The T-62 medium tank has a fully tracked, five road-wheeled chassis. The chassis has close spaces between the three front road wheels and large gaps separating the third, fourth and fifth road wheels. The drive sprocket is at the rear and the idler is at the front; there are no track return rollers. The rounded turret, mounted over the third road wheel, is more smoothly cast and more nearly egg-shaped than that of the T-54/55 series.
The commander's cupola on the left is cast with the turret. The loader's hatch on the right is also farther forward. The 115-mm smoothbore main gun has a longer and thinner tube than the 100-mm main gun of the T-54/55. Its bore evacuator is about two-thirds of the way up the gun tube from the turret. There is also a 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun. The T-62M also mounts a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun at the loader's hatch position. A gunner's IR searchlight is mounted on the right, above the main gun.
A smaller IR searchlight is mounted over on the commander's cupola. The driver's hatch is in front of the turret on the left side of the flat, low-silhouetted hull. Like the T-55, the T-62 has a 580-hp, V-12, water-cooled diesel engine. This engine gives the T-62 a cruising range of 280 kilometers cross-country; 450 kilometers on paved roads, with integral fuel cells; and 400 kilometers cross-country, or 650 kilometers on paved roads, with two 200-liter auxiliary fuel tanks.
The tank also shares the snorkeling and smoke screen-generating capabilities of the T-54/55 series. It has the same PAZ radiation detection system as the T-55.
Some T-62's may have been retrofitted with full NBC collective protection systems (air filtration and overpressure). Most models have the same IR night sight and driving equipment and the same fire control equipment as the T-54/55. Some T-62s, however, have received a passive night sight. This replaces the gunner's active IR sight. A laser rangefinder may now replace the stadiametric reticle rangefinder. The most significant improvement over the T-54/55 tanks, however, is the 115-mm smoothbore main gun. It fires hypervelocity, armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot (HVAPFSDS) round with a muzzle velocity of 1,615 meters per second. The penetrator flies in a very flat trajectory, and is extremely accurate out to 1600 meters. The normal 40-round basic load typically includes 12 HVAPFSDS, 6 HEAT, and 22 HE-Frag rounds. The T-62 also has an automatic shell ejector system.
The recoil of the main gun activates this system, which ejects the spent shell casings through a port in the rear of the turret.
The T-62 has the standard 7.62-mm PKT coaxial machine-gun with a range of 1,000 meters. The T-62M also mounts a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun. The DShK has a range of 1,500 meters against ground targets and a slant range of 1,000 meters against aircraft. The T-62A also has a stabilized main gun; it enables the gunner to track and fire on the move with improved accuracy.
T-62 This is the basic T-62 model, which essentially was a stretched T-55 chassis, with a new suspension, and a new turret equipped with the U-5T (2A20) Rapira 115-mm smoothbore gun. The gun has the new Meteor two-axis stabilization system.
T-62K This is the command tank variant of the T-62, and like earlier types, has one additional R-122 radio, a TNA-2 navigation system, a 4-meter antenna, but less ammunition. The corresponding command tank for the T-62M is the T-62MK.
T-62M (Also called T-62A) This tank includes the addition of a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun on the loader's hatch. This modification included modification of the turret right side.
T-62M Model 1975 This is the T-62M with the addition of the KTD-1 laser rangefinder over the main gun mantlet.
T-62E The war in Afghanistan forced the Soviets to up-armor their tanks to provide better protection from infantry antitank weapons, such as the RPG-7. This upgrade led to the BDD appliqu? armor package. This package consists of a panel of armor on the glacis plate, two panels of "horse-shoe" armor around the front of the turret, and an optional package of belly armor for anti-mine protection. The total package adds 3.9 tons to the weight of the vehicle.
T-62M1 This further modification of the T-62A includes much of the modifications added to the T-55 to make the T-55AM2PB. These improvements include the Volna fire control system with the BV-62 computer, Meteor M1 gun stabilization package, TShSM-41U sight, KDT-2 laser rangefinder and 1K13 guidance sight package. This tank is equipped with the AT-12 Sheksna laser-guided antitank guided missile, which operates in much the same way as the AT-10 STABBER ATGM. This tank also includes the uprated V-55U engine, and the R-173 radio system. This vehicle is also usually fitted with the BDD applique armor package.
T-62MV This is the T-62M fitted with the ERA package found on the T-55MV.