ASU-85 gallery

The ASU-85 is a powerful self-propelled assault gun to support the infantry with limited capacity as a tank destroyer. Its quality of being airborne was its main advantage over other vehicles of its time.
Unfortunately for ASU-85, the casemate gun concept was outdated when it entered service, so it was soon relegated from the frontline Airborne Divisions.
Although the first prototype was ready in 1953, it was not until 1961 when the ASU-85 entered into production. The first designation was SU-85, the same as another assault gun derived from the T-34 tank.
The first design was open topped and the Ministry of Defense issued an order for the final vehicle to have an armored roof, which delayed its production for almost 3 years.
PT-76 light tank chassis was chosen as the basis of the ASU-85 but without the amphibious capabilities. It had an internal layout similar to the tanks, driver in the front, central combat chamber and powerplant at the rear.
The Soviet Airborne Divisions were trained to operate anywhere in the World, with snow, in deserts or in the taiga, so the ASU-85 self propelled gun was prepared to fight in such terrains.
The 85mm D-70 (2A15) gun fires HEAT, HVAP.T and HE ammunition. They carried forty 85mm rounds and the gun could penetrate almost 200mm of steel armor at 1 km maximum distance.
The “troop transport” is another of the “classic missions” of all Soviet vehicles, and the ASU-85 was no exception. Here we see a light infantry charge in the “old school” style.
ASU-85 were distributed in assault gun batallions of 31 vehicles each. Likewise, each of the 8 Soviet Airborne Division of that time had one of these battalions.
Unfortunately ASU-85 did not have much profusion in the Warsaw Pact’s Armies, being used only by Poland, (31 examples), and East Germany. The USSR used them in the Soviet-Afgan War.
This is the ASU-85M or ASU-85 “M-1974” according to NATO designation, which mounted a 12.7mm DShK heavy machine gun, which reduced its ammunition capacity to only thirty-four 85mm rounds.


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