Home History T-62 Tank: Russia’s Soviet-Era Fallback in Ukraine

T-62 Tank: Russia’s Soviet-Era Fallback in Ukraine

by Enochadmin

As Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “particular navy operation” to “liberate” Ukraine handed its third month, experiences arose in late Could 2022 of trains transporting new tanks to Melitopol. On June 5, extra turned up at Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih. On June 5, extra turned up at Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih.

Truly, whereas these tanks could not have been seen in Ukraine earlier than, they have been something however new: They have been M-62Ms and T-62MVs, rapidly upgraded automobiles courting to the Nineteen Sixties.  

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COLD WAR TANK

Designed by Aleksandr Morozov and present process first assessments in 1959, the T-62 was the survivor of quite a few competing designs for a extra highly effective successor to the T-54 and T-55 important battle tanks. It was longer and wider, was protected by as much as 100 mm of armor. Its V-55 12-cylinder four-stroke diesel engine was the identical as that of the T-55, producing 581 horsepower, to propel its 5 pairs of aluminum, rubber-tired street wheels on a torsion-bar suspension. Most street pace was 31 mph (25 mph cross-country), and vary on the street was 280 miles. 

The principal advance within the T-62 was its important weapon, the primary smoothbore cannon mounted on a manufacturing tank. Recognizable by the bore evacuator halfway down the run as an alternative of up entrance, the 115 mm U-5TS “Molot” changed a rifled shell with a fin-stabilized excessive explosive armor piercing spherical, which whereas not as correct, supplied a ten% to twenty% larger muzzle velocity. Its efficient vary was 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) by day and 800 meters (2,600 toes) utilizing night time imaginative and prescient gear. Operated by a four-man crew, the T-62 supplemented its important gun with the standard 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun and a 12.7 mm DShK machine gun flexibly mounted on the solid turret. 

DUBIOUS MAINSTAY

Getting into manufacturing in July 1961, the T-62 proved a doubtful mainstay for the Soviet military by the point the final of some 20,000 got here off the meeting line of the Ural Vagon Zavod in 1975. At 42 tons, the T-62 was heavier and fewer maneuverable than the T-54 collection it was meant to exchange. It was additionally on the zenith of improvement for the Christie suspension, eschewing using return rollers, used so efficiently on the T-34, because the T-62’s longer monitor size had a power behavior of throwing treads off in a decent flip.

Though examples have been bought to quite a few international locations and took part in equally quite a few wars — together with the Center East conflicts and the Soviet-Russian campaigns in Chechnya, Afghanistan and South Ossetia — just one nation outdoors of the Soviet Union constructed the T-62 below license as a result of its efficiency didn’t surpass the T-55’s fairly sufficient to justify its being twice as costly to provide (The only real exception was North Korea within the Nineteen Eighties). 

No Scrapyard But

As has been the case with so lots of its contemporaries, the T-62 was not scrapped en masse after a brand new era, led by the T-64 and T-72, took its place within the first line of Soviet armor. The rationale for such frugality has come to gentle because the Russian military advance into Ukraine has was a slow-moving slaughterhouse.

Upgraded and assigned to order battalion teams, they’re apparently being positioned in a secondary position, serving to to consolidate the beneficial properties of the primary Russian assaults or being assigned to crews of pro-Russian japanese Ukrainians. Extra just lately, in June 2022, T-62s have turned up within the markings of South Ossetian Battalion “Alana,” combating alongside the “Republican Ukrainian” items within the Donbass area.

Among the many upgrades to the T-62s tv imaging and an evening sights succesful sighting targets at as much as 2,000 meters. In addition to segments of lively armor on the hull and turret, the tank has been fitted with the form of grid armor added to the T-72s, T-80s and T-90s, meant to prematurely explode rocket propelled grenades or antitank missiles. Given such nicknames as “hen coops” and Ilych’s eyebrows” by the Ukrainians (with attainable settlement from a few of the Russian crews), the grids trigger extra hassle than their protecting properties are value, resembling enlarging the tank’s radar silhouette, interfering with the motion of the turret machine gun or shorting out the radio aerials, main many crewmen to discard that supplementary armor. As an extra commentary on the T-62’s effectiveness, some have been seen being buried to function native pillboxes.

One closing ironic observe on the T-62 — for now — is that enormous numbers of the tank have been produced within the then-Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Constructing Design Bureau. Refurbishing their provides, the Ukrainians have given what they designate the T-62AG a 125 mm KBA-101 cannon and a 5TDF 700-hp diesel engine. As an alternative of sending this ostensibly improved mannequin to the entrance, nevertheless, they’ve been providing it on the open market, evidently preferring to lift the cash to buy one thing higher. 

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