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Russia Deploys Upgraded T-90M Tanks in Ukraine with Advanced Explosive Reactive Armor

On February 9, 2024, the Russian Ministry of Defense revealed through a video on its VK social network account the deployment of an upgraded version of the T-90M tank in Ukraine, showcasing significant enhancements in its defense mechanisms. The latest model of the T-90M has been outfitted with a new generation of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), aimed at bolstering its resilience on the modern battlefield.
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A new version of the Russian tank T-90M fitted with additional ERA Explosive Reactive Armor somewhere in Ukraine. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The newly released footage and subsequent analysis indicate that the T-90M has been equipped with an additional layer of ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) across the front of both the turret and the hull. This advancement in armor technology is designed to enhance the tank's survivability against a variety of anti-tank weapons. Additionally, the T-90M now features cage armor over its top and an anti-drone net, strategically incorporated to counter the growing threat of First Person View (FPV) drones and loitering munition attacks, which are prevalent in contemporary warfare.

The introduction of the top cage armor and anti-drone net marks a significant evolution in the design philosophy of Russian armored vehicles, underscoring the importance of adapting to new forms of threats, particularly those posed by the increasing use of drones and precision-guided munitions by adversaries.

This upgrade is a clear testament to Russia's commitment to leveraging combat experience gained in Ukraine to refine and enhance its military assets. By focusing on the development of new versions of its tanks, Russia aims to stay ahead of emerging threats and ensure the effectiveness of its armored forces in the face of evolving battlefield dynamics.

The deployment of these advanced T-90M tanks in Ukraine signals a strategic move by Russia to increase the survivability and offensive capabilities of its ground forces. As the conflict continues, the effectiveness of these upgrades in actual combat conditions will be closely monitored by military analysts and could potentially influence future developments in armored warfare technology.

The Russian T-90M tank represents a significant upgrade over its predecessors, incorporating advanced armor and weaponry to maintain its edge on modern battlefields. This latest iteration of Russia's main battle tank is equipped with enhanced protective features, including a new generation of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) designed to deflect anti-tank munitions. The T-90M's defensive capabilities are further bolstered by the addition of cage armor over its top and an anti-drone net, specifically aimed at countering the threat posed by First Person View (FPV) drones and loitering munitions. These improvements reflect a strategic adaptation to the evolving dynamics of contemporary warfare, where the use of drones and precision-guided munitions has become increasingly prevalent.

Beyond its defensive upgrades, the T-90M also features advancements in firepower and operational systems. The tank is expected to carry a more powerful gun, enhanced targeting systems, and improved mobility features, ensuring that it remains a formidable force in combat. The incorporation of these state-of-the-art technologies underscores Russia's commitment to continuously evolving its military hardware in response to battlefield experiences and emerging threats. The deployment of the T-90M in operational theaters like Ukraine showcases Russia's strategic intent to not only enhance its current military capabilities but also to project power and maintain a competitive advantage in armored warfare.

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