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January 23, 2010
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T-64 Rhino Main Battle Tank by PaintFan08 T-64 Rhino Main Battle Tank by PaintFan08
T-64 Rhino Main Battle Tank

Crew: 3
Country: Union of Soviet Socialist Republic/ Russian Republic

Other Users: Ukraine, Islamic Union, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, Libya, Cuba, Mexico, Pakistan, African nations, Republic of China

Builder: Morozov Design Bureau

Armament: 1x D-81T 125mm (Smoothbore)
1x NVST 12.7mm HMG
1x 7.62mm MGs (1x COAX)

Unlike the Western Powers the Soviet Union had to rebuild its armed forces from nearly scratch. Due to the Treaty of Geneva signed by the Allied powers and USSR at the end of World War II, the Red Army was severally restricted. It was only allowed to have enough divisions to maintain a proper defense of the Soviet Union. Heavy weapons particularly tanks were limited to only a few divisions. Neither the United States nor European Alliance ever wished for the USSR to threaten them again.

These restrictions left a bitter taste in the senior Soviet military leadership. However the rebuilding of the Soviet industry and agricultural centers following the war was the main priority for CPSU leaders. From the 1950s till the early 60s the Red Army was forced to use the IS-2 Heavy Tank and other AFVs left over from World War II. Things not might have changed if not for the bickering amongst the Allies.

Europe too needed to rebuild following the Second World War. The massive damage across Eastern Europe, Poland, and Germany was their primary concern following the war. The Alliance wanted a quick withdrawal from the USSR so their money could be spent on reconstruction. Leary of maintaining sole responsibility for the Soviets; the United States began a pullout shortly after the start of the European one. More control was handed back to the Soviet Union and eventually the CPSU leadership was able to operate without restrictions. As a result the Soviet Union was able to move freely to secure its borders in the late 50s.

Unrest that had begun in the former Soviet Republics was spilling over into the USSR itself. Eager to stop the unrest and to regain control of their former states, the leadership in Moscow announced it was sending in the Red Army to restore order. The Europeans and Americans, not willing to go in and aid the former republics themselves allowed the Soviets to carry out their incursion. Sensing weakness and distrust among their former enemies, the Red Army began as series of small modernization and research programs for their armed forces.

True re-armament of the Soviet military did not occur till the rise of Alexander Romanov as General Secretary of the CPSU in 1960. Romanov had worked in the postwar government. He had played a critical role in protecting the Communist Party from being dismantled by the Allies following the war. Now as General Secretary he informed the armed forces that he intended to seek re-armament. Much of the work began in secret but once it was known that the Europeans and Americans would not protest Soviet rearmament it was pushed into the open.

Among the first things addressed by the Red Army was the creation of a new main battle tank. The end result was the T-64. As with pervious Soviet tanks it focused on firepower and armor. There were however a number of interesting changes. First was the abandonment of a circular round turret. Designers opted instead to build an angular western style turret including the use of blow out panels with an ammunition bay in the turret. One major complaint by veterans of the Great Patriotic War was the tendency of Soviet armor to explode its ammunition when the turret was breached by a round. Although the T-64’s system was not up to Allied standards, it was better then nothing.

A very new idea for the T-64 was the addition of big 125mm smoothbore cannon. Western designs used rifled tank barrels. The smoothbore feature doubled the range of the gun and increased muzzle velocity. Later models of the T-64 would be able to fire anti-tank missiles from their cannons. The fourth crewmember, the loader, was eliminated from the tank. A new electric automatic one took his place. Good armor protection combined with the powerful gun did lead to a slower tank. When shown the first production models General Secretary Romanov remarked, “Look at this gun, a fine gun. Very long like a Rhino’s horn.”

The comment by the Secretary was not forgotten by the Soviet Defense Minster or his deputies. As a result the T-64 was soon called the Rhino much to Romanov’s delight. First revealed to the Western Powers in 1963 during a parade in Red Square, the Allied observes were dismayed to see how far the Soviets had come in such a short time. An American military officer working in the Embassy in Moscow wrote that the T-64 incorporated a series of new features while maintaining a low silhouette.

Rhinos first saw combat in the hands of Soviet clients in Africa. The formation of the World Socialist Alliance gave the USSR a number of allies and weapons testing ground around the world. T-64 Rhinos in the hands of Libyan tankers and some Soviet ‘advisors’ saw combat against Egypt during a border dispute in 1965. It was quite superior to the M48s in Egyptian hands. Numerous teething problems with the engines were found during the combat in Africa. New production versions of the Rhino corrected the problem.

Even though the T-64 could not outclass the latest Western designs, the sheer numbers produced combined with their firepower and armor protection would ensure victory according to leaders of the Red Army. All the Soviet Motor Rifle and Tank divisions were using Rhinos by the time of World War III.

American Grizzly tanks were overwhelmed by Soviet numbers and surprise in 1975. Many of the attacking Rhinos also included a new defensive armor. Explosive Reactive Armor was something the Russians had been experimenting with in-between the World Wars. A block of explosives the ERA was designed to defeat HEAT warheads. Soviet tankers were thrilled as American TOW and Dragon missiles failed to kill them. The ERA did not always protect the T-64s nor did they stop the sabot rounds fired by M61s. In a series of crushing battles the Rhinos swept into the American plains and devastated U.S. forces in early battles.

The T-64 was the mainstay of Soviet forces throughout the war. It’s heavier and more complicated cousin, the T-72 Apocalypse Tank never entered the war in sufficient numbers to phase out the Rhino. As the Americans rallied and began their counterattacks during the war they did so with increasingly effective equipment. The Soviet research and development departments found it hard to keep up with their Western counterparts. As a result the Rhino began to fall behind the curve of new tank improvements. In the end the sheer number of T-64s produced worked against the USSR. The Soviets simply couldn’t afford to add thermal sights, new electronics, and other high cost upgrades to the thousands of Rhinos that had been made. Still the T-64 served till the end with the fall of Moscow.

Although many were destroyed during the war, numerous T-64 Rhinos lay in storage for the reserve divisions of the new Russian Republic. Others were used to equip the armies of countries like the Ukraine, China, and Islamic Union. Cuba, Iraq, and other former WSA members are still using T-64s ensuring that the Rhino will be in service into the 21st Century.

…………………..

Okay my take on Red Alert 2’s Rhino Tank. I decided to use the T-64 as a designation and hull of the tank. The turret though is pretty much the angular one from the Chinese Type 90 and 96 MBTs. Since a plain hull is boring I added ERA to the hull to spice it up. Plus ERA did show up in the 70s so in the increased technology universe of Red Alert, it can arrive earlier. I thought about doing camo for it but decided to stick with pea soup green.

I really do like this one so please share what you think. My next tank shall be the Prism Tank of the Allies. Like I have with the others I’m going to try and do it ‘realistically’.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkyuzoaoi:
kyuzoaoi Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Student Artist
Hmm. So this is the OTL T-62 fitted with the Chinese turret?
Reply
:iconjeremynationalist:
JeremyNationalist Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really awesome looking tank, great picture! 
Reply
:icontevo77777:
Tevo77777 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Student Artist
I wonder if you'll ever try to show the Heavy tank.
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
Are you talking about the Apocalypse from RA2 or the RA heavy tank?
Reply
:icontevo77777:
Tevo77777 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Student Artist
The one from Red Alert with the two barrels.
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
Got it, yeah I've always wondered about doing that one. I don't think two cannons is really realistic so I thought about having the Apocalypse with one gun barrel and a missile launching tube. So I might give it a try.
Reply
:icontevo77777:
Tevo77777 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Student Artist
Sweet...to bad it couldn't be done the original way
Reply
:iconarsenal6:
arsenal6 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
SO Pakistan Is NOT an ALLIE To AMerica .
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
Not necessary they are just using a Russian MBT. Even today the majority of Pakistan's tank force is Russian models.
Reply
:iconarsenal6:
arsenal6 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013
No they are not
Its purely Pakistani made !
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
Pakistan licensed the the ability to produce them, but they bought the design and license from Russia. So yes they are made in Pakistan but the design and such is all Russian.
Reply
:iconarsenal6:
arsenal6 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013
No the designes are Pakistan because they change them around they are not excatly the same. With that agruement the f-35 is a british design because it as based on the Harrier.
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013
The problem with your argument is that the F-35 is a completely different airplane.

Now Pakistan has 600 Al-Khalid tanks which I'd agree have changed enough from the original PLA Type 90 to be a homegrown tank.

They have T-80UDs all delivered by the Ukraine, and then Type 88-III which was produced by the Chinese.

So they have a mix of homegrown and export tanks.
Reply
:iconarsenal6:
arsenal6 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013
The F-35 was example of your what you  said.
 
"The problem with your argument is that the F-35 is a completely different airplane"  does not have any point at all in agruement.  

They don't have Mixture of exports only Home grown
I will agree they may have been help in design from both China and Urkrane but that was a long time.
THey have been having home grown for the last 25 years !
Reply
:iconrkraptor70:
rkraptor70 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist
Now this makes saying "We'll bury them" even more awesome!
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner May 19, 2013
Yep, love this one!
Reply
:iconcliffjumer77:
cliffjumer77 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Did you get the name from GTA?
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
No its from Red Alert 2, with the T-64 part coming from a real life tank.
Reply
:iconemilion-3:
Emilion-3 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is what I am looking for
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmacpaul:
MacPaul Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2011
Are the roadwheels supposed to be ovals?
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2011
No I guess I not, just bad drawing LOL.
Reply
:iconmacpaul:
MacPaul Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011
On your part, then.
Reply
:iconartconscript:
artconscript Featured By Owner May 19, 2010
I can see it now!
It's really cool!Great...no...outstanding,awesome work!
Reply
:iconartconscript:
artconscript Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2010
I cant see the rhino...I wonder why...
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2010
Rhino is a reference to the long barrel of the main gun. It was my way of making a story as to why this RA tank would have such a name since all Soviet tanks simply use numbers.

There is no actual rhino to be seen, sorry :-)
Reply
:iconartconscript:
artconscript Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2010
Awww...so sad to hear...read that...
Reply
:iconmarksynthesis:
MarkSYNTHESIS Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010
Despite the weak plot of RA2, you've got a nice, thoughtful technical description of the vehicle in question. Picture is nice too, though it kind of reminds me of a T-80 chassis with a M1A1 turret. Still, looks good.
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010
Thanks Mark.

My background info is an attempt to remove some of the campier elements of RA2 and replace it with the more serious tone of the first game. Glad you liked the design. Its actually based on the T-64 which was where development of the T-80 began IIRC. Glad you like it thanks for the comments!
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Regard CnC campyness and attempts at making in more realistic, have you already read the fan novelization for Tiberium Wars? Its awesome, and brings an incredibly realistic and epic tone to the whole thing. :)
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
Never saw it, wasn't really a Tiberium guy. Maybe they can do the same with Red Alert. That's good to know though, thanks!
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I wasn't a Tiberium guy either until I red it. [link]

It's a really good read, even for non-fans, what is nothing short of an accomplishment onto itself. :)

Doing the same with red alert would be nice. I think that it might be possible to do with RA1 and RA2, but not with RA3, I think. In that one the sillyness reached criticl levels. -.-
More interesting would be if someone got to do it in a way that managed to get RA1, RA2 and the Tiberium game sin the same continuity. I beleiev that only RA3 is in a different continuity altogether, although the connections were never explored except for a few cutscenes in RA1.
Reply
:iconmarksynthesis:
MarkSYNTHESIS Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010
Yeah, I'm something of a sucker for the T-80 (I recommend Mikhail Baryatinskiy's "Main battle Tank T-80" if you're the same), and am familiar with its design history. It's the turret that quite threw me off.
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
I think I have that one actually. I enjoyed the plates and photos. It surprised the hell out of me that the Russians deployed T-80s in Chechnya without ERA.

The turret is supposed to be based on Chinese designs. They've adopted sloped armor turrets for their last couple tanks. So that's where the turret came from. It was then covered with ERA.
Reply
:iconmarksynthesis:
MarkSYNTHESIS Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2010
Yeah, apparently, to this day the performance of all tanks in Chechnya is still widely contested (besides "don't use tanks in urban areas" anyway).

I see it now...the turret looks like the Type 99.
Reply
:icondr2525:
DR2525 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
Awsome intel debrief, tho the rhino was more "boxy" than what the T-64 (even with a modern turret) looks like.. it reminded me more of a big T-34 but with the turret moved back and a bigger gun. Still, awsome pic.
Reply
:iconpaintfan08:
PaintFan08 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
The goal was more realism so that's why it has a Chinese style turret. The ERA covers this slightly. Thanks for the comments.
Reply
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