T-90A Russian MBT


Main battle tank’s T-90 construction embodies the best main battle tank T-72B and T-80U design solutions and the best layout and structural features. From T-72B it got reliable and well recommended chassis, from T-80U – turret with armament and fire control systems. A number of constructional decisions were made using modern combat experience and reorientation to Russian complement.


Main battle tank has classic arrangement, with rear placed engine and transmission. Tanks crew consists from commander, gunner and driver-mechanic.

Driver is placed in hull’s front part under his hatch in separate driving compartment. He is fitted with wide view optical system. Tank’s commander and gunner are placed in rotating armored turret, in combat compartment. Commander is placed right from main gun and gunner – left.

T-90©Copyright 2008 Prime Portal All Rights Reserved

T-90 armor is made from filled multi-layer combined armor, with built-in dynamic defense “Kontakt-5”, which consists from eight sections in upper hull’s frontal armor and three anti-cumulation screens from each side.

©Copyright 2008 Prime Portal All Rights Reserved

Low silhouette turret has built-in seven blocks and one container. 20 more containers are placed on the turret roof. Last mentioned provide protection from helicopters, attack aircrafts and perspective anti-tank missiles, defeating tank threw it’s turret’s roof.

During a reported test conducted by the Russian military in 1999 the T-90 was exposed to a variety of RPG, ATGM and APFSDS munitions. When equipped with Kontakt-5 ERA the T-90 could not be penetrated by any of the APFSDS or ATGM used during the trial and outperformed a T-80U which also took part. During combat operations in Dagestan, there were witness accounts of one T-90 sustaining seven hits from RPGs, and remaining in action.

T-90MS has ‘Relict’ ERA. Relict defends against tandem warheads and reduces penetration of APFSDS rounds by over 50 percent.

Export of Russian Tanks double due to successful performance in Syria: Here

Russian tank T-90 can defeat most of modern anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM): Here

What a T-90 Tank Looks Like After Being Hit With a TOW Missile: Here

Missile hit location where there are no ERA


After the missile hit the crew climbing out of the tank



©Copyright 2008 Prime Portal All Rights Reserved(Gunner seat) @vitalykuzmin.net(Commander seat) @vitalykuzmin.net

Additional defense is provided by TShU-2 “Shtora” optical-electronical countermeasure complex. This complex decreases anti-tank guided missile, with half automatic guiding system, hit probability in 70 – 75% and makes strays for laser guided systems and laser based rangefinders. Complex consists from optical-electronical suppression station TShU-1 and aerosol screen making device.

Shtora-1 system

The Shtora-1 armoured fighting vehicle defence system has been developed by the Zenit Research and Production Corporation to increase the battlefield survivability of vehicles against attack from Anti-Tank Guided Weapons (ATGWs) with a Semi-Automatic Command to Line Of Sight (SACLOS) guidance system as well as missiles and artillery projectiles that use laser illumination.

The complete Shtora-1 system comprises four key components:

(1) electro-optical interference station comprising jammer, modulator and control panel with a total

weight of 80 kg. Typically an MBT would have two of these with one jammer being mounted either side of the main armament pointing forwards

(2) bank of grenade dischargers mounted either side of the turret firing forwards capable of firing grenades dispensing an aerosol screen, weight 115 kg

(3) laser warning system with precision and coarse heads weighing 20 kg each

(4) control system with a total weight of 15 kg comprising control panel, microprocessor and manual screen laying panel; this processes the information from the sensors and activates the aerosol screen laying system.

The laser warning system detects the threat laser system and automatically orientates the turret in the direction of the threat. It then triggers the grenade launchers creating an offboard aerosol screen. The composition of this cloud is claimed to screen the tank against laser range-finders and designators and is also claimed to be sufficiently hot to seduce infra-red homing weapons away from the MBT.

The jammer, which is designated the TShU1-7, introduces a spurious signal into the guidance circuitry of the incoming ATGW through the use of coded pulsed infra-red jamming signals continuously generated. It is claimed to be effective against Western ATGWs such as the TOW, HOT, MILAN and Dragon as well as Eastern ATGWs such as the AT-3 ‘Sagger’.

The TShU1-7 has a specified life of 1,000 hours, a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 250 hours and a radiation source life of 50 hours. It operates from a 27 V DC power supply with the infra-red jamming source consuming 1 kW of power.

In addition to being used to jam incoming ATGWs, the manufacturer claims that the TShU1-7 system has a target illuminating capability, including for night vision devices.

Shtora-1 has three methods of operation:

(1) fully automatic

(2) semi-automatic, target designation

(3) manual and emergency mode.

According to the manufacturer, the installation of the Shtora-1 system on an MBT reduces the target hit probability by the following factors:

(1) TOW and Dragon ATGWs, Maverick, Hellfire and Copperhead laser seeker systems by 4 to 5 times

(2) MILAN and HOT ATGWs by about 3 times

(3) artillery and tank projectiles fired from systems with laser range-finders by about three times.

Last mentioned consist from two modules (infrared flashlights) placed in turret’s frontal part and making coded infrared signals, preventing correct missiles guidance. Aerosol system registers irradiance by laser sight, designates irradiation source location, chooses on from 12 smoke grenade launcher placed from both turret sides, makes electric signal proportional to angle needed to turn turret with grenade launchers, and fires aerosol grenade on 55 m distance. This measure provides protection from laser guided anti-tank missiles.

902B “Tuchia” smoke grenade launchers

Smoke grenade launcher ©Copyright 2008 Prime Portal All Rights Reserved

As much as aerosol screen devices are used from 902B “Tuchia” smoke grenade launchers, it makes available to use smoke grenades ZD6 covering tank from visual and infrared notifying.

Smoke screens can be also set with thermo smoke device, generating smoke from fuel.

In addition to the passive and active protection systems the T-90 is also fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection equipment, KMT mine sweeps and an automatic fire suppression system. The EMT-7 electromagnetic-counter mine system can also be installed on the T-90. EMT-7 emits an electromagnetic pulse to disable magnetic mines and disrupt electronics before the tank reaches them. The Nakidka signature reduction suite is also available for the T-90. Nakidka is designed to reduce the probabilities of an object to be detected by Infrared, Thermal, Radar-Thermal, and Radar bands.

125 mm 2A46 series of smoothbore guns

2a46m-1Image @kotsch88.de

The 125 mm 2A46 series of smoothbore tank guns which are also referred to as the D-81TM. This family includes the 2A46M and 2A46M1, all of which fire the same natures of separate loading ammunition. It has no muzzle brake but has a bore evacuator and is fed by an automatic loader using a 24-round carousel system. A light alloy thermal sleeve is usually fitted. Maximum effective target ranges are around 4,000 m using APFSDS and HEAT rounds and 5,000 m using HE fragmentation rounds.

In addition to firing a complete family of separate loading ammunition (projectile and charge), some 2A46 smoothbore gun installations have a different fire-control system that also allows them to fire a 125 mm laser-guided anti-tank projectile, details of which are given in the Vehicle-mounted anti-tank guided weapons section.

Like other modern Russian tanks the 2A46M in the T-90 is fed by an automatic loader which removes the need for a manual loader in the tank and reduces the crew to 3 (commander, gunner, and driver). The autoloader can carry 22 ready-to-fire rounds in its carousel and can load a round in 5–8 seconds. It has been suggested that the automatic loaders on modern T-90 tanks have been modified to take advantage of newer ammunition such as the 3BM-44M APFSDS

Main armament is 2A46M, 125-mm mm smoothbore gun. It is fitted with two plane stabilizer 2Je42-4 and automatic reloading mechanism. To increase fire accuracy and prevent overheating barrel is fitted with dismantling 4-section thermal sleeve.

9K119M “Refleks”

Ammunition load is similar to T-80U and contains armor-piercing, cumulative and high explosive-fragmentation projectiles. Furthermore there was developed high explosion-fragmentation projectile with electric remote detonator. Ammunition load also contains 9K119M “Refleks” complex (Nato codename AT-11 “Sniper”) anti-tank guided missiles. Missile flying range is 4 000 m what allows T-90 to defeat the biggest part of enemy tanks and helicopters without entering their reach ability limit.

 BM-42 APFSDS projectile

BM-42 APFSDS projectile. Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot tracer or APFSDS-T rounds. Typically used against other modern tanks.

Unidentified Russian 125mm APFSDS round

The 3VBM-13 was first produced in 1985. It is one of a family of armour piercing rounds produced for T-64B, T-72, T-80 and T-90 tanks. Earlier rounds were produced with tungsten and steel penetrators.

Ammunition for this family of tanks comprises a separate projectile assembly and charge (see picture below of an unidentified Russian APFSDS round). The projectile for the 3VBM-13 round is known as the 3BM-32. The 3BM-32 is 486mm long, and weighs 7.05 kg.

The 3VBM-13 grew out of a research project known as ‘Vant’, and was the first Soviet DU round. When fired it is said to have a muzzle velocity of 1,700 m/s and penetrate 250mm of rolled homogeneous armour at a 60° angle and range of 2,000m. (bandepleteduranium.org)

File:125mm BK-14m HEAT.JPG125mm BK-14m HEAT-High-explosive anti-tank fin stabilised or HEAT-FS rounds Typically used against lighter or older tanks andArmoured personnel carriers.

Tank has modernized fire control complex 1A45 which contains fire control system 1A42, guided missile complex 9K119, commanders observation complex PNK-4S, guiders laser sight-rangefinder 1G46 and tank’s thermo vision complex TO1-PO2T. Necessary target pointing data is provided by ballistic computer 1B528-1 with input information sensors. Overall fire control system allows to defeat targets at day-night conditions by artillery fire in movement and guided missiles – from short stops.

7.62-mm coaxial machine gun PKT


7.62-mm coaxial machine gun PKT  – PKMT 7.62mm (7.62×54mmR) coaxial machine gun weighs about 10.5 kg while the ammunition box carries 250 rounds (7,000 rounds carried) and weighs an additional 9.5 kg.

12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun NSVT

12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun NSVT Antiaircraft machine gun mount is of independent type with remote electromechanical control of 12.7-mm antiaircraft machine gun 6FI49 fitted, on it. Aiming device PZU-7 has magnification of 1.2x. Protected antiaircraft machine gun mount is used for hitting ground light-armoured targets, enemy manpower and for defense against air attacks. The NSV 12.7mm (12.7×108) remotely controlled anti-aircraft heavy machine gun can be operated from within the tank by the commander and has a range of 2 km and a cyclic rate of fire of 700–800 rounds per minute with 300 rounds available (the NSV was replaced by the Kord heavy machine gun in the late 1990s).

Main battle tank’s addition armament consists from 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun PKT and 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun NSVT, placed in anti-aircraft closed type device with fire control system 1C29, stabilized in vertical plane. This system allows commander to fire with closed hatch. (the NSV was replaced by the Kord heavy machine gun in the late 1990s).

Air-conditioning system

Air-conditioning system

Tank’s chassis is constructional similar to T-72B chassis. Suspension consists from six large rubber-laid bearing rolls, directing and tracking spider and supporting rolls from each side. First, second and sixth bearing rolls are fitted with absorbers. From the sides tracks and suspension are covered with anti-cumulative screens.

Speed and maneuverability characteristics are the same as T-72B. Main battle tank’s T-90 export modification T-90S is fitted with increased power multi-fuel 1 000 h.p. diesel engine with gas turbine injection. Tank is fitted with air conditioning system for work in high temperature zones.

V-96 Engine

V-92S2 Turbodiesel

T-90 tank has typical drivetrain arrangement, with rear placed engine and transmission. The 1,000 hp (750 kW) engines are V-92 four stroke, 12 cylinder, multi-fuel diesel. The 1,000 hp (750 kW) engines are V-92 four stroke, 12 cylinder, multi-fuel diesel while 1,250 hp (930 kW) engine is V-96.

T-90 hull’s frontal part is fitted with retraceable device and mine trawl KMT-6 connection hardpoints.

On main battle tank’s T-90 base there was also developed T-90SK – command version intended for export. It has additional three channel communication (reaches 50 – 250 km range marching) and unremitting tank’s coordinates receiving and indication equipment.


T-90/A/M specifications

Dimensions (L-w-h) 6.55(9,530 oa) x 2.32 x 2.04 m (21.4 x 7.6 x 6.7 in)
Total weight, battle ready 45.7 Tonnes (xxxxx lbs)
Crew 3 (TC, driver, gunner)
Propulsion See notes. V-84/92/96 12-cyl. diesel 840/940/1250 hpPower/weight 18.1/20.4/26.3 hp/ton
Top Speed (dep. of engine) 42-65 km/h (37-40 mph)
Range (dep. of engine) 550-700 km (340-430 mi)
Armament Main: 2A46 125 mm sb gun + ATGM
Secondary: 12.7mm Kord Heavy machine gun, 7.62mm PKMT
Armor See notes. Dolly Parton+ERA Kontakt 5+Shtor
Total production Approx. 2260
126421-1-fWith increase protection

Source: vitalykuzmin.net/army-guide.com/primeportal.net/wikiwand.com/from the net/ofanov.armor.kiev.ua

Updated Jan 19, 2017


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