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Tankograd T-62: Khruschev's bastard


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All Credit goes to: Mike Ennamoro


and Tiles Murphy 


I highly recommend checking out there other articles, espically that on T-72




      Ask anybody politically savvy aged 50 and above and they will tell you that the unending string of proxy wars during the Cold War exuded a mostly artificial, but ever-present atmosphere of an imminent danger of a escalation into a full-blown nuclear world war. Fear and paranoia drove an age of accelerated technology growth predominantly concentrated in the military sector, producing various innovations which have crossed over into the non-military world. The proof is in our history textbooks today. The first rockets that sent satellites to space, for example, were modified ICBMs, and the Internet was originally a military project. New tanks sprang up like mushrooms after rain all over the world in approximately decadal increments, always to counter the last, always eclipsed by the next, but sometimes bordering on obsolescence from the moment they were created. One unfortunate example of the latter is the T-62.

      The T-62 is undeniably the least memorable among all of its world-famous post war era brothers - the T-54/55, T-64, T-72, T-80 and T-90 all come to mind - and it is also arguably the least historically significant among them all, but it was a step nonetheless in the evolutionary path to the modern T-14 we know today, and its relevance on the battlefield was certainly undeniable for the better part of two decades.
      The sentiment among the few amateur academic-enthusiasts that haven't forgotten the T-62's existence is that it was a highly mediocre design with a whopping gun, and in many ways, that is perfectly true from a technological standpoint in the evolution of armoured warfare during the Cold War. Between former Soviet tankers, however, the sentiment is slightly different. Many remember the T-62 fondly as a fairly reliable and endearing sweetheart that certainly had its own faults, but rarely ever disappointed - a sentiment echoed by Syrian and Iraqi tankers. The ones that lived, at least.
      Although woefully obsolete at present (it had already been totally purged from the Russian Armed Forces' inventories since 2013), it could at least boast of having the second most powerful tank cannon in the world for a few short years before being usurped by the T-64. Indeed, the sole reason of the T-62's existence was its pioneering smoothbore cannon. Tactically speaking, there were very few differences between it and its predecessor the T-54 in the mobility and armour protection departments, and the T-62 and the T-55, and indeed, both shared the same make of equipment to a large degree, thus simplifying both production and logistics. In fact, the technology of the T-62 was almost entirely derived from the T-55, and most of the interior instruments and controls are practically identical, making the transition from the T-54/55 to the T-62 wonderfully seamless. This degree of commonality wasn't entirely positive, though, because this meant that there was an unacceptable stagnation in armour technology - the type of stagnation seen on the American side of the Iron Curtain in their Patton series of tanks, which began service in the early 50's and dominated U.S Army tank units up til the early 80's. Had the designers decided to only continually modernize a T-54-type design like the Americans did with the Patton, then surely the Soviets would have never achieved the level of armoured superiority and technological excellence as they did in the late 60's, 70's and early 80's.
       The T-62 is an example of what Soviet tank armies could have been, but never was. It was flawed, redundant, unnecessary, and downright wasteful. But it was still valuable in its own little ways, and some of the technologies found in the T-62 even carried over to its successors. Many of its flaws (such as the U.S Army-propagated myth that it took 6 seconds to eject a spent shell casing) were in fact totally made up, but the tank was undeniably mediocre all the same. Tactically speaking, it had only a few advantages over its predecessor in the firepower department, but otherwise, the T-62 was nothing more than a more expensive T-55.
         It was plain to see that the T-62 was considered nothing more than a stopgap solution until the new and radically superior T-64 arrived on the scene, though it is some consolation that the T-62 was considered the most advanced Soviet main battle tank during its brief tenure. Being a mere evolutionary stepping stone, though, we can observe the way Soviet school of thought on mechanized warfare evolved with it. In the early 60's, tank riding infantry was still considered a core part of mechanized warfare. The armoured APC had arrived on the scene in the form of the wheeled BTR-152 and tracked BTR-50, but infantry were sometimes obliged to move and fight as one with a tank, and so to that end, the T-62 had handrails over the circumference of the turret for tank riders to hold on to. When the BMP-1 was introduced in 1966, it drove a major revision of contemporary tank tactics, and the shift in paradigm can be very well seen in the T-62's successors. The T-64 did not have any handrails, nor did the T-72, and the T-62M introduced in the late 60's abolished them too.
         The changes to the T-62 dutifully followed international trends too, most notably the global shift to jet power in the aviation industry. Too fast to be harmed by machine gun fire, the ground attack jet rendered the normally obligatory DShKM machine gun obsolete. The birth of the AH-1 Huey Cobra and the subsequent heavy use of helicopters for fire support and landing missions radically shifted the landscape, and the men and women at Uralvagonzavod obeyed. The DShKM was back by 1972.
  In the Soviet Union, the T-62 was produced from 1963 to 1975, with the first pre-production models appearing in 1961. After 1975, all "new" T-62s are actually simply upgraded, modified, or otherwise overhauled versions from the original production run.
  The commander is seated on the port side of the turret, directly behind the gunner, and to his left is the R-113 radio station, created just as the T-62 first entered service in 1961.
        The R-113 radio operates in the 20.00 to 22.375 MHz range and has a range of 10 to 20 km with its 4 m-long antenna. It could be tuned into 96 frequencies within the limits of its frequency range.
  In 1965, the radio was swapped out for a newer and much more advanced R-123 radio. The R-123 radio had a frequency range of between 20 MHZ to 51.5 MHZ. It could be tuned to any frequency within those limits via a knob, or the commander could instantly switch between four preset frequencies for communications within a platoon. It had a range of between 16km to 50km. The R-123 had a novel, but rather redundant frosted glass prism window at the top of the apparatus that displayed the operating frequency. An internal bulb illuminated a dial, imposing it onto the prism where it is displayed. The R-123 had an advanced modular design that enabled it to be repaired quickly by simply swapping out individual modules.




          It is quite clear that the commander's station is the most habitable one by far in the very spartan T-62. The close proximity between all the turret occupants with each other and the shortage of breathing space makes the internal climate hot and humid, contributing to the overall discomfort. This is compounded by the fact that the crew isn't provided with any local ventilators such as fans or directed air vents, so it can get quite stuffy inside. However, the commander seems to be the most well off, since he sits right in front of the sole ventilator in the turret and he isn't required to exert himself physically, unlike the loader. Unique to the rest of the dome-shaped turret, the area around his station was cast to be devoid of any vertical sloping or rounding whatsoever, which was necessary to enable his rotating cupola to be installed. This meant that the debilitating effects of the ostensibly dome-shaped turret are completely lost on him.
          The cupola is mounted on a race ring. The fixed part constitutes half of the total size of the cupola, while the other half is occupied by the semicircular hatch, which has a maximum width of 590mm. The hatch opens forward, which is quite convenient for when the commander wants to survey the landscape from outside - perhaps with a pair binoculars - because being as thick as it is, the hatch is a superb bulletproof shield for protecting the commander from sniper fire.
There is also a small porthole in the hatch. It is meant for an panoramic periscope tube for indirect fire.
   As befitting his tactical role, the commander's general visibility is facilitated by two TNPO-170 periscopes on either side of the primary surveillance periscope in the fixed forward half of the cupola, and further augmented by two more 54-36-318-R periscopes embedded in the hatch, aimed to either side for additional situational awareness. Overall, this scheme was sufficient for most purposes, but was deficient if compared to the much more generous allowance of periscopes and vision ports found on NATO tanks.
The TNPO-170 periscope has a total range of vision of 94° in the horizontal plane and 23° in the vertical plane. The four periscopes in addition to the TKN-type periscope aimed directly forward gives the commander a somewhat acceptable field of vision over the turret's front arc. The use of periscopes instead of direct glass vision blocks presents pros and cons - for one, the lack of any direct vision means that the viewer's eyes is protected from machine gun fire or glass specks if the device is destroyed, but a bank of periscopes offer a much more limited panorama than vision blocks like the type found in the commander's cupola on the M60 tank. 
TKN-2 "Karmin"
      The original 1961 model of the T-62 featured the TKN-2 binocular periscopic surveillance device (above) mounted in the rotating cupola. It had a fixed x5 magnification in the day mode, with an angular field of view of 10°, allowing a nominal maximum detection range of a tank-sized target at approximately 3 km, though this was greatly dependent on geography as well as weather conditions. The periscope could be manipulated up by +10° and down by -5°, while the cupola would have to be turned for horizontal surveillance.
       The TKN-2 had an active night channel which picked up infrared light from the OU-3 IR spotlight attached to the periscope aperture to provide a limited degree of night vision to the commander. With a nominal viewing range of only about 300 to 400 m, the TKN-2 was all but useless for serious target acquisition at night, serving only to give away the tank's position the moment the spotlight was turned on. Performance could be improved with mortar-delivered IR flares, of course, but that doesn't count as an intrinsic merit of the device itself.
          Due to the fact that the periscope is unstabilized, identifying another tank at a distance is very difficult while on the move over very rough terrain. However, the commander is meant to bear down and brace against the handles of the periscope for improvised stabilization, which is adequate for when driving over a dirt road, but not when traversing over especially rough terrain. The periscope's small elevation allowance was for this purpose.
The left handle has a thumb button for turning the OU-3 spotlight on or off.
  The OU-3 is a high-powered xenon arc lamp with an IR filter to create only infrared light. The filter isn't opaque, though, and the spotlight will glow faintly red. It is mechanically linked to the periscope, enabling it to elevate with the TKN-2.
^OU-3 IR spotlight with the IR filter removed to transform it into a regular white light spotlight^
TKN-3 "Kristal"
In 1964, the revised T-62 was instead equipped with the TKN-3 pseudo-binocular combined periscope, which is a direct descendant of the TKN-2. Pseudo-binocular meaning that although the device has two eyepieces, the two optic tubes are combined to feed from one aperture, which the viewer sees out of. It has a fixed 5x magnification in the day channel with an angular field of view of 10°, and a fixed 3x magnification in the night channel with an angular field of view of 8°. The periscope can be manipulated up and down for elevation, and the commander's cupola must be turned for horizontal viewing.
The TKN-3 was a sufficiently modern observation device of its time. It featured target cuing, was very compact, and had a relatively advanced passive light intensification system, but it wasn't stabilised, and featured only rudimentary rangefinding capabilities as a cost saving measure. It offered rudimentary night vision capability in two flavours; passive light intensification or active infrared. In the passive mode of operation, the TKN-3 intensifies ambient light to produce a more legible image. This mode is useful down to ambient lighting conditions of at least 0.005 lux, which would be equivalent to an overcast, moonless and starless night. In these conditions, the TKN-3 can be used to identify a tank-type target at a nominal distance of 400m, but as the amount of ambient light increases such as on starlit or moonlit nights, the distance at which a tank-sized target is discernible can be extended to up to 800m in dark twilight hours. Any brighter, though, and the image will be oversaturated and unintelligible.
The active mode requires the use of the OU-3K IR spotlight, which is practically identical to the OU-3 performance-wise. With active infrared imaging, the commander can identify a tank at 800m, or potentially more if the opposing side is also using IR spotlights, in which case, the TKN-3 can be set to the active mode but without turning on the IR spotlight.
Rangefinding is accomplished through the use of a stadiametric scale sighted for a target with a height of 2.7 m, which is the average size of the average NATO tank. Like the TKN-2, the TKN-3 is unstabilized, making it exceedingly difficult to reliably identify enemy tanks or other vehicles at extended distances while the tank is travelling over rough terrain, let alone determine the range. The left thumb button initiated turret traverse for target cuing, and the right thumb button turned the OU-3K spotlight on or off. The range of elevation is +10° to -5°, just like the TKN-2. The OU-3K spotlight is also directly mechanically linked to the periscope (the arm to which the spotlight is linked to can be seen in the photo above) to enable it to elevate with the TKN-3.
Target cuing is done by placing the crosshair reticle in the periscope's viewfinder over the intended target and pressing the cue button. The system only accounts for the cupola's orientation, though, and not the periscope's elevation, so the cannon will not elevate to meet the target; only the turret will.
  Because the cupola did not was not counter rotated as turret traverse was initiated, it will be spun along with the turret as it rotates to meet the target cued by the commander, potentially causing him to lose his bearings. To prevent this, there is a simple U-shaped steel rung for him to brace with his right arm as he uses his left hand to designate the target. This wasn't as convenient as a counter rotating motor, of course, but it was better than nothing.
Ventilation for the crew is facilitated by the KUV-3 ventilator, identifiable on the rear of the turret as a large, overturned frying pan-shaped tumor on the rear of the turret.
A centrifugal fan inside the ventilator housing sucks in air and performs some low level filtration, ejecting dust and larger particles out of a small slit at the base of the housing (refer to photo above), and then released into the crew compartment, passing through a drum-shaped NBC filter unit inside the tank proper. The air can be optionally cleaned of chemical and biological contaminants by the filter in contaminated environments where the centrifugal fan is simply not enough. The filter unit also contains a supercharger to increase the positive pressure inside the tank to produce an overpressure, preventing chemical and biological agents from seeping into the tank.

Notice the PVC pipe connecting it to the ventilation dome on the outside of the turret rear





But being the commander is still a mixed blessing, because his seat is seated right in front of the hydraulic pump, subjecting him to more acoustic fatigue than anyone else in the tank (the green canister is the hydraulic pump).
Nevertheless, the commander's station is the second most roomy one in the tank, besides the loader's station. Here in the photo below, you can see his seat back and the few pieces of equipment that he is responsible for.
Sometime during the 70's, a select few T-62s received a shield of sorts over the commander's hatch. It is a sheet steel face shield with a canvas skirt draping down. Being so thin, the face shield is not bulletproof, though perhaps resistant to hand grenade fragments and small mortar splinters.
Since it doesn't really do very well as ballistic protection, the main function of the shield appears to be to conceal the opening of the commander's hatch to disguise his exit from the prying eyes of snipers, and to keep away dust if the commander feels like sitting outside during road marches. Either way, not many T-62s received the addition, though almost all T-72s did. The reason for the bias is unknown.
The gunner is squeezed into his corner of the turret, wedged between the turret wall to the left and the cannon breech to the right, and between the commander and the sights. It is so cramped that the commander must partially wrap his knees around him.
  As was, and still is common among manually loaded tanks, the gunner doesn't have a hatch of his own. Instead, he must ingress and egress through the commander's hatch. The biggest flaw with this layout is that if the commander is unconscious, incapacitated or killed, then the gunner will suddenly find it extremely difficult to leave the tank unless the commander was somehow completely vaporized. Even worse, if the tank has been struck, there is a very distinct possibility that the interior is catching fire.
  Plus, another flaw with the layout is if the turret was perforated through the front on the port side cheek, both the gunner and commander would be killed, effectively rendering the tank useless in combat.
For extra visibility, the gunner has a single TNP-165 periscope pointed forward and slightly to the right, though for what exact purpose this lone periscope is meant for is unknown, since the field of view from it is so small that the gunner can't really see very much, nor can the commander seated behind him. It is more useful for the commander for checking directly in front of the tank.



  In addition to all of the necessary switches and toggle buttons to activate this and that, there are also some other odds and ends at his station, including a turret azimuth indicator, which is used to orient the turret for indirect fire. It is akin to a clock, having two hands - one for general indication measured in degrees, and the other in 100 mil increments for precise turret traverse.
TSh2B-41 sight aperture port, with nuclear attack seal in place
The gunner is provided with either a monocular TSh2B-41 or a TSh2B-41U (in later models) primary sight and a TPN-1-41-11 night sight, which also functions as a backup sight in the event of the failure or destruction of the primary sight.
  The TSh2B-41 is a monocular telescopic sight, functioning as the gunner's primary sight for direct fire purposes. It has two magnification settings, x3.5 or x7, and an angular field of view of 18° in the former setting and 9° in the latter setting. As was and still is common for all tank sights, it has an anti-glare coating for easier aiming when facing the sun. It comes with a small wiper to clean it from moisture, and it comes with an integrated heater for defrosting.
  Like most other tanks of its time, the T-62 lacked a ballistic computer, but it was also unusually deficient in the rangefinding department. For rangefinding, the gunner had to make use of a stadiametric ranging scale embossed on the sight aperture. Compared to optical coincidence rangefinders, stadia rangefinding was terribly imprecise, but also much simpler in both production and employment, and much more economical than, say, optical coincidence rangefinding. In fact, stadia rangefinding is essentially free, since all that is needed are some etchings into the sight lens. The savings made from the exclusion of an optical coincidence rangefinder were enormous, amounting to many thousands of rubles. Ranging errors of up to several hundred meters is often the norm, especially if some of the lower part of the target vehicle is obscured behind vegetation or other terrain features. It isn't uncommon for the first shot on faraway tank-sized targets to fall woefully short or fly clear over.
  Below is the sight picture:
From left to right: APFSDS, HEAT, HE-Frag, Co-Axial Machine Gun
 When the gunner has obtained range data, he manually enters the necessary correction into the sighting system by turning a dial. The dial adjusts the sight to calibrate it for that range.
  Calibration is when the chevron is elevated or depressed to account for range. If the target is very far away, for example, then the chevron will be dropped significantly, forcing the gunner to sharply elevate the gun to line up the target with the chevron, thus forming a ballistic solution. Because APFSDS, HEAT and HE-Frag shells all have different ballistic characteristics, the gunner must refer to a set of fixed range scales drawn on the upper half of the sight in order to get the proper gun elevation. For instance, if the target is 1.6 km away, and the gunner wishes to engage it with high explosive shells, then he must line up a horizontal bar (which moves up and down with the targeting chevron but at different speeds due to a reduction gear) with a notch on the range scale for "OF" shells that says "16". If the gunner wishes to use APFSDS instead, then he need only line up the horizontal bar with the "16" notch on the "BR" scale. Then, the chevron will show how much supraelevation is needed in order to hit the target with the selected ammunition. The gunner will then lay the chevron on the target and open fire.
  The sight has an internal light bulb that when turned on, illuminates the reticle for easier aiming in poor lighting conditions such as during twilight hours or dawn.
  Unless the gunner had 20/20 vision and the tank was completely still, considerable ranging errors in the neighborhood of 100 or so meters was the norm, and as the distance from the target increased, the accuracy of the measurement decreased exponentially, deteriorating drastically past 2000 m. As such, it is more difficult hitting targets with lower velocity ammunition like HE-Frag and HEAT shells, and even harder for moving targets. However, the inclusion of near-hypersonic APFSDS ammunition in the T-62's loadout greatly helped counterbalance this issue, making it markedly easier for the gunner to hit both stationary and moving tank-type targets, while most targets requiring HE-Frag shells like machine gun nests and pillboxes and other fortifications would be stationary anyway, thus making pinpoint accuracy much less of a priority. Even so, on account of the extremely high speed of the APFSDS rounds fired from the 2A20 gun, the sight can be battlesighted at a very generous 1000 m, allowing the gunner to confidently hit a tank of NATO-type dimensions at any distance between 200 to 1600 m by aiming at center mass without needing to ascertain the range beforehand.
  However, one inescapable flaw of the TSh2B-41U was that it lacked independent vertical stabilization, being directly mechanically linked to the 2A20 cannon, forcing it to elevate with it when the loading procedure is underway. This causes the gunner to (very annoyingly) lose sight of anything he is aiming at at the moment, making the commander's the only pair of eyes to observe the 'splash' and give corrections or search for new targets. This led to the development of the independently stabilized TSh2B-41U.
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Wait it goddamn second, YOUR MIKE E(i cant spell the rest of that man)!?





.....huh should of figured that out, i just thought you were like a T__A alt or something


speaking of which, this is gonna cuckhold his t-55, T-44, and T-62 thread real hard

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I know it's not that impressive compared to the T-64, but for some reason the T-62 seems more well known. I mean, I knew about the T-62 (at least that it existed) since high school probably, but I didn't really find out about the T-64 until I started hanging out with this crowd a year or two ago. I guess it's because the T-62 got exported more, so Americans get to see news footage of it getting blown up in Operation Useless Dirt 2: 2Iraq2Furious, while the T-64 hung out in Europe the whole time.

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In the 1972 modification of the T-62, it was given the upgraded TSh2B-41U sight with independent vertical stabilization as a transient solution. If it were to be used as then it would not have been very impressive, having a mean vertical stabilization accuracy of 3 mils - an accuracy of 3 meters at 1000 m, or a maximum deviation of up to 1.5 m, which would incredibly inadequate for firing on the move. Fortunately, the sight is only stabilized when the cannon is elevated during the loading procedure, as the TSh2B-41U was expressly created to remedy the issue of the gunner losing sight of the target. When the cannon is automatically goes into detente, the sight does not follow, allowing the gunner to use his handgrips to manipulate the elevation of the sight. Once the cannon is ready to fire again, the Meteor stabilizer reengages and "catches up" to the sight, whereby the sight's stabilizer deactivates and defers its work to Meteor once again. This is different from true independent stabilization where the sight's stabilizer can be as precise or less precise than the cannon's, and the cannon's stabilizer is only perpetually slaved to the sight.

Another modification was the addition of a range scale for the new and improved 3UOF18 HE-Frag shell, and the separation of it from the scale of the older 3UOF11. The aiming distance of HEAT was increased to 3.7 km and the aiming distance for OF-18 and OF-11 shells are listed as 4.8 km and 3.6 km respectively.
 Because the TSh2B-41/U sight aperture is just left of the gun barrel, there is a very high likelihood that it will be rendered inoperable if the turret takes a hit anywhere near it. An very close miss may create a big enough shock to knock the sight out of alignment or even crack the lenses, not to mention the disasterous effects of a direct hit on the aperture itself. But for all of its inherent flaws, the TSh-2B-41/U should not be seen as anything less than an extremely high quality product of its time. Lack of independent vertical stabilization notwithstanding, the glass was of superb quality and the insulation and shockproofing of the sight unit was designed to survive the blast wave of a nuclear explosion and ambient temperatures of over 200° C. Nevertheless, whereupon the TSh2B-41/U is out of service, then the gunner must rely on the TPN-1-41-11 backup night sight.
  The TPN-1-41-11 is a monocular periscopic night or backup sight located on the turret roof just in front of the commander's cupola. The TPN-1-41-11 has a fixed magnification of x5.5 and a field of view of 6° in the daytime mode. It could operate in either passive or active modes. In the active mode, it must work in tandem with the L-2 Luna IR spotlight which moves along with the cannon though a mechanical linkage. The infrared light supplied by the spotlight is picked up by the sight, which allows the gunner to identify a tank-type target at distance of around 800m, which is only just decent, but not worse than its immediate counterparts'. In the passive mode, it employs light intensification for a nominal maximum identification distance of 400m for a tank-type target under lighting conditions of no less than 0.005 lux. As with the TKN-3, and indeed any optronics using light intensification, the viewing distance and resolution increases as ambient light intensity increases, but only up to a certain point before the sight is oversaturated and can no longer produce a legible image.
  Like with the TSh2B-41/U, the sight has an internal lightbulb which facilitates aiming at night.
Unfortunately for the gunner, the TPN-1-41-11 is mechanically linked to the cannon, and does not have independently stabilization, nor is there any modified variant that features it. As such, just like the TSh2B-41, its range of vertical motion is limited to the cannon's range of elevation, which is -6° to +16°.
When the T-62M was introduced in 1983, it brought with it a myriad of improvements to the fire control and sighting systems, central among these was the addition of the 1K13-2 combined monocular auxiliary sight which introduced the ability to guide new 115mm GLATGMs.
The sight has a nominal maximum identification range of 5000 m on a tank-type target in the daytime mode under a maximum 8x magnification, though the actual distance depends on meteorological and geographical conditions more than anything. Like with the previous auxiliary sighting complexes, the 1K13-2 has two modes; passive and active, both of which operate under a 5x magnification. The sight enables the gunner to detect a tank-type target at nominal maximum range of 800 m in the passive mode under lighting conditions of no less than 0.005 lux. Alternatively, the identification distance can be as high as 1100 m in the active mode under illumination from the L-2G IR spotlight. The sight has an internal lightbulb that illuminates the reticle to facilitate aiming at night.
In contrast to all of the previous sighting complexes, the 1K13-2 sight has two-plane stabilization. The accuracy of stabilization while the tank is on the move at 15 km/h is 0.15 mrad in the vertical plane and 0.2 mrad in the horizontal plane, translating to a stabilization accuracy of 0.02 m at 1000 m vertically and 0.03 m horizontally. which is a level of accuracy so high that it is practically the same as if the tank was not moving at all.
  The sight can only be used to guide GLATGMs in the daytime mode.
T-62 with 1K13 and KDT-1
As part of the overall effort to bring the T-62 series up to modern levels of technology, the T-62 obr. 1975 was fitted with the KDT-1 laser rangefinder mounted directly atop the barrel of the 2A20 cannon. This sort of arrangement was widely encountered on legacy tank designs like the M60 and the T-62 itself, but the Chieftain, which also did not originally have a laser rangefinder and had one retrofitted as well, had it installed under armour by replacing the ranging machine gun. Having the rangefinder exposed outside the turret is no doubt a minor drawback, since it then becomes vulnerable to airbursting artillery shells or even the blast and frag of a direct hit on the armour, though the presence of the rangefinder is in itself still a major boost to the tank's fighting capability nonetheless.     
  The KTD-2 had a maximum measuring distance of 4000 m and a minimum of 500 m. The maximum margin of error in the measurement was 20 m.
  The rangefinder aperture has a hinged armoured cover 14mm in thickness. It is sufficient against artillery and mortar splinters, but not more.
 The T-62M built in 1983 received the highly advanced KTD-2 multi-laser rangefinder. The KTD-2 laser rangefinder has a minimum measuring distance of 500 m and a maximum of 4000 m, but is also capable of ranging targets up to 10 km away under clear weather conditions. The principal difference, though, is the installation of a viewfinder directly routed over to the gunner's sight. Through this viewfinder, the gunner can observe the battlefield within an angular field of view of 2.5° under a 7x magnification, and select and range up to 3 targets simultaneously.
 From 1961 to 1971, the loader had a large (about two feet in diameter), perfectly circular hatch placed directly above his seat, built slanted so that it followed the curving contours of the turret, which was imperative to its overall protection scheme. In 1972, the installation of the DShK anti-aircraft machine gun required a level circular ring mount to operate, and so the loader's part of the turret was renovated completely. Now, he had his own semi-cupola, and the area of the turret around his station lost its domed curve to resemble the commander's station. His new hatch shrank by half and became an irregular semicircle with a maximum width of 580mm, making it half as easy to ingress and egress, especially with bulky winter clothing.
  There are two variations of the same type of cupola. Early model T-62s upgraded to obr. 1972 standard have a separately cast cupola welded onto the original turret, while T-62s produced in 1972 and after have the cupola cast as part of the turret. 
The loader's simple spring-loaded seat is mounted to the turret so as to move along with the turret. It is adjustable for height and it can be folded out of the way so as to not interfere as the loader is performing his duties. He is also provided with a bracing grip to hold himself steady with as the vehicle is traveling, or as the gun is firing.
For general observation purposes, the loader is provided with a single MK-4S periscope with a rear view feature. It can be elevated and depressed, or rotated 360 degrees for all-round vision, although the gunner's L-2 spotlight would be rather unfortunately blocking the loader's view if he were to look to his forward-left. It's not very useful in combat, since the loader must concentrate on his loading duties, but it may be intermittently useful under certain circumstances. For instance, the periscope gives the tank an extra pair of eyes to help ascertain the direction of enemy fire in an ambush during the first few seconds of the attack, which can prove critical to the tank's survival and prompt destruction of hostile forces.
The loader has very little room to work with. Massive size of the rounds notwithstanding, the section of turret floor on which the loader must stand on is very narrow, which impedes his ability to transfer rounds from the front hull stowage racks to the gun breech. The narrowness can also be a real problem if he is trying to load the cannon while the turret is traversing. The loader has a his own seat (which is attached to the turret), but he performs his duties standing. One of the biggest drawbacks of the dome-shaped turret is that the loader hardly has any headroom while standing (1.48 m, or 4'11" from the bottom of the hull to the hatch), and he must perpetually lean slightly forward even while seated. This was remedied in the 1972 revision of the T-62, which raised the ceiling to about 1.55 m, or 5'2", and removed the slope from the loader's sector of the turret. Now, the loader could sit straight or stand up properly when ramming shells into the breech. In fact, the low turret ceiling was the primarily why the breach block on the 2A20 cannon closes sideways and not vertically like on most other tanks.
The T-62 can carry a total of 40 rounds of ammunition. The two sets of front hull stowage racks (both are conformal fuel tanks) hold 8 rounds each, for a total of 16 rounds of ammunition (pictured below). Another 20 rounds are stowed in the very back of the hull on the partition between the engine compartment and the fighting compartment. The loader has 2 rounds in a ready rack on the turret wall directly behind him for convenient loading, and another round secured by tension latches in a rack near his feet on the floor of the hull side wall. There is another round stowed in the same way near the commander's feet.



  The 16 rounds in the front hull racks are the most convenient for the loader, second to the rack of two behind him. The rounds are held in place by simple hinged handles, which can be easily flicked up to let the loader pull the round out, as you can see below:
The loader must squat down to access these rounds. These racks are principally identical to the ones found on the T-54, only sightly modified for different ammunition.
  The aforementioned 20 rounds stowed on the partition are stowed in an interlocking configuration, tips pointing at each other. There are rubber coasters to cup the base of each shell.
The loader is normally not able to easily get to these if the turret is oriented directly forward. He must squat down to extricate these rounds, which he may find slightly unnerving if the gunner is about to fire, since he will be directly behind and underneath the cannon breech. But he should be fine, since the arm guard doesn't move when the cannon recoils backwards. To load, he must simply pull the round forward, freeing it from its "coaster", then stand up and return to ram it into the cannon breech.
And of course, the ready rack for a paltry two rounds just behind the loader. Being located directly behind the loader (if he was to face the breech), these are the most easily accessible. To load, he must unlatch a round from a rack first, grab it and turn to face the cannon breech, then ram it in. This can be easily done in 5 seconds or so.
 The theoretical maximum rate of fire is around 6 rounds per minute. But in reality, the gunner typically takes longer to find a target and acquire a firing solution than it does for the loader to load, thus placing the true cyclic rate of fire of the T-62 at around 4 rounds per minute. With knowledge of the placement of the ammunition, however, in an extremely target-rich environment where the cannon will be fired as quickly as the loader can load it, then the maximum rate of fire can potentially be as high as 10 rounds per minute (without laploading), provided that some modifications are made. A reasonable estimate of the T-62's maximm average rate of fire while firing on short halts or on a crawl should be around 4 rounds per minute, but this depends on the gunner and commander's abilities more than anything else. How long the loader can maintain his speed, fatigue notwithstanding, is a different matter entirely, of course, and this is a universal issue with all manually loaded tanks. The Abrams tank, for example, has only 18 rounds in the turret bustle for the loader's convenience. After those are expended, he must either use the 6 rounds stored in the hull, which requires him to squat down to access, or transfer the other 20 rounds from the reserve bustle racks behind the commander. Even then, the loader cannot access the commander's bustle racks - only the commander can, and forcing the commander to abandon his target-searching duties to help load the gun or replenish the gunner's supply is totally egregious in the middle of battle. The T-62 is no exception, but still loses out since its layout for ammunition stowage is far inferior to contemporaries that have a bustle. Because of its narrow turret floor, the loader is badly inconvenienced whenever the turret needs to turn, and there's hardly any room to maneuver with those massive 115mm rounds.
  But besides the ammunition for the main gun, the loader is also responsible for reloading the co-axial machine gun. Three ammunition boxes are stowed in simple sheet metal containers mounted on the turrret ring bulge recess, and two more boxes are mounted on the turret rear. More boxes can be tucked away on the hull floor.
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I know it's not that impressive compared to the T-64, but for some reason the T-62 seems more well known. I mean, I knew about the T-62 (at least that it existed) since high school probably, but I didn't really find out about the T-64 until I started hanging out with this crowd a year or two ago. I guess it's because the T-62 got exported more, so Americans get to see news footage of it getting blown up in Operation Useless Dirt 2: 2Iraq2Furious, while the T-64 hung out in Europe the whole time.


I wouldnt count my kittens before they've hatched, the T-64 is more well known and discussed amoung tank circles, while from what i see the T-62 kinda gets lumped in as "just another T-55" 

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I wouldnt count my kittens before they've hatched, the T-64 is more well known and discussed amoung tank circles, while from what i see the T-62 kinda gets lumped in as "just another T-55" 


Yeah, the T-64 is more known among tank enthusiasts (for good reason), but among random people who's only exposure to defense issues is reading CNN, the T-62 would get more name recognition, I think.

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Yeah, the T-64 is more known among tank enthusiasts (for good reason), but among random people who's only exposure to defense issues is reading CNN, the T-62 would get more name recognition, I think.


Ya i would think so, but in terms of tanks being remembered by those who are there to remember tanks, t-62 is not very apparent on public's mind 


Outside of the middle east i suppse 

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The chief justification for the T-62's existence was the 2A20 "Rapira" smoothbore cannon, also known as the U-5TS "Molot" as per its internal designation.

The barrel is 49.5 calibers long, or 5700 mm, and the total length of the cannon is 6050 mm. Maximum safe chamber pressure is apparently 366.8 MPa. Performance wise, the 2A20 was significantly more powerful than the 105mm L7 - though hampered by consistently underwhelming ammunition due to faltering interest as time went on - but it had slightly poorer accuracy, but that was minor enough to be irrelevant at combat ranges and NATO tanks were big targets anyway. Compared to the D-10T on the T-55, though, it was a vastly superior product in every conceivable way. The cannon was completely unchanged throughout the T-62's production run, but in 1983 with the implementation of the T-62M modernization, the barrel received a plastic thermal sleeve with a design borrowed from the 125mm 2A46 cannon. It was sectionlized into four parts, enshrouding the entire barrel along its length. A plastic was used in order to keep the sleeve as light as possible so as not to interfere with the delicate balancing of the cannon.
  The 2A20 has all-round decent durability. It has an EFC rating of 450 shots. This means that the cannon should be able to safely shoot off at least 450 lower pressure rounds like HE-Frag and HEAT, and perhaps around 200 to 150 APFSDS rounds, which operate at a much higher pressure. After the 450 mark, the danger of a catastrophic failure of the barrel from excessive wear increases exponentially, which can result in a piece of the barrel fracturing off and becoming shrapnel in the worst of cases.
The cannon has a recoil stroke of between 350 mm and 415 mm, depending on the power of the ammunition used. The recoiling mechanism has a hard stop at 430 mm.
The cannon can be elevated to + 16°30' and depressed -6°. If the stabilizer is used, the cannon automatically goes into detente for loading, which results in it elevating by +3°30' above the horizontal line because it is slightly breech-heavy, but it is a completely optional step that can be bypassed by the crew with the removal of certain components or deactivation of the stabilizer, but this controversial and seemingly self-defeating feature was actually implemented for a perfectly valid reason. If the cannon was depressed to its maximum extent, the loader would have had a huge problem with trying to lift a 22 kg+ round all the way over his head while stooping and all the way up to the turret ceiling and ram it into the breech; a problem entailing the low turret ceiling. There were two ways to remedy this issue - remove the human loader and replace him with a mechanical one, or lower the breech down to chest level of the loader for convenient loading.
The cannon has three triggers - the electric button trigger on the gunner's right hand grip, the solenoid button on the manual elevation flywheel, and the manual trigger on the breech itself.


  Even as the first pre-production T-62s rolled off the factory gates in 1961, it was already fitted with a relatively advanced 2E15 "Meteor" 2-plane stabilizer, which was not a common practice at the time, to put it simply. Case in point, the M60/A1, which was essentially the nemesis to the T-62, had just powered traverse and only received a serious 2-plane stabilizer in 1970 (some say 1971, others 1972) in the form of the AOS (Add-On Stabilizer) system retrofit, which even then was not noticeably more advanced or useful. "Meteor" gave the T-62 top-notch (relatively) fire-on-the-move (not in the strictest sense of the term) capability, granting it a necessary advantage during breakthrough assaults in line with the Red Army's focus on offensive combat. This also meant that on the tactical level, the T-62 was incomparably more flexible on the dynamic battlefield, being nearly equally adept on the defensive as on the offensive.
  As the years went by, the T-62 received continuously updated versions of the Meteor. The 1964 version received the "Meteor-M", which was functionally identical to the Meteor, but replaced its vacuum tubes with transistors. The "Meteor-M1" was installed on the 1967 variant, and brought only minor upgrades without changing the operating characteristics of the original "Meteor". With this in mind, only the original variant will be discussed in detail.
2E15 "Meteor" Hydroelectric Stabilizer
  Turret traverse at the maximum rate is quite slow. It takes around 22.5 seconds to make a full revolution, or 16° per second; slow compared to NATO tanks which tended to be about twice as fast. The underwhelming turret rotation speed is broadly inconsequential during long to medium range engagements, but the T-62 suffers in non-linear combat where targets may appear suddenly from unexpected directions.
Minimum Traverse Speed: 0.07 deg/sec
Maximum Traverse Speed: 16 deg/sec
Minimum Gun Elevation Speed: 0.07 deg/sec
Maximum Gun Elevation Speed: 4.5 deg/sec
  "Meteor" is not precise enough to be used for engaging targets on the move at long distances, but it must be reinforced that was still very advanced for its time. With a mean stabilization accuracy of 0.07 degrees, or 1.24 mils - translating to an accuracy of 1.24 m at 1000 m - it is accurate enough for the T-62 to achieve a greater than 70% hit rate on a stationary target at 1000 m while the tank moved at 20 km/h at an approach angle relative to the target of 30°, according to a U.S TRADOC bulletin.
  There are various methods to improve firing accuracy, though. The crew is trained to fire on short halts and on slow crawls, which is a process that must be coordinated by the commander. For either methods, the process is as follows: The commander spots a target, designates it for the gunner and cues the loader to load an appropriate round, while simultaneously using the stadia rangefinder in his periscope to determine the approximate distance to the target. The gunner then inputs the range data from the commander, lays the gun on target, and the driver is ordered to either stop or slow down the tank. Once stopped or slowed down, the gunner then conducts final gun laying manually for maximum accuracy, then fires. If at all possible, the tank approaches the target straight ahead so that there is no dependence on the horizontal stabilizers, thus helping to maximum accuracy on the horizontal plane.
  Control of gun elevation and turret traverse is conducted using the Meteor control handgrips. The right thumb trigger fires the main cannon and the left thumb trigger fires the co-axial.
In case of a failure of the electrical systems or some other malfunction, the gunner must use hand cranked flywheels located directly behind the Meteor control handgrips. The gearbox on the manual elevation mechanism has a button for disengaging the stabilizer and engaging the manual drives. The elevation flywheel handle has a solenoid trigger for firing the cannon.
As stated before, the hydraulic pump for the stabilizer is located at the very rear of the turret, immediately behind the commander.
The gyroscopic tachometer for measuring angular velocity of the turret and tank in relation to the intended target is located in the very front of the gunner's station, behind the sighting complexes.
Gyroscopic tachometer for Meteor-M1
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The T-62 had a nifty automatic shell casing ejection system. As mentioned before, the interior of the tank is quite cramped, and a few dozen hot brass casings rolling around for the loader to trip over wasn't really desireable, to say the least. Apparently, during early testing of Object 166, cannon fumes accumulating in the fighting compartment were twice higher than the acceptable standard. The culprit was evidently the spent shell casings, which when ejected from the tank immediately after firing, slashed the concentration of fumes by half in addition to saving the crew the trouble of manually throwing them out every now and then.

The ejector mechanism is automatic, with an option for manual activation. In the automatic mode, the ejector mechanism immediately begins operating once the cannon has recovered from its recoil stroke, but there is also a failsafe microswitch for redundancy. It is triggered the instant that the shell is caught in the ejector tray.
  When the shell casing is ejected from the breech from the recoiling cycle, it is caught by the ejector tray, affixed to the ejector mechanism. It is held in place by the rim of the casing by two spring-loaded pinball paddle-like grippers. A rubber-padded backplate on the arm guard is placed just behind the ejector tray that prevents the casing from bouncing back to ensure that the grippers have enough time to lock the casing in place.
Then, the ejection port is opened briefly and the shell casing is thrown out forcefully.
The ejection cycle takes 3 seconds in total (the GIF above is improperly timed).
One of the least-asked but also least-understood questions is how does the autoejector actually eject spent shell casings? The answer is actually quite simple - and so is the mechanism; when the shell casing is propelled rearwards and is caught in the ejector tray, it is also caught by an ejector hook at the floor of the tray. The hook is part of an spring-loaded ejector block, which is charged by the recoil of the cannon via a series of levers. The ejector tray is elevated with an electric motor located just under the breech, and when the ejector tray reaches the proper elevation to eject the spent shell casing, the ejector spring is tripped, slamming into the rim of the casing with enough force to propel it clear off the back of the tank with a deafening "clang!". This system performs more than satisfactorily, and it is so simple that a malfunction is almost impossible unless it has never been maintained at all throughout decades of use.


Spring, Arm which charges the spring, Axis on which the arm is attached to the ejector mechanism, Rod connecting arm to cannon breech 
  Contrary to popular belief, shell casings would almost never bounce off the back of the turret and injure crew members because of "misalignment". The tray elevates to a position very close to the ejection port, and even if by pure chance a shell casing does somehow miss the gaping ejection port opening, it will not bounce back and hit anyone, because the paddles will simply catch the casing rim again and prevent it from going any further.
  Interestingly, the ejection port could be left open for extra ventilation if needed, and it also doubled as a very convenient and very necessary shell loading hatch for the massive 115mm unitary cartridges. Opening and closing the ejection port can be done from the control box placed just in front of the loader's brace grip. Beside this one, there is another control box and with it, the ejection mechanism can be set to either the autoeject mode whereby it automatically begins the ejection procedure as soon as the gun has finished its recoil stroke cycle, or the manual mode, whereby the ejection system will be activated only when prompted by the gunner. This control box can also be used to hold the ejection port open or closed. If the tank is operating in an NBC-contaminated environment, then the autoejection system is deactivated and the ejection port is left closed. Instead of being ejected, shell casings will bounce off the rubber pad at the rear of the breech arm guard and fall to the floor to be removed later instead.


  The size difference between 115mm cartridges and 120mm cartridges wasn't very noticeable at all. In order to truly appreciate the burden on the loader, here's a photo comparison between a 120mm cartridge and a 115mm equivalent:
M829 compared to 3UB56
 In terms of size, 115mm ammunition was bigger than NATO 105mm and Soviet 100mm ammuniton, but essentially identical to NATO 120mm ammunition (not British 120mm), and quite similar in terms of mass as well. And of course, a T-62 loader didn't have nearly the same amount of space that loaders in NATO tanks sporting 120mm guns did. Whereas the T-54's turret was borderline satisfactory in terms of the working space for the loader, the T-62 is totally substandard.
  The two biggest assets of the U-5TS cannon were the 3UBM3 shell, the first ever serial APFSDS tank shell to enter service, and the 3UBK-4 HEAT shell, which benefited from the lack of rifling on the cannon.
  Shell casings had an atypical form, identifiable by a greatly elongated bottlenecked front section, which was necessary for properly seating the APFSDS shells for which the casings were specially designed for. There are two types of casings; steel 4G9 cases and brass 4G10A cases. The steel ones weigh less at 7.95 kg and cost less to manufacture, while the brass ones weigh more at 8.45 kg. The steel ones were used HE-Frag ammunition, to which accuracy was of less importance while the higher quality brass cases were used for APFSDS and HEAT-FS.
The "default" loadout for a T-62 for a breakthrough assault would be 12 APFSDS shells, 6 HEAT-FS shells and 22 HE-Frag shells.
  The V-429E fuse is point-detonating, distance armed and with variable sensitivity settings. It has two settings - superquick and delayed. The former is fixed at 0.027 seconds and the latter at 0.063 seconds. Superquick action guarantees reliable detonation in snowy or swampy ground, and delayed action gives a small time allowance for the shell to penetrate its target before detonating. This is meant for bunker busting and for erasing lighter vehicles from existence.
  Contrary to some allegations, the fuse will not detonate by jolting or by touching the gun barrel's canvas muzzle when firing, or by touching rain drops for that matter. The fuse is distance-armed only after traveling 5m to 20m from the muzzle, precluding the possibility of accidental detonations, even without the protective cap and even in the superquick setting.
  First HE-Frag shell available to the 2A20 cannon. It had a cone-shaped nose and sharp, edgy aesthetics. It has a thin steel body suitable for fragmentation and splintering, but the bulk of the damage done by this shell is caused by blast.
Maximum Direct Fire Range: 3600 m
Mass of Complete Round: 28 kg
Projectile Mass: 14.86 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 800 m/s
Vastly improved shell with an ogived nose and much thicker shell casing for superior fragmentation mass and volume as well as a better optimized spray pattern for increased casualties. The thicker shell walls also means that the pressure from the blast is contained longer, allowing pressure to build up before it blows, leading to an increased detonation velocity, translating to a more powerful blast. The shell also boasts an extended firing range despite a 20.1% increase in mass over the OF-11 thanks to better ballistic properties and a more powerful propellant charge. Because of the increased muzzle velocity, this shell is also comparatively more accurate at all distances.
  The V-429E variable sensitivity fuse was available later on.
Maximum Direct Fire Range: 4800 m
Mass of Complete Round: 30.8 kg
Projectile Mass: 17.86 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 940 m/s
  Being widely considered to be a pioneer on the introduction APFSDS technology into widespread service, the T-62 essentially relies on it as its main selling point, and for good reason. Because of the remarkably high velocity of the T-62's APFSDS ammunition, their ballistic trajectory was essentially flat up to 1600m - quite different from APDS shells. This meant that in typical tank-on-tank combat scenarios, the T-62 gunner would only need to put the sight chevron on target and fire without even needing to determine the range. The extremely high velocity also meant that engaging moving targets was a lot easier, since it would tend to take less than a second for the shell to reach its target in normal European battlefields where combat distances typically don't exceed 1500m. This almost entirely negated the need for calculated target leading, even against relatively fast-moving vehicles. APFSDS shells would also be very useful against vehicles moving at irregular speeds, again because the gunner does not need to apply much lead. This greatly helped offset the retarded engagement time caused by limitations of the targeting system and increased first-round hit probability significantly.
The 2A20 "Rapira" was itself not half bad in any sense of the term, but it had one major drawback related to the Iranian Chieftain in the photo below.
Due to a downright subpar selection of ammunition, the 2A20 sadly never realized its full potential and was definitively eclipsed by the 2A46 125mm cannon within a decade of service. In the photo above, the astute observer will note that the impact crater on the left shows evidence of deflection. This is congruent with the rather underwhelming performance of the 2A20's APFSDS shells, despite being long rod projectiles. But for this babble, that Iranian Chieftain was knocked out all the same.
Note that Russian ammunition certification used a V80 standard, meaning that at least 80% of all ballistic kinetic energy-based shells must penetrate at least a certain thickness given a certain velocity. In reality, the average penetration performance was most definitely higher than stated.
Original APFSDS shell made for the 2A20 cannon, first introduced in 1961. It had a tungsten carbide slug in the bulbous region of the projectile at the tip, topped off with a flat steel armour piercing cap to prevent the slug from shattering outright on impact and to improve the shell's performance on sloped armour.
In 1961 terms, the 3BM3 was vastly superior to contemporary 105mm APDS ammunition such as the L28 and L36A1 and the American M392 derived from it, having at least 35% better penetration values at the same distance, accounting for different certification standards and different target steel strength and hardness (particularly relevant for penetration values on sloped armour), all of which are in favour of the Soviets.
Though the 3BM3 has markedly inferior performance compared to the British 120mm L15 APDS, it does, however, have much better after-armour performance on significantly overmatched armour as a result of its less optimal design. After the initial tungsten carbide slug is "spent", it solely up to the steel penetrator to finish the job. Being much less efficient than the tungsten carbide slug, it would produce a much more massive fragmentation pattern after going through about 200 mm of steel armour or more. This is only conjecture, since the author doesn't have any documents pertaining to this matter, but it should be quite valid based on 125mm steel APFSDS after-armour lethality reports. This would make the 3BM3 incredibly potent against relatively lightly armoured tanks like the Leopard 1 and AMX-30 appearing in the late 60's.
Mass of Complete Round: 22 kg
Projectile Mass: 5.5 kg
Certified Penetration at 1000m:
300mm @ 0°
130mm @ 60°
Certified Penetration at 2000m:
270mm @ 0°
120mm? @ 60°
  Knowing the armour thickness of the Chieftain Mk.5 tank from ultrasound measurements, it can be reasonably surmised that the 3BM3 is capable of perforating the turret on any point from at least 1000 m. The Chieftain could kill the T-62 and four times that range, of course, but that isn't relevant for a tank duel scenario in Central Europe anyway. (Tied's note- a few of you world war 2 eggheads would remeber that the longest tank engagements in Europe barely get over a kilometer, that is the same for central Europe, average engagement range is about 1050 meters. It all comes down to a number of factors, most importantly who see's and fires first. And any chieftain formation trading 1 for 1 with T-62s is a pretty hefty economic defeat for HATO) 
Introduced in 1963 as an even cheaper alternative to the 3UBM4. It was basic in construction; It was all-steel, was torpedo-shaped and very cheap to manufacture, but most importantly the muzzle velocity of this shell clocked in at an unheard-of 1650 m/s, just a fraction above a mile a second. The main factors in the decidedly modest penetration potential are the relatively high length-to-diameter ratio of 13:1, and the fantastic speed of the projectile, but because the penetrator was made entirely from steel, the shell's armour piercing performance was somewhat hamstrung.
  The penetrator and projectile body is made entirely of solid 60KhNM tool steel with a hardness of around 310 BHN. It had 6 steel fins, which were of a bore riding type design that worked alongside the sabot to stabilize the shell as it travels down the barrel. The ends of the fins have copper lugs embedded in them to minimize abrasive damage to the much tougher chrome lining of the gun barrel. A soft armour piercing cap made of 35KhGSA steel with a flat tip works to decrease the likelihood of a ricochet as well as protects the penetrator from shattering upon impact, especially if the target armour was surface hardened.
Mass of Complete Round: 22 kg
Projectile Mass: 5.5 kg
Penetrator Mass: 3.196 kg
Armour Piercing Cap Mass: 0.187 kg
Certified Penetration at 1000 m:
228mm RHA @ 0°
110mm RHA @ 60°
Certified penetration at 2000 m:
200mm RHA @ 0°
100mm RHA @ 60°
With this shell, the T-62 had a respectable (but by no means dependable) chance of defeating tougher customers like the M48 or M60 frontally out to 1500m, and no trouble at all defeating an AMX 30, Leopard 1 or Centurion frontally out to 2000m. The Chieftain's turret is generally immune to this shell at any range, but the hull is vulnerable at a distance of up to 1000 m, but no more.
Introduced in 1970 as a slightly more advanced alternative to the 3UBM4. The penetrator is made from 35KhZNM tool steel with a hardness of around 600 BHN, while the armour-piercing cap was made from 35KhGS steel. Although still made entirely of steel, this shell offers appreciably higher performance, though still far from being comparable to the 3BM3.
Internally identical, the 3BM6 projectile can be distinguished to the 3UBM4 by the presence of "teeth" on the edge of the sabot, which are absent from the one on the 3BM4 projectile.
Mass of Complete Round: 21.66 kg
Projectile Mass: 5.34 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 1680 m/s
Certified Penetration at 1000 m:
280mm RHA @ 0°
135mm RHA @ 60°
Certified Penetration at 2000 m:
220mm RHA @ 0°
110mm RHA @ 60°
A more progressive design, derived from the 3BM-15 made for the 2A46 125mm cannon, sporting a tungsten carbide core installed at the front of the penetrator like the 3BM3, but without the bulb at the front of the projectile. Like with the previous designs, an armour piercing cap with a flat tip is present to reduce the likelihood of a ricochet, and in this case, to protect the tungsten core from shattering upon impact. Here, the flat tip on the armour piercing cap and the tungsten carbide core are clearly visible.
Mass of Complete Round: 23.50 kg
Projectile Mass: 6.26 kg
Propellant Charge Mass: 8.20 kg
Muzzle Velocity: 1600 m/s
Certified Penetration at 1000 m: (Not known, estimated)
330mm RHA @ 0°
160mm RHA @ 60°
Certified Penetration at 2000 m: (Not known, estimated)
290mm RHA @ 0°
140mm RHA @ 60°
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Between the mid-50's to late 60's, shaped charge warheads was widely appraised as being the 'great equalizer' of tank warfare. Tube-launched HEAT warheads were decently popular, being tremendously useful in a variety of roles, from general tank-killing to bunker busting or simply as a more flexible alternative to HE-Frag or HEP shells thanks to their thick steel bodies, but because of the immaturity of shaped charge technology in those days, manufacturing a HEAT warhead tended to be costlier than manufacturing a kinetic energy one. Still, the typical HEAT shell on both sides of the Iron Curtain was so powerful that they rendered all contemporary tank armour essentially useless in the event of a direct hit, but the problem was exactly that - scoring a direct hit. Because of the vastly lower velocity - even lower than contemporary 105mm HEAT shells - the 2A20's selection of shaped charge ammunition can be generally characterized by subpar accuracy but excellent armour penetration and fragmentation effects.





Complementary HEAT shell entering service alongside the T-62. It had a cone-shaped nose and generally unremarkable ballistic properties. The nose cone design could be problematic on extremely high angle impacts because of the possibility that the flat side of the cone was struck instead of the nose fuse, potentially defusing the shell upon impact, though the chance of this happening was still miniscule. This phenomenon would be unnoticeable at extended distances where ballistic drop would orient the shell slightly downwards, but it could theoretically prove disastrous at very close ranges. It used a steel liner. The explosive compound used in the warhead is A-IX-1, a composition of 96% RDX and 4% paraffin wax.

  Thanks to a combination of the lack of spinning and a larger diameter warhead, among other things, the 3BK-4 shell had 18.6% greater penetration performance than its 105mm counterpart. The warhead uses the GPV-2 point-initiating base detonating (PIBD) piezoelectric fuse.


Mass of Complete Round: 26.00 kg

Projectile Mass: 12.97 kg

Mass of Explosive Charge: 1.55 kg


Muzzle Velocity: 900 m/s




440mm @ 0°

200mm @ 60°










Improved variant of the 3BK-4 replacing the steel liner with a copper one, yielding slightly better penetration power. The copper liner was more elongated, which reduced the mass of the explosive filling slightly. The shell uses the GPV-2 point-initiating base detonating (PIBD) piezoelectric fuse



Mass of Complete Round: 26.00 kg

Projectile Mass: 12.97 kg


Mass of Explosive Charge: 1.478 kg


Muzzle Velocity:





>440mm @ 0°

>200mm @ 60°





The 3BK-15 had a greatly improved warhead design, departing from the old cone-nosed warhead for a flat cylindrical body and a ballistic probe-cum-windbreaker design carried over from 125mm HEAT shells. Exhaustive research and testing had determined that such a configuration was aerodynamically superior, which is somewhat counter-intuitive to the layman, but quite well-reasoned.



The ballistic probe quite literally "cuts" through the air and creates an air-free channel behind it that wraps around the cylindrical body and only contacts the stabilizer fins, resulting in minimal drag, but this layout was only effective out to a certain range. Beyond that certain range, the shell's velocity will not be enough for the probe to "cut" a large enough channel, resulting in the channel gradually becoming narrower and narrower until the the flat edge of the cylindrical body comes into contact with the air, creating massive amounts of drag and making the air turbulent in the region where it is supposed to flow through the stabilizer fins. All this means that the shell will invariably begin to sharply bleed off speed and tumble, and needless to say, that is not beneficial to accuracy in a myriad of ways. Still, the improved accuracy within actual combat distances had much more worth than the concerns of underperformance at highly extended - and unrealistic - ranges.


  The warhead also used some new technologies to improve jet formation characteristics, including the use of a slightly tapered cylindrical wave shaper to optimize the direction of the blast wave from the explosive filling, more precisely drawn liner cones, and had compressed explosives to increase the density of the explosive filling for more punch per volume.


The use of more energetic 12/7 stick powder boosted the shell's muzzle velocity to 1060 m/s, yielding significantly better accuracy at longer distances, though still less accurate than 105mm HEAT shells.


For some very interesting reason, the tracer was not placed at the base of the shell assembly. Instead, it is embedded into the wall of the warhead at the very front. As with all of the previous warheads, this one uses the GPV-2 point-initiating base detonating (PIBD) piezoelectric fuse.



Mass of Complete Round: 26.3 kg

Total Projectile Mass: 12.2 kg

Muzzle Velocity: 1060 m/s


Penetration: (Unknown, estimated)

450mm @ 0° (?)

225mm @ 60° (?)








Improved warhead using a copper liner instead of steel for slightly improved penetration power. All other properties remain identical.



Mass of Complete Round: 26.3 kg

Total Projectile Mass: 12.2 kg


Muzzle Velocity: 1060 m/s



480mm @ 0° (?)

240mm @ 60° (?)



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The half-assed sighting arrangement puzzles me. Why is the primary sight the one strapped to the cannon, while the one on the roof in tie much more modern setup is the secondary? It's not as though the Soviet's hand't years of experience with independent roof-mounted sights either. They had one on the IS-freaking-7!

 space concerns is my guess

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The original 1961 preproduction model T-62 was armed with the SGMT machine gun chambered for the 7.62x54mmR cartridge as a co-axial machine gun. It had a cyclic rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute, and it is fed from a 250-round box, of which 10 more are stowed in the tank for a total of 2750 rounds of ammunition. The SGMT could be fired with the left trigger button on the gunner's handgrip, or with the solenoid trigger button attached to the machine gun in case of a total failure of the tank's electrical systems.

  In 1964, the SGMT was swapped out for the then-new PKT machine gun. Performance-wise, the two were practically indistinguishable, though the PKT does fire faster at 800 rounds per minute, so the true impetus for the change was not to have a better machine gun, but to standardize the PK general purpose machine gun among the entire armed forces.
  The PKT machine gun is fed from proprietary 250-round boxes, of which 10 more are stowed, exactly as with the SGMT. Like the SGMT, the PKT can be fired from the left trigger button on the gunner's handgrips, or with the inclusive solenoid trigger button if the situation calls for it.
  Because both machine guns use the same ammunition and have similar barrel lengths and rifling twists, the ballistic trajectory of the shots fired are essentially identical, so there was no need to modify the sights to accommodate the new machine gun. The nominal maximum effective range of both machine guns is around 1500 m, while the effective range against a running target is around 650m. Ball and tracer ammunition are usually linked in a 2:1 ratio, but sometimes tracers are used exclusively. Spent casings and emptied links are collected in a metal bin to the left of the machine gun.
  The exact use of the co-axial machine gun is dependent on the gunner more than anything. It is usually used instead of cannon rounds to engage enemy personnel to save ammunition. It is useful for when excessive destruction is undesirable; when friendly forces intend to occupy an evicted foe's garrison, for instance. 








The Rest Later



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The 3BK-15 had a greatly improved warhead design, departing from the old cone-nosed warhead for a flat cylindrical body and a ballistic probe-cum-windbreaker design carried over from 125mm HEAT shells. Exhaustive research and testing had determined that such a configuration was aerodynamically superior, which is somewhat counter-intuitive to the layman, but quite well-reasoned.
The ballistic probe quite literally "cuts" through the air and creates an air-free channel behind it that wraps around the cylindrical body and only contacts the stabilizer fins, resulting in minimal drag, but this layout was only effective out to a certain range. Beyond that certain range, the shell's velocity will not be enough for the probe to "cut" a large enough channel, resulting in the channel gradually becoming narrower and narrower until the the flat edge of the cylindrical body comes into contact with the air, creating massive amounts of drag and making the air turbulent in the region where it is supposed to flow through the stabilizer fins. All this means that the shell will invariably begin to sharply bleed off speed and tumble, and needless to say, that is not beneficial to accuracy in a myriad of ways. Still, the improved accuracy within actual combat distances had much more worth than the concerns of underperformance at highly extended - and unrealistic - ranges.

This is not correct. A shape stabilised projectile is not as aerodynamic as a projectile with a cone/ogive nose. In the comparison simulations I did, a shape stabilising nose has about 20% more drag than an ogive nose. Now, I don't have either a 3D model of the 3BK-15 or the shell it replaced so I can't do an accurate comparison. But a shape stabilising nose cannot, to the best of my knowledge, be more aerodynamic than an ogive nose.


As for the second part, here's how the stabilising actually works

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Later ones have 125mm with autoloader,


is evidenced by the rear of their turrets having no ejection ports. 


Along with ERA, composite armor turrent and domestic rangefinders 


Still they are based off T-62, and its the best restitution photos i can find


me and Vashilly should really do a colab for North Korean tanks, be a great way to generate some OC for this forum 

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Being based on T-62 does not mean that it is relevant for T-62. T-80 was based on T-64, first produced 80s were equipped with T-64A turrets, for example.

Check general afv topic, in mid october i posted plenty of photos of North Korean tanks. Also, Oryx blog have article about them as well.

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