4 June 2018
Т-62М-1: the fight continues!
In short: the T-62 was radically modernized. Additional mixed armor, a new engine, guided missiles, and brand new types of projectiles, which even enable the tank to take on the Abrams on equal footing, were installed on the vehicle.
By the early 80s, the USSR began deploying new tanks: the T-72s, the modernized versions of the T-64, and its derivatives, the T-80s. However, the country also had a rather large fleet of “old-school” models that were no longer a match for the newest tanks but still possessed some modernization potential. So, in 1981 the government approved a project on the complex modernization of the T-62s. The aim of the project was to upgrade the defenses and augment the tanks’ firepower. Following several radical design changes, the tank’s combat effectiveness – despite the resurfaced issues and substantial age of the model – was significantly increased, putting the modified T-62M-1 on the same level as the third-generation tanks.
In our game, the T-62M-1 is a top-tier medium tank in the USSR armored vehicle tech tree. Over the course of its modernization, the base model was fitted with extra mixed metallopolymer armor. The turret’s supplementary defenses consist of a series of obstructions. These include an outer cambered mold of varying thickness (60-85 mm); a cavity with a set of 5 mm steel sheets positioned at a 65-degree angle and polyurethane filling in between them; and a steel rear wall that is approximately 10 mm thick. The hull’s additional defenses have a similar build – 30 mm outer plating and a set of 5 mm sheets positioned at an angle and with polyurethane filling occupying the empty space in between them. As a result, the tank’s defenses for these components were enhanced to a level comparable to that of the T-64A. In addition to that, the tank was also given anti-HEAT side skirts made of rubber fabric, as well as the capacity for extra steel side skirts – a feature also present in the T-64As. The tank’s bottom has been fitted with extra mine protection, while the turret was equipped with a smoke grenade discharger. Such complex modernization of the tank’s defenses enables the vehicle to withstand hits from numerous modern kinetic and even chemical rounds.
Fun fact: the really standout protective modules on the T-62M-1’s turret were nicknamed “Ilyich’s eyebrows” by the soldiers in honor of the easily recognizable eyebrows of the USSR leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev.
Despite the fact that the cannon remained unchanged, the modified tank’s firepower was increased to a new quality level. The T-62M-1 was fitted with guided missiles with a range of up to 4 km and armor penetration of up to 600 mm, two new types of APFS-DS shells, high-explosive hollow charge shells with an armor penetration of 500 mm, as well as HE shells. Such a versatile selection of rounds will cater for any combat situation. In fact, the T-62M-1’s firepower practically rivals that of the mighty M1 Abrams – they will certainly have something to say to each other on the battlefield!
Besides the upgraded armor and armament, the T-62M-1 got a new 690 hp engine, so even with its weight increased due to all the additional protection, the tank can reach a speed over 60 km/h. Furthermore, the DShK on the turret roof will prove to be extremely useful in certain situations: you can use it to reveal the location of the enemy to your team with its tracer rounds or to try and fight off an enemy aircraft.
To cut a long story short, the T-62M-1 turned out to be a pretty solid tank for its time and does pretty well in high-tier battles. Take good care of the hull and sides and choose the right kind of ammo for every target, and it won’t be long before you reign victorious! Good luck!