Russia Says T-90 Tank Is the Best on Earth: Ukraine Disagrees

T-90 tank from Russia
March 14, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: T-90 TankTanksT-90MRussiaWarMilitaryUkraineWar In Ukraine

Russia Says T-90 Tank Is the Best on Earth: Ukraine Disagrees

The Russian military recently bolstered its armored forces with a new delivery of T-90M "Proryv" main battle tanks (MBTs) from Rostec, the state aerospace and defense conglomerate.

Summary: The Russian military recently bolstered its armored forces with a new delivery of T-90M "Proryv" main battle tanks (MBTs) from Rostec, the state aerospace and defense conglomerate. This latest shipment aims to replenish units that have suffered losses in Ukraine, though the exact number of tanks in the batch remains undisclosed. Highlighting the continuous evolution of military technology, these modernized tanks come equipped with a suite of enhancements designed to increase crew survivability and combat effectiveness.

Russian state aerospace and defense conglomerate Rostec has reportedly delivered a new batch of T-90M “Proryv” main battle tanks (MBTs) to the Russian military. The shipment of the modernized tanks was meant to replace recent losses in Ukraine, but it is unclear how many MBTs were actually in the latest “batch.”

More importantly, Rostec announced that the newly supplied tanks feature a range of enhancements aimed at improving crew survivability and operational effectiveness in combat scenarios.

Improved Russian Design

The T-90M Proryv is the latest modernization variant of the Russian MBT that first entered into service in 1994.

Dylan Malyasov recently wrote in the Defence Blog that the T-90M Proryv tanks boast all-around protection and a modern, highly automated fire control system designed for 24/7 operation. Other upgrades to the Russian-made MBTs include an advanced turret, as well as enhancements to the powertrain, transmission system, and suspension, resulting in improved armor protection.

As previously reported by Harrison Kass for The National Interest, one area where the T-90M is superior to its predecessor is its armor. Whereas the T-90 relied upon Kontakt-5 armor, the M-variant will be encased within Relikt built-in Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA). ERA can protect against tandem warheads—and reduces the chance of penetration from armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds. Additional protective features include rubber side skirts, cage armor, and spall lining. To further protect the crew, the T-90M uses an NBC system, which uses tank interior sealing and overpressure generation to protect against mass destruction weapons.

The Proryv variant is armed with a 125mm 2A46M-4 smoothbore gun that is capable of firing standard ammunition as well as anti-tank guided missiles Refleks NATO Code AT-11 Sniper-B rounds. Secondary armament includes a remotely operated weapon station armed with an NSVT 12.7mm heavy machine gun and a 7.62mm PTKM coaxial machine gun. The T-90M’s configuration is similar to the previous models, with a driver compartment at the front, a turret at the center of the hull, and a power plant located at the rear. It is propelled by a 1000mm 12-cylinder engine, allowing it to reach speeds of 60 kilometers per hour on roads and 50 km off-road.

However, the T-90M has still been noted for inheriting many of the technical deficiencies typical of earlier Soviet-era tank designs, including those found in the T-72/80/90 family—notably the autoloader in the turret.

Yet, it was just last month that Russian president Vladimir Putin poured significant praise on the T-90 Proryv during a trip to Uralvagonzavod, while he also called for more advanced fighting vehicles.

“T-90 is the best tank in the world without any exaggeration. Our tankmen and the adversary recognize it as the best in the world,” Putin added while acknowledging that any military hardware can get outdated with time. “We have to think about new generations of hardware. The designers know what to make and are working already.”

In addition to the new batch of T-90Ms that Rostec has produced, it was further reported this week that India has already produced nearly 1,000 of the Russian-designed tanks under license.

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: [email protected].