The U-5TS (production designation 2A20) tank gun is a 115mm-calibre weapon that was fitted exclusively to the Soviet Union's T-62 main battle tank. It was the first smoothbore weapon designed for tanks[citation needed] and heralded the change in main armament from rifled cannons.

Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1961
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Afghanistan View
Algeria View
Angola View
Bulgaria View
Cuba View
Egypt View
Eritrea View
Ethiopia View
Iran (Persia) View
Iraq View
Israel View
Kazakhstan View
Mongolia View
North Korea View
Russia (USSR) 1961 View
Syria View
Tajikistan View
Turkmenistan View
Ukraine View
Uzbekistan View
Vietnam View
Yemen View
Belarus View

As the T-54/55 series began to replace the T-34 tanks in the Soviet Army in the 1950s it was recognised that the standard NATO tanks of the time - the Centurion and M48 Patton - had armour that was too heavy to be easily defeated by the existing ammunition for the 100mm D10 gun that the new tanks carried. The Soviets set about designing a new "heavy" vehicle which was required to complement the tanks in an overwatch capacity and to provide greater anti-armour capability.

The new vehicle, the T-62, was to be equipped with a new smoothbore design - which allows higher velocity and greater armour penetration with kinetic rounds - based on an enlargement of the 100mm 2A19 anti-tank gun that had entered production in 1955. The new weapon, designated as U-5T, could penetrate 300mm of vertical RHA at a 1000 metres and re-established a comfortable penetration capacity against Western armor.

Though the T-62 would have variable success in the conflicts it was involved in the U-5TS would remain a formidable weapon that proved capable of penetrating the armour of any comparable NATO tank until the deployment of third generation MBTs in the late 1970s and early 80s. This was proven by examination of Iranian Chieftain and M60's knocked out by Iraqi T-62's during the Iran-Iraq War. These examinations led to the development of add-on armour packages such as Stillbrew to try to counter the U-5TS.

Type Tank gun
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1961
Used by Current and former users:
 Soviet Union
 Iraqi Kurdistan
 North Korea
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Lebanese Christian Militia
Wars Sino-Soviet border conflict
Yom Kippur War
Ethio-Somali War
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Lebanese Civil War
1982 Lebanon War
Chadian–Libyan conflict
Polisario War
Angolan Civil War
Ethiopian Civil War
Iran-Iraq War
Ethiopian-Eritrean War
Gulf War
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
Operation Iraqi Freedom
South Ossetia War (2008)
Libyan Civil War
Syrian civil war
War in Afghanistan (1978–present)
Production history
Designed Late 1950s
Weight 2380kg
Caliber 115 millimetres (4.53 in)
Rate of fire 4-5/minute
Muzzle velocity 1600 m/s (APFSDS)
Effective firing range 2m high target - 1,870m; 3m high target - 2,260m; 4000mAT-12 missile.

End notes