In Development: TR-85M1 Bizonul


The last prize of the Wars of the Past Battle Path remaining to be announced is the Romanian TR-85M1 Bizonul Main Battle Tank.



The Bizonul (“Bison”) is the last member of a long line of Romanian tanks going back to the 1970s. During the Warsaw Pact era, Romania had been the odd one out, a major outlier in the communist bloc, going “its own way” towards socialism like Albania or former Yugoslavia. For its dictator, Nicolai Ceausescu, this became a major issue after the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. Romania was one of the few Soviet bloc countries that didn’t participate in it along with Albania and Yugoslavia. However, it wasn’t because Ceausescu loved the process of democratization in the 1960s – on the contrary, he hated the reformists as “counter-revolutionaries”, the reasons he condemned the invasion was the fear that the Soviets would meddle in his own affairs.

As a result, Romania started to develop its own (nearly completely locally produced) line of medium tanks roughly similar to the T-54/55 series. The goal was to become completely independent with modern arms production on the Warsaw Pact since Romania (much like former Yugoslavia) couldn’t get their hands on the latest weapons due to its status of an “unreliable ally”.



The first tank of these indigenous vehicles was the TR-77 prototype, designed in 1974. The designation stood for “Romanian Tank, 1977 model”, followed by the production version designated TR-580 (the number stood for engine horsepower) even though the actual production started in 1979 with 405 tanks built until 1985. Contrary to some sources, this tank was not a modified T-55, although it was clearly based on it. Its armament (100mm rifled gun based on a Romanian anti-tank gun) and engine (a local modified version of the V-2 engine) were both locally made. Everything on the tank was fairly rudimentary, roughly on par with a basic T-55.

In parallel with the abovementioned tank’s development, Romanian engineers worked on a new engine based on the MTU design used in the Leopard 1 tank (the plans for which were clandestinely obtained). The work was finished by 1985. Combining the TR-580 tank with this new engine produced a variant called TR-85 (or TR-85-800) because the engine produced some 800-830hp (sources vary). This variant was then put into production between 1986 and 1990 with roughly 400 vehicles built.



By 1990, such production was something Romania could ill-afford and the rearming program collapsed after the fall of communism, leaving the military with hundreds of obsolete tanks the upgrade of which had to be attempted with a very tight budget. However, at the same time, Romania was looking to join the NATO and was in desperate need of some upgrades.

The program to improve the TR-85 tank was launched in 1994 under the designation TR-85M1 Bizonul (“Bison”). The tank received new armor, new FCS and an upgraded engine. Between 1997 and 2009, 54-56 vehicles were upgraded to this standard and it remains the most modern Romanian MBT to this day.


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In Armored Warfare, the TR-85M1 Bizonul will be a Tier 5 Premium Main Battle Tank as well as a prize of the Wars of the Past Battle Path campaign, obtainable for reaching Level 20.

But before we tell you more about it, here’s the usual disclaimer:

The numbers below are very preliminary as the vehicle has not been properly tested. They are sure to change and should only be discussed as an indicator of how we’d like to set the vehicle up.

With that being said:

The TR-85M1 will resemble other Soviet Tier 5 vehicles of the same Tier but the lack of protection will be compensated by increased mobility and firepower, giving it a slight slant towards the Light Tank class. Overall, the best tank to compare it to would be the T-55M1.


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It’ll feature mediocre composite armor without any active or passive measures, but the mobility will be ensured by its 900hp engine, which is quite a lot for its 50 tons. The maximum speed will reach 60 km/h, but this will be possible to improve via additional progression. This upgrade will:

  • Increase the maximum speed to 75 km/h
  • Improve the hull traverse by 10 percent


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Firepower-wise, at first glance, the 100mm gun sounds somewhat underpowered for its Tier, but aside from average penetration and damage values, it’ll also feature some interesting elements such as:

  • Improved propellant module, reducing the penetration over distance penalty
  • Two-round clip, which will be possible to upgrade via additional progression to a three-round one


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And last but not least there are the stealth and spotting values, which will start, once again, on average values, but you’ll be able to upgrade them as such:

  • Thermal Imager module providing improved spotting range and the ability to spot through bushes
  • Special Tracks module providing reduced camouflage penalty for moving

In summation, the TR-85M1 Bizonul will be a mid-to-long range fire support vehicle with excellent mobility and utility values, almost like a Light Tank. It’ll come in handy in PvP, but in PvE, it’ll have to stay in the rear in order for it to remain effective.

We hope that you’ll enjoy this MBT as well as the entire Battle Path and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

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