Rooskie T-62s?

Happened across this:

GEORGIA: Russian T-62 tank?

GEORGIA: Russian T-62 tanks?

Are those T-62s? Do some front-line units still use the T-62? Or are these more likely Category 2 or 3 units?


  1. Certainly looks like a T-62 and the Wikipedia article on the T-62 claims Russian use of them in Chechnya and Georgia in “counterterrorism” operations (wonder which side wrote that part of the article?). They appear to have the wider gaps between road wheels 3&4 and 4&5 like the recognition pictures I’ve been able to Google, but a better side-on shot would make things easier.

  2. Ned: Agree that a better side pic would help. They have 5 road wheels and the 72 (and 64, now that I think of it and look) have 6.

  3. Yep, those are -62s. Bore evacuator position, turret shape, and road wheel configuration gives it away, as does the searchlight position (searchlight on -72 and -80 is on-line with the main gun).

    I’d guess many of the “front line” russian units equipped with T80U and T90 are kept up near Moscow, and the armored formations in the Caucasus aren’t equipped as well.

  4. Oh, and the news footage has shown units that are T-72M and BMP-2 equipped, though I haven’t seen BMP-3s, so it would suggest a variety of equipped units have been involved.

  5. Food for thought: these may well be Chechnyan Militia/Guard tanks. Apparently Russia allowed a fair-sized contingent of Chechnyan pro-Russian “guead” units to accompany them into Georgia. These have been the brunt of many claims of “ethnic cleansing” by Georgian citizens and government ministers, and they do have a brutal reputation in their home province. It would explain why Putin so easily shrugged off claims that “Russian forces were not involved in ethnic cleansing operations or other such nefarious tasks”

  6. AW1 Tim: That is an EXCELLENT point!

    I had actually been reading about some of the Chechnyan units involved, but it never occurred to me that this might be a pic of them. I don’t know enough to be able to tell from the markings or uniforms.

  7. A few random observations:

    -one article that I read noted that Russian armor lacked slat armor, which at least the tank on the right appears to have on the tracks

    -interesting that none of the tanks appear to mount MGs on the TC’s hatch

    -and is that soldier walking next to the left hand tank a female?

  8. If you are going into an operation that won’t involve full scale battle between MBTs, then having a smaller tank like the T-62 makes sense. In fact the US could probably benefit from having infantry-support type tanks that would be easier to transport and support than heavy M-1s.

  9. HL: Damn, I think you’re right about the woman.

    11B: I agree, but my guess is that the Army thinks either Brads or Strykers are up to that role.

    Quite a while back I wrote that the new Iraqi army would probably be well-served by its T-55s.

  10. T-62, T-72, T-80. It makes no difference when you are killing women and children – they are equally effective.

    When we get fed up, they are equally easy to kill with B-2s.

  11. Ralph Peters has his say on the Chechens – “the world’s subject-matter experts in atrocities.”

  12. Using the T-62’s does mean they are more vulnerable to attack.
    Even older guided missiles will know em out, not to mention old recoil less rifles, mines and ied’s.

    I would think it’s better to have your best protected Tanks in there .

  13. This article features another pic of a Russian T-62, this one sporting obvious slat armor.

    The slat armor would make sense if they’re using the T-62s for infantry close support. Reactive armor (which their T-72s sport) can be extremely dangerous to any exposed grunts near the tank.

  14. Oops…forgot the link…

  15. Here’s another shot of the same T-62:

    The slat armor on the hull offers zero protection — it’s too close to the hull. The turret is a bit better if the slat spacing is right.

    Ironically, the Russians don’t have many first-rank tanks to spare anyway (not that they need them in Georgia, since you don’t have to lead those targets that much …). Most of the sources I found indicate they’ve bought a maximum of 2 battalions (62 tanks) of T-90s — they’ve been buying about 17 a year. That’s not what I’d call a crash modernization program. Everything rumored or more modern (Black Eagle, T95) has proved to be vaporware this far.

  16. If you take into account the space occupied by the treads, there should be enough space between the slat armor and the hull itself.

    You may lose mobility, but the crew should be protected. Interesting, because protecting the crew of a tank that is no longer mission capable has never been a Soviet/Russian priority in the past.

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