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main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank of the Soviet Army's armored units, as well as of the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and others. T-54s and T-55s were involved in many of the world's armed conflicts during the late twentieth century.
The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000.
The T-54/55 series was eventually replaced by the T-62, T-72, and T-80 in the Soviet and Russian Armies, but tanks of the series are still in use by up to 50 other armies worldwide, some having received sophisticated retrofitting.