T-90 Main Battle Tank


T-90 line drawing

The T-90 (Ob.188) MBT is the most modern tank currently in service with the Russian Army. It is a direct descendant of the T-72 MBT (in fact, a renaming of T-72BU) although every single system including the main gun has received a major upgrade.

The T-90 tank retains the basic national tank design concept, i.e. the classical layout, where the main armament is arranged within a rotating turret, the propulsion plant and transmission are located in the hull's rear, and the crew members are seated separately: the commander and the gunner sit in the fighting compartment, and the driver in the driver's compartment.

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In addition to the basic model, the T-90K command variant is fielded, and differs in radio and navigational equipment, as well as the Ainet remote-detonation system for HEF rounds.

The T-90 MBT, though the best armored and equipped of all Russian tanks, is only a stop-gap measure in conditions where the acceptance of a brand-new Nizhny Tagil MBT is delayed due to lack of funding.

The year 1999 saw the appearance of a new model of T-90, that features a fully welded turret instead of a cast one carried by the original T-90. This new model is called "Vladimir" in honour of T-90 Chief Designer Vladimir Potkin, who died in 1999. It is unknown how this design affects the protection and layout of the turret, and whether the frontal armor package was also extensively redesigned.

The contract is signed to ship 350 T-90 MBTs to India. These tanks will probably have an original cast turret, but their powerpack is replaced with a new 1000hp V-92S2 Chelyabinsk diesel. There are reports that these tanks will also feature advanced thermals.

T-90S at firing range
T-90S at firing range

T-90S on the march
T-90S on the march


T-90 in the air
T-90 on mobility demonstrations

T-90 turret closeup
T-90 turret closeup

T-90 Vladimir
T-90 Vladimir with a new welded turret

Dimensions:           L9,530/6,860 x W3,780 x H2,226 x 492 clearance
Weight:               46.5 .. 50 metric tons
Armored volume:       11.04 cub.m
   of which, turret:  1.85 cub.m
Crew:                 3
Engine:               840 hp V-84MS diesel or
                      1,000 hp V-92S2 diesel
                      1 kW AB-1-P28 auxiliary power unit
Max Road Speed:       65 km/h
Max X-country Speed:  45 km/h
Power/Weight:         18 .. 20.0 hp/tn
Ground Pressure:      0.91 kg/sq.cm
Range:                550 .. 650 km
Obstacle negotiation:
Fording depth:        1.2 m on the move/5 m with OPVT (snorkel)
Trench width:         2.8 m
Vertical obstacle:    0.85 m
Maximum gradient:     30°
Maximum tilt:         30°
Main Weapon:          125mm 2A46M-2 smoothbore
Stabilization:        2E42-4 Zhasmin
Rate of fire:         6-8 rounds/min
Ammunition:           43 rounds (22 in carousel)
Ammunition Types:     APFSDS, HEAT, HEF
ATGM through 125mm:   9M119M Refleks-M (AT-11 Sniper-B)
Machine Guns:         Coaxial PKT 7.62mm (2000 rounds)
                      Remotely-controlled AAMG mount Utjos NSVT 12.7mm (300 rounds)
Smoke Screens:        12 902B 82mm mortars with 3D17 smoke grenades
                      smoke discharger
Night Vision:         TO1-PO2T Agava-2 TI (target id range 2.5 km) or
                      TPN-4-49-23 Buran-PA (target id range 1.2/1.5 km)
Fire Control:         1A45T Irtysh computerized system
                      with 9S515 missile guidance system
Onboard sights and accuracy aids:
  Commander:          PNK-4S complex
                      includes TKN-4S Agat-S day/night sight
                      (target id range 800 m (day)/700 m (night))
  Gunner:             1V528-1 ballistic computer
                      1A43 rangefinder/sight
                      1G46 laying device
                      DVE-BS wind gauge
  Driver:             TVN-5 IR night viewer
Radio:                R-163-50U
                      R-163-50U + R-163-50K (T-90K)
Navigation:           TNA-4-3 (T-90K)
Jammers:              Shtora-1 EOCMDAS
                      Dazzle painting
Other:                NBC pressurization system, GO-27 NBC recon system,
                      3ETs13 Inej auto-fire-fighting equipment,
                      self-dig-in blade,
                      OPVT deep fording equipment,
                      mine clearing equipment (optional)
Front & side armor laminated;
front, side and top armor behind Kontakt-5 ERA
Armor rating, mm RHA: Front turret 54..76cm vs APFSDS; 80..122cm vs HEAT
                      Glacis       692cm vs APFSDS; 944cm HEAT