yesterday, I made a post about the light variant of the T-54 based on info Slakrrr from US forums found. I proposed this vehicle to become a tier 8 light tank in the post and the same question was asked by someone else too. Actually, a developer replied that WG is aware of this vehicle and is considering it.
Immediately after the article, speculations arose whether this tank can become Soviet tier 8 premium (possibly replacing somehow the ill-fated T-44-85). Let’s compare it a bit with other tier 8 premiums.
Now, we will be working with following premises:
- Type 59 as a premium tank is overpowered
- T-34-3 as a premium tank is fine
- T-44 as a regular tier 8 tank is fine
First, let’s compare it with the Type 59, to make sure it wouldn’t be OP immediately.
Upper frontal plate of Type 59 is 100mm thick at 60 degrees, T-54 (49) has 80mm at 60 degrees
Lower frontal plate of Type 59 is 100mm thick at 55 degrees, T-54 (49) has 80mm at 55 degrees
Turret front of Type 59 is 200mm, T-54 (49) has 180mm
In practically all the armor aspects, T-54 (49) is inferior. So far so good. T-44 has 90mm hull armor (under the same angle, eg. better), but it has weaker turret – significantly. But then, that is not that big a problem, since the T-54-3 also has that typical Chinese/Soviet round hardened turret (with 190mm frontal turret armor no less). I’d say armor-wise it fits.
Both tanks have the D-10T. Type 59 however has increased D-10T penetration (181). The D-10T itself for a premium tank IMHO is not a serious problem. The T-44 tier 8 regular Soviet tank has even a better 100mm gun, the LB-1. T-34-3 has that powerful 122mm gun, which fires every odd Sunday (if you’re lucky), but it works. With some tweaks here and there in soft stats, the D-10T could work.Remember that old T-34-3 render when it was first announced? It was with the D-10T gun (or its Chinese equivalent anyway), only later the developers apparently decided to replace it with the 122mm gun not to make another Type 59 clone. The soft stats of the D-10T are a problem a bit (it’s quite accurate), but keep in mind that this is a 1949 proposal and the weapon was not even stabilized yet as far as I remember, so – lightened vehicle means bumpier ride, which means worse accuracy on the move etc. Depression would be probably standard T-54 (-5 deg), which is again inferior to Type 59. Gun-wise, I think it could be balanced, yes.
Well, here we might have a problem. The light version of T-54 is supposed to have a 520hp engine, 31 tons, 16,8 hp/t and 58,7km/h maximum speed. Type 59 in the game weighs 35,7 tons, but also has the 520hp engine (14,56 hp/t), giving it poorer mobility. T-44 in its LB-1 configuration has a 680hp engine and weighs 33,68 tons (20,19 hp/t). T-34-3 is strangely enough not worse than Type 59 – despite its sluggish feeling, it is actually lighter (35,2 tons) for the same 520 hp engine (14,76 hp/t). This is bad. The T-54 light version is clearly superior to both Chinese “T-54-like” premium mediums in mobility. It is inferior to the elite (LB-1) T-44 (T-44 however has worse terrain resistance), so theoretically it MIGHT count, but yes.
Inconclusive, but most likely “no”. It does lose some of its protection from dropping the armor, but the terrain passability and power-to-weight ratio gain is rather significant. Count in the same gun the Type 59 has and we might be actually looking and another somewhat overpowered premium tank. Of course, the mobility COULD be compensated by adding bad terrain resistance (which in turn would however make little sense, since the vehicle was designed to actually have better terrain passability than the regular T-54, or Type 59 for that matter), but… yea. Plus there is that tiny fact that it IS in fact a T-54 clone in literal sense of word, apart from the smaller roadwheels and different mantlet, it would look exactly the same, which is probably also something the developers don’t want to have.
As a tier 8 Soviet light tank, it theoretically might survive, as a light/medium tank hybrid (tier 8 WZ-132 has only 50-55mm of frontal armor (including turret), it has a superior gun and weighs only 24 tons for its 520hp engine), but on this level, you actually have a gun problem and the vehicle would definitely not be able to scout properly (the fact it is actually lighter doesn’t mean it was designed to scout historically, it was designed to participate in regular or special combat operations in soft terrain). So again, hard to say.
Third option would be to have the “light” hull as an optional hull for the T-54 (there are two option hulls for T-54 already: one with 120mm front armor, the other with 100mm), that would however have to mean the introduction of the third turret (the lighter version) for this to make any sense.
We’ll just have to see, but I very much doubt we will see the light T-54 as a tier 8 premium medium tank. What I think will happen is that the developers will draw some conclusions themselves from the introduction of the T-44-85 and will see what happens in 8.11, when it comes out.