Russian Southern district to receive T-90M Proryv tanks

The divisions of the Russian Southern Military District will be fully armed with T-90 tanks. The military then plan to rearm the formations with upgraded T-90M Proryv, the Izvestia daily writes quoting Defense Ministry sources. Tank units of the 19th and 20th Motorized Rifle Divisions of the district will be rearmed with T-90. The rearming of the divisions with T-90M is being considered.
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T-90M Proryv (Picture source: Russian MoD)

The motorized rifle divisions will have one reinforced tank battalion of five companies. Each of the three motorized infantry regiments will have a T-90 battalion of smaller strength. It is therefore necessary to supply additional tanks to the south of the country.

T-90 was accepted into service in 1992. The Ground Forces operate several hundred tanks and many of them are deployed in the south. Over a thousand tanks were delivered to India, Iraq, Algeria, Azerbaijan, and other countries. Several dozen T-90s were handed over to the Syrian army.

“Regardless of the modification, T-90 is highly reliable and properly protected. It was confirmed in Syria,” expert Alexey Khlopotov said. “The tanks were numerously hit by US TOW-2 antitank missiles there but survived. The crews always remained alive,” he said. The T-90M is an advanced and better-balanced vehicle that exceeds the predecessor in all parameters, he added. The tank was for the first time demonstrated in 2011 as the T-90MS export option. It was then upgraded according to the requirements of the Russian military.

The T-90M armor was considerably reinforced. The tank got an upgraded turret protected against cumulative projectiles. The engine capacity increased from 840 to 1130 HP to keep the mobility of the tank, which became heavier due to reinforced protection. The T-90M is armed with a 2A46M5-01 gun. It can fire projectiles with a higher piercing power than the shells of ordinary T-90.

In 2021, the first batch of eight T-90M tanks was delivered to the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade. They are a little bit inferior to T-14 Armata tanks but will be procured together.

The Defense Ministry said in 2016 that the Russian south and southwest were priority directions for rearmament due to the conflict in the east of Ukraine and general aggravation of the situation in the Black Sea area.

There were practically no modern tanks in the south of Russia before 2008. T-90 tanks were supplied there only after the 2008 war with Georgia. Tank battalions of the 7th base in Abkhazia, 19th and 136th Motorized Rifle Brigades, and several other units of the Southern district were the first to receive them. The formation of new divisions will demand additional tanks.

The Defense Ministry said the Southern district received close to 3,000 modern arms and hardware in 2020. The share of new land, sea, and air weapons thus increased to the target figure of 70 percent.

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