side. It is also equipped with dry multidisc brakes for better breaking capability.

The MBT can cross a trench of 2.8m and a vertical object of 0.9m.

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