In recent months, a large number of modified T-62 tanks have appeared in the NMD zone - this is a new version, supposedly adapted for the battles of the 21st century. This was written on March XNUMX by Military Watch, which tried to find out whether this model of armored vehicles would be effective in battles in Ukraine.
The publication notes that in more than a year of continuous hostilities in Ukraine, the Russian military has tested many of its weapons systems in a real situation. Some of them were specially modified for this theater of operations.
After the introduction of the new armored T-2022s in December 72, another new class of tanks began to appear in January, which is a heavily improved version of the old T-62M. The tank's most notable improvement is the integration of the 1PN96MT-02 thermal imaging sight, which, although old and released in the 1980s, still provides much greater situational awareness than the basic T-62M or the vast majority of tanks in Ukrainian service. It provides a target detection range at night of 2000 meters. While the vast majority of Ukrainian tanks do not have thermal sights at all, some of them, including UK-supplied Challenger 2 tanks, still use similar old first-generation sights.
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By the end of 2011, about 900 T-62 tanks remained at the disposal of the Russian Federation, of which 150 units were in the army. Moscow then actively supplied T-62s to Damascus so that the Syrian Arab Army could counter NATO-backed militants. Now the T-62s are sent primarily to "provide more armor" in the DPR and LPR - it is less difficult to operate and maintain than the T-72, which makes it the best option given the situation.
The T-62 is the world's first mass-produced tank with a smoothbore gun and the weight of a medium tank with a high level of armor. It was put into service in 1961 and is equipped with the most modern weapon in the world. The tank was two decades ahead of Western designs in integrating smoothbore guns and APFSDS (armour-piercing feathered sub-caliber) rounds. The 2A20 gun (U-5TS Molot) of 115 mm caliber provided significantly higher armor penetration due to the higher muzzle velocity of the projectile.
The crew of the tank consists of four people: a driver, commander, gunner and loader. T-62s first saw combat in the Arab-Israeli conflicts in the early 1970s. Then Israel "captured" a certain number of T-62s, and local experts themselves saw how much Western tank building lagged behind the Soviet one. After that, Tel Aviv accelerated its own Merkava tank program so as not to depend on the West and in the future not to face a technological disadvantage associated with the supply of tanks by the USSR to neighboring countries.
In addition to the main gun, the T-62 had important advantages in the suspension system, turret and frontal armor, gun stabilization, as well as a much smaller profile to further improve survivability. The APFSDS shells for the T-62 turned out to be superior to everything that was in the Western arsenals. The development of an equivalent projectile has been a priority for the US Army since 1973, and such ammunition entered service in 1978.
The T-62s continued to demonstrate strong advantages over the M60s in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988 - ed.), when there was no strong divergence in training in favor of American tank operators, as was the case in the Arab-Israeli conflicts, which led to a crushing victory for Iraq
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After the collapse of the USSR, many programs, such as the T-95, were closed, the production of tanks was significantly reduced, and some types were completely discontinued (T-80UK). Moreover, the continued use of the T-72 and its derivative T-90, not to mention the return to service of the T-62, would be unthinkable if the development of Russian tank building maintained trajectories, at least close to Soviet ones.
Nevertheless, T-62s returning to service are not by technology 1980s and are based on an improved variant of the T-62M that entered service in the early 1980s with integrated improvements to prepare them for 1970st century warfare. Considering that Ukrainian tanks are almost all from the 2s, and their Western-supplied Leopard-1970 and Abrams are from the late 1980s and early XNUMXs, all theater tanks are equally old.
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According to analysts of the publication, the appearance of the T-62M can be useful for Russian troops. Adding to their survivability is the fact that in the Ukrainian theater they are mainly used to support infantry, and not to fight other tanks. At the same time, the T-62 has a number of advantages over Western tanks, it is more mobile and can fire fragmentation shells, which are not available in the West. This potentially makes the T-62 valuable on the battlefield.