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Increased destruction of most modern Russian T-90M tanks in Ukraine

The T-90M Proryv-3, a latest-generation Russian tank, has suffered significant losses in Ukraine. For instance, one incident involved the tank being hit by a portable anti-tank weapon, causing the ejection of its turret due to the detonation of ammunition stored underneath. Recently, there has been an increase in the destruction or neutralization of these tanks, making it interesting to delve into this Russian Main Battle Tank.
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Several T-90M main battle tanks were destroyed or neutralized by Ukrainian forces. (Picture source: Osint information)

A specific T-90M was destroyed in the Luhansk region, between Makiyivka and Ploshchanka. Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi of the Ukrainian Ground Forces reported it as one of 25 enemy tanks destroyed by Ukraine in four days. Other recent events have demonstrated the destruction of T-90M tanks.

A notable incident involving a T-90M "Proryv" occurred in the Kremennaya - Dibrovo - Belogorovka region. The tank was hit during a large-scale engagement, filmed by an unmanned aerial vehicle. It appears there was an ammunition detonation, although the type of weapon used against the tank is not specified. This incident occurred on February 23, 2023.

Recent action against T-90M tanks has been documented by the FPV kamikaze drone manufacturer Eskadron. They targeted a T-90M in the city of Marinka, Donetsk region. The tank was not destroyed but likely sustained damage. Images have also been released showing a damaged T-90M abandoned near Andriivka in the same region.

According to the Oryx portal, since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, at least 55 T-90M Proryv tanks have been either destroyed, damaged, or captured. Additionally, the Russian army has reportedly lost over 20 T-90M tanks. Three of these main battle tanks have been captured by the Ukrainian armed forces.

These losses are quite significant for the Russian armed forces, as these tanks are considered among the most modern in the Russian arsenal. Although the T-14 is known to the public, it is not present in the Russian armed forces, making the T-90M the most technologically advanced main battle tank. But what exactly is a T-90M?

The T-90M is a Main Battle Tank designed and used by Russia, weighing 46,500 kg. It is armed with a 125 mm cannon, a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun, and a 12.7 mm NSVT machine gun. The T-90M is protected by standard armor supplemented with Relikt explosive reactive armor, an anti-RPG metal net, and bar-slat armor. Its maximum speed is 60 km/h, and it has a range of 550 km.

The T-90M is designed to operate in various combat environments, thanks to its complete equipment including NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) protection, fire detection and suppression system, a nose-mounted dozer blade, deep fording kit, modern fire control system, and active protection system. It has a crew of three and measures 6.68 meters in length, 3.78 meters in width, and 2.23 meters in height.

So, what are the implications of these losses? Firstly, the captured tanks strengthened the Ukrainian Arsenal. Although the Russians are capable of capturing Western material for reverse engineering, the Ukrainians can do the same. While the T-90M is considered less technologically advanced than its Western counterparts, it is beneficial for Ukraine to learn more about the capabilities of the spearhead of the Russian army.

However, the Russians are not helpless in the face of these losses. The increase in their military production comes perfectly to compensate for the losses on the battlefield; however, they cannot drastically increase the production of this tank as some components necessary for its manufacture are now under embargo and are more difficult for Russian industrialists to obtain. Furthermore, the Russian armed forces managed to recover some of the neutralized tanks and even recapture certain tanks captured by the Ukrainians.

Although the loss of these T-90M tanks represents a challenge for the Russian armed forces, they are not devoid of solutions to address this problem. Nevertheless, Russia does not have a sufficient reservoir to afford such losses, so it will be interesting to see if they will still be sent to the front line or if older and easier-to-produce models will be preferred.


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