Sputnik News, 26 February 2017
The latest modernization of Russia’s main battle tank, the T-90, will embrace the firepower capabilities of the advanced T-14 Armata. The Uralvagonzavod machine building company recently published the tank’s photo for the first time.
“The T-90M will receive a modernized smoothbore 125mm 2A82-1M cannon, the one used in the Armata, and a new fire control system characterized by a higher precision and a higher rate of fire, and its barrel durability will be increased up to 900 shots,” Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov told Zvezda TV.
The gun is 20 percent more precise and has 17 percent more muzzle energy (a firearm’s destructive potential is directly proportional to this factor) than the rival model on Germany’s Leopard 2 battle tank. The automatic loading mechanism allows for the use of projectiles up to one meter long, such as the armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS) called Vacuum-1, which is used in the Armata.
The T-90M’s ammunition load totals 45 projectiles. In addition to shells, the modernized tank is capable of firing Invar and Invar-M tandem-charge guided missiles, which are said to be able to effectively penetrate the protective shielding of all existing and prospective armor vehicles used by foreign armies.
The tank is now protected from enemy fire with the Malakhit reactive armor and the Afghanit active protection system, which were designed for the Armata family of vehicles. Reactive armor is in essence an extra layer of metal “bricks” covering a vehicle’s parts, which bear the main weight of a shell’s hit and cushion its destructive effect. In its turn, the active protection system can “blind”, deflect and strike down an enemy missile or other anti-tank weapon.
The lower part of the turret is now additionally protected by slat armor, shielding it from anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades. The surveillance means of the tank’s commander and the gun sighter allow for an equally efficient search for targets day and night, in motion or in a stationary position.
According to Leonkov, Russia is going to upgrade 400 T-90 battle tanks to the T-90M level.
Thanks to the Armata “refresh pack”, the Russian main battle tank will be able to conduct even more effective combat operations in different weather conditions and strike targets despite stiff enemy resistance.
The family of Armata platform-based military vehicles is the latest achievement of Russian armor engineers.