If a military news website in Bulgaria is to be believed, According to reports, between 800 and 1,000 tanks of this model are undergoing refurbishment. What puzzles me is why Russia opted for the T-62 instead of the more modern T-72 or T-80.
More than 22,000 T-62 tanks have been manufactured in Russia. A little over 2,000 tanks are reportedly active in the Soviet Union and, later, Russia, though this number is unclear. Some of these tanks were moved to Syria once the civil conflict began and the Russian military intervened.
T-62s from Tajikistan, Libya, and Syria are either returning to Russia or heading to the conflict in Ukraine, as we reported in the middle of the summer and after Russian official sources verified.
There’s a logic behind updating the T-62 instead of the T-72 or T-80. The Donbas mechanized corps and tank companies of the future are rumored to be equipped with T-62s.
For prospective rank-and-file tankers and the mobilized Russian citizens, the T-62 is easier and faster to train. In addition, the T-62 requires less money to maintain.
Some online sources [mainly Russian] claim that these two factors are why Moscow prefers this tank. There are other reasons, though. The T-62 is a good military vehicle for use in mountainous areas and cities.
The T-55, which is another Russian tank, has some of the same features. The T-62 is based on the T-55, so the fact that it can move around shouldn’t be a surprise. Over the last ten years, the T-62 has seen a lot of action in Syria.
It is important to remember a fact that is rarely talked about: for ten years, Russia improved the T-62 in Syria by adding technologies, laser rangefinders, and anti-personnel ammunition made in North Korea.
The fourth reason is that the Syrian T-62s going to the front in Ukraine have already been updated with new technology. This gets around the fact that this can’t happen in Russia right now because of economic sanctions from the West.
Modernizing the T-62, according to some [mainly Russian] specialists, could be more successful than updating the T-72 or T-80.
Explosive reactive armor such as the Kontakt-5 or Relikt, Russian or North Korean third-generation thermal sights, and maybe even new APFSDS rounds can all be easily integrated into the T-62.
The T-62 was the first mass-produced tank to feature a smoothbore cannon with armor-piercing fins, but this fact is rarely mentioned.
Armor-piercing fin stabilizing discarding sabot [APFSDS] rounds were also originally used on the T-62. So, it seems that re-integrating APFSDS will work smoothly.
All this may result in a new T-62 variant, perhaps the T-62M2. There’s a chance the T-62M2 will outperform the T-72 and T-80 and maybe even tie them.
. Russian experts speculate that the T-62M2 will prove superior to the T-72, the latter of which was never given the necessary upgrades. Inevitably, the T-62M2 is inferior to Western tanks.
However, Ukraine lacks western tanks, and the West refuses to supply the Ukrainian Mechanized Brigades with improved tank armor. That is to say; the T-62M2 is at least comparable to Ukrainian reserves and weapons.
T-62 activation makes sense; the tanks could be a valuable asset, require little in the way of upkeep, be produced in huge numbers, and be easily updated with sensors to fit the needs of the Ukrainian front.
What isn’t said, however, is how Moscow expects the T-62 to compete with the T-72, T-80, and T-90 when they are being destroyed by anti-tank missiles delivered to Ukraine.