German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob agreed on the transfer to Ukraine of 28 M-55S main battle tanks from the Slovenian army military inventory in exchange for German military vehicles.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Slovenia has already delivered to Ukraine automatic rifles Zastava M70, ammunition, helmets and 35 BVP M80A, tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles).
The M-55S is a modernized version of the Soviet-made T-55 tank that was completed in 1997. The first M-55S was delivered to the Slovenian army in 1999. The tank features new improvements in terms of armor, mobility, and firepower. The 100mm cannon of the original T-55 tank was replaced by a 105 mm L7/M68 series rifled tank gun which can fire a wide range of ammunition types including High Explosive Anti-Tank – Tracer (HEAT-T), Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot – Tracer (APFSDS-T) and High Explosive Squash Head – Tracer (HESH-T).
The hull and the turret of the M-55S are fitted with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) mounted to the frontal arc of the turret, glacis plate, and upper hull sides. The upper part of the suspension is protected by a five-part rubber skirt providing protection against High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warheads before they hit the main armor of the vehicle.
A new computerized fire-control system is installed in the M-55S MBT allowing the engagement of stationary and moving targets with a high first-round hit probability while the tank itself is stationary or moving. The gunner has the Slovenian Fontana SGS-55 two-axis stabilized day/image intensification sight with a laser range-finder which feeds information to the fire-control computer. The tank is also fitted with a Slovenian COMTOS-55 commander’s take-over set which enables him to override the gunner and carry out target tracking, ranging, target selection, and fire the main gun/coaxial machine gun.
The M-55S is motorized with a new powerpack consisting of a new 600 hp Diesel engine and replaces the V-12 water-cooled diesel developing 580 hp of the original T-55. The tank can run at a maximum road speed of 50 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km.