Russian T-90 Battle Tank to receive Armata Cannon

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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.

5 responses to “Russian T-90 Battle Tank to receive Armata Cannon

  1. The biggest problem the Russian tank force has faced since the end of the Cold War is a lack of standardisation with some units receiving updated tanks while others just have to make do. This was highlighted in the South Ossetia war with some upgraded T-72s actually being more adept at night fighting than the T-90 because they had more modern night vision devices. In the 9 years since then the Russians have gone a long way to address this problem

    • Standardisation really does seem to have improved the Russian tank force. In addition, the innovative T-14 seems to have changed the nature of tank design. A British Army intelligence report cited by the Telegraph stated that: “Without hyperbole, Armata represents the most revolutionary step change in tank design in the last half century,”. Although U.S. analysts note that many of the Armata’s advanced survivability features are drawn from the Israeli Merkava series. Nonetheless, the Russian seem to have advanced the state-of-the-art in terms of reactive armor and active protection. Indeed, if the Russian Afghanit active protection system works as advertised, the Armata could prove to be a serious problem for the West if it were ever produced in numbers. Thanks for your input mate.

    • It seems so Andy. Russia claims the tank’s main armament is twenty years ahead of comparable Western tank guns and renders existing NATO anti-tank weaponry obsolete. In response to the Armata, German Rheinmetall AG has developed a new 130mm L/51 tank gun, claiming it provides a 50% increased armor penetration over the 120mm L/55 in service with the Bundeswehr today. Additionally, Germany and France have joined efforts to develop an unspecified “main ground combat system” (MGCS) to compete with the technological advances of the Armata and replace both the Leclerc and Leopard 2 MBTs around 2030. The West are playing catch-up.

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