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T-62MV with mineplow, drone protection: media show "latest" version of Russian tank 

12 February, 2024 Monday
17:07

According to journalists, while the Ukrainian Armed Forces are experiencing a shortage of ammunition, even very old upgraded tank can withstand small arms and terrorize opposing forces inside fortifications

A platoon, presumably of the 5th Tank Brigade of Russian troops, is armed with what may be the latest version of the four-seater T-62 tank weighing 42 tonnes, as reported by Forbes.

The 2022 T-62MV with new optics, additional dynamic protection, a mine plow, drone armor and radio jamming is still a T-62. It still has thin armor, insufficient power, and an inaccurate 115mm gun, journalists say.

At the same time, the question of how important the shortcomings of this tank are right now is debatable, as the Ukrainian Defense Forces are desperately lacking ammunition to destroy any tank.

Upgraded T-62s appeared in a recent video from the front line. According to Naalsio26 analyst, the tanks belong to the 5th Tank Brigade, which holds a section of the frontline in the Donetsk region of southern Ukraine. They may also be in service with the 39th Motorized Rifle Brigade in Donetsk.

The basic T-62MV, built in the 1960s and modernized in the 1980s, is outdated. But the Russian Federation has hundreds of them in storage, and when in mid-2022 the losses of Russian tanks in Ukraine exceeded a thousand - that is, a third of the pre-war Russian tank forces - the Kremlin began to use them again.

Modernization of T-62 tank

Some of them went straight to the front without any noticeable upgrades. The rest were partially upgraded. The 2022 T-62MV is equipped with dynamic protection and a 1PN96MT-02 sight. Additional upgrades include mine-digging plows, FPV drone armor, and an RP-377 jammer.

The plows and drone defense equipment eliminate the main threat to tankers on both sides of the front line - mines and FPV drones.

At the same time, this upgrade does not eliminate the T-62's main drawbacks. The T-62MV's diesel engine has only 620 horsepower. Taking into account three tonnes of dynamic armor and drone protection, the total weight of the tank can be over 45 tonnes, which means that the specific power is less than 14 horsepower per tonne.

The T-90M Breakthrough has 26 hp per tonne; some Ukrainian M1 Abrams have 22. This makes the modernized Russian tanks insufficiently mobile, especially when making their way through a minefield.

Tank protection is yet another problem. Reactive armor can double the protection against some high-explosive warheads, but not against penetrating shells. A cage on top will provide more protection against drones dropping grenades. This protection is not as effective against maneuverable FPV drones.

The RP-377 electronic warfare system will not protect against FPV either. Ukrainian operators have found ways to counteract the interference of the RP-377, probably by changing frequencies.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are still short of ammunition, and a very old upgraded tank can withstand small arms fire, fire cannons at defensive fortifications and terrorize troops inside those fortifications. 

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