With New Upgrades, Have The T-90 Tanks Become The World’s Deadliest Main Battle Tanks?

The new T-90M “Proryv-3” battle tank is a faster, deadlier, and more survivable armored vehicle than its earlier version. The latest Russian tank offers enhanced protection against anti-tank guided missiles or ATGMs. The Indian version of T-90 is known as ‘Bhishma’

The third-generation T-90 tank, which has remained in service with more than 10 nations, has been one of the most reliable battle tanks in recent history. However, with the advancements in technology, there had been an urgent need to modernize the tank.

The new T-90M “Proryv-3” tank reportedly boasts an array of advanced features, making it much sturdier, faster, and more lethal.

File:T-90M.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
T-90M tank

Besides, it reportedly possesses an enhanced ability to protect itself against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) in a more efficient manner, thereby improving its overall survivability.

Nicknamed Proryv-3, which translates to ‘Breakthrough-3’, the tank will be the most upgraded variant of the export version of the T-90MS Main Battle Tank (MBT).

The modernization of the T-90 tank comes in the backdrop of Russia’s ambitious project of developing the next generation T-14 Armata MBT.

On March 1, the manufacturer of the T-90M ‘Proryv’ MBT, Uralvagonzavod defense manufacturer, part of the state-owned Rostec, delivered the modern tanks to the Russian Army.

“Uralvagonzavod has dispatched a batch of T-90M ‘Proryv’ tanks to the customer,” said the press office of the enterprise.

The T-90M Proryv surpasses the capabilities of its predecessor. It does that by keeping key advantages of the previous model such as exceptional reliability and the minimum amount of maintenance in its operation.

Several design tweaks and performance improvements can be seen in the new tank. Also, it has been outfitted with a new turret that features a powerful 125m cannon. It allows the use of new highly powerful munitions and missiles that can target and strike enemy tanks at a distance of up to 5 kilometers.

The T-90M’s turret has been significantly updated and offers the new “Kalina” fire control system with an integrated targeting suite. It makes use of the new 2A46M-5, which is the latest version of the Soviet-era 2A46 line of 125 mm smoothbore guns.

In addition, the new tank is powered by an engine that offers a notable performance boost, with 1,130 hp V-92S2F replacing the 840 hp V-84MS that was used for the original T-90 tank. The new engine is said to have a more favorable power/weight ratio.

“These combat vehicles have a fundamentally new turret and a more powerful engine. They are equipped with a new multi-channel sight, which ensures the use of weapons at any time of day, and one of the main features of the modernized tank is the ability to exchange data with other vehicles in real-time,” said Lieutenant General Sergey Kisel of the Russian Army.

As per reports, the T-90M tank has been produced for domestic use. However, the T-90 platform itself has several export versions including the cost-effective T-90S and more advanced T-90MS.

While the T-90S tanks have been exported to the developing world, the T-90MS tanks have been exported to India.

T-90 Bhishma tank

India, which is a key operator of the T-90 tank, has its own version of the sturdy tanks, known as the T-90 Bhishma tanks.

The Bhishma tanks are the modernized variant of the T-90s. The Indian tanks are armed to teeth as their main armament is the 2A46M 125mm smoothbore tank gun which can fire all types of anti-tank rounds.

It includes lethal armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) and barrel launched Refleks anti-tank guided missiles. On the other hand, the T-90M tanks have a more versatile main armament and can fire several different types of munitions.

These include high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT-FS), and high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG), and armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds, as well as guided anti-tank missiles.

The latest tanks abandon the Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor (ERA) of its predecessor and use the newer and more capable Relikt ERA system instead.

The Relikt offers up to 50% enhanced protection against certain types of projectiles, which include anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and shaped charges.

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