TechRussia unveils T-62M 2023: A hybrid tank for modern warfare

Russia unveils T‑62M 2023: A hybrid tank for modern warfare

Russian armored Frankenstein T-62M and T-90M.
Russian armored Frankenstein T-62M and T-90M.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | Naalsio

2:58 PM EST, November 27, 2023

The Russians never fail to astound with their creation of peculiar armored vehicles and tanks. Now, at the forefront in Ukraine, a hybrid has surfaced - the old T-62 from Khrushchev's era, modified with elements of the armored T-90M, a symbol of Putin's pride. In this article, we delve into the specifics of this intriguing armored hybrid.

The Russians have a well-established reputation for creating interesting equipment upgrades, including land warships, grotesquely reinforced MT-LB transports in the style of the Warhammer 40K universe, using different types of cage mounts on tanks, and creating improvised BMPT Terminators.

Historically, they have also been known to shield trucks with wood and hay or affix stolen Ukrainian farmer's cast iron tractor weights onto tanks. However, we are now observing an armored hybrid that is the result of innovative design by Russian engineers, as opposed to field modifications by soldiers in the front line area.

A hybrid monster of Russian armor - a fusion from across centuries

The conception of the T-62M 2023 tank remains somewhat of a mystery. It appears that due to shortages of components for new production, the Russians are resorting to using surplus parts when restoring old machines retrieved from post-Soviet warehouses.

It's an open secret that corruption led to the theft of many of the stored T-72 family tanks over the decades, looting them for sale of spare parts due to the machine's global popularity. Later, when the Russians needed to hastily compensate for their losses, they discovered many of their machines were incomplete and found that the less popular T-62 tanks were in better condition. These tanks were deployed to the front, and it seems that some are now being upgraded with parts from the T-90M.

The most noteworthy addition is the implementation of the Sosna-U targeting system, equipped with thermal imaging and the installation of the heavy Relikt reactive armor. This new sight will improve target detection and elimination in nocturnal situations or adverse weather conditions, and the Relikt reactive armor enhances protection against handheld anti-tank weapons, even those equipped with tandem warheads. Interestingly, the old cannon has not been replaced, possibly due to the abundant Cold War ammunition stocks for the 115 mm cannon.

Despite the upgrades, the T-62M's combat value remains inferior to the upgraded versions of T-72 or T-64 tanks. However, it's noteworthy that it can play the role of infantry support akin to Ukraine's Leopard 1A5 tanks, while offering superior protection for its crew.

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