Russian army replenishing armored vehicle losses with old T-62 tanks and BTR-50 APCs

According to a tweet from British Intelligence posted on March 6, the Russian military has continued to respond to heavy armored vehicle losses by deploying 60-year-old T-62 main battle tanks.
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Russian Nadezhda Т-62М tank with a handmade turret add-on, and Kontact-5 reactive armor blocks in Luhansk Region, June 2022 (Picture source: screenshot from a Russian media footage via

According to the British Ministry of Defence, there is a realistic possibility that even units of the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA), supposedly Russia's premier tank force, will be re-equipped with T-62s to make up for previous losses. These units had previously been due to receive the next-generation T-14 Armata MBT from 2021, which didn’t come true.

The T-62 is a Soviet-era main battle tank that was first introduced in the early 1960s. It was designed to be an improvement over the T-55 tank, with better armor protection and a more powerful gun. The T-62 saw combat in several conflicts around the world, including the Vietnam War and the Iran-Iraq War. In recent years, there have been reports of T-62 tanks being used in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, particularly by separatist forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The exact origin and ownership of these tanks are not always clear, as they may have been seized from Ukrainian military depots or acquired from other sources.

Since the Summer of 2022, approximately 800 T-62s have been retrieved by the Russians from old army depots to be re-inducted, some of them having been partly upgraded with a more recent sighting system. Even if made more efficient, these old tanks do not benefit from overall modern protection, which leaves them particularly vulnerable on the battlefield.

British intelligence also reveals that in recent days, Russian BTR-50 armored personnel carriers, first fielded in 1954, had also been identified deployed in Ukraine for the first time. The BTR-50 is a Soviet-era tracked armored personnel carrier based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank chassis. The BTR-50 was developed in 1952 and entered service with the Soviet Army in 1954. Its production stopped in 1970. It has the ability to transport up to 20 fully equipped infantrymen, and can be armed with either a 7.62 mm SGMB medium machine gun, or a 14.5 mm KPV heavy machine gun. It saw notable service in the Six-Day War (1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973). The BTR-50 shares similarities with two other APCs developed independently: the OT-62 Topas and the Type 77. While the OT-62 is an improved copy of the BTR-50 developed jointly by Czechoslovakia and Poland, Type 77 was based on Type 63 amphibious light tank developed by the People's Republic of China (PRC).

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BTR-50PU APC (Picture source:

Defense News March 2023