T-90SM the new improved version of the best Russian MBT

The Russian T-90SM is almost a completely new tank, with an improved chassis and new modular turret  developed for the export market. It has new armour, a new main gun, new ammo storage, new Fire Control Systems, new engine and new countermeasure suite, to name a few.

T-90SM_-_RAE2013-04maxresdefaultt-90ms_81_20110921_2082084811maxresdefault (1)t-90ms_51_20110921_1898632592t-90_160914_10

First unveiled in 2011, its had a number of different names, in both the West and in Russia. it was initially called the T-90MS as well as the Uralvagonzavod MS. From 2013 it was called the T-90SM, as well as T-90S Modernized, as well as T-90C M or T-90CM and also SM-modern modernezirovat in Russian.

Developed and manufactured by Uralvagonzavod, the company call it the T-90SM and T-90S Modernized.


Russia’s mordenized T-90 gets new gun: Here


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.


Russian MoD unveils T-90M, T-80BVM MBTs: Here


Russia’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is preparing the upgraded T-80BVM and T-90M main battle tanks (MBTs) for trials, taking into account the results of the campaign in Syria, according to the head of the MoD’s main automotive armoured directorate, GABTU, Lieutenant General Alexander Shevchenko. “State trials of the modernised T-90M MBT are under way, while tests of the upgraded T-80BVM tank are being prepared,” he said.

At the Army-2017 exhibition held outside Moscow on 22-27 August, the MoD and the Uralvagonzavod research and manufacturing corporation, a subsidiary of Rostec, signed contracts worth over RUB24 billion (USD417 million) for the delivery of T-90M MBTs and Terminator tank support vehicles and contracts for the overhaul of the T-72, T-80BV (including a major upgrade), and T-90 tanks.

2A46M-5 main gun

The T-90SM has the latest version of the 2A6M 125mm smoothbore series, the 2A46M-5. The main gun enables the vehicle to fire 4 types of ammunition to engage targets at varying ranges.

1. HEF (High-Explosive Fragmentary) to a range of 12km
2. GM (Guided Missile) the Refleks anti-tank missile to a range of 5km
3. APDS (Armour-piercing discarding sabot) to a range of 3km
4. HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) to a range of 3km

slide_4Image:  Copyright © ComputerLand ltd

It has a fire rate of 8 rounds per minutes thanks to its autoloader, which carries 22 rounds of the 40 stored in the vehicle. The main gun now has a new stabilization system ensuring high hit rates whilst firing on the move.

9fa0f67f5824cccf575309cdadefd738slide_6Image:  Copyright © ComputerLand ltd


The T-90SM Tank: The Fire Control System is state of the art


The T-90SM Tank: Remote Weapon Station

t90ms_rwsImage – tanknutdave.com

The secondary armament is a Remote Weapon Station fitted with a 7.62mm Machine Gun. It is located on the Commander Independent Sight and Stabilised in both axis carrying 800 rounds. It has a full 360 degree traverse and 45 degree elevation for attacking low flying helicopters and is operated by the commander using his CIS. The vehicle also has a standard coaxial MG.





-Relikt ERA on glacis, turret and sides.

-Protection increase estimates:

2 times for CE (~800mm RHA at 0 per block)< K-5 offers 1.9~2 times for CE

1.5 times for KE (~350mm RHA at 0 per block)< K-5 offers 1.2 times for KE

-BTVT estimates T90A at 800-830 versus KE and 1150-1350 versus CE. with K-5 for thickest turret parts. Please note – btvt is likely to underestimate the T90A performance due to strong anti tagil bias

-With relikt, those numbers would be 1000-1038 KE and 1150-1350 for CE on the thickest part of the turret over what K-5 can offer.

-Relikt is Estimated to dissipate >0.6 (60%) of KE Rod energy

-RPG “nets” on engine and rear (turret and chassis) roof has a good slope, which increases both LOS thickness and ERA effectiveness.

Below is the approximate armoring breakdown for frontal projection.

R: ~1000-900mm KE O: ~890-660mm KE G: ~650->400mm KE W: Inert

T-90SM has internal thermal shields to reduce its thermal signature. Its modular armour includes ERA that  not only covers the frontal arc of the turret and hull, but extends along the sides of both sections of the tank as well as turret roof and cage armour is fitted to the rear of the hull protecting the engine compartment.

The countermeasure suite sensors detect if a laser range finder (used by tanks and anti-tank missiles launchers to aim at a tank) is pointing at the vehicle, it then alerts the crew and slays the turret round in the direct the laser is coming from.


The system fires an aerosol grenade that detonates creating a screen that is opaque to infrared light protecting the vehicle.

The T-90SM has an increased situational awareness to close threats thanks to 4 TV cameras mounted on the roof covering all angles of the vehicle.

The ammunition stowage is also new. Similar to the American Abram’s and Leopard 2, a new armoured bustle with blow out panels has been added to the rear of the turret for storing ammunition and the autoloaders armour has also been increased to eliminate the problem of ammunition cook off associated with old Russian autoloader tank design.

Breakdown of ammo storage, green is the relative positioning of the engine


-Most recent rounds available: 

3BM-48 “Svinets-1” APFSDS round (guaranteed 650mm KE at 0 at 2km);

3VOF-36 HE round (3.1kg of explosive);

3USh-3 “Ainet” AB round (500-400m radius at 9°pellet incidence)

3VBK-25 HEAT round (600mm HE at any range) 

3UBK-20M “Invar-M” TGM round (850mm HE after ERA, 900mm HE without ERA at any range)

Source battlefront.com

T-90MS_motoreausiliarioIt also has a collective PKUZ-1A NBC protection system for the crew and Electromagnetic protection system.

The additional equipment and protection of the T-90SM has increased the overall weight compared to the T-90S, so a new 1130 HP V-92S2F Diesel engine and automatic transmission has been installed with strengthening of the chassis.

V-92S2F Diesel engine


Top Road Speed 60 km/h
Max fording depth 1.8m
Max deep fording with USCE 5m

Source: Tank Nut Dave and ModDB

Updated Sep 16, 2017

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One thought on “T-90SM the new improved version of the best Russian MBT

  1. Jana Kravina

    Well done mighty Russia.
    The designers of Russia’s new Armata tank say it is equipped with advanced defence systems designed to knock incoming shells off target.



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