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T-62

Medium tank

T-62

The T-62 medium tank was churned out in thousands in the former Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1961
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 41.5 - 42 t
Length (gun forward) 9.3 m
Hull length 6.6 m
Width 3.6 m
Height 3 m
Armament
Main gun 115 mm smoothbore
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 16 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 rounds
Machine guns 300 x 12.7 mm, 2 500 x 7.62 mm
Mobility
Engine V-55V diesel
Engine power 580 hp
Maximum road speed 50 km/h
Range 450 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.85 m
Fording 1.4 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

 

   Development of the T-62 medium tank commenced in 1957. It was developed from the previous T-55. The first prototype of the T-62 was completed in 1959. It was tested and trialed through 1960 and 1961. In 1961 this tank was officially accepted to service with the Soviet Army. Its production commenced in 1961 and ceased in 1973. Around 20 000 of these tanks were produced in the Soviet Union. Between 1975 and 1978 this tank was license-produced in Czechoslovakia. More than 1 500 tanks were built for export. In the 1980s it was also produced in North Korea. The T-62 was widely used and is still used during numerous military conflicts all around the world. The T-62 was the last medium tank, produced in the Soviet Union. It was replaced in production and frontline units by the newer T-72 main battle tank. Currently the T-62 is still in service with about 20 countries. Russia keeps these tanks in storage. Largest operators are Cuba, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen. Some countries also keep these tanks in storage.

   The T-62 follows the lines of the previous T-55. It has the same layout, but has improved firepower and protection. Some of the automotive components are compatible. However the T-62 has a newly-developed hull, turret and gun.

   This tank has an all-welded hull and cast turret. Front armor plate is 100 mm thick and has a high inclination angle. Its protection level is equivalent to 200 mm of rolled homogenous armor. Hull sides are 45-80 mm thick. The turret is slightly larger than that of the T-55. Its armor is 105 to 114 mm thick. Protection level of this tank was respectable at the time. The T-62 was a tough nut for contemporary Western tanks. A standard NATO 105 mm gun, used on the French AMX-30, German Leopard 1, and American M60 Patton, could penetrate front armor of the T-62 at ranges of around 1 500 meters. However currently the T-62 is vulnerable to most anti-tank weapons. The tank is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   The T-62 is armed with a fully-stabilized semi-automatic 115 mm smoothbore gun. At the time it was the first tank in the world to use a smoothbore gun. It fires APFSDS, HEAT, and HE-FRAG rounds. The APFSDS round outperforms that, fired from the British L7 105 mm rifled gun, that was standard with NATO countries. Maximum rage of fire is up to 4 km at day and up to 800 m at night. The gun of the T-62 has a spent case ejection mechanism. Cases are ejected from a door in a turret rear. However its rate of fire is only 4 rounds per minute. The T-62 can fire accurately on the move. A total of 40 rounds are carried for the main gun.

   There is also a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7 mm roof-mounted machine gun.

   This tank has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The T-62 is powered by a V-55V diesel engine, developing 580 hp. The same engine is used on the T-55. Some T-62 tanks were fitted with improved V-55U (620 hp) and V-46-5M (690 hp) engines. Suspension of the T-62 has been revised. With auxiliary fuel tanks this machine has a range of 650 km. The tank can be fitted with a deep wading kit and ford water obstacles up to 5 m deep.

   Numerous variants of the T-62 have been produced. Only some of them are listed below.  Also a number of upgrade programs were available for this tank. Some countries still offer upgrade packages.

 

Variants

 

   T-62K command tank.

   T-62D fitted with Drozd active protection system.

   T-62M an extensively upgraded version. It is fitted with add-on armor and rubber side skirts. The turret is fitted with anti-radiation liner. The tank is fitted with improved fire control system and can fire anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. The gun is fitted with a thermal sleeve. It is worth noting that there were numerous variations of the T-62M. Some of the tanks (T-62M-1) were fitted with V-46-5M diesel, developing 690 hp. Vehicle uses the same tracks as the T-72 tank. Upgrades were carried between 1983 and 1985.

   BTS-4V conversion of the T-62 into armored recovery vehicle.

 

 
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