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T-62 - ОБТ (СССР)

T-62

T-62
Type - Main battle tank
Place of origin - Soviet Union
Service history
In service - 1961-present
Production history
Designer - OKB-520 design bureau
Manufacturer - Uralvagonzavod
Unit cost - US$300,000 (export price to Egypt, 1972)
Produced - 1961-1975 (USSR) . ~1980s (North Korea)
No. built - More than 22,700
Specifications (T-62)
Mass - 37 t (41 short tons; 36 long tons)
Length - 9.34 m (30 ft 8 in) with barrel in forward position
6.63 m (21 ft 9 in) hull only
Width - 3.30 m (10 ft 10 in)
Height - 2.40 m (7 ft 10 in)
Crew - 4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
Armour - Cast turret (214 (242 after 1972) mm turret front / 153 mm turret sides / 97 mm turret rear / 40 mm turret roof) / Hull (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)
Main armament - 115 mm U-5TS (2A20) smoothbore gun
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)
Engine - V-55 12-cylinder 4-stroke one-chamber 38.88-liter water-cooled diesel (581 hp (433 kW) at 2,000 rpm)
Power/weight - 14.5 hp/tonne (10.8 kW/tonne)
Suspension - torsion bar
Ground clearance - 425 mm (16.7 in)
Fuel capacity - 960 L
1360 L with two 200-liter extra fuel tanks
Operational range - 450 km (280 mi) on road (650 km (400 mi) with two 200 l (53 US gal; 44 imp gal) extra fuel tanks) / 320 km (200 mi) cross-country (450 km (280 mi) with two 200-liter extra fuel tanks)
Maximum speed - 50 km/h (31 mph) (road) / 40 km/h (25 mph) (cross country)

The T-62 is a Soviet main battle tank that was first introduced in 1961. As a further development of the T-55 series, the T-62 retained many similar design elements of its predecessor including low profile and thick turret armour. In contrast with previous tanks, which were armed with rifled tank guns, the T-62 was the first production tank armed with a smoothbore tank gun that could fire APFSDS rounds at higher velocities.
While the T-62 became the standard tank in the Soviet arsenal, it did not fully replace the T-55 in export markets due to its higher manufacturing costs and maintenance requirements compared to its predecessor. Although it was followed by later models in successor states of the Soviet Union, the T-62 remained in reserve in the former USSR and in frontline use by other countries. Design features of the T-62 became standardized in subsequent Soviet and Russian mass-produced tanks.

Development history

The initial requirements
By the late 1950s, Soviet commanders realised that the T-55's 100 mm gun could not penetrate the frontal armour of newer Western tanks, such as the Centurion and M48 Patton, with standard armour-piercing shells. While 100 mm high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) ammunition could have done the job, they were much less accurate than APDS shells, and the relatively low flight velocity resulted in poorer accuracy if used on moving targets. It was decided to up-gun the T-55 with a 115 mm smoothbore gun, able to fire kinetic energy penetrator armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds.
Trials showed that the T-55 was inherently unsuited to mount the larger weapon and work 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 the T-55 hull was simply too small to accept the new turret. The T-62 thus took shape, marking an evolutionary improvement on the T-55.
Object 140
After delivery of the T-54 design, its lead designer Alexander Morozov turned his attention to a new design, the Ob'yekt 430. Ob'yekt 430 had a hull of welded rolled steel plates and a turret 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 new 100 mm D-54TS tank gun.
During this period, simpler upgrades to the existing T-54 design were assigned to a young engineer, Leonid N. Kartsev, the head of the OKB-520 design bureau of Uralvagonzavod factory (UVZ) in Nizhny Tagil. He had already led the development of the relatively minor upgrades to the T-54 that produced the T-54A (Ob'yekt 137G) and T-54B (Ob'yekt 137G2) and began the development of a more major update as the T-54M (Ob'yekt 139).
When the T-54M was 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 road wheels made of aluminium. The turret was cast and armed with the same D-54TS tank gun and included the Molniya two-plane stabilization system. The tank carried 50 rounds and was powered by a V-36 diesel engine developed by engineer Artiemejev. The engine was placed on the bottom of the hull, a solution that reduced the height of the engine compartment. The Ob'yekt 140 weighed 37.6 tonnes.
In 1957, Uralvagonzavod built two Ob'yekt 140 prototypes which were put on trials soon after. The trials showed that because of the complicated construction of many of the tank's systems, Kartsev's tank would be expensive in serial production and hard to maintain.
Forced to abandon the Ob'yekt 140 project, Kartsev started working on yet another T-54 modernisation called the Ob'yekt 155. This design was more similar to the original T-54, but incorporated one useful feature from the Ob'yekt 140; the upper fuel tanks were fitted with mounts for tank gun ammunition. This increased the ammunition load carried by the tank to 45 rounds.
T-62A (Object 165)
At the end of 1958, Kartsev decided to modernise the Ob'yekt 140 turret. He fitted it with a cartridge-case ejector and mounted it onto a stretched T-55 chassis. He also considered that designs based on already produced vehicles had a higher chance of acceptance. The Ob'yekt 140 turret diameter, bigger than the T-55 turret by 249 mm, made redesigning the central part of the hull necessary.
Kartsev changed the arrangement of the torsion beams, which was necessary to keep the tank's weight balanced. The tank received the designation "Ob'yekt 165" and in November 1958 three prototypes were built. In January 1962, the Ob'yekt 165 was accepted for service under the name T-62A. In the same year, Factory #183 produced five tanks that were put into experimental service.
Object 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 a fierce opponent in the form of the British L7A1 tank gun. The Soviets decided to "recaliber" the already existing 100 mm D-54TS tank gun. The modifications done to the 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 a bore evacuator in the middle of the gun tube (as opposed to the D-45TS tank gun, which had a bore evacuator in the base of the gun tube).
The new 115 mm tank gun was designated U-5TS "Molot" Rapira. It was the first smoothbore tank gun. When it went into serial production, it received the designation 2A20. It was put in trials against the D-10TS tank gun, which armed the T-54B as well as some T-55 and T-55A medium tanks. These trials showed that the under-calibre projectiles fired from the U-5TS had a nearly 200 m/sec higher muzzle velocity. It became apparent that the maximum range of the new tank gun was almost double that of the D-10TS. The only serious drawback of the U-5TS tank gun was the fact that it was not as accurate as the D-10TS, because of the lack of rifling. However, the greater range of the gun and its extremely high muzzle velocity made the poor accuracy less of an issue.
The new U-5TS smoothbore tank gun was fitted into the Ob'yekt 140 turret at the end of 1960. The new tank received the designation "Ob'yekt 166". In 1960, both Ob'yekt 165 and Ob'yekt 166 prototypes passed their trials. The Uralvagonzavod was preparing to start serial production of the new tank, though the General Armoured Directorate (GBTU) was paying much more attention to Morozov's Ob'yekt 430, which was in development since early 1952.
Morozov was supported by General Ustinov, who was in charge of the Soviet military industry at the time. He did not see 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 1961, Soviet military intelligence discovered that Britain was working on a new main battle tank armed with a 120 mm tank gun. Because of this, Marshal Vasily Chuikov, Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Army's Ground Forces, demanded an explanation of the "Kartsev's tanks" case.
At a conference of GBTU and the Soviet ground forces committee, it became apparent that Morozov's Ob'yekt 430 tank was only 10% better than the serial T-55. Because of this, Morozov's project was deemed a complete failure. Though the representatives of Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau disclosed their work on the improved Ob'yekt 432 (which would ultimately become the T-64), Chuikov demanded that production of the Ob'yekt 166 medium tank be started immediately.
The OKB-520 design bureau of Uralvagonzavod provided another design, the Ob'yekt 167, which was the Ob'yekt 166 with a new more powerful V-26 engine using a charger, developing 700 hp (522 kW). Two prototypes were built in the middle of 1961 and passed the trials. This time the GBTU decided not to wait for the new medium tank to pass trials and sent the Ob'yekt 166 into mass production in July 1961. The Ob'yekt 165 also entered service in very small numbers, under the designation T-62A.
Design
The T-62 has a typical tank layout: driver's compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the centre 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. These include the hull, which is a few centimetres longer and wider, the different road wheels, and differences in characteristic uneven gaps between road wheels. Unlike the T-54 and T-55 medium tanks, the gaps between the last three pairs of road wheels are larger than the rest.
Armament
The armament consists of the 115 mm U-5TS "Molot" (2A20) Rapira smoothbore tank gun with a two-axis "Meteor" stabiliser and 7.62 mm PKT coaxial general-purpose machine gun mounted on the right 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 heavy machine gun.
The tank carries 40 rounds for the main gun. 4 rounds are placed in the turret, and the rest are stored in the back of the fighting compartment and in the front of the hull, to the right of the driver. It carries 2,500 rounds for the coaxial machine gun. All of the vehicle's armament is mounted in or on the round cast egg-shaped turret from the Ob'yekt 140 prototype main battle tank, mounted over the third pair of road wheels.
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. It can fire BM-3 APFSDS-T, BK-4, 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 allowed a significantly better performance (from 10% to 20%) over HEAT ammunition, which was considered the main ammunition type for fighting enemy armour at medium and long ranges.
The gun can be elevated or depressed between -6° and +16°. It is reloaded manually and gets automatically reset to +3.5° of elevation after it is fired if the stabiliser is enabled. Empty cartridges are automatically ejected outside the vehicle through a small hatch in the rear of the turret. The gun has a range of effective fire of about 4 km during day conditions and 800 m (with the use of night vision equipment) at night. This tank was fitted with a Meteor two-axis stabiliser, it allows the T-62 to aim and fire while moving, according to tests conducted by the US army the Meteor gave the T-62 a first hit probability of 70% for a moving target at 1000 meters with the tank moving up to 20 km/per hour. This gave the tank a good advantage in dynamic battlefields and breakthrough operations, especially in Central Europe where most of tank battles would take place under the 1500 meters range.
Mobility
The T-62 uses torsion bar suspension. It has five pairs of rubber-tired road wheels, a drive sprocket at the rear and idler at the front on each side, with no return rollers. The first and last road wheels each have a hydraulic shock absorber. The tank is powered by the V-55 12-cylinder 4-stroke one-chamber 38.88-litre 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 manoeuvrable. 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 litres of fuel in its internal and external fuel tanks. Two optional 200-litre drum-type fuel tanks can be fitted on the rear of the vehicle for an increased operational range.
Armour
The T-62 has 5% thicker armour on the front of the hull (102 mm at 60°) and 15% thicker 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 thick at 0° 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 smoke screen by injecting 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. 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.
The commander's cupola is located on the left of the top of the turret. The loader has a single-piece hatch located on the right 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 the areas in front of and behind the vehicle. The commander's cupola has four periscopes, two 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 front of the vehicle, directly in front of the left side of the turret. The tank uses the same sights and vision devices as the T-55 except for the gunner, who received a new TSh-2B-41 sight which has x4 or x7 magnification. It is mounted coaxially with an optic rangefinder.
The gunner has two periscope vision blocks, one of which is used in conjunction with the main searchlight mounted coaxially on the right side of the main armament. There are two other smaller searchlights. One of these is used by the commander and is mounted on his cupola. The tank has two headlights on the right front of the vehicle, one of which is infrared while the other one is white.
Curved handrails around the turret allow easier entry for the commander, the gunner, and the loader. They also help the infantry to mount and dismount the tank while performing a tank desant. The tank has a 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 Soviet 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 is 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: a cramped crew compartment, limited depression of the main gun and vulnerable fuel and ammunition storage areas. Opening the ejection port under NBC (nuclear, biological, or chemical) conditions would potentially expose the crew to contamination, but the danger is limited in time and the internal overpressure makes a penetration by external agents quite unlikely.
Each time the gun is fired, the tube must go into detent for cartridge ejection; though the system can be deactivated making this unnecessary or in case of facing an NBC environment. The T-62 maximum average rate of fire is limited to 8 rounds per minute, which falls behind the capabilities of Western 105 mm gun equipped tanks.
It takes 20 seconds for the T-62's turret to rotate through a full 360°, which is 5 seconds longer than the time needed by the US M60A1 Patton tank.
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 also unable to override the gunner in the elevation of the main gun, causing target acquisition problems.
The US Army considered the T-62's gun more accurate than that of the M60A1 within 1500 meters, but less accurate at greater ranges.
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 leave his main gun loading duties unattended.
According to military author Bryan Perrett, the T-62 never enjoyed the commercial success of the T-54/T-55 series for numerous reasons. First, the T-62 was more than twice the price of 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 100 mm HVAPDS tank shell capable of piercing Western armour was developed. Use of this shell made the T-55 gun almost as effective as the T-62s, undercutting the T-62's original selling point: a bigger, more powerful gun.
Third, the T-62 was, according to Perrett, almost immediately surpassed on its introduction by the new Western MBTs, the Chieftain and M60. Finally, the T-62 could not keep up with the new Soviet BMP-1 - the principal infantry fighting vehicle that the T-62 was supposed to accompany. All of these factors combined to ensure that long-term investment in the T-62 was not viable and a new Soviet MBT had to be developed.
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. The original plans were that the T-62 would be produced until Morozov's Ob'yekt 432 tank was developed. 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 tanks were produced by Uralvagonzavod. Production in the Soviet Union was stopped in 1975.
North Korea produced the T-62 under license until the 1980s. In the early 1990s, the North Korean Second Machine Industry Bureau designed a lighter copy of the T-62 which is mass-produced and is known locally as the Ch'ŏnma-ho I (Ga).

Service history

Soviet Union
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. Later in the 1970s, the T-62 was rendered obsolete and was put into reserve service. The T-72 and T-80 later succeeded it.
Sino-Soviet border conflict
The T-62 saw combat for the first time during the 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict during which one was disabled and captured by the People's Liberation Army. The T-62 (No. 545) was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired from the Type-56 (Chinese copy of RPG-2) RPG launcher on the morning of 15 March 1969 during a PLA counterattack. The RPG penetrated the left side of the hull, killing the driver. This tank was later studied and the information gathered from those studies was used for the development of the Type 69 main battle tank.
Soviet-Afghan War
During the Soviet-Afghan War, the T-62 was a primary tank used by the Soviet army. The Soviets used tanks in several ways, with the use of many in fire support bases, while other were employed for convoy protection or as infantry support. Towards the end of the war T-62Ms, using the BDD appliqué armour, appeared in large numbers. According to US sources, nearly 325 T-62s fell victim to Mujahideen attacks, especially from anti-tank land mines and RPGs. Others fell into the hands of the Afghan Mujahideen after they were left behind by withdrawing Soviet forces.
The USSR officially confirmed the loss of 147 T-62 and T-55 tanks during the war.
Russia
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, T-72 and T-64, with a smaller number of T-90 tanks in service in active units. They were retired from active combat service after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War to be put in storage to be reactivated in case of war. During the Vostok 2018 military exercise, multiple T-62M and T-62MVs were reactivated from storage and mobilised, in an effort to assess how quickly Russian forces could be readied for a major conflict.
War in Chechnya
The Russian army and the Russian MVD forces used both T-62s and T-62Ms in combat in Chechnya.
During the second war the 160th Guards Tank Regiment (5th Guards Tank Division, Siberian Military District) and the 93rd MVD Mechanized Tank Regiment each had 69 T-62 tanks. Some T-62s were used on train platforms. Up to 380 Russian tanks were used in 1999-2000, including about 150 T-62s.
2008 South Ossetia war
T-62s of the Russian Ground Forces were deployed in the Russo-Georgian war. In one case a T-62M belonging to the Russian army was destroyed by a Georgian RPG in the streets of Tskhinvali. In this instance the rocket penetrated the turret of the T-62M, killing the driver and gunner. Russian MVD also used T-62s.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
At the end of May 2022, Ukraine reported that Russian forces were using T-62 tanks in the area of Melitopol. Ukrainian Intelligence stated that Russia has pulled out T-62 tanks from storage in Siberia. In late May, T-62M and T-62MV were reported as being on trains that arrived in Ukraine. Other T-62 have been reported being sent towards Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih on 5 June. In early June, T-62 with improvised slat armour at the top of the turret, colloquially known as "cope cages" to some and also fitted to more modern Russian T-72 and T-80 tanks, were spotted in Kherson Oblast. In late June, the Head of North Ossetia-Alania Sergey Menyaylo declared that the Ossetian volunteers in the Alania Battalion has received a tank unit consisted of T-62 tanks. According to Russian website Voennoe Obozrenie, The tanks were intended to support infantry units and not expected to engage Ukrainian tanks.
On 7 July, Ukraine reported to have destroyed a T-62M with the use of a commercial drone and a bomb. In the unverified video a hatch has been left open on the T-62M and a Ukrainian drone then dropped a bomb through the open hatch. The bomb used was a modified RGD-5 hand grenade however the tank appeared to be intact. The tank may have been abandoned due to maintenance issues.
In Kherson, Russian forces used T-62 tanks to provide artillery support. In October, the Bulgarian press reported that the Russian Army was in the process of reactivating and modernizing up to 1,000 T-62s to replace tank losses sustained in Ukraine.
As of 21 November 2022, according to the Oryx blog at least 54 T-62M,T-62MV and T-62 Obr. 1967 were lost by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Number of T-62s in Soviet and Russian service lost by year
Year - Number of tanks lost
1979 - 1
1980 - 18
1981 - 28
1982 - 17
1983 - 13
1984 - 7
1985 - 18
1986 - 14
1987 - 7
1988 - 22
1989 - 2
1996 - 8
2008 - 1
2022 - 57

Foreign service

Angola
The People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) began ordering T-62s from the Soviet Union in 1980 and received them by late 1985. Most of the tanks were delivered in the wake of Operation Askari, which saw multiple T-54s and T-55s knocked out by South African expeditionary forces using light anti-tank weapons and highly mobile Eland-90 and Ratel-90 armoured cars. As a result of the destruction and capture of Angolan T-54/55s during Operation Askari, the Soviet military mission in Angola committed to drastically accelerate the transfer of more sophisticated weaponry to FAPLA, including T-62s. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, FAPLA had received 175 second-hand T-62s from Soviet reserve stocks by the end of 1985. South African intelligence reported that no more than 30 were in active service between late 1985 and 1986, possibly because most of the FAPLA crews were still being trained.
FAPLA deployed its T-62s for the first time during Operation Second Congress, a failed 1986 offensive against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) near Mavinga. A number of T-62s were lost during the 1986 campaign, with some being abandoned on the battlefield and others destroyed by UNITA insurgents or South African air strikes. FAPLA T-62s were present during the initial phase of Operation Saluting October, a similar offensive undertaken the following year, but did not see action in the ensuing 1987-88 Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. FAPLA ordered another 135 T-62s from the Soviet Union to replace tank losses in 1987. Another 24 were purchased from Bulgaria and taken into service by the new Angolan Armed Forces in 1993.
Bulgaria
The only other Warsaw Pact member to operate T-62s on a mass scale was Bulgaria which bought 250 T-62s, which were delivered between 1970 and 1974. After the war in Afghanistan, Bulgaria received a number of T-62s 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.
Other Warsaw Pact members
Both Poland and Czechoslovakia evaluated the vehicle but refused it because of the high price and low update value compared to the T-55.
Israel
Before 1973 Israeli intelligence confirmed T-62 tanks had arrived in Egypt. In response, Israeli commandos raided Egyptian positions in order to capture the tanks and analyze them. 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 had an advantage in its better night-fighting capability, but Syrian losses were heavy.
The Israelis captured hundreds of these tanks from the Syrians in 1973, and put some of them into service as the Tiran-3. About 120 Tiran-3 were modernised and received the designation Tiran-6. Only a small number were converted because the new US made M60 main battle tanks started arriving in Israel.
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.
Israel sent a number of captured T-62 tanks to the U.S. Army and Germany for examination purposes. The firing tests done on these tanks helped to develop new ammunition and the German 120 mm gun to be used in the Leopard 2 tank.
Iraq
In 1974, the Iraqi Army acquired 100 T-62s and 600 more in 1976, which were delivered through to 1979. In 1982 a further 2,150 were ordered, which were delivered by 1989. These tanks saw service in the Iraqi-Kurdish conflict from 1974 to 1991.
In the Iran-Iraq War, Iraqi T-62s performed well against opposing Iranian tanks, such as M47s, M48s, M60A1s and Chieftains. In Operation Nasr, the biggest tank battle of the war, Iran lost 214 Chieftain and M60A1 tanks, while Iraq lost 45 T-62s. The remaining Iranian armour turned about and withdrew. Approximately 200 T-62s were lost in the entire war.
Libya
Libyan T-62s were first deployed against the Chadian National Armed Forces (FANT) in the Aouzou Strip around September 1986. The tanks also formed an integral part of a brigade-sized, combined arms task force ordered to drive Chadian troops loyal to the Transitional Government of National Unity (GUNT) from the Tibesti Mountains the following December. During the Toyota War, a few T-62s were destroyed at medium range by MILAN anti-tank missiles mounted on Chadian technicals. According to French after-action reports released in March 1988, several were also knocked out by FANT Panhard AML-90 armoured cars with flank or rear shots.
Cuba
The first T-62s arrived in Cuba in 1976. Currently approximately 400 are in service with the Cuban armed forces and about 100 are in storage. They are modernised to the T-62M standard with additional armour, laser equipment and fire control systems.
A Cuban armoured brigade with T-62s saw action against the Somali National Army during the Ogaden War in Ethiopia. Cuban T-62s were deployed to Angola during Havana's lengthy intervention in that country. Along with T-55s and T-54Bs, they were initially utilitised for defending strategic installations, such as Matala, the site of an important Angolan hydroelectric plant manned by Soviet engineers. The more ubiquitous T-55 was favoured for combat duty, and during the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale only a single battalion of Cuban T-62s took part in the fighting.
This was altered in March 1988, when Cuba began marshalling a combined arms division to carry out a flanking manoeuvre towards the South-West African (Namibian) border. It included a brigade with at least 40 T-62s, identified alternatively as 40 Tank Brigade, 80 Tank Brigade, or the "Havana Tank Regiment". The Cuban tanks clashed with defending South African armoured units at Cuamato and again at Calueque without sustaining serious losses.
Ethiopian Civil War
During the Ogaden War, Cuban T-62s were used against the Somali National Army. The Ethiopian Army later purchased T-62s and used them against guerrillas.
Gulf War
Iraqi-operated T-62s were badly outperformed by the American M1 Abrams, M2/M3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and the British Challenger 1 tanks in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. The lack of high powered optics, thermal sights and ballistic computers of Iraqi tanks compared to their adversaries made the T-62 and other Iraqi armoured fighting vehicles extremely vulnerable and unable to retaliate against Coalition vehicles. The Iraqi 3rd Armoured Division alone lost about a hundred T-62 tanks, while no Abrams or Challengers were lost to enemy fire.

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