The IT-1 (Russian: Истребитель танков–1, Istrebitel’ tankov–1, ‘tank destroyer-1’) was a Soviet cold war missile tank based around the hull of the T-62. 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.
- Weight: 54 kg
- Warhead: 5.8 kg
- Diameter: 180 mm
- Wing span: 860mm
- Length: 1240mm
- 300 m to 3300 m (day)
- 400 m to 600 m (night)
- Speed: 217 m/s
- Penetration: 250 mm versus RHA at 60 degrees
- Taifun, a prototype Russian missile tank system developed during the same period.