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Russian huge tank losses in Ukraine lead to reactivate old T-62 MBTs

According to a tweet from Trent Telenko, Russia is reactivating some of its 2,500 venerable T-62 main battle tanks to replace huge losses of modern tanks in Ukraine. In January 2017, Russia delivered an undisclosed number of venerable T-62M tanks to Syria, as it did not consider they would ever serve anymore but nevertheless kept numerous ones in storage. Then comes the war with Ukraine…
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Venerable T-62M MBTs being transported after refurbishment and upgrading for their return to service in current fighting units of the Russian army in Ukraine (Picture source: Twitter account of Trent Telenko)

As reported by Defence Express, Russia’s battalion tactical groups with such rare equipment (T-62M/MV tanks) are currently only being formed in the territory of the Russian Federation, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the morning report of May 23, which added that to replenish its losses, Russia uses evacuated units from the battlefield. Reactivated T-62M tanks have been spotted from March. Most likely, Defence Express speculates, the Russian army is forced to complete new battalion tactical groups with T-62s as with the regular battle tank. Defense Express reminds us that it’s not the first case where the Russian army is reactivating obsolete equipment from storage to conduct operations in Ukraine: obsolete Grad-1 MLRS were spotted in mid-April, for instance.

The T-62 is a development of the T-55. It was produced between 1961 and 1975. It became the standard main battle tank in the Russian armed forces and the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War, partly replacing the T-55, although that tank continued to be manufactured in Russia and in other countries. The T-62 entered service with the Russian army in 1961. Some forces in the world still use the T-62 as their standard main battle tank.

Among the several versions of the T-62, the T-62M entered service in the Russian armed forces in 1983. The tank is fitted with a V-55U engine and the R-173 communications system. The main armament of the T-62 is a U-5TS (2A20) 115 mm smoothbore stabilized gun that enables a maximum rate of fire of 4 rounds/min when at a standstill. The gun is fully stabilized in both horizontal and vertical planes. It is also armed with the Sheksna (NATO designation: AT-12 Swinger) laser beam-riding missile system and passive armor protection.

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In 2018, the Russian army conducted training with some of its venerable T-62Ms, possibly in relation to the delivery of such tanks to Syria the same year (Picture source: open-source via

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