T-62

Infobox Weapon |is_vehicle=yes
name=T-62


caption=T-62 at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Kiev
type=Main battle tank
origin=Soviet Union
service=July 1961-present
used_by=
wars=
designer=OKB-520 design bureau
manufacturer= Uralvagonzavod
production_date=July 1961–1975 (USSR)
1975–1978 (Czechoslovakia)
–1980s (North Korea)
number=More than 22,700
variants=
spec_label=T-62
length=9.34 m with barrel in forward position
6,63 m hull only
width=3.30 m
height=2.40 m
weight=40 tonnes
suspension=torsion bar
clearance=425 mm
speed=50 km/h (road)
40 km/h (cross country)
vehicle_range=450 km on road (650 km with two 200-liter extra fuel tanks)
320 km cross-country (450 km with two 200-liter extra fuel tanks)
primary_armament=115 mm U-5TS (2A20) smoothbore gun (40 rounds) [http://www.pancerni.abajt.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=81 "Pancerni"] ]
secondary_armament=7.62 mm PKT coaxial general purpose machine gun (2500 rounds)
12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 antiaircraft heavy machine gun (optional until T-62 Obr.1972)
armour=Cast turret
242 mm turret front
153 mm turret sides
97 mm turret rear
40 mm turret roof
102 mm at 60° hull front
79 mm hull upper sides
15 mm hull lower sides
46 mm at 0° hull rear
20 mm hull bottom
31 mm hull roof
engine=V-55 12-cylinder 4-stroke one-chamber 38.88 liter water-cooled diesel
hp=580
kW=432
crew=4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
engine_power=581 hp (433 kW) at 2,000 rpm
fuel_capacity=960 l
1360 l with two 200-liter extra fuel tanks
pw_ratio=14.5 hp/tonne (10.8 kW/tonne)

The T-62 Soviet main battle tank is a further development of the T-55. Its 115 mm gun was the first smoothbore tank gun in use.

The T-62 was produced between 1961 and 1975. It became a standard tank in the Soviet arsenal, partly replacing the T-55, although that tank continued to be manufactured in the Soviet Union and elsewhere after T-62 production was halted. The T-54/55 and T-62 were later replaced in front-line service by the T-64 and T-72.

Development history

The initial requirement

By the late 1950's, Soviet commanders realized that the T-55's 100mm gun was incapable of penetrating the frontal armor of newer Western tanks like the Centurion and M48 Patton with standard AP shells. While 100mm HEAT ammo could have accomplished the task, they were considerably more expensive and required more training of tank crews for proper use. The Soviets instead opted for the simpler solution of up-gunning the T-55 with a 115mm smoothbore cannon that fired APFSDS rounds. Experimental trials showed that the T-55 was inherently unsuited to mount the larger new cannon, and work therefore began on a new tank. The bigger gun required a bigger turret and turret ring to absorb the higher recoil. This in turn necessitated a larger hull as well to bear the additional size and weight of the turret. The T-62 thus took shape, marking an evolutionary improvement upon the T-55. ()

Ob'yekt 140

At the time when Morozov was working on his Ob'yekt 430 tank, a young engineer Leonid N. Kartsev was the head of the OKB-520 design bureau of Uralvagonzavod factory (UVZ) from Nizhny Tagil. He was responsible for T-54A (Ob'yekt 137G) and T-54B (Ob'yekt 137G2) modernizations of T-54 main battle tank. After the works on T-54M (Ob'yekt 139) modernization (not to be confused with later T-54M refurbishment program which brought the T-54 main battle tanks to T-55 standard) were abandoned he and his design team started working on a new tank called Ob'yekt 140. The new tank had a suspension with six light roadwheels made of aluminium. The turret was cast and armed with 100 mm D-54TS tank gun with Molniya two plane stabilization system. The tank carried 50 rounds for the gun. The tank was powered by V-36 diesel engine developed by engineer Artiemejev. The engine was placed on the bottom of the hull which reduced the height of engine compartment. The Ob'yekt 140 weighted 37.6 tonnes.

Morozov's Ob'yekt 430 tank had a hull made out of welded rolled steel plates and a turret made out of cast and forged steel. The turret had three layer armour with an overall thickness of 185 mm to 240 mm. It was armed with the same D-54TS tank gun as Kartsev's Ob'yekt 140. In 1957 Uralvagonzavod built two Ob'yekt 140 prototypes which were put on trials soon after. The trials showed that because of complicated construction of many of tank's systems, Kartsev's tank would be expensive in serial production and hard to maintain.

After he was forced to abandon the Ob'yekt 140 project he started working on yet another T-54 main battle tank modernization called the T-55 (Ob'yekt 155) in which he included one of the key features from Ob'yekt 140 tank: the upper fuel tanks were fitted with mounts for tank gun ammunition. This increased the ammunition load carried by the tank to 45 rounds.

Ob'yekt 165

In the end of 1958 Kartsev decided to modernize the Ob'yekt 140 turret. He fitted it with a cartridge-case ejector and mounted it onto a stretched T-55 chassis with a new suspension. He did so because designs that were based on already produced vehicles had higher of chance of acceptance. Because the Ob'yekt 140 turret had a diameter bigger than the T-55 turret by 249 mm it made redesigning the central part of the hull necessary. While at it, Kartsev also changed the arrangement of torsion beams which was also necessary to keep the tank's weight balanced. The tank received a designation Ob'yekt 165 and in November 1958 three prototypes were built.

Ob'yekt 166

While working on a new tank Kartsev was looking for a more powerful tank gun. The 100 mm D-10T and D-54 tank guns had fierce enemy in a form of British L4A1 tank gun. The Soviets decided to "recaliber" the already existing 100 mm D-54TS tank gun. The modifications done to gun included removing the rifling of the gun, reducing the profile of the bullet chamber, removing the muzzle brake, lengthening the gun tube, adding an automatic cartridge-case ejector and adding the bore evacuator in middle of the gun tube (which differed it from D-45TS tank gun which had a bore evacuator in base of the gun tube). The new 115 mm tank gun was designated U-5TS "Molot" Rapira which was the first Soviet 115 mm smoothbore tank gun. When it went into serial production it also received a designation 2A20. It was put on completive trials against the D-10TS tank gun which was the armament of T-54B as well as some T-55 and T-55A main battle tanks. These trials showed that the undercaliber projectiles shoot out of the U-5TS had 700 km/h higher muzzle velocity. It also became apparent that the maximal range of the new tank gun was almost two times longer than the D-10TS one. The only serious drawback of the U-5TS tank gun was the fact that it wasn't as accurate as the D-10TS because of a lack of riffling. However the two times longer range of the gun and it's extremely high muzzle velocity made the poor accuracy less of an issue.

The new 115 mm U-5TS "Molot" (2A20) Rapira smoothbore tank gun was fitted into the Ob'yekt 140 turret in the end of 1960. The new tank received a designation Ob'yekt 166. In 1960 both Ob'yekt 165 and Ob'yekt 166 prototypes passed the trials. The Uralvagonzavod was preparing to start a serial production of the new tank however the GBTU was paying much more attention to Morozov's Ob'yekt 430 which was developed since early 1952. Morozov was supported by general Ustinov who was in charge of Soviet military industry at the time. He didn't seen it as necessary to produce the new tank from Uralvagonzavod but soon the situation changed dramatically with the appearance of a new American main battle tank, the M60. In January 1961, an Iranian officer defected with his new US-made M60A1 main battle tank across the border into the Soviet Union.Zaloga 2004, p 13.] The new American tanks were armed with British 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7A1 tank gun like the earlier British Centurion main battle tanks and the later German Leopard 1 main battle tanks. The M60's armour layout and L7A1 tank gun meant that the NATO main battle tanks are superior to Soviet main battle tanks. This situation was very dangerous for the Soviets and caused them great concern for their armoured forces. Also in 1961 the Soviet intelligence discovered that British were working on new a main battle tank armed with 120 mm tank gun. Because of this general Czujkov demanded an explanation of "Kartsev's tanks" case. On a conference of GBTU and Soviet ground forces committee it became apparent that Morozov's Ob'yek 430 tank was only 10% better than the serial T-55. Because of this, Morozov's project was a complete failure. The representatives of Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau said that works on a new tank, the Ob'yekt 432 already started. However general Czujkov demanded the production of the Ob'yekt 166 main battle tank to be started immediately. The OKB-520 design bureau of Uralvagonzavod made another design, the Ob'yekt 167 which was the Ob'yekt 166 with a new more powerful V-26 engine which with a use of charger developed 700 hp (522 kW). Two prototypes were built in the middle of 1961 and passed the trials. This time however the GBTU decided not to wait for the new main battle tank to pass the trials and send the Ob'yekt 166 into mass production in July 1961 instead. It must be noted that the Ob'yekt 165 also entered service in very small numbers. It received a designation T-62A."Czołgi Świata" (World's Tanks or Tanks Of The World) magazine issue 20]

Description

The T-62 has a typical tank layout: driver's compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the center and engine compartment in the rear. The four-man crew consists of the commander, driver, gunner and loader. Although the T-62 is very similar to the T-55 and makes use of many of the same parts, there are some differences. Those include the hull, which is a few centimeters longer and wider, the different road wheels, and differences in characteristic uneven gaps between roadwheels. Like the in the T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks there is a gap between the first and second pair of roadwheels. However there are also gaps between the second and the third pairs of roadwheels as well as the third and the forth pairs of roadwheels. The gap between the forth and the fifth pairs of roadwheels has been enlarged. ()

Armament

The armament consists of the 115 mm U-5TS "Molot" (2A20) Rapira smoothbore tank gun with two-plane "Meteor" stabilizer and 7.62 mm PKT coaxial general purpose machine gun mounted on the right hand side of the main gun. The 12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 antiaircraft heavy machine gun is mounted on the loader's hatch. It was optional until 1972 when all newly built tanks were fitted with the AA HMG. The tank carries 40 rounds for the main gun (although only 4 are placed in the turret while the rest are stored in the back of the fighting compartment and in the front of the hull, on the right hand side of the driver) and 2500 rounds for the coaxial machine gun. All of vehicle's armament is mounted in or on the round cast egg-shaped turret from Ob'yekt 140 prototype main battle tank, mounted over the third pair of roadwheels. It takes more than 21 seconds for the T-62's turret to rotate through a full 360° which is longer than the time needed by US and NATO tanks of the time to do the same. The T-62 was armed with the world's first smoothbore tank gun, giving it considerably greater muzzle velocity than the Western 90 mm and 105 mm tank guns of its time. Fact|date=May 2008 It can fire BM-6 APFSDS-T, BK-4 and BK-4M HEAT and OF-18 Frag-HE rounds. The 115 mm gun introduced the first successful APFSDS ammunition, albeit with a steel penetrator. A smoothbore gun also allowed a significantly better performance (from 10% to 20%) from HEAT ammunition, which was considered the main ammunition type for fighting enemy armour at medium and long ranges. [http://www.softland.com.pl/aerojac/aaa/t62/t62.htm "softland"] ] cite book|author=Igor Witkowski|title=Czołgi Świata|publisher=W-wa] The gun can be elevated or depressed between -6° and +16°. The tank has no autoloader and has to be reloaded by hand. To reload the gun it first has to be elevated or depressed to +3.5°. Empty cartridges are automatically ejected outside the vehicle through a small hatch in the rear of the turret. The gun has range of fire of about 4 km during day conditions and 800 m (with the use of the night vision equipment) during night conditions. T-62's practical rate of fire is 4 round per minute while the vehicle is stationary and is lower when the vehicle is moving. The low rate of fire falls back behind the Western 105 mm tank guns. When the tank and the target are stationary, the U-5TS has almost the same accuracy as the American M60 Patton and the German Leopard 1 main battle tanks. However when the tank or the target are moving the accuracy becomes very poor due to the tank's poor stabilization system and the lack of the fire control system. Even the APFSDS-T rounds at a range of 700 meters are two times less accurate when the target is moving with a constant speed. [http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/tank/T-62.html "Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide"] ] [http://warfare.ru/?lang=&catid=244&linkid=2314"Warfare.ru"] ]

Mobility

The T-62 uses torsion bar suspension. It has five pairs of rubber-tired roadwheels, drive sprocket at the rear and idler at the front on each side, with no return rollers. The first and last roadwheels have a hydraulic shock absorber. The tank is powered by the V-55 12-cylinder 4-stroke one-chamber 38.88 liter water-cooled diesel engine developing 581 hp (433 kW) at 2,000 rpm. This is the same engine as the one used in the T-55. Because the T-62 weighs more than the T-55, it is less maneuverable. Like the T-55, the T-62 has three external diesel fuel tanks on the right fender and a single auxiliary oil tank on the left fender. The tank carries 960 liters of fuel in its internal and external fuel tanks. Two optional 200-liter drum-type fuel tanks can be fitted on the rear of the vehicle for an increased operational range. [http://www.pancerni.abajt.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=81&limit=1&limitstart=1 "Pancerni 2"] ]

Armour protection

The T-62 has 5% better armour on the front of the hull (102 mm at 60°) and 15% better armour on the front of the turret (242 mm) than the T-54/T-55. The turret armour is 153 mm thick on the sides, 97 mm thick on the rear and 40 mm thick on the roof. The hull armour is 79 mm thick on the upper sides, 46 mm at 0° thick on the rear and 20 mm thick on the bottom. Although the armour on the front of the hull is thicker than in the T-55, the lower side armour (15 mm) and the roof armour (31 mm) are actually thinner.

Equipment

One of the many similarities between the T-54/T-55 and T-62 tanks is their ability to create a smokescreen by injecting vaporized diesel fuel into the exhaust system. Like the T-54 and T-55, the T-62 has an unditching beam mounted at the rear of the hull. Also the tank can be fitted with a thin snorkel for operational usage and a large diameter snorkel for training. The thin snorkel can be disassembled and carried in the back of the turret when not used. Located on the left hand side of top of the turret is the commander's cupola. The loader has a single piece hatch located on the right hand side of the turret and further back than the commander's cupola. The loader's hatch has a periscope vision block that can be used to view what's in the front and in the back of the vehicle. Commander's copula has four periscopes, two of which are located in the hatch cover while the other two are located in the forward part of the cupola. The driver has a single piece hatch located on the left hand side of the front of the vehicle and directly in the front of the left hand side of the turret. The tank also uses the same sights and vision devices as the T-55 although the gunner received a new TSh-2B-41 sight which has x4 or x7 magnification. It is mounted coaxially with an optic rangefinder. The gunner also has two periscope vision blocks, one of which is used in conjunction with the main searchlight mounted coaxially on the right hand side of the main armament. There also two other searchlights which are smaller. One of these searchlights is used by the commander and is mounted on his cupola. The tank also has two headlights on the right hand side of the front of the vehicle, one of which is infrared while the other one is white. There also curved hand rails around the turret which allow easier entry for the commander, as well as the gunner and the loader. They also help the infantry to mount and dismount the tank while performing a tank desant. The tank also has box-shaped radiation detector/actuator mounted on the right hand side of the turret, behind the compressed air tanks. While the T-62 did not feature an automatic loader (as would become characteristic of later Russian tanks), it had a unique "ejection port" built into the back of the turret, which would open as the main gun recoiled, ejecting spent shell casings outside. This was considered advantageous since the spent casings would otherwise clutter the floor of the tank and fill the interior with noxious burnt-propellant fumes. () There's a blower mounted in the rear of the turret, to the left of the spent cartridge ejection port.

Limitations

The T-62 shares some of the T-55's limitations: cramped crew compartment, thin armour, crude gun control equipment (on most models), limited depression of the main gun and vulnerable fuel and ammunition storage areas. The automatic spent-cartridge ejection system can cause dangerous accumulations of carbon monoxide and possibly actual physical injury to the crew from spent cartridge cases ricocheting against the edge of a poorly aligned ejection port and rebounding into the crew compartment. Crew members often suffer blunt force injuries and burns from ejected cases bouncing around the interior of the tank. Later designs fitted a deflector behind the commander to protect him from this, but other crew members remain vulnerable. () Opening the ejection port under NBC conditions would also expose the crew to contamination. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/t-62.htm "Global Security"] ]

Each time the gun is fired, the tube must go into détente for cartridge ejection; the power traverse of the turret is inoperable during ejection and reloading operations. Since manual elevation and traverse are rather slow and not effective for tracking a moving target, rapid fire and second-hit capabilities are limited. The turret also cannot be traversed with the driver's hatch open. Although the tank commander may override the gunner and traverse the turret, he cannot fire the main gun from his position. He is unable to override the gunner in elevation of the main gun, causing target acquisition problems.

To fire the 12.7 mm antiaircraft heavy machine gun, the loader must be partially exposed, making him vulnerable to suppressive fire, and he must also leave his main gun loading duties unattended.

The T-62 never enjoyed the anticipated success for numerous reasons. First, the T-62 was more than twice as expensive as the T-55, and many Warsaw Pact nations passed on the new tank because they did not feel that the improvements inherent in it warranted the cost. Secondly, in 1968, a 100mm HVAPDS tank shell capable of piercing Western armor was developed. Use of this ammo made the T-55 gun almost as effective as the T-62's, undercutting the T-62's original selling point: A bigger, more powerful gun. Third, the T-62 was almost immediately rendered obsolete upon its introduction by new Western tanks like the Chieftain and M60, and it became depressingly clear to the Soviets that work had to begin on an even newer MBT to keep pace, even though the T-62 was brand new (this even newer Soviet tank would become the T-64). Finally, the T-62 was slow and could not keep up with the new Soviet BMP - the principal IFV which the T-62 was supposed to operate alongside. All of these factors combined to ensure that the T-62 enjoyed relatively low commercial success, and only briefly served in first line Soviet units before being relegated to training, to reserve status, or being exported to Third World clients. ()

Production history

In July 1961, Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil, Malyshev Factory in Kharkiv, Ukraine and Omsk Factory No. 183 replaced part of their T-55 production with the T-62. [Zaloga 2004, pp 13–14.] The original plans were that the T-62 would be produced until Morozov's Ob'yekt 432 tank was developed. The T-62 production was maintained at Uralvagonzavod until 1973 when it was replaced on the production lines by the T-72. Until the end of production 20,000 T-62 main battle tanks were produced by Uralvagonzavod. The production in Soviet Union was stopped in 1975.

Czechoslovakia built more than 1,500 T-62 main battle tanks for export after the production ceased in Soviet Union in 1975 and it continued there until 1978.

North Korea produced T-62 under license until 1980s. In the early 1990s the North Korean Second Machine Industry Bureau designed a lighter copy of T-62 which is mass produced and is known locally as the Ch'ŏnma-ho I (Ga). [http://www.jedsite.info/tanks-tango/tango-numbers-su/t-62_series/t62-series.html "JED The Military Equipment Directory"] ]

Models

Former Soviet Union

* T-62A (Ob'yekt 165) - Predecessor of T-62. It was essentially a stretched T-55 chassis with a 2245 mm turret ring, new suspension and Ob'yekt 140 turret modernized with spent-cartridge ejector, equipped with the 100 mm D-54TS (also sometimes called U-8ST) tank gun with "Kometa" two plane stabilizer. Only a very small number entered service.
** T-62 Obr.1960 (Ob'yekt 166) - Original production model equipped with the 115 mm U-5TS "Molot" (2A20) Rapira smoothbore tank gun with two plane "Meteor" stabilizer. It also has TKN-3 commander's day/night sight, TSh-2B-41 gunner day sight with 3.5/7x magnification and TPN1-41-11 night sight. It carries 40 rounds for the main gun and 2500 rounds for the PKT coaxial general purpose machine gun. V-55V engine with 581 hp (433 kW). It has a commander's cupola welded to turret.
*** T-62K (Ob'yekt 166K) (K stands for komandirskaya - command) (1964) - T-62M command variant. It is additionally fitted with an R-112 (or R-130) radio, an AB-1 APU and an antenna base on top of the turret. The ammunition load was decreased to 36 for the main gun and 1,750 rounds for the coaxial general purpose machine gun. It was mainly used by company and battalion commanders.
**** T-62KN (Ob'yekt 166KN) (K stands for komandirskaya - command) - T-62K fitted with additional TNA-2 navigation aids.
**** T-62K fitted with 9M14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3 Sagger) ATGM launcher.
*** Ob'yekt 167 - T-62 fitted with V-26 engine which with a use of charger develops 700 hp (522 kW). It also has a 9M14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3 Sagger) ATGM launcher on the rear of turret and a new chassis with return rollers and smaller roadwheels. Not produced. Only two prototypes were made.
**** Ob'yekt 167T - Ob'yekt 167 fitted with GTD-3T gas turbine engine.
*** T-72 - A further development of T-62 with some features of T-64A. ["Czołgi Świata" (World's Tanks or Tanks Of The World) magazine issue 19] ["Czołgi Świata" (World's Tanks or Tanks Of The World) magazine issue 20]
*** T-62 Obr.1967 - T-62 Obr.1960 with a slightly modified engine deck.
**** T-62 Obr.1972 - T-62 Obr.1967 with a DShK 1938/46 machine gun installed on the loader's hatch as well as new drive sprocket, RMSh tracks and improved fording attachment. [http://www.aviapress.com/viewonekit.htm?ACE-72155 "ACE 2"] ]
***** T-62 Obr.1975 - T-62 Obr.1972 equipped with a KTD-1 or KTD-2 laser rangefinder in an armoured box over the main armament. It also has concealed bolts around the commander's cupola.
****** T-62D (Ob'yekt 166D) (D stands for Drozd) (1983) - T-62 Obr.1975 equipped with KAZ 1030M "Drozd" active protection system (APS), BDD appliqué armour on the glacis plate only and new V-55U diesel engine.
******* T-62D-1 (Objekt 166D-1) - T-62D fitted with a new V-46-5M diesel engine.
****** T-62M (Ob'yekt 166M) (1983) - Extensive modernization of the T-62 with protection and mobility improvements and "Volna" fire control system. It is fitted with BDD appliqué armour package, additional belly armour plate for anti-mine protection, 10 mm thick reinforced rubber side skirts and 10 mm thick anti-neutron-liner. The BDD appliqué armour package was specially designed to defeat shaped charges (for example RPGs) and consists of an appliqué plate on the glacis and two horse-shoe shaped blocks fitted to the front of the turret. The handrails around the turret have been removed to make place for the bra appliqué armour. Also fastenings for four spare track chain links have been added on the side of the turret. The tank is also fitted with RhKM tracks from T-72 main battle tank and two additional shock absorbers on the first pair of roadwheels. The "Volna" fire control system was improved by fitting the KTD-2 (or KTD-1) laser rangefinder in an armoured box over the main armament, new TShSM-41U gunner's sight, new commander's sight, "Meteor-M1" stabiliser, BV-62 ballistic computer and 9K116-2 "Sheksna" (NATO: AT-10 Stabber) guided missile unit with 1K13-BOM sight (it is both night sight and ATGM launcher sight however, it cannot be used for both functions simultaneously) which allows the tank to fire 9M117 Bastion ATGMs through its gun tube. The tank was also fitted with a gun thermal sleeve, new radios, R-173 radio set instead of R-123M and a new V-55U diesel engine developing 620 hp (462 kW). The ammunition load was increased by two rounds. Some are fitted with two clusters of four smoke grenade launchers each on the right hand side of the rear of the turret. The T-62M main battle tank was first observed by the Americans during Soviet war in Afghanistan and they gave it designation T-62E. There are a number of sub-variants of the T-62M, depending on how much of the modernization package the vehicle has.
******* T-62M-1 (Ob'yekt 166M-1) - T-62M fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.
******* T-62M1 (Ob'yekt 166M1) - T-62M fitted with revised frontal armour layout on the hull and normal night sight. It doesn't have the ATGM capability.
******** T-62M1-1 (Ob'yekt 166M1-1) - T-62M1 fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.
******** T-62M1-2 (Ob'yekt 166M1-2) - T-62M1 without belly armour and BDD armour package.
********* T-62M1-2-1 (Ob'yekt 166M1-2-1) - T-62M1-2 fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.
******* T-62MD (Ob'yekt 166MD) (D stands for Drozd) - T-62M fitted with KAZ 1030M "Drozd" active protection system (APS).
******** T-62MD-1 (Ob'yekt 166MD-1) (D stands for Drozd) - T-62MD fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.
******* T-62MK (Ob'yekt 166MK) (K stands for komandirskaya - command) - T-62M command variant. It doesn't have the ATGM capability but has TNA-2 navigation aids, additional R-112 and R-113 radio sets and AB-1 auxiliary engine to power the additional radios. The tank has a lower ammunition load for both the main gun and the coaxial general purpose machine gun.
******** T-62MK-1 (Ob'yekt 166MK-1) (K stands for komandirskaya - command) - T-62MK fitted with the V-46-5M diesel engine.
******* T-62MV (Ob'yekt 166MV) (1985) (V stands for "vzryvnoi" - explosive) - Fitted with "Kontakt-1" explosive reactive armour (ERA) on the sides of the hull, glacis plate and in the fron tof the turret (were it replaces the appliqué bra armour).
******** T-62MV-1 (Ob'yekt 166MV-1) (V stands for "vzryvnoi" - explosive) - T-62MV fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.
******** T-62M1V (Ob'yekt 166M1V) (V stands for "vzryvnoi" - explosive) - T-62MV without the ATGM capability.
********* T-62M1V-1 (Ob'yekt 166M1V-1) (V stands for "vzryvnoi" - explosive) - T-62M1V fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.
*** T-62 fitted with a box on the rear of the turret containing anti-aircraft missiles.
*** T-62 fitted with the ZET-1 (ZET stands for Zaschtschita Ekrannaja Tankowaja) vehicle protection system. The system was developed in 1964 and was specially designed to protect the tank's front and sides up to an angle of 25° against shaped-charge projectiles with of a maximum caliber of 115 mm. It consisted of a stretchable screen with net structure centered on vehicles main armament and lateral flipper-type sideskirts. It was intended for T-54, T-55 and T-62 main battle tanks. The diameter of the screens was different for each tank type. The individual screen sections could be replaced in 2 minutes. While it was very successful in wide open spaces, it was a very impractical in wooded areas. Because of that the development sized although the flipper-type sideskirts were later used in the initial T-72 models.
*** T-62 experimentally fitted with "Zhelud" autoloader.
*** T-62/122 - T-62 based combat engineering vehicle rearmed with 122 mm howitzer.
*** T-62/160 - T-62 based combat engineer vehicle fitted with BTU and armed with shortened 160 mm mortar.
*** T-67 - T-62 armed with 125 mm tank gun and fitted with a drive train from T-72 main battle tank.
*** TO-62 - T-62 converted into a flamethrower tank. The flamethrower has an effective range of 100 meters and is mounted coaxially with the 115 mm gun.
*** IT-1 (Ob'yekt 150) - T-62 converted into a tank destroyers ("istrebitel' tankov"). It was developed between 1957 and 1962. It utilized the chassis and the hull of the T-62 main battle tank and was fitted with a new low 'flattened dome' turret with stabilized 2K8 ATGM system instead of the tank gun. The IT-1 was the only one of several "rocket tank" ('raketniy tank') designs that actually entered service. It could launch radio-guided semi-automatic PTUR 3M7 "Drakon" ATGMs with a range between 300 m and 3,300 m. It carried 15 PTUR 3M7 "Drakon" ATGMs on board (3 in reserve and 12 in the autoloader). ATGM was launched from an arm rising through the roof of the turret. Secondary armament consisted of a 7.62 mm PKT general purpose machine gun for which it carried 2,000 rounds. The turret was fitted with T2-PD and UPN-S day/night sights. About 60 IT-1 tank destroyers were built between 1968 and 1970 by various companies including 20 built by the Uralvagonzavod factory in 1970. Only two battalions operated them, one with artillery personnel and one with tank personnel, with one battalion in Belarus MD and the other one in the Carpathian MD. The units were disbanded after the withdrawal of IT-1 and all the vehicles were converted to ARVs.
**** IT-1T (T after IT-1 stands for "tyagach" - tractor) - After the withdrawal of IT-1 from front-line service many of the vehicles were partially converted to ARVs. The only differences from the standard IT-1 was that the turret was fixed in position after all the ATGM gear was removed. They weren't very successful and were soon properly converted into the BTS-4V armoured recovery vehicles.
*** BTS-4V (BTS stands for "bronirovannij tyagach, srednij" - medium armoured tractor) - Conversion of T-62 main battle tanks and IT-1 tank destroyers into a turret-less ARV. They are similar to the much more common T-54 based BTS-4. The vehicle was fitted with a stowage basket, a hoist and a small folding crane with a capacity of 3 tonnes, a winch and a snorkel. It is also known as BTS-4U.
**** BTS-4V1 (BTS stands for "bronirovannij tyagach, srednij" - medium armoured tractor) - Conversion of approximatively 35 pre-production T-62 main battle tanks into ARVs.
*** BTS-4V2 (BTS stands for "bronirovannij tyagach, srednij" - medium armoured tractor) - Partial conversion of 20 T-62 main battle tanks damaged by fire into an armoured recovery vehicle. The turret was replaced by a dome-shaped fixed superstructure. There's a single hatch on top of the superstructure fitted with 12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 antiaircraft heavy machine gun. It was limited to basic towing operations and most were disposed of by giving them away as foreign aid. They were also known as BTS-4VZ.
*** "Impuls-2M" - Decommissioned T-62 main battle tank converted into a fire fighting vehicle fitted with a 50-round launch system for flame-retarding projectiles on a rotatable mount in the turret ring and a dozer blade in the front. It sometimes incorrectly called T-72PPM.

Austria

* T-62 modernization made by NORICUM. The modernization includes a replacement of 115 mm tank gun with 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun. The Egyptian Army evaluated the vehicle and incorporated it in its first upgrade of their T-62 fleet (See Egypt section for details).

Bulgaria

* TV-62 - T-62 main battle tank converted into an armoured recovery vehicle.
* T-62 modification.
* TV-62M - T-62M main battle tank converted into an armoured recovery vehicle. This vehicle is composed of a T-62M hull with a modified T-55 or T-55A turret which was cut in half and it's the upper part was bolted onto the hull in the 6 o'clock position. There's a large winch and a snorkel mounted on the rear of the hull. In TV they were called "tractors for tanks".
* TP-62 - fire fighting vehicle, for the first time presented during "HEMUS 2008".

Egypt

* RO-115 Mark I - T-62 main battle tank upgrade developed in early 1980s. It sustains the Soviet 115 mm gun but uses more powerful ammunition which allows the tanks to engage their targets at a greater range. Some had their guns replaced by Royal ordenance L7 105 mm tank guns as offered by the Austrian firm NORICUM (See Austria section for details). It was also upgraded with a British diesel engine developing 750 hp (559 kW), 2-plane stabilizer, ballistic computer, laser rangefinder in an armoured box over the main armament, a cluster of six smoke grenade launchers on the right hand side of the turret, a fire control system from BMP-3 IFV and additional armor including reactive armor. The upgrades resulted in an increase of weight to 43 tonnes.
* T-62E Mark II - Mid 1990s Egyptian refurbishment and modernization program. It fits the tanks with a license built German MTU engine developing 880 hp (656 kW). The tanks is armed with a license built 105 mm M68 tank gun. It also is fitted with an Italian fire control system with ballistics computer, infrared vision device, laser rangefinder, gun stabilizer, additional armor including reactive armour and armored side skirts, modernized suspension and six smoke grenade launchers on each side of the turret. It also has NBC protection system. T-62E Mark II also carries two Egyptian-made 2-round anti-tank missile launcher or two 2-round launchers for 80 mm D-3000 smoke rockets on an encroachment extension or a box-type launcher holding two Sakr smoke missiles on each side of the turret..
* RO-120 Mark III - T-62 main battle tank upgrade developed in 2004. It arms the tank with the 120 mm M-393 tank gun developed by FSUE. The gun is 530 cm long and weights 2.6 tonnes. The gun can be elevated or depressed between -7° and +15° degrees. It was also upgraded with a new license built German MTU engine developing 890 hp (664 kW), additional armor including reactive armor and armored side skirts. The upgrades resulted in an increase of weight to 46.5 tonnes. The upgrading is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008.

France

* T-62 modernization made by GIAT. The modernization includes a replacement of 115 mm tank gun with 120 mm smoothbore tank gun, the same as the one used in AMX 40 prototype main battle tank. No order was made however.

Israel

* Tiran-3 - Israeli designation for unmodified T-62.
** Tiran-6 - Modernization of ex-Syrian T-62. Fitted with laser rangefinder and thermal imaging sight for the gunner. The tank was also fitted with US-made radio. Some Tiran-6 have "Blazer" reactive armour tiles fitted to the hull and turret. The original engine was replaced by a General Motors diesel engine. Tiran-6s also have a flat plate bustle rack added to the turret rear, two stowage bins (one on the right side of the turret and other one on the rear of the turret), larger headlight bracket on the glacis plate and pintle mounts for machine guns on the turret roof in front of each hatch. The original 115 mm tank gun was replaced by a 105 mm tank gun. The 12.7 mm DShK 1938/46 antiaircraft heavy machine gun was replaced by an M1919 Browning light machine gun. The M2 Browning heavy machine gun was mounted on top of the mantlet of the main gun. [http://www.aviapress.com/viewonekit.htm?ACE-72158 ACE] ]

North Korea

* Ch'ŏnma-ho I (Ga) - North Korea lighter and thinner armoured copy of T-62. Based on general trends and photography of armed forces parades, it is clear that North Korea has made considerable modifications to the basic Soviet and Chinese designs in its own production.

Ukraine

* T-55AGM - Ukrainian T-54/T-55 modernization which can also be applied to T-62. [http://morozov.com.ua/eng/body/t55agm.php?menu=def2.php "Morozov T-55AGM"] ]
* T-62AG upgraded by Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau. It's fitted with the 5TDF 700hp diesel engine, a 125 mm KBA-101 tank gun, new fire control equipment and enhanced armour protection. Combat weight is 39.5 tonnes, crew still consists of 4 men because there's no automatic loader. The upgrade package is aimed at the export market, since the Ukrainian army no longer uses the T-62.Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau is also offering three T-62 conversions: [http://morozov.com.ua/eng/body/t5-6x-2.php?menu=def2.php "Morozov T-62 conversions"] ]
* T-62 based heavy infantry fighting vehicle.
* T-62 based armoured recovery vehicle.
* T-62 based armoured bridge layer.

United States

* T-62 modified in a number of ways including the replacement of the original diesel engine with a caterpillar diesel engine and fitting of US radios and antennae mounts. T-62 main battle tanks modified in such a way were used by the US Army for OpFor training.

Service history

The T-62 entered service with the Soviet Army in July 1961. Because of the firepower of the new 115 mm gun, it was considered to be a formidable tank for the time, despite its drawbacks. Along with the T-55, the T-62 was one of the most common tanks in the Soviet inventory. The two tanks together once comprised approximately 85% of the Soviet army's tanks. The T-62 and T-55 are now mostly used by Russian reserve units for a possible secondary mobilization while some are kept in storage. The active duty and primary mobilization units mainly use the T-80 and T-72, with a smaller number of T-90 tanks in service in active units.

The only other Warsaw Pact member to operate T-62s on a mass scale was Bulgaria. After the war in Afghanistan, Bulgaria received about 200 T-62 and T-62M from the Soviet Union in the 1980s. These were modified, but due to several problems, they were quickly withdrawn from service and some were sold to Angola and Yemen. Many were converted into TV-62 and TV-62M armoured recovery vehicles and their turrets were scrapped. The TV-62M is the standard armoured recovery vehicle of the Bulgarian Army.

Both Poland and Czechoslovakia evaluated the vehicle but refused it for high price and low update value compared to the T-55.

The T-62 saw combat for the first time during 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict during which one was captured by the PLA. This tank was later studied and the information gathered from those studies was used for the development of Type 79 main battle tank. [http://www.aviapress.com/viewonekit.htm?TRN-140 "ACE 3"] ]

During the Yom Kippur war, the T-62 was an effective adversary for Israeli Patton and Centurion main battle tanks armed with 105 mm tank guns. The T-62 also had an advantage in its better night-fighting capability, but Syrian losses were heavy.The Israelis captured several hundred of these tanks from the Syrians in 1973, and put some of them into service as the Tiran-3. About 120 Tiran-3 were modernized and received the designation Tiran-6. Only a small number was converted because new US made M60 main battle tanks started arriving in Israel. [http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/tanks/tiran/Tiran.html "Tiran"] ] A small tank brigade consisting of two enlarged tank regiments, each equipped with 46 Tiran-6 tanks, was formed. The Tiran-6 is used by reserve units. The Israelis have sold the rest to assorted countries, many in Latin America.Fact|date=February 2007

T-62s were also used during the Ethiopian Civil War.

T-62s were also used in the Iraq-Iran War. They were used by Iraqi Regular Army, but some vehicles probably fell into the hands of Iranians. Most of the T-62s in service with Iran are of North Korean production.

In 1982, when Libya invaded Chad the T-62 tanks were faced with militiamen who had made technicals from Toyota pickup trucks, (most of them still in their civilian paint). The technicals were essentially makeshift tank destroyers, as the militiamen had mounted MILAN ATGM firing posts and welded tripod mounts for assorted recoilless rifles onto the beds of the trucks. [A. Clayton, "Frontiersmen", p. 161]

The first T-62s arrived in Cuba in 1976. In 1988 they were sent to Angola to fight the South Africans in the Angolan Civil War.

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the T-62 was a primary tank used by the Soviet army. [http://www.aviapress.com/viewonekit.htm?TRN-089 "The Soviet armored machines in the Afghanistan"] ] The Soviets used tanks pretty much in the same way as the US Army did in Vietnam, with many tanks in fire support bases. Towards the end of the war T-62Ms appeared in large numbers. This modernized variant of T-62 had the BDD appliqué armour package specially designed to defeat shaped charges (for example RPGs). Many T-62s fell victim to Mujahideen attacks and, especially, antitank landmines, as did many Soviet AFVs sent there. Many also fell into the hands of the Afghan Mujahideen after being left behind by withdrawing Soviet forces. Those vehicles as well as derelict ones restored to working order are now used Afghan National Army. Afghan army operates 170 T-62, T-62M and T-62M1 tanks.

The Russian army has also used both T-62s and T-62Ms in combat in Chechnya. The T-62M is still being used for counterterrorism operations in this region.

T-62s were used by Iraqi Army during First Persian Gulf War and Second Persian Gulf War.

Operators

*AFG - 170
*ALG - 300. originally 330 were bought.
*ANG - 50, originally 150 were bought.
*BUL - approximately 200, some converted into armoured recovery vehicles and still in use.
*CUB - 300, originally 400 were bought. [http://www.urrib2000.narod.ru/Tanques2-e.html "Cuban tanks"] ]
*EGY - 600 (500 of which are modernized and 100 stored). In the 1980s, the Egyptian Army operated 1,300 T-62 main battle tanks.
*ERI - Received a number from Ethiopia. [http://www.defenceindia.com/def_common/world_battletanks.html "defenceindia.com"] ]
*ETH - 100
*GEO - 101
*IRN - 75 since 2000, 150 in 1995 and 100 in 1990. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/ground-equipment.htm Iranian Ground Forces Equipment ] ] Originally 200 were bought from North Korea.
*ISR - 120 Tiran-6 (70 or less in service) [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/army-equipment.htm "Israeli Army Equipment"] ]
*KAZ - 75 since 2000, 150 in 1995 and 100 in 1990. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/centralasia/kazak-ground-equipment.htm Kazak Ground Forces Equipment ] ] Originally 280 were bought.
*LBY - 100 in service and 70 in storage. Before that there were 350 T-62 main battle tanks. Originally 900 were bought.
*MGL - 250
*PRK - 1,200 in 1985, 1,500 in 1990, 1,800 in 1995, 800 in 2000 and an unknown number since 2002. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/kpa-equipment.htm Equipment Holdings - Korean People's Army ] ]
*flagicon|Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Polisario -
*RUS - 689 in reserve and 3,000 in storage. There were 761 T-62 main battle tanks in active service in 1995. Some sources say that Russian army has 91 T-62 main battle tanks in active service and 1,929 T-62 main battle tanks in storage. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/army-equipment.htm "Russian Army equipment"] ]
*
*SYR - 1,000
*UZB - 100. 179 in 1995, 190 in 2000 and 170 in 2005. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/centralasia/uzbek-army-equipment.htm Uzbek-Army Equipment ] ]
*VIE - 80, originally 200 were bought.
*YEM - 30, originally 250 were bought.

Former operators

*BLR - 170, not used since 2000. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/belarus/army-equipment.htm "Belorussian Army equipment"] ]
*flagicon|Iraq|1991 Iraq - 1,500 in 1990, 500 in 2002 and 19 in 2003 (All destroyed or scrapped). [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/ground-equipment.htm "Iraqi Army equipment"] ]
*USSR - More than 20,000 were produced between July 1961 and 1975. There were 12,900 in 1985 and 11,300 in 1990. Passed on to successor states.
*TJK - 3, not used since 2005. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/centralasia/tajik-army-equipment.htm "Tajikistan Army equipment"] ]
*TKM - 7
*UKR - 85, not used since 2000. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/ukraine/groundforces-equipment.htm "Belorussian Army equipment"] ]
*USA - The US Army used a number of T-62 main battle tanks for OpFor training.

Evaluation-only operators

*PRC - 1 captured during the 1969 Sino-Soviet border clash by the PLA. It was used for study only.
*POL - Evaluated, but didn't accept it.

Evaluation operators and exporters only

*CZS - Evaluated, but didn't accept it. Produced more than 1,500 between 1975 and 1978 for export.

Combat history

* 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict
* 1973 - 1991 Western Sahara War
* 1973 Yom Kippur war
* 1974 - 1991 The Kurdish-Iraqi War, 1974–91 (by the Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga)
* 1974 - 1991 Ethiopian Civil War
* 1975 - 2002 Angolan Civil War
* 1978 – 1987 Chadian-Libyan conflict
** 1986 - 1987 Toyota War
* 1979 - 1988 Soviet war in Afghanistan
* 1980 - 1988 Iran–Iraq War
* 1982 - 1983 Lebanese Civil War, Phase III
* 1988 - 1993 Georgian Civil War
** 1991 - 1992 War in South Ossetia
** 1992 - 1993 War in Abkhazia
* 1990 - 1991 First Persian Gulf War
* 1992 - 1997 Civil war in Tajikistan
* 1994 - 1996 First Chechen War
* 1999 - Second Chechen War
* 2001 - United States war in Afghanistan
* 2003 - Second Persian Gulf War
** 2003 Invasion of Iraq
* 2008 - War in South Ossetia

See also

* List of tanks
* List of Soviet tanks

Notes

References

* Foss, Christopher F. (1987). "Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook", pp 70–71. London: Jane's. ISBN 0-7106-0432-7.
* Perret, Bryan (1987). Soviet Armour Since 1945. London: Blandford Press. ISBN 0-7137-1735-1.
* Zaloga, Steven J. and Hugh Johnson (2004). "T-54 and T-55 Main Battle Tanks 1944–2004". Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-792-1.

External links

* [http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t62tank.htm T-62 at Federation of American Scientists web site]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/t-62.htm T-62 at Globalsecurity.org]
* [http://www.urrib2000.narod.ru/Tanques2-e.html Cuban T-62]


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