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Russian T-90M Tanks Upgraded With Advanced Explosive Reactive Armor Amid Ukraine Conflict

In a recent Russian military development showcased through images on social networks, the Russian defense industry has made significant strides in enhancing the capabilities of its T-90M tanks to counter the evolving threats on the Ukrainian battlefield. These photographs reveal the T-90M tanks equipped with a newly developed type of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), a clear indication of Russia's intent to upgrade its armored forces. Notably, this advanced ERA is mounted around the turret and on the sides of the tank's hull, providing a robust shield against anti-tank weapons.
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The latest variant of the T-90M is now equipped with new ERA Explosive Reactive Armor mounted around the turret and on the sides of the hull. (Picture source Russian Social Network)

The T-90M tank, a cornerstone of Russian armored might, is renowned for its balance of firepower, mobility, and protection. This latest upgrade underlines the relentless pursuit to adapt to the intricacies of modern warfare. The addition of ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) around critical areas of the tank enhances its defensive posture significantly. Explosive Reactive Armor operates by detonating a controlled explosion upon impact, negating the penetrating force of incoming projectiles. This technology is instrumental in safeguarding tanks from the threats posed by advanced anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which are common in today's armed conflicts.

The T-90M represents a modernized version of the T-90, the main battle tank that has been the linchpin of Russia's armored divisions since the 1990s. With substantial improvements over its predecessors, including fortified armor, a more potent engine, and sophisticated targeting systems, the T-90M stands as a formidable force on the battlefield, adept at navigating a variety of combat scenarios.

The T-90M's armament is centered around a formidable 125mm smoothbore gun, capable of engaging targets with a variety of munitions, including armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot rounds and high-explosive anti-tank rounds, to name a few. This versatility allows it to tackle diverse threats on the battlefield effectively. Additionally, the tank is equipped with a coaxial machine gun and a remote-controlled anti-aircraft machine gun, providing comprehensive offensive capabilities.

In terms of protection, aside from the newly added ERA, the T-90M benefits from advanced composite armor, further enhanced with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive tiles. This layered defense system is designed to absorb and deflect the energy of incoming rounds, significantly reducing the potential for penetration. Moreover, the T-90M features sophisticated active protection systems capable of intercepting incoming projectiles before they can reach the tank's main armor, showcasing a multifaceted approach to survivability.

The deployment of the T-90M in Ukraine has been a subject of international scrutiny, marking a significant application of Russia's modern armored warfare capabilities. The T-90M's enhancements, particularly in the realms of armament and protection, have been strategically implemented to address the specific challenges posed by the Ukrainian conflict. This deployment underscores the tank's role as a critical asset in Russia's military operations, demonstrating its strategic importance in achieving operational objectives within the context of contemporary armored warfare.

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