Main Battle Tank - Russia
The T-90 tank is a further development of the T-72B Main Battle Tank (MBT). The T-90 is equipped with precise weapons laying systems enabling the crew to engage ground and air targets. The T-90 MBT was developed at the Kartsev/Venediktov Bureau, `Vagonka' at Nizhnyi Tagil. The T-90 MBT was shown for the first time outside Russia in March 1997 when it was demonstrated in Abu Dhabi. By September 1995, some 107 T-90 tanks had been produced, located in the Siberian Military District. By mid-1996 some 107 T-90s had gone into service in the Far Eastern Military District. In 2007, there were about 334 T-90 tanks serving in the Russian Ground Forces' 5th Guards Tank Division, stationed in the Siberian Military District, and seven T-90 tanks in the Navy. Some 31 new T-90 tanks were expected to enter service in 2007, and 60 in 2008. The Russian Federal Service for Defence Contracts (Rosoboronexport) announced in July 2008 that a new tank (which rumour has previously referred to as the T-95) was due to be introduced in 2009, but development was cancelled in May 2010.
T-90 MBT variants:
- T-90K: Command version of the T-90
- T-90E: Export version of T-90 MBT.
- T-90A: Russian army version with welded turret, V-92S2 engine and ESSA thermal viewer. Sometimes called T-90 Vladimir.
- T-90S: Export version of T-90A.
- T-90SK: Command version of the T-90S. It differs in radio and navigation equipment and Ainet remote-detonation system for HEF rounds.
- T-90S "Bhishma": modified T-90S in Indian service.
- T-90M: Upgraded version featuring new explosive reactive armour (ERA), new 1,250 PS (920 kW) engine, new improved turret and composite armour, new gun, new thermal imaging Catherine-FC from THALES, an enhanced environmental control system supplied by Israel’s Kinetics Ltd for providing cooled air to the fighting compartment, integrated tactical system, satellite navigation and others.
- T-90MS: New modernised (M) version of the export tank T-90S, with a 1130HP engine, a PNM Sosna-U gunner view, a 7.62 mm turret UDP T05BV-1 RWS, GLONASS, inertial navigation systems and new explosive reactive armour (ERA). A new removable turret bustle is included, which provides storage for eight additional rounds. T-90MS is ready for serial production.
The main armament of the T-90 is composed of a 125 mm two-axis stabilized smoothbore gun 2A46M. In addition, the T-90 is armed with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun mounted coaxially with the main gun, and one NSVT 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. She is designed for use against air and ground targets. Mounted on either side of the turret is a bank of six electrically operated 81 mm smoke grenade launchers. A thermal shield jacket protects the tube of the main gun. The design of the gun tube and the breech ring allow the tube to be removed from the turret and replaced without dismantling the whole gun. Ammunitions carried by the T-90 include armour-piercing, shaped-charge and fragmentation projectiles. Moreover, the T-90 can fire airburst scattering projectiles. The T-90's guided weapons system, dubbed Reflex, uses the 9M119 (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper) guided rocket fitted with a shaped-charge warhead. the system considerably enhances the effectiveness of attacks against hard targets and low-flying helicopters. The 9M119 guided rocket is loaded into the main gun by the automatic loader and is launched through. The rocket is guided by a laser beam. The guidance range is about 5 km.
|Close view of the T-90 MBT turret with the optoelectronic countermeasures system Shtora-1 mounted on each side at the front.|
|Design and protection|
The T-90 features a high level of protection against conventional weapons (different types of projectiles, anti-tank guided weapons, mines, shell fragments, bullets, etc). For better protection against anti-tank weapons, the T-90 main battle tank embodies passive and active protection features, classic armour and integrated explosive reactive armour ERA kits. The T-90 is fitted with three levels of protection systems. The first level is the composite armour in the turret, consisting of a basic armour shell with an insert of alternating layers of aluminium and plastics and a controlled deformation section. The second level is the third generation of explosive reactive armour Kontakt-5 ERA fitted on the front and side of the hull and the turret. The third level is the Shtora-1 countermeasures suite. The T-90 is protected against weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear. The probability of hitting a land mine by the vehicle's bottom and tracks is minimum because the minesweeping gear is attached to the hull at the front. There are four removable spring-loaded skirt plates fitted over the forward part of the track, which are unclipped in action and spring forward at an angle of 60º from the side of the vehicle, to give a measure of protection against HEAT projectiles.
|The T-90 main battle tank is powered by the V-84MS four-stroke 12-cylinder multi-fuel Diesel engine delivering 840 hp. The engine operates on diesel fuel, kerosene grades T-2 and TS-1, and gasoline grade A-72. The capacity of main and auxiliary fuel tanks is 1,600 l, including 705 l in an armour protected fuel tank. More to that, two fuel drums, containing 200 l and 275, can be connected to the main fuel system. They are mounted at the rear of the hull. Suspension is of the torsion bar type and either side consists of six dual rubber-tyred road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and three track return rollers. Hydraulic shock-absorbers are provided at the first, second and sixth roadwheel stations.|
|The T-90 was the first main battle tank to be equipped with an optoelectronic countermeasures system Shtora-1, which reduces the probability of the tank being hit by semi-automatic laser-guided anti-tank weapons. The system also jams the enemy’s laser guidance and laser range-finding systems operating on similar physical principles. The system comprises an optoelectronic countermeasures station and a screen setting sub-system. Standard equipment includes NBC protection, fire detection and suppression system, nose-mounted dozer blade and a deep fording kit. To increase the operational range of the T-90, two diesel fuel drums can be carried under the hull rear. Mine clearing equipment of the KMT-7 or KMT-8 type can be mounted at the front of the hull. The standard equipment of T-90 also includes nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection systems. The T-90 can be fitted with a snorkel for deep fording. It takes the crew 20 minutes to prepare the T-90 for fording a water barrier with a depth of up to 5m.|
|One 125 mm smoothbore 2A46M gun, one PKT 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, one NSVT 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, 8x81 mm smoke grenade launchers||Composite armour, reactive armour ERA.|
|Algeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan||46,500 kg|
|Russia||60 km/h maximum road speed|
|Fire control system, NBC protection, fire detection and suppression system, nose-mounted dozer blade and a deep fording kit, optoelectronic countermeasures system Shtora-1, laser guidance and laser range-finding systems||550 km on the road|
|3||Length, 6.86 m hull; 9.53 m gun forward |
Width, 2.49 m; Height, 2.06 m
Pictures - Video