TechRussian forces face setbacks using outdated T-62 tanks in Ukraine

Russian forces face setbacks using outdated T‑62 tanks in Ukraine

The T-62M tank just before the strike of the Ukrainian FPV drone.
The T-62M tank just before the strike of the Ukrainian FPV drone.
Images source: © X (dawniej Twitter) | Ukrainian Front

3:42 PM EDT, June 2, 2024

Russians are desperately trying to overcome Ukrainian fortifications around the city of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region. Their desperation is so great that they are launching massive infantry assaults supported by T-62 tanks, resulting in hundreds of casualties. We explain whether these T-62 tanks, which could be considered museum exhibits, are good for anything today.

In the region of Starytsya village, the Russians launched a massive assault repelled by the 42nd Independent Mechanized Brigade. Reportedly, the Russians lost up to 300 soldiers, an infantry fighting vehicle BMP-1, and four T-62 tanks (one of which was damaged). The video below shows how Russian targets are being eliminated by artillery and FPV drones.

T-62 tanks - a useless machine that belongs in a museum

The T-62 tank was designed in the 1960s as an improved version of the T-54/55 family. The most significant change was the introduction of a smoothbore 115 mm cannon and the enhancement of its armor with additional steel plates.

This steel armor provides resistance to fire from 30 mm automatic cannons, but any weapon with a shaped charge warhead capable of burning through several hundred millimeters of steel armor will easily destroy such relics. The situation looks slightly better for the T-62M/MW versions modernized in the 1980s.

The first variant received additional composite armor modules on the turret and hull, while the second could use Kontakt-1 reactive armor modules. This locally improved the protection level to that of the earliest versions of T-72 tanks.

Other changes included increasing the engine power to 830 HP and upgrading the fire control system with a laser rangefinder, which enabled the firing of 9K116-2 Sheksna anti-tank guided missiles. However, it is worth noting that these upgrades still don't make the T-62 a modern combat vehicle, as T-62 tanks lack modern night vision and thermal sights.

Without these capabilities, the tank has minimal combat effectiveness in poor weather conditions or at night. Moreover, its cannon cannot penetrate the armor of any modern tank and can at most be used to shell a given area with high-explosive shells. In this respect, Leopard 1A5 tanks perform better; despite having even less effective armor, they can engage targets effectively under challenging conditions over a distance of several miles.

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