Beginning in the late 1930s with the T-34, the Soviet Union produced a string of outstanding tank models. Their most recent was the T-62 Main Battle Tank (MBT).

The introduction of the T-62 Main Battle Tank marked the central turning point for the heavy tank class around the globe. The medium tank has become the top choice because it was just as strongly equipped and shot as the massive tank but was far lighter and more maneuverable, according to the How Stuff Works report.

The T-62 is a further step in the line of development that started with the T-54/55 series. Production of the T-62 began in 1961 and continued until 1975. It rapidly took the place of the T-54 and T-55 as the primary tank of war for Soviet tanks and motorized rifle formations, becoming the benchmark for those units. 1970 was the year that saw the introduction of the T-62A variant. In the 1980s, the new generation of T-64, T-72, and T-80 tanks took its place as the first-line Soviet main battle tank, replacing the older model, the report said.

All About the T-62

The exterior hull of the T-62 is comparable to that of the T-55. Differentiating between the two models might be challenging, but a defining feature of the T-62 is its larger turret than the T-55. Besides that, it has the same overall form. Both include rails that crew members and soldiers can grasp for support while moving.

The main cannon on the T-62 features a barrel that is more robust in comparison to the T-55s. On the T-55, the cylindrical bore evacuator is very close to the muzzle. However, on the T-62’s 115mm gun, it is located one-third of the way back down the barrel from the muzzle.

The T-62 features a nuclear radiation protection system that automatically locks the tank whenever it detects a level of radiation that exceeds the threshold that was initially identified. Radiation-contaminated dust and other particles are eliminated using a blower and filtration system. Due to the lack of a physical or chemical protection system, the crew should wear contamination suits at all times to avoid chemical risks.

A Failure in the History

An MT-LB multipurpose tracked vehicle, foreground, and a T-62M main battle tank sit on a road among other vehicles after being abandoned by Iraqi troops during Operation Desert Storm. (Source: Unknown, United States Marine Corps, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The source said that the T-62 did not turn out to be as successful as its designers had imagined it would be. Because of the complexity of its fire control system, the primary cannon could not be directed low enough to deal with the attacking infantry, and its rate of fire was significantly reduced.

During Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the T-62 was not equal to the firepower or armored protection provided by the Israeli Merkava.

In May, the army retrieved from long-term storage at least enough T-62 tanks that were 60 years old to equip a battalion, and possibly as many as 50 in total. Two weeks later, three museum-ready T-62s were seen rolling toward the front line outside of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. Forbes reported that the city is located in the eastern part of the country.

In a tweet, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence said that the idea of Russia releasing their old T-62 tanks and “their presence on the battlefield highlights Russia’s shortage of modern, combat-ready equipment.”

Imperfect Strategy

Russian military vehicles marked with the V symbol were bombed by Ukrainian troops. (Source: Security Service of UkraineCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Russian Army has suffered an estimated loss of 37,000 people. Most of them were killed in battle in just over 100 days. In addition, an exceptionally high number of Russian military vehicles and other equipment have been destroyed, including at least 761 tanks, 840 infantry fighting vehicles, 271 artillery pieces, 30 fixed-wing aircraft, and an entire guided-missile ship, Oryx revealed.

With this, Popular Mechanics reported that deploying T-62 tanks is not a great strategy as it poses several issues. It said, “unlike newer tanks, the T-62 has a crew of four, increasing manpower demands on an already manpower-strapped force. And if the tank is destroyed, total destruction of the T-62 results in the loss of four tankers, not three.”

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel: Russia Is Sending 60 Year Old T-62 Tanks to the Front

Read Next: Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel: Russia Is Sending 60 Year Old T-62 Tanks to the Front

Because the T-62 tank has been in service for a long time, the anti-tank weapons that can be used against it did not come into existence until much later. It is impossible to find another tank in the West similar to the T-62 today; therefore, it is unethical to let men fight in a tank as out of date as the T-62. There is, however, a grimly positive aspect to all of this: if sending T-62 battle tanks to Ukraine speeds up the rate at which the Russian army is losing ground, this could quicken the conclusion of the war.

Will deploying the outdated T-62 tank model only surface Russia’s collapsing number of warfare weapons? Or will this be their trump card waiting to be unveiled?