The IT-1 was a Soviet cold war missile tank
Missile tank
A missile tank is an armoured fighting vehicle fulfilling the role of a main battle tank, but using only guided missiles for main armament. Several nations have experimented with prototypes, notably the Soviet Union during the tenure of Nikita Khrushchev , but only the West German Jaguar 2 saw...

 based around the hull of the T-62
The T-62 is a Soviet main battle tank, a further development of the T-55. Its 115 mm gun was the first smoothbore tank gun in use.The T-62 was produced between 1961 and 1975. It became a standard tank in the Soviet arsenal, partly replacing the T-55, although that tank continued to be...

. The tank fired specially designed 3M7 Drakon missiles from a pop-up launcher. It saw a very limited service between 1968 and 1970. The large deadzone around the tank created by the missiles' minimum range combined with the limited amount of ammunition carried made it unpopular with the military. Also, the 520 kg of guidance equipment needed for the missile was impractical. Eventually, the tanks were converted into recovery vehicles. A turbine-powered version was also developed named the IT-1T.


Tests were conducted in April 1964 using two prototype IT-1 tanks. In 1964, there were 94 test firings. Until the end of 1964 they produced 94 controlled launchings of "Drakon". In 1968 the vehicle was put into limited production, which continued until 1970.


The IT-1 has a crew of three, a driver, gunner and commander. It was armed with a pop-up missile launcher fitted into a low profile turret along with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun with 2000 rounds of ammunition. Twelve 3M7 Drakon missiles were stored in an automatic loader, a further 3 were stored in an unarmoured box on the back of the turret.

The missile was radio-command guided, using any one of seven frequencies and two codes. That prevented vehicles within a single unit interfering with each other.

The missile was launched slightly upward, and at an angle to offset any wind drift during the first second of unguided flight. A tracer on the rear of the missile allowed the guidance system to track the missile and transmit radio commands to the missile. The commands were decoded by the missile and translated into deflection of the missiles fins.

Night-vision equipment allowed some night operation but substantially reduced the missile's range.

Specifications (3M7 Drakon missile)

  • Guidance: Radio SACLOS
    SACLOS is an acronym for Semi-Automatic Command to Line of Sight, a second-generation method of missile guidance. In SACLOS, the operator has to continually point a sighting device at the target while the missile is in flight...

  • Weight: 54 kg
  • Warhead: 5.8 kg
  • Diameter: 180 mm
  • Wing span: 860mm
  • Length: 1240mm
  • Range:
    • 300 m to 3300 m (day)
    • 400 m to 600 m (night)
  • Speed: 217 m/s
  • Penetration: 250 mm versus RHA at 60 degrees

External links

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