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Type 62/-I/G Light Tank

The Type 62 light tank was designed to be lighter than the Type 59 MBT, and easier to operate in the hilly rugged terrain that exists in southern China. The relatively light-weight 21 ton Type 62 is a scaled-down version of the Type 59, and the two share many similar features. The cast and welded Type 62 turret is slightly smaller with nearly identical hatches and fittings. Similar in design to the Type 59 original, the wheels and tracks are smaller and lighter. It is mainly used in southern armored divisions, carry out reconnaissance, circuitous, fighting with enemy light armored vehicles and other major tasks, and has good mobility, firepower and protection.

The ordnance industry of China initiated the research and development of armored vehicles in 1958, beginning with light tanks, amphibious tanks, and tracked APCs. In 1962, the No. 674 Factory began developing the Type 62 Light Tank. The research and development of the tank was completed the same year and was found very appropriate for the river areas and hills in South China.

The original armor of the Type 62 is obsolete by modern standards, and vulnerable to advanced anti-tank munitions. A variant, referred to as Type 62-I, developed following the Sino-Vietnamese conflict, featured side armor skirts and a 360 armored suite for the anti-aircraft machine gun. Variants include the improved Type 62-1 light tank, the improved variant Type 79 light tank recovery vehicles and Type 82 military-style fast bulldozer. The improved Type 62-1 tank is equipped with improved laser rangefinder, turret equipped with an external fence, installed on both sides of the body skirt. An upgrade project initiated after 2000 replaced the original cast turret with an angular welded design, also featuring Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) tiles. A proposed upgrade package would fit an 105mm gun, common to many PLA tanks, to the Type 62 along with advanced fire control components. This variant has been referred to as Type 62G.

The Type 62 has a four-man crew with the driver at the front of the hull on the left and the other three crew members in the turret. The commander and gunner are seated on the left of the turret with the loader on the right. The engine and transmission are at the rear of the hull. The Type 62 can cross a 2.55-meter trench, mount a 0.7-meter vertical step, climb a 60-percent grade or ford 1.3 meters without snorkel.

The tank's rear driving wheels, body with steel welded turret of castings. The driver is located in front of the car on the left, the top one can lift and horizontal rotating cast cockpit cover, cockpit has two mirrors, equipped with infrared night vision. Commander, gunner artillery fighting compartment located on the left, on the right hand filling. Cupola installed on four mirrors and a commanding periscope.

The Type 62's main armament is a 85mm gun, probably identical to that on the Type 63 light amphibious tank. The normal ammunition load for this weapon is 47 rounds. The 85mm gun can fire AP, APHE, HE, and HEAT rounds. There are vertical sliding breech artillery stationed recoil mechanism placed on it, scheduled for launch-mounted grenade, armor-piercing, micro spin HEAT and Hesh. The 85mm cannon has a tilt range -5 ~ +20 . Secondary armament consists of a 12.7mm anti-aircraft Type 54 heavy machine gun mounted at the loader's position for anti-aircraft use and a 7.62mm machine gun mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament. Another 7.62mm machine gun is mounted at the bow.

The tank's power plant is located in the rear bodywork. A Taiwan 12150L-3 water-cooled engine transversely, rated power is 316kW, rated speed of 1800r/min. Speed ??ratio of the transmission device has a growth rate of 0.7 boxes, multi-plate clutch, fixed-shaft gearbox, 5 forward gears and one reverse gear, the gearbox on the left side of the installation over one-piece steering clutch and side gear reduction ratio of 5.1. Action part of five road wheels on each side, independent torsion bar suspension, in the first, five road wheels mounted hydraulic damper position, relying on one pair of front lever to adjust the induction of spherical worm wheel position to achieve crawler tightness adjustments. Armored body before the upper deck into a 30 angle with the horizontal plane, the thickness of 35mm, the thickness of the turret front 45mm. The tank is equipped with semi-automatic fire-fighting equipment and smoke grenade launchers.

The Type 62 tank was largely relegated to secondary defense and training duties by the end of the 20th century, though it remained in service with the PLA in large numbers. The number of Type 62s in the PLA inventory had remained the same, 800, for the last twenty years according to IISS, however in the 2004 edition of The Military Balance the number is stated at approximately 400. No explanation is given for the revision. The IISS estimate was unchanged as of 2008.

Type 62 tanks have been exported to and have been used in Albania, Congo, Mali, North Korea, Sudan, Tanzania and Zaire. North Korea reported received 50 Type 62 light tanks in 1971-1972, and these vehicles have been confused with the North Korean Ch'onma-Ho, a derivative of the Soviet T-62. The Ch'onma-Ho has no obvious relationship to the Type 62 light tank.

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Page last modified: 08-06-2021 19:10:29 ZULU