If Wikipedia tells us true, this was the first actual production T-62 started in 1961, even if it was not announced to the public at the time. I assume that tank version worked well enough and would be used in case of a hot war?
Take what I will say with a grain of salt as I’m no expert and am just recollecting what I’ve read elsewhere:
From what I can remember - the 1960 nomenclature isn’t exactly correct - but the model itself is supposed to be a very early production. Also, the markings for this particular kit supposedly depict a tank that was used in the conflict between the USSR and China.
Well, the tank would have to be produced in sufficient numbers to equip a unit, two, or three. Then the unit(s) would have to familiarize and train up to some minimal standard in the new vehicle. And a logistical support line established to support the new type. Lastly, the trouble shooting phase of actual usage would occur, because nearly all new items have unforeseen bugs that pop up that need to be addressed when first in service and before full scale production begins.
So yes, theoretically a few could have seen combat for combat testing, after initial production began, depending upon circumstances.
I did hear the story about how half-finished tanks from the Stalingrad tank factory were sent out to fight when the Germans entered the city.
Also I get the idea that the early T-62 was not necessarily radically different from the T-55 series, other than having the new gun and autoloader.
Automotively they were about the same.
The Stalingrad Tractor Factory build tanks sent into battle were not a new type first being fielded, but an established type. That’s a bit different. Yes, automotively the T-62 is nearly the same as the T-54/55, but the weapons system is new. And again, with the logistics that takes a bit more time to establish.
The T-62 did not have an auto loader like the next generation of Soviet MBTs, but it does have an ejection port on the rear of the turret requiring the main gun to a certain position for the round to extract. Supposedly that was one of the unforeseen bugs that came with the new weapon system. The new 115mm smooth bore APFSDS round also required a new approach in gunnery training compared to the 100mm rifled main gun of the T-54/55.
Well, I guess that these tanks would have been of little use if war broke out in 1962. Thanks for the answers.