After the break of Soviet Union Russia was left alone to defend itself. Newly designed tank built by Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil was T-90.
All are familiar with well-known ancestor T-72 which was a starting build-off point for the new T-90 which became a Russian main battle tank in 1995.
In 1992 Russian Defense Ministry demanded a new tank to exchange expensive but more quality T-80 and cheaper but older T-72. Bothwere built at different plants which meant bigger costs.
Many models of T-90 were built for different purposes.
T-90 is standing for an original production model, T-90K and T-90SK were a command version of T-90, T-90E and T-90S were made for export, T-90A army version with welded turret.
They came in four variations for different purposes and demands.
BREM-72 as an armored recovery vehicle, MTU-90 was a bridge layer tank, IMR-3 as combat engineer vehicle and BMR-3 as mine clearing vehicle.
The 2A46M 125mm smoothbore gun was T-90’s main armament. This gun was also used in older T-80 tanks. It is capable of firing different missiles for different purposes: armor piercing discarding sabot, high explosive anti tank missiles, high explosive ammunition and 9M119M Refleks anti tank guided missiles which operate with a semi automatic laser beam and hollow charge HEAT warhead. Being effective in ranges up to six kilometers it can take out almost any armor. Even helicopters cannot escape its fire power, with Korn 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun it can take out any low flying aircraft or helicopter.
T-90 is operated by crew of three people (commander, gunner and driver). It uses an automatic missile loader which removes the need for a manual loader. Automatic loader can load a round every 4-5 seconds and it can carry up to 22 ready to fire missiles.
T-90 can operate during the day or night by using night sighting system mounted at commanders station which allows him to operate the tank at night. It also uses the ESSA thermal imaging sight which allows commander to engage in action at a range from 5km to 8km.
T-90 is protected by a mixture of modern armor: steel armor plating, explosive reactive armor Kontakt-5 and composite armor. Explosive reactive armor is also placed on the top of the tank to defend itself from air attacks. When using Kontakt-5 the T-90 is very tricky to penetrate. No RPG, anti tank guided missile or KE (kinetic energy) penetrator can harm T-90.
One of the main improvements in Russian tanks is a Shtora-1 suite which includes two infrared jammers, four laser warning receivers, two aerosol grenade discharging systems and new control system. It warns the commander if the tank has been locked-on by a weapon- guidance system.
Weight: 46.5 tones
Length: 9.53 m (31.27 ft)
Width: 3.78 m (9.12 ft)
Height: 2.22 m (7.28 ft)
Crew: 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
Classified steel-composite-reactive blend
Primary armament: 125 mm smoothbore gun
Secondary armament: 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun
84 V-84 diesel
V-92 12-cyl. diesel
V-96 12-cyl. diesel
Operational range: 650 km
Max Speed: 65 km/h