Some T-62 Main Battle Tank equipment was carried over from the T-55. The torsion bar suspension and hydraulic shock absorbers are similar to the T-55's suspension system. The fire suppression system can be manually activated by the commander or driver or automatically activated through heat sensors.
The T-62 has a nuclear radiation protection system that automatically seals the tank when a preset level of radiation is encountered. A blower and filtration system removes radiation-contaminated dust and other particles. There is no biological or chemical protection system, and the crew must wear contamination suits.
The T-62 uses the standard Soviet smoke screen system -- diesel fuel sprayed into the exhaust manifold. In normal configuration the T-62 can ford rivers up to 4.6 feet deep. When a snorkel is fitted -- an eight-hour procedure -- the T-62 can handle water up to 15 feet deep.
The T-62's main gun is the 115mm U-5TS smoothbore. Because of the length of the shell, the main gun elevates after each recoil. This, coupled with the complicated fire control system, means the tank can maintain a rate of only four to five rounds per minute.
Also, the turret cannot be traversed during the loading sequence. This combination of drawbacks made the T-62 particularly vulnerable to Israeli tanks during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Only 40 rounds of main-gun ammunition can be carried. One 7.62mm PKT machine gun is located coaxially with the main gun, and a 12.7mm DShKM machine gun is mounted on the turret for antiaircraft use.
The T-62 and T-62A -- larger, differently contoured turret, no loader's hatch, and an externally mounted 12.7rnm DShKM machine gun -- were updated with a laser range finder, a solid state ballistic computer, infrared driving and searchlights, and an image intensifier for night work.
The T-62M version was fitted with the same track used on the T-72. Appliqué and reaction armor have also been installed on some T-62s.
The T-62 is in use by some 19 countries today. Iran and Iraq both fielded it during their 1980-1988 war, though Iraq's T-62s have since been scrapped.
The United States obtained T-62s from Israel and Egypt and uses them at the National Training Center. Israel also uses the T-62; their supply was captured from Arab antagonists.
See the next page for specifications of the T-62 Main Battle Tank.
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