Tuesday, June 23, 2015

T-90 upgrade incoming

Is Russia planning an upgrade for the T-90? At least Russian news have indicated so:

Russia’s T-90 main battle tank will become the quickest-firing of its kind, Defense Ministry officials said on the sidelines of the Army 2015 International Expo on Thursday.
The upgraded T-90 will boast a new turret module and a new digital fire control system ensuring record-short intervals between shots.
Also on Thursday Russia’s arm manufacturers showcased the powerful Sunburn flame thrower capable of incinerating enemy position within seconds.
Visitors to the Army-2015 expo, including representatives of more than 70 countries, looking to buy state-of-the-art Russian military hardware, also had a chance to enjoy a close-up view of the Pantsir S-1 short to medium range missile and anti-aircraft artillery system designed to shoot down enemy aircraft, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs at low and extremely low ranges.
The Army-2015 expo opened on June 16, 2015 in Kubinka, outside Moscow.

Source: Sputniknews

As the author understand, the turret module will be similar to the turret of the T-90M. Depending on how far the T-90M turret module will be copied for the T-90 upgrade, this could be a considerable boost in combat performance.

T-90M technical data (in Russian)
The current Russian main battle tanks, the T-90 and T-90A, both utilize rather un-optimal turret designs. They follow the classical Soviet turret layout and have hence deficits in modern assymetrical warfare.
The original T-90 production model from 1992 is understood to utilize the turret from the late production T-72B fitted with the 1A45T fire control system. This 1A45T FCS is a modified form of the 1A45 fire control system, which was first introduced in service with the T-80U in 1985. It is outdated, as the low scores during international competitions (for example the Greek evaluation of the T-80U) and according to Russian sources the upgraded T-72B3 tank has a higher accuracy.
 Also the possible replacement of the Kontakt-5 ERA could be a huge improvment in terms of armor protection. Kontakt-5 is the current "backbone" of Russian tank armor, but it is also from 1985 and has been analyzed and tested by various Western nations. It is understood that it offers little to none protection against modern tandem warhead missiles and APFSDS ammunition.


  1. Little to none for Kontakt-5? LOL most modern ATGMs and the most recent Sabots but not the silver bullet, or the D-43 sabots nor any 2nd gen ATGMs. hell it took until the mid 90s for NATO to find a suitable penetrator to get through that AND the base T 80 armor and the T 90 armor is far thicker as govn't tests showed when a T 80U was badly damaged while the T 90 mostly remained unpenetrated except by the RPG 29.

    1. Kontakt-5 does offer little to none protection against modern weapons. You will not find any ATGM or APFSDS in the inventories of Germany, the UK, France or the United States, which does not have a tandem warhead (against which Kontakt-5 does offer no protection) or uses a top-attack configuration. This is the case for pretty much every missile since the late-1980s (Milan-2T, TOW-2, HOT-2 are examples of missile with no problems of defeating Kontakt-5, but were produced during the 1980s).
      The German DM43 ammunition (used with slightly different propellant in French since 1992 as OFL F1), the US .

      In fact modern RPGs such as the Panzerfaust-3IT have proven to penetrate Kontakt-5 and the turret armor of the T-80UD, which is improved over the armor of the T-80U. Early T-90 tanks however utilized the same armor as the T-72B, which was never on par with the T-80U(D).

      Kontakt-5 does only provide protection against at least two decades old ammunition.

  2. Well in Syria we now of 2 cases where the T-90 survived direct hit from TOW