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Type 69 with BTU-55 Dozer

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We have the T-54/55 GB coming up later this year. I have the Takom Type 69 kit which is an Chinese variant of the T-55. 


I assume its it’s ok to equip one of these with a BTU-55 dozer blade? Is it ok to equip an Iraqi Type-69 with the BTU-55??




Thanks Plasto


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I do not believe that the Type 69 series - any of them - was fitted with the mounting points under the nose and on the glacis for the BTU-55.  I can't see them in any Type 69/79/80 pictures.  The Type 69 was a T-54 copy, not a T-55, and most T-54s weren't factory-fitted for the BTU either: probably only later Czech-built ones (the Czechs carried on building T-54s long after Russia had transitioned to the T-55).


If you look at a T-55 you will see a series of 4 pairs of vertical bolted strips under the nose and a couple more strips on the upper glacis.  These are the BTU mounting points.  There was also a cable connector for electrical power for the hydraulics and blade controls in the driver's compartment.  Without these you cannot mount the BTU.


Now, it would not have been beyond the capability of Iraqi Army workshops to retrofit the relevant interfaces: they weren't complicated.  However, most Iraqi Type 69s had applique armour on the upper glacis and other modifications as the Type 69QM, which would almost certainly preclude fitting a BTU even if the lower nose brackets were present.  Some command vehicles had turret frontal armour similar to the T-55 Enigma.  The QM1 variant gained the 105mm Type 58 gun (L7 clone) and the QM2 the 125mm 2A46 gun.


Confusingly, the Type 69 was sometimes referred-to as the T-55B by the Iraqis.


A Bangladeshi Type 69-II Mk 2G with the 120mm gun and KMDB 6TD-2 engine (from the T-64/T-80) would be an interesting alternative, but is not an OOB build and I don't think anyone does a conversion for it.  Colourful cam scheme too.

Edited by Das Abteilung

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Iraqi Type 69s were definitely fitted with KMT mine rakes on occasion but I've not seen one with a BTU dozer blade.


I photographed a Type 69 with the rakes way back in 1991 but I can't remember where the photos are at this precise moment.




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Indeed there is a nice ex-Iraqi one thus fitted at RSME Brompton Barracks (below).  That one has the upper mounting points and apparently the outer lower ones, plus the control cables but there is no sign of the centre lower mounts as seen on T-55/62/64/72/90.  That suggests a retrofit with just the mounting parts needed for the KMT kit.  Simple engineering, but dedicated to the KMT and not universal to KMT and BTU.


The BTU needed all the lower mounts, but seeing the same parts fitted to adapt the KMT supports what I said above that a retrofit for the BTU was not beyond the bounds of possibility.  However, I haven't managed to turn up any photos yet.  Type 59s can be hard to tell apart from T-54s in photos, especially frontal.  Type 69s are easier, largely because of the revised lighting.  Anything with a turret roof vent and a blade or plough fitted is worth a look as T-54s weren't normally fitted to carry these either.


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