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T-90

Main battle tank

T-90 MBT

The T-90 is the most modern main battle tank currently in service with the Russian Army

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service 1993
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 46.5 t
Length (gun forward) 9.53 m
Hull length 6.86 m
Width 3.46 m
Height 2.23 m
Armament
Main gun 125 mm smoothbore
ATGW 9K119M (AT-11 Sniper-B)
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 14 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 43 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62, 300 x 12.7
Mobility
Engine V-84MS diesel engine
Engine power 840 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 550 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.85 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

 

   The T-90 Main Battle Tank (MBT) is a further development of the T-72. It was accepted to service with Russian army in 1993 and its low-rate production commenced in 1994. Currently Russian Army operates about 750 of these MBTs. Other sources claim, that there are about 1 000 T-90 main battle tanks of all variants in service. It is the most modern tank currently in service with the Russian Army, which has a requirement for about 1 500 of these tanks. Also currently it is the only mass-produced MBT in Russia. The T-90 is considered to be among the 10 best main battle tanks in the world. Currently it is the most commercially successful main battle tank on the global market. Export operators are Algeria (305), Azerbaijan (114), Turkmenistan (40) and Venezuela (50~100). The largest export operator is India which obtained 620 tanks in knock-down kits for local assembly and plans to produce 1 000 tanks locally.

   The T-90 saw action during the military conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

   The T-90 MBT uses a well proven chassis of the T-72 and turret with all weapon systems of the T-80U.

   It has a welded composite armor hull with a built-in Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor blocks. Its protection is enhanced by Shtora-1 countermeasures system, which significantly reduces the chance of being hit by enemy ATGW with semi-automatic guidance. Early production tanks had a cast turret.

   The T-90 main battle tank is a armed with a fully-stabilized 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore gun. This gun is also used to launch 9K119 Refleks (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper-B) anti-tank guided missies, in the same manner, as ordinary munitions. These missile has a range of 4-5 km and can also engage low-flying helicopters. Main gun of the T-90 is completed with a carousel-type autoloader. A total of 22 rounds are carried in the autoloader and are ready to fire. However remaining ammunition is stored in the main compartment, rather than a separate compartment with a blow-out panels. This drawback was common to all Cold War era Soviet main battle tanks. Once the armor is penetrated it can trigger detonation of onboard ammunition. Effective range of fire with APFSDS round is 2 000-3 000 m day and 2 000-2 600 m at night. Armor penetration is around 590-630 mm at 2 000 m range.

   Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof mounted remotely-controlled 12.7 mm machine gun, used against both ground and air targets.

   Fire control system of the T-90 was adequate for the 1990s. However currently it can not match similar systems of modern main battle tanks. The T-90 lacks advanced sights with thermal vision, as well as panoramic commander's sight, which would allow to detect and engage targets faster.

   This tank is operated by a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   Initially production T-90 tanks were powered by a V-84MS multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 840 horsepower. However soon after the introduction, production switched to improved versions, powered by a V-92S2 engine, developing 1 000 hp. This Russian MBT is also completed with an auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems, when the main engine is turned off. It is worth mentioning that the original T-90 has a lower power-to-weight ration than most current MBTs, hence its vague mobility performance. Vehicle is fitted with a deep wading kit, that can be installed by tank's crew within 20 minutes. The T-90 is also fitted with a self-entrenching blade.

   This main battle tank has undergone continuous upgrades since it was first developed in the early 1990s.

 

Variants

 

   T-90K command tank;

   T-90S export variant (sometimes referred as the T-90E), powered by a V-92 diesel engine, developing 1 000 horsepower;

   T-90SK command variant of the export version;

   T-90 Bhishma or Bheeshma. It is a license-built variant in service with the Indian army. It lacks Shtora countermeasures system, but retains the 9K119 Refleks ATGM capability. It is also powered by the 1 000 hp diesel engine;

   T-90A improved Russian Army variant, fitted with a diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. It also has some minor improvements comparing with original model. Russian Army operates over 400 of these MBTs;

   T-90MS Tagil a recent version with some improvements, such as new composite armor, new Relikt explosive reactive armor, new V-92S2F engine developing 1 130 hp, improved turret, new gun, updated observation and aiming systems;

   BREM-1M armored recovery vehicle. It has been developed to support the export T-90S main battle tanks;

   MTU-90 armored bridgelayer. It is designed to launch bridge across trenches and water obstacles in combat conditions;

   IMR-3 combat engineering vehicle;

   BMR-3M mine clearing vehicle.

 

Video of the T-90 main battle tank

 
T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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T-90 MBT

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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