See Ukrainian Soldiers Training With New M-55S Tanks: Video footage shared recently shows Ukrainian soldiers training for the first time using tanks donated by Slovenia. The M-55S tanks can be seen moving slowly along a dirt road as a Ukrainian soldier walks behind it.
The short clip slowly pans up to show the tank, with its gun pointing to the vehicle’s rear, being driven by another Ukrainian soldier. The video appears to show a four-person crew in training, learning how to use the hugely upgraded version of the older T-55 tank.
The clip (please click here if the embed is not working) was shared by the popular war tracking account Ukraine Weapons Tracker in a post that describes how 28 of the military vehicles were donated by Slovenia.
“The first video of Ukrainian soldiers training with recently delivered M-55S tanks, donated by Slovenia. In total the Ukrainian army received 28 of them,” the account writes.
#Ukraine: The first video of Ukrainian soldiers training with recently delivered M-55S tanks, donated by Slovenia ??. In total the Ukrainian army received 28 of them.
This is a deep modernization of obsolete T-55 with new 105mm L7 guns, ERA, digital ballistic computers, etc. pic.twitter.com/O757hds1Bz
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) December 9, 2022
“This is a deep modernization of obsolete T-55 with new 105mm L7 guns, ERA, digital ballistic computers, etc.”
What is the M-55S?
The M-55S is an upgraded version of the T-55 tank which first went into production in the 1950s, making the vehicle over 60 years old.
Given the age of the tanks, the upgrades are quite extensive – although, those original upgrades were also made quite some time ago.
The “modernized” tanks are the result of an upgrade program launched in the 1990s by the Slovenian Army, which paid an Israeli company, Elbit and STO RAVNE, to upgrade 30 tanks.
The final modernized vehicles were then delivered in 1999 but were soon replaced in the 2000s with the M-84S. The upgraded M-55S were then placed in storage until they were eventually offered to Ukraine as part of the Ringtausch (circular swaps) program.
In September, Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golab agreed to a deal with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that saw Germany hand over 40 military vehicles to Slovenia in return for 28 M-55S tanks being handed over to Ukraine.
Thankfully, the tanks have been further upgraded since the 1990s – and now include explosive reactive armor, providing greater protection against modern weapons, as well as a new fire control system and an uprated engine, which is lighter and more powerful.
Ammunition for the M-55S is also being provided by multiple Western governments, ensuring that the tanks – which are sufficient for one Ukrainian battalion – have a large supply of 105-millimeter shells.
Video footage of the tanks being transferred via rail was also shared online in early December.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.