|This page is about the Chinese light tank Type 62. For the Soviet version, see Type 62 (USSR).|
The Type 62 light tank (62式轻坦), developed and produced by China North Industries Corporation, is a Chinese light tank developed in the early 1960s that is based on the Chinese Type 59 medium tank with a reduced main gun calibre, lighter armour, and a smaller suite of electronics and other equipment designed to reduce weight. The Chinese Type 62 tank was conceptualized in 1958, finalized in 1962, and put into production and service in 1963. It is primarily utilized by armoured divisions in China's southern region, where the environment is rocky and mountainous. The Type 63 light tank is mainly used for critical tasks such as reconnaissance, infantry support, and combat against enemy lightly armoured vehicles. The Type 62 light tank has a total combat weight of 21 tons and can withstand most machine guns and close-blast shell fragments. A total of around 1,500 tanks had been constructed by the time production ceased in 1989.
Introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision", the Type 62 light tank is the downsized version of the heavier Type 59 medium tank. The Type 62 light tank, armed with the 85 mm Type-62-85-TC tank gun and an extensive inventory of ammunition, can easily engage any enemy vehicle from any distance. The Type 62 light tank is low-profile and nimble, making it ideal for maps with dense vegetation and rugged terrain. This allows the player to get into areas that are not normally expected by the opposing side and prepare a dedicated ambush.
Survivability and armour
The Type 62's armour is very light for its rank and should not be relied upon against any serious anti-tank fire. Frontal protection is generally sufficient to resist heavy machine guns and possibly smaller autocannons that would have destroyed the previous Type 63-I, but this is not quite the case for the side, rear, and roof armour. Any actual tank cannon will pass right through and the armour is thick enough to trigger the fuses of APHE rounds. The Type 62's best defense is not being seen. That said, enemy aircraft armed with machine guns or cannons will have to put some work into destroying it from above, so compared to other light tanks it is quite decent.
The crew layout is essentially the same as the Type 59/T-54, but the tank is so cramped that any penetrating shot is very likely to knock out multiple crew members or potentially the entire tank.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 35 mm (57°) Front glacis
25 mm (50°) Lower glacis
|25 mm||15 mm (7-52°)|| 20 mm Front |
15 mm Engine deck
5 mm Engine grille
|Turret|| 50 mm (9-59°) Turret front
50 mm (2-66°) Gun mantlet
|35 mm (11-44°)||32 mm (11-46°)||20 mm|
|Cupola||30 mm||30 mm||30 mm||20 mmm|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Type 62's mobility is generally very good. It has an impressive power-to-weight ratio, allowing it to accelerate quickly and reach around 45 km/h on offroad terrain. The reverse speed of 11 km/h in Realistic Battles is worse than some other light tanks like the M41A1 or especially the Ru 251, but it is good by Soviet/Chinese standards and allows for reasonably quick retreats into cover. It lacks neutral steering but the hull traverse is decent.
Modifications and economy
The Type 62 uses the same cannon as the Type 63-I but boasts a faster reload time, now identical to the T-34-85. It also has better optics (3.5-7.0x zoom) and one extra degree of gun depression for ease of use when sniping or fighting on hilly terrain. The elephant in the room is the very poor turret rotation speed, which unfortunately has not been improved. Be sure to keep the turret pointed towards likely enemy locations and use the hull traverse when needed.
|85 mm Type-62-85-TC||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The Type 62 has the same ammunition selection as the Type 63-I. Two APHE shells are available. The stock BR-365A APHEBC round has low penetration for its rank, but this is compensated by its excellent slope modifiers and high explosive mass. It penetrates other light tanks easily and is the best round to use when flanking. The BR-367 APCBC round has about 30 mm of extra penetration with less than half the TNT equivalent; while this is not a bad tradeoff, in practice it does not frontally penetrate many vehicles that the BR-365A round cannot, and when flanking the lower post-penetration damage is a big drawback. Using one or the other is mostly up to personal taste, though it does not hurt to bring some of both.
The Type 1956 HEAT-FS shell is the most powerful option available to the Type 62, and thankfully it can be unlocked as a Tier 2 modification. 300 mm of flat penetration at any distance with good velocity and angled performance is no joke, capable of nullifying the armour of many heavy tanks. It boasts more TNT equivalent than the HE shell, making it dangerous to lightly armoured targets like the Ru 251 or the T92. The main drawbacks are the mediocre post-penetration damage and the tendency to bounce against heavily sloped armour, so aim carefully for important crew members, modules, and ammo racks.
The BR-367P APCR shell has high velocity and better flat penetration than the APHE rounds, but as with other shells of its class, the angled performance and post-penetration damage are awful. It does not have much utility on the Type 62 since both it and the HEATFS are Tier 2 modifications; since the HEATFS is superior for all practical purposes, it makes sense to grind that out first, at which point the APCR is obsolete.
The stock O-365K HE shell is very weak and should be avoided. It is not even strong enough to damage light vehicles reliably and the HEATFS is better in all aspects.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Type 56 APBC||APHEBC||135||133||124||113||104||95|
|Type 56 APCBC||APCBC||164||162||154||143||134||125|
|Type 56 HVAP||APCR||208||201||176||148||125||106|
|Type 56 HEAT-FS||HEATFS||300||300||300||300||300||300|
|Type 56 HE||HE||19||18||17||16||15||14|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Type 56 APBC||APHEBC||792||9.2||1.2||14||164||48°||63°||71°|
|Type 56 APCBC||APCBC||792||9.2||1.2||14||77||48°||63°||71°|
|Type 56 HVAP||APCR||1,020||5.3||-||-||-||66°||70°||72°|
|Type 56 HEAT-FS||HEATFS||845||7||0.05||0.1||822.8||65°||72°||77°|
|Type 56 HE||HE||785||9.54||0.2||0.1||741||79°||80°||81°|
|47||45 (+2)||37 (+10)||31 (+16)||23 (+24)||21 (+26)||1 (+46)||No|
- Turret empty: 37 (+10) shells
The Type 62 has poor enough survivability that taking a significant ammo load does not have many negative effects. Emptying out the turret by taking 37 rounds or fewer may increase survivability slightly against targets using APDS or solid shot rounds since it is less likely that a turret penetration will knock out more than 1-2 crew members.
|12.7 mm Type 54|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm SGMT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
The pintle-mounted Type 54 is a nifty tool for mowing down lightly armoured vehicles, destroying fences and bushes that get in the way of HEATFS rounds, and discouraging enemy fighters that may try to strafe the Type 62. Remember that it has a limited belt capacity of only 50 rounds and the depression is very poor. It is controlled by the loader as opposed to the commander, so it remains operational even if one crew member is lost.
Usage in battles
With its excellent mobility, the Type 62 is great for getting from point to point and setting up ambushes. Avoid getting seen and stick close to concealment and cover. However it is important to note that the reload rate is around the same or even slower than most enemy tanks, so making your first shot count is always going to determine whether you survive the engagement or not. Aiming for the turret or ammo racks of the enemy are great options, as they usually ensure ammo rack detonations or that the enemy won't be able to fire back at you if not. Always have a backup plan in case your shot does not disable the enemy in one hit, which will typically mean moving to cover immediately and waiting for the target to be distracted. If you need to retreat, the Type 62 now has access to barrel-type smoke grenades seen on the ZTZ59A and a number of Soviet tanks, which should allow you to safely turn around and leave the area.
Also note that going on rough terrain and over piles of rubble is not recommended while at risk to be shot at by the enemy, as the gun takes a very long time to adjust in the vertical. With the the HEATFS shell, staying at range is also possible, as it is much easier for you to hide your tank from the enemy while not losing accuracy and penetration of the HEATFS shell. The good optics are helpful for this HEAT-slinging strategy, but be wary of sniper duels with other light tanks. The Type 62 does not have high-velocity APDS and a quick reload like the T92 and the Ru 251 boasts superior optics and a better muzzle velocity for its own HEATFS. These two targets are vulnerable to HEAT rounds and a single successful hit can put them out of commission. The M41 Walker Bulldog used by the USA, Japan, and Germany has excellent optics, APDS, and quick reloading, but suffers from a large profile and a bouncy suspension. Using the BR-365A APHEBC round against it usually results in an easy one-shot kill.
The hardest tanks to destroy in the Type 62 are large heavy tanks like the T29 and Tiger II (H), as APHEBC and APCBC shells cannot penetrate these tanks from the front. When facing against these tanks, your best option is to get their ammo racks or turret crew from the side while they're busy dealing with your teammates, or, if they see you, quietly relocating and catching them unaware. With the HEATFS shell it is possible to even penetrate the King Tiger's upper front plate if they underestimate you and don't angle their hull. Remember that these tanks tend to have their crew members and modules spaced out and it is very important to aim carefully with the HEATFS. A tank that has only suffered minor damage with full knowledge of the Type 62's location is very dangerous.
The Type 62 works best on large, fairly open maps where there are good sightlines. Enemies can be identified from a safe distance, there are often ridgelines or other gentle forms of cover that offer concealment and scouting opportunities, and it is less likely that an enemy will appear suddenly with little time to react. Small, cluttered maps can be painful since urban combat tends to involve enemies suddenly appearing on flanks or around corners, and the Type 62's bad gun handling makes surprise encounters difficult.
The Type 62 has a notable learning curve and it may take a while to adjust to both using the gun and figuring out the best combat tactics. It requires good map knowledge and situational awareness to spot enemies ahead of time and find good hiding and ambush spots. Good shot placement is required with the HEATFS rounds and it will take some practice to grow accustomed to the higher zoom and learn the location of ammo racks and other critical modules for enemy tanks. Once mastered, the Type 62 can offer valuable scouting information to teammates and take out targets opportunistically, either up close or from across the map.
Pros and cons
- Good acceleration, can reach fast travel speed quickly
- Small profile, easier to hide compared to the Type 63-I.
- Commonly mistaken for more heavily armoured tanks such as the T-54 or the Type 59
- Better frontal protection than the Type 63-I, cannot be machine-gunned to death from the front
- Access to Type 1956 HEAT-FS round capable of penetrating 300 mm of armour, lethal against even heavy tanks
- APHEBC shells are great for side shots, can one-shot most tanks at its rank
- Pintle-mounted 12.7 mm MG can be used for fending off aircraft or light vehicles
- Decent ammo reserve for its size, 47 shells
- Good optics, up to 7.0x zoom
- Earliest PRC tank with smoke grenades
- Poor gun handling, turret rotation and elevation speeds are sluggish
- Thin armour, low crew survivability
- Somewhat slow reload
- Bad gun depression
- Reverse speed could be better
After World War II, China stayed in a state of conflict as part of the Chinese Civil War, pitting the Chinese Nationalists against the Communists. The Communist Party were victorious and they established the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 01 October 1949. In 14 February 1950, the Chinese signed an alliance treaty with the Soviet Union, which allowed the Soviet Union to support China economically and militarily, leading to many money loans and arms trade. One of the weapons given in arms trade was the Soviet's new main battle tank, the T-54. The tank became the basis of the Soviet's aid in building up China's tank manufacturing facility in 1956, starting with Soviet-made parts before transitioning to Chinese parts. The T-54 tank design was then accepted into the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1959 as the Type 59.
While accepted as the main tank of the PLA, the Type 59 was deemed too heavy for some of the terrain and infrastructure on China. A light tank design was requested in the late 1950s, leading to the formal development process in 1958. The first prototype was produced in 1960 as the Type 59-16, which was essentially a down-scaled Type 59 with an 85 mm armament, thinner armour, and smaller profile. Trials commenced until December 1962, when it was accepted as the Type 62, production name WZ 131. It was then put into production in 1963 with roughly 1,393 tank units produced until 1989.
The Type 62 light tank was primarily stationed with military units in Southern China where the infrastructure is not as sophisticated. However, the Type 62 would not see its first usage in Chinese hands. A number of them was supplied to the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War, which they used against America and South Vietnam until the end of the war in 1975. The Type 62 then saw use again in 1979 in Vietnam, but mostly in Chinese hands in the Sino-Vietnamese War. However, the Type 62 suffered due to anti-tank weapons such as the ubiquitous rocket launchers penetrating right through the thin armour. The overall consensus of their experiences in Vietnam was that the Type 62 not suitable to act around as a normal tank due to its light armour and armament, and was relegated to recon and fire support.
An upgrade program commenced on the Type 62 led to the Type 62-I variant. The program was based on the experiences in Vietnam, leading to many upgrades such as a laser range finder, a shield for the exterior-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun, and protection against HEAT rounds. The second modernization program began in 2000 to upgrade the Type 62-I into Type 62G which improved the armour layout and turret design of the tank, as well as adding smoke dischargers and a new 105 mm main armament with a modern stabilizer and fire-control system. The Type 62 stayed in the Chinese service up until early 2013.
The Type 62 also saw exportation to many countries, ranging from Albania, Banglades, Cambodia, Congo, Mali, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, North Korea, and Zaire. In some cases, such as in North Korea, this led to confusions between the Soviet's T-62 main battle tank due to the labeling of the Type 62 as simply "T-62". Information of the Type 62 in these countries are rather limited or unknown, though most of them seem to still have them in reserves today.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
|China North Industries Corporation (中国兵器工业集团有限公司)|
|Type 62||▂Type 62 · Type 62|
|Type 63||Type 63 · ZTS63|
|Main Battle Tanks|
|WZ120||Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1|
|WZ121||Type 69 · Type 69-IIa** · T-69 II G**|
|WZ122||ZTZ88B · ZTZ88A · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)|
|WZ123||ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|WZ1001||WZ1001(E) LCT · ZTZ99A|
|Tank Destroyers||AFT09 · PTL02 · WMA301** · PTZ89 · ZLT11|
|SPAA||ZSD63/PG87* · WZ305** · PGZ09 · PGZ04A|
|China light tanks|
|Object 211 · Type 63 · ZTS63|
|WZ551||PTL02 · WMA301|
|ROC||M41D · M64|
|USA||␗M8 LAC · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ␗M5A1 · ␗M24 · ␗M18 GMC · ␗M41A3|
|USSR||␗T-26 · T-26 No.531 · ␗PT-76|