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  • T-62 Medium Tank / Main Battle Tank (MBT)

    The T-62 Main Battle Tank was a further development of the successful T-54/T-55-series but failed to outright replace the former designs.

     Updated: 6/22/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    After the end of World War 2, the Soviet military had officially replaced their war-winning T-34 Medium Tank series with the T-54 family. These were then upgraded with NBC protection and a slew of other features to become the T-55 series a short time later, intended to counter the new, interim American developments. Going beyond simply upgrading the T-55, work also began on a new tank design based on the same proven T-54/T-55 system though intended to house a more powerful 115mm main gun. To fit the new armament, the base T-55 had her hull lengthened and given an all-new turret assembly designed specifically for a high-velocity smoothbore 115mm main gun - the U-5TS (2A20 "Rapira"). This weapon was of particular note for it marked the first time a production combat tank had been given a "smoothbore" barrel - to this point, all combat tanks fielded a rifled barrel, the Soviet direction proving a major upgrade to the 105mm rifled main gun being fielded by the new American M60. The new Soviet tank was christened the "T-62" and production of the type resulted in deliveries occurring in July of 1961.

    For all intents and purposes, the T-62 was more or less a further upgrade of the T-55 itself with the T-54 still serving as the "true" starting point for the family. As such, the type delivered roughly the same utilitarian appearance of its originator as well as the follow-up modification. The tank sported a low-profile design with a center-fitted turret emplacement. The glacis plate was very shallow and well-sloped for excellent point ballistics protection. The sides were dominated by the track system encompassing five road wheels to a hull side. The drive sprocket was held at the front with the track idler at the rear. Like the T-54 and T-55 before it, the T-62 lacked any track return rollers along the upper track region. The single diesel engine was held in a rear-set compartment and could generate its own smoke screen as needed. The turret was well-curved and squat in its general appearance, housing the 115mm U-5TS main gun armament as well as three of the four crew. The crew consisted of the driver in the front-left hull and the tank commander, gunner and loader in the turret/middle hull region. The turret was protected by up to 242mm of armor thickness along the front facing. A pair of external fuel tanks could be fitted to the rear of the hull for improved ranges and jettisoned when empty. The main gun was fitted with a fume extractor and featured two-axis stabilization for adequate "firing-on-the-move". The main gun was also given case ejector actuated by the recoil action to which spent shell casings were ejected automatically out of the turret rear via a spring-loaded door after firing. The main gun was supplemented by a coaxial 7.62mm PKT series machine gun in the turret for anti-infantry defense. A 12.7mm DShK anti-aircraft heavy machine gun on the turret roof was optional and not generally seen in early production units. Up to 40 x 115mm projectiles were carried aboard, stored within the turret itself and primarily along the hull sides. 2,500 x 7.62mm rounds of machine gun ammunition were also carried for the coaxial machine gun. Power was derived from a V-55 12-cylinder diesel engine outputting at 580 horsepower. This supplied the vehicle with a top speed of 31 miles per hour on ideal surfaces with an operational range of 280 miles not including environmental factors.

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    T-62 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1961
    Type: Medium Tank / Main Battle Tank (MBT)
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Soviet Union / Czechoslovakia / North Korea
    Production: 22,750

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 4
    Length: 21.75 feet (6.63 meters)
    Width: 11.55 feet (3.52 meters)
    Height: 7.87 feet (2.40 meters)

    Operating Weight: 46 tons (41,500 kg; 91,492 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
    Nightvision Equipment: Yes - Infrared

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Model V-55-5 V-12 water-cooled diesel engine developing 580 horsepower at 2,000rpm.

    Maximum Road Speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
    Maximum Road Range: 280 miles (450 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 115mm smoothbore main gun
    1 x 12.7mm DShKM anti-aircraft heavy machine gun
    1 x 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun

    40 x 115mm projectiles
    300 x 12.7mm ammunition
    2,500 x 7.62mm ammunition

    Global Operators / Customers

    Afghanistan; Algeria; Angola; Belarus; Bulgaria; Cuba; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Kazakhstan; Lebanon; Libya; Mongolia; North Korea; North Yemen; Russia; South Ossetia; South Yemen; Yemen; Soviet Union; Syria; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United States (OPFOR training); Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yemen

    Model Variants

    T-62A - Modified T-55 MBT; lengthened hull; revised suspension system; new turret ring; two-axis gun stabilizer; 100mm main gun; limited production.

    T-62 - Initial Production Model; 115mm main gun; two-axis gun stabilizer; commander's cupola; day/night fighting capabilities; fitted with V-55V diesel engine of 581 horsepower; later support for firing AT-3 "Sagger" ATGM missile from 115mm main gun; later models featuring ZET-1 protection package.

    T-62K - Command Vehicle of the T-62 production model; additional communications equipment; 36 rounds for main gun.

    T-62KN - Command Vehicle with additional navigation equipment

    T-62 (1967) - Revised engine deck

    T-62 (1972) - 12.7mm DShK anti-aircraft machine gun fitted to loader's hatch.

    T-62 (1975) - Fitting KTD-1 or KTD-2 series laser rangefinders over main gun.

    T-62D - T-62D production model fitting V-46-5M diesel engine

    T-62M - Modernized T-62 of 1983; improved fire control system; applique armor; improved mine protection on hull floor; side skirt armor; "Bastion" ATGM support from 115mm main gun; thermal sleeve on barrel; upgraded communications equipment; V-55U diesel engine of 620 horsepower; smoke grenade launchers along turret side (some models).

    T-62E - Initial US designation of T-62M production models

    T-62M-1 - Fitted with V-46-5M series diesel engine

    T-62M1 - Different frontal armor protection

    T-62M1-1 - Fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine

    T-62M1-2 - T-62M1 production model sans hull floor armor protection and applique armor kit.

    T-62M1-2-1 - T-62M1-2 production model fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.

    T-62MD - Completed with Drozd active vehicle protection system

    T-62MD-1 - T-62MD production mark fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine

    T-62MK - Command Vehicle of the T-62M production mark

    T-62MK-1 - Command Vehicle fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine

    T-62MV - Delivered with Kontakt-1 series Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) block armor package.

    T-62MV-1 - T-62MV production model fitted with V-46-5M series engine.

    T-62M1V - T-62MV production model sans ATGM capability of the 115mm main gun.

    T-62M1V-1 - T-62M1V production model fitted with V-46-5M diesel engine.

    T-62/122 CEV - Combat Engineering Vehicle mounting 122mm main gun

    T-62/160 CEV - Combat Engineering Vehicle mounting 160mm mortar

    T-67 - Developmental model sporting 125mm main gun and powerpack to be featured on upcoming T-72 development.

    TO-62 - Flame projecting tank; fitted alongside 115mm main gun

    IT-1 - Tank Destroyer Variant; stabilized anti-tank missile launching system; sans main gun armament.

    IT-1T - Armored Recovery Vehicle based on the IT-1 production model

    BTS-4V - Armored Recovery Vehicle based on the IT-1 production model

    BTS-4V1 - Armored Recovery Vehicle based on the T-62 combat tank

    BTS-4V2 - Armored Recovery Vehicle based on damaged T-62 combat tanks

    Impuls-2M - Fire Fighting Vehicle; conversion of outgoing T-62 combat tanks.

    TV-62 - Bulgarian designation of T-62-based armored recovery vehicles

    TV-62M - Bulgarian designation of T-62M production models converted to armored recovery vehicles.

    TP-62 - Bulgarian designation of T-62 Fire Fighting Vehicle

    RO-115 Mk 1 - Egyptian designation of upgraded T-62; British diesel engine of 750 horsepower; laser rangefinder; improved FCS; improved armor protection.

    T-62E Mk 2 - Egyptian designation of modernized T-62 combat tanks; American M68 105mm main gun; German MTU diesel engine of 880 horsepower; infrared equipment; anti-tank missile launcher support.

    RO-120 Mk 3 - Egyptian designation of modernized T-62; 120mm main gun; German MTU diesel engine of 890 horsepower; improved armor protection; side armor skirts.

    Tiran-3 - Israeli captured T-62s

    Tiran-6 - Israeli modernized captured T-62s; reactive armor; 105mm main gun; General Motors engines; improvements throughout.

    Ch'onma-ho I (Ga) - North Korean designation of locally-produced T-62

    Ch'onma-ho II - North Korean designation of imported T-62 tanks

    Ch'onma-ho III - North Korean designation of upgraded Ch'onma-ho II tanks; side armor skirts; thermal sleeve on main gun barrel; ERA support.

    Ch'onma-ho IV - North Korean designation of upgraded Ch'onma-ho III tanks with improved armor protection; ERA support; smoke grenade launchers.

    Ch'onma-ho V - North Korean designation of upgraded Ch'onma-ho IV tanks with improved armor protection; 125mm main gun; autoloader; wider track sections.

    T-62AGM - Ukrainian designation for upgraded T-62s

    T-62AG - Ukrainian designation of upgraded T-62 tanks; fitted with 5TDF diesel engine of 700 horsepower; 125mm main gun; improved armor protection.

    T-62 IFV - Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicle based on the T-62 MBT

    T-62 ARV - Ukrainian armored recovery vehicle based on the T-62 MBT

    T-62 AVLB - Ukrainian bridgelayer based on the T-62MBT

    Obyekt 167 - Developmental model fitting V-26 series engine of 700 horsepower; AT-3 "Sagger" missile support; track return rollers instituted; two prototype examples completed.

    Obyekt 167T - Prototype model fitting GTD-3T gasoline-fueled turbine engine.

    T-72 - Development based on the T-62