From Academic Kids

General Characteristics
Length: 6.63 m
Width: 3.52 m
Height: 2.4 m
Weight: 41.5 t
Armor: up to 275mm homogenous cast steel

may in some cases have reactive armour
tiles fitted as well

Speed: 45 km/h (road)
Range: 450 km

650 km (with extra tanks)

Primary armament: 115 mm smoothbore gun

with 48 rounds ammunition,
or in later designs 32 rounds and
10 rounds AT-10 "Basnya" ATGM

Secondary armament: 7.62 mm PKMT machinegun
in coaxial mount
Power plant: 463 kW (620 hp) Diesel
Crew: 4

The T-62 Soviet main battle tank is a further development of the T-54/55 series.


Production History

The T-62 was produced between 1961 and 1975. It became a standard tank in the Soviet arsenal replacing the T-55 and T-54. It was later replaced by the T-64 and T-72.

Tens of thousands of T-62 tanks were manufactured in the Soviet Union between 1964 and 1984. It, along with the T-55, is one of the most common tanks in Russian inventory--the two types together once comprised approximately 85% of the Russian army's tanks. The T-62 and T-55 are now mostly used by Russian reserve units for a possible secondary mobilisation; the active-duty and primary mobilisation units mainly use the T-64 and T-72, with a smaller number of T-80 and T-90 tanks in service in the active units.


  • T-62 - early production version, had a 14.5mm KPVT machine gun in coaxial mount instead of the more common SGMT 7.62mm
  • T-62A - Added 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun (which is often removed in the field) and changed coaxial machine gun to PKMT 7.62mm, all T-62s in Soviet service were converted to these specifications before 1970
  • T-62K - Command tank with extra communications gear, recognizable by having multiple radio antennas instead of just one
  • T-62M - added laser rangefinder, reactive armour
  • T-62D - added capability to use AT-10 "Basnya" laser-guided antitank missile which is fired through the gun tube
  • T-62MV - T-62D produced for export, most of which were given to North Korea and Syria as military aid
  • Tiran-6 Israel T-62A captured from Syria in 1973 and upgraded with a laser rangefinder, a thermal imaging sight for the gunner, and a more powerful and reliable diesel powerplant; the Tiran-6 tanks in Israeli service have also been fitted with "Blazer" reactive armour tiles

Combat History

The T-62 had the world's first smoothbore tank gun, giving considerably greater velocity and power than the Western 90mm and 105mm tank guns of the day. This 115mm gun introduced the first successful APFSDS ammunition, albeit with a steel penetrator (often still fielded as well). It also experimentally had the world's first electro-hydraulic autoloader for the main gun (Incorporated to decrease the crew from 4 to 3), though over the next few decades it became clear that the slow, malfunction-prone autoloader was on balance more of a curse than a blessing when not properly maintained, as is quite common in most of the armies in which it is fielded.

Missing image
Side view
Missing image
T-62 in Ukraine
Missing image
Front view

By the standards of the time of its introduction, the T-62, with its powerful 115mm smoothbore gun was quite fearsome and quite formidable despite its homogeneous steel armour.

In 1982, when Libya invaded Chad, armored units of Muammar Qaddafi's elite Pan-African Legion were resoundingly defeated by the army of Chad. Scores of T-62 tanks were destroyed by militiamen who had made technicals from Toyota pickup trucks, (most of them still in their civilian paint jobs). The technicals were essentially makeshift tank destroyers, as the militiamen had welded tripod mounts for assorted recoilless rifles into the beds of the trucks. The Libyans retreated in disarray, leaving scores of wrecked and burning T-62 tanks behind them. Granted, this is a likely scenario even for any modern MBT confronted by a force fielding well armed technicals in a similar situation, or when the engaged force is unable to deal with an unexpected form of asymmetrical warfare (as is illustrated here) (witness M1A1 Abrams tanks destroyed in Iraq by side hits from 23mm AAA ammunition.).

The Israelis captured several hundred of these tanks from the Syrians and Egyptians in 1973 and put some into service, upgraded with the addition of a laser rangefinder and a thermal imaging sight for the gunner, with "Blazer" reactive armour tiles fitted to the front of the hull and the front and sides of the turret, and the balky, unreliable old Russian diesel engines replaced by General Motors diesel engines, as the Tiran-6 medium tank. These are used by reserve units. The Israelis have sold the rest to assorted Third World countries, many in Latin America. It is due to this fact that many observers joke that when the Russians build tanks, they make them with the instrument panels and gauges already labeled in both Russian and Hebrew.

By current standards, the somewhat obsolescent 115mm gun is understandably inadequate for combat against modern Western tanks like the M1 Abrams - but then any gun presently operational is. The T-62s armor is homogenous cast steel, incorporating neither spaced armor techniques nor composite armour, so a modern Western tank with a 120mm/L60 gun (or even a less potent weapon) can destroy it on the first round at any range at which it can be seen. It isn't especially well-protected against anti-tank missiles, either, though more so when fitted with reactive armour.

See also: List of tanks, List of Soviet tanks.

Notable things

The T-62 was used prominently in the movie The Beast.de:T-62 fr:Char T-62 he:T-62 ja:T-62 pl:T-62


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