Video: Russia’s T-90M Main Battle Tank

Check out this video of the T-90M, the latest version of Russia’s most modern combat tank. The T-90M features a host of upgrades over its predecessor the T-90S.

Here are those upgrades according to a tipster:

  • Improved front and side armor protection against kinetic energy and high-energy anti-tank rounds.
  • New V-93 1130hp diesel engine.
  • A new version of the Kontakt-5 reactive armor that covers a greater portion of the tank.
  • New “Kalina” automatically target tracking system using a new THALES-made thermal-imaging camera that is integrated with the Sozvezdie tactical battle management system.
  • New 2A82 125mm main gun — abandoning the continuously upgraded 2A46 series.
  • A commander’s independent thermal viewer linked to a 7.62mm machine gun.
  • New communications systems.
  • Active Suspension Control.
  • Anti-RPG grills.
  • Laser warning receivers and the “Shtora” laser and EO/IR rangefinder countermeasure.
  • Safer turret ammunition stowage compartment.
  • GLONASS and GPS satellite navigation system as well as an inertial navigation system.

Click through the jump for the video:

  • Christopher Bloom

    Link won’t work.

  • blight
    • Stratege

      Maybe i am wrong, but the video is speeded up in the part with rotation turret ???

  • Tim

    According to some sources, even the Russian military don’t want their new tank because, in order to keep strapping on “new updates” to match or appear to better than the Western counterparts, the tank became much more expensive and less reliable than actually buying the Western tank itself.

    India is starting to slip away from the Russian’s grip due to their high promises and low delivery.

    • Stratege

      Russians still have not yet decided about the future of T-90M in Russian army. I am very doubt that the heavy mod of T-90 is more expensive than Western tanks. More likely it would have half price of the latest Leo2.
      India is not starting to slip away from the Russian tank supplies. They are still producing their licensed T-90s. Their Arjun is clearly disaster.

      • http://major.rod major.rod

        HALF the cost? Where did you get that from?

        • Stratege

          That’s nothing more than assumption

        • jhm

          t90s 2.2 million?
          leopard 2, 5.7 million
          t90m 4.5 million?

    • Tribulationtime

      HA HA HA Man don´t believe all what Putin say you by the phone. But yes it s true!! They want buy Chieftains MTB to Jordan or Challenger MTB to UK cause Israel don´t want shell theirs “Tirans” MTB. Russian future objetive is ride horses again and shell the oil overseas.

    • Anton

      It is not like that, the problem is not that it became very expensive, but because there are already new platforms being under development which will be on track few years later. In this respect Russian MoD believes it is more feasible to run the slight modernization of the existing tank park and than to shift to entirely new platform. Of course some of the deatures shown on T90MS (battle module) are likely to be on the new machine, but I believe there will be very critical differences which in fact are awaited by MoD. As for India, it may be just lobby, as everywhere else)

  • Jazzism

    The problems in developing cutting edge new war equipment is not just a problem in the US but other big powers as well. Imagine that.

    • Bill

      but it comes with that sweet soundtrack

  • So?

    A WWII 500 kg bomb fitted with a modern guidance kit doesn’t care if it’s a T-90M, an M1 or a King Tiger for that matter. Tank vs tank is history. When peers fight, whoever wins in the air, wins period. Modern tanks should be optimised for blocking, mopping up insurgents. i.e. HE capability, large ammo capacity, maximum protection against HEAT and mines. Mobile checkpoints. Merkava is the probably the closest to the ideal.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      Tank vs. tank is history? Heard that before… It was said when nukes were developed. They were wrong. It was said when guided AT missiles showed on the scene. They were wrong there also. Want to dry double jeaprdy where the scores can really

      Merkavas are from from mobile checkpoints and I’d be very interested on how you’d proposed efending against 40lb antitank mines let along buried 152mm shells.

      I sense you’re an airpower aficionado. During the Gulf War and Iraq armored vehicles on the ground killed the majority of enemy armor. Study and LEARN from history, otherwise you are doomed to repeat it.

      • So?

        1973 and 1991 were simply portent of things to come. Now every bomb can be a smart bomb. Merkava can probably be made even better by optimising for HEAT protection. Replacing the smooth-bore 120 mm with a rifled 105 mm. Flood the area with UAVs and UGVs, and IEDs are history.

        • http://major.rod major.rod

          The comment below by TMB attests to how that “portent” thing went. You also igored the armor that was destroyed in Baghdad or by Roughneck 91.

          The enemy isn’t going to just sit and allow UAV’s to take them out. You do realize we won’t befighting the taliban & insurgents forever? Furthermore UAVs have not proven themselves in contested or even a semi permissive arial environment. You might want to reconsider your opinion. While your at it figure out how to determine if a tank has been knocked out or not and the impact of decoys.

          BTW, we went from rifled 105mm to smoothbore 120mm in the M1 because of the 120mm’s superiority. Your lack of knowledge of the ground aspect of combat is showing.

          • So?

            Firearms co-existed with cross-bows, full-plate armor for some time. And heavy cavalry had major successes now and then during the transitional period. But muskets and cannons won out in the end anyway. The same will happen with UVs.

            Would the 1991 war have been won without total victory in the air? Tanks without fuel and crews without food are just about useless, and this is what control of the air gives you.

            120mm is obviously the superior anti-tank gun, but not as an all-purpose gun (fewer munitions).

          • PMI

            “Would the 1991 war have been won without total victory in the air?”

            -Unequivocally yes.

          • So?

            With Iraqi air force given free rein?

          • Chimp

            Let’s give it a whirl. You can have your missiles (you know, there’s a reason they aren’t called “hittiles”)and drones, and I’ll have Challenger 2’s unmasking and advancing at speed on your position, firing on the move.

            A brown alert moment (which is one higher than red alert…).

          • So?

            Over 100 kms of desert?

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            No doubt its great to have air superiority. Having been a first hand customer of A10/F16 & rotary wing CAS I have a great respect for it.

            Would desert storm been possible without a complete mastery of the air? Likely. Our ground to air capability isn’t anything to sneeze at. The Patriot is deadly.

            What has no doubt is war would in no way have been succcesful and much more expensive without the overwhelming superiority on the ground.

            Airpower is great. It isn’t decisive and that’s a historic fact (much longer than robots).

    • TMB

      “At the beginning of the war, I had 36 tanks. After a month of bombing, I had 32. After 20 minutes against the 1st Cav, I had none.” Iraqi Tank Battalion Commander captured during Desert Storm.

      • Warfighter

        That is a great quote TMB.

        Remember the Kosovo air campaign. Look at Taliban in Afghanistan. Low tech foes are still finding ways to spoof and hide against our supremely powerful sensors using low tech solutions. If you can’t find the enemy, you can’t drop a PGM on them.

        I suspect that despite near miraculous improvements in sensors and precision-guided weapons, there will always appear a new counter measure which will return the relevance to more conventional weapon systems, albeit in a slightly modified role or application.

        Until we start developing intelligent hunter-killer swarms of nano-robots which can give people a stroke without even knowing they’re in the environment…

        • So?

          Kosovo was a victory.

          Taliban is simply a matter of political will. Russia has been struggling in the North Caucus for over 15 years. Yet in 1944 the whole population of Chechnya was deported to Kazakhstan in a few months. No helicopters, PGMs, night vision equipment required.

          You can’t have an insurgency, if you round up the whole population.

          • TMB

            Kosovo: 38,000 sorties (10,000 strike sorties), 20,000 weapons released (almost all guided) over 78 days which got us: 500 armored vehicles, 200 artillery pieces, 55 bridges, 17 airfields, and a handful of hospitals, railways, refineries, and other infrastructure. Those equipment numbers constituted about a third of the Serbian Army’s toys. We hit a lot of decoys or nothing at all because we couldn’t find them.

          • So?

            a) NATO was holding back.
            b) In fact a lot less Serbian equipment was destroyed. The number of tanks destroyed was more like in dozens. But it doesn’t matter. Political goals were met. That’s all that counts.

          • BlackHeart

            out of all the information these guys have giving you. You still don’t get it…

          • So?

            Explicate for me, I’m stupid.

          • Chimp

            Now I agree with you.

          • So?

            Monkey see, monkey do.

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            True, we did hold back. If we wanted a decisive battle we would have committed ground forces whose threat on the border caused Kosovo to blink.

          • So?

            And had the Serbs had cruise missiles capable of hitting Aviano, there would have been no war to begin with.

          • Tribulationtime

            Yes and No. Politics or Warfare? what do you talking about? The Pope stopped Atila at the Rome gates and He wasn ‘t better than Attila´s horse for a ride….I suppouse

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            “You can’t have an insurgency, if you round up the whole population.”

            Uh, didn’t work too well for the Russians in Afghanistan. Hmmmm, think troops required, mountains and Pakistan might have something to do with that?

          • warfighter

            Uhh…comment deleted by administrator the second I posted it? What gives?

          • warfighter

            Not to mention that although Chechnya does not figure in the news in the West, the problems are far from resolved and violence still flares up today.

            You can’t deport thousands of people without expecting the sort of anger to erupt which leads to violence which can’t be quelled by bombs and airpower.

            Modern war is about the measured application of force. Not holding back leads to the sort of barbarism which marked the middle ages. Following your line of thought, So?, we might as well just launch nukes every time a minor quarrel erupts somewhere, otherwise, we are holding back invaluable strike power.

            Of course, that’s a great way to get labelled as the ‘bad guy’ in a conflict, and end up with a strategic defeat despite wiping the enemy (and everybody else) off the face of the map.

            Having been a customer of air power like maj.rod as well as close to the receiving end of it, I can appreciate how powerful an asset it is and will continue to be. However, it alone is not a panacea.
            Saying airpower will solve all issues is like saying tanks will solve all issues. The argument doesn’t stand up on its own. Air power has strengths and weaknesses, just like ground forces do. That is why we operate in joint and combined arms organizations which allow us to balance off strengths against weaknesses for the best possible effect on the opposition.

          • So?

            Filtration camps are not nukes, and nukes won’t do much good in that kind of mountainous terrain anyway. I gather you prefer decades of hand-wringing vs a couple of years of media outrage. The public has the attention span of a gnat.

          • So?

            The USSR was simply gutless wrt Pakistan. They should have cut a deal with India and corrected that geopolitical anomaly once and for all. It’s not too late for America.

  • Black Owl

    Hot damn! That thing is a BEAST! It’s just as good as the M1A2 Abrams with the TUSK system. Now we need a patch for all our brand new Battlefield 3 games to make them current.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      Reminds me of a story…

      Back in a makeshift PX two months after the Gulf War I remember two Russian officers (UN Peacekeepers) buying everything of value in sight. Young sergeant walked up to them and asked if they were Russians. They nodded yes. The Sergeant then said, “Love your tanks, they burn really bright”.

      As the only US officer present, I had to bite my tongue and leave, I drew blood I wanted to laugh so badly.

      • Black Owl

        You just made my day. I needed a laugh.

        • BlackHeart

          Roger That, LMAO!

      • John

        Now thats funny!

  • http://major.rod major.rod

    Reminds me of a story…

    Back in a makeshift PX two months after the Gulf War I remember two Russian officers (UN Peacekeepers) buying everything of value in sight. Young sergeant walked up to them and asked if they were Russians. They nodded yes. The Sergeant then said, “Love your tanks, they burn really bright”.

    As the only US officer present, I had to bite my tongue and leave, I drew blood I wanted to laugh so badly

    • Bent

      What, as in the Iraqi T-72s? as in, tanks made in 1970 and probably refitted to 90s tech at the latest? Yeah I’m real surprised a completely refitted Abrams with recon scout spotters, and full communications and battlefield awareness could take one out…

      Now lets put one of these T-90s against a Panama-era M-60 and see what happens…

      Not saying Russian tanks are better, but I am saying Americans can make some really douchey jokes sometimes.

      • http://major.rod major.rod

        Uh, you may not know it but the M1 was 70’s tech.

        BTW, in the early 90’s the enemy had scouts also. We didn’t have digital or freq hopping commo or battlefield awareness. Heck, we only had one GPS per COMPANY and we only got them a week before we crossed into Iraq! Most of us were still trying to figure out how to turn them on.

      • Ethan

        Agree there. Export model tanks and that’s a measure or Russian metal? America is always setting itself up for a shock loss. Like Afghanistan….

        • blight

          I’m amazed you didn’t try to spin Vietnam as a “loss”; or Korea.

          I imagine the whole “monkey model” thing was well-known, especially when one compared the quality of defector aircraft from the Soviet union proper and those by client states.

          Then again, measuring performance of equipment used by client states is a poor measure: Pakistan, our indifferent ally fought several wars with India using American gear, as did the late Republic of Vietnam, which lost because they ran out of supplies before they ran out of equipment.

      • PMI

        1st Tank Battalion was still riding M-60A1s….they chewed through T-72s just as easily and were an even older design.

        • So?

          I don’t think they met T-72s.

          • Stratege

            It’s doesn’t matter.
            Iraq never had real T-72s.

          • William C.

            The bulk or Iraqi T-72s were the original T-72 export variant. This was quite similar to the original T-72 “Ural” introduced in the early ’70s.

            They also had some T-72Ms which featured early laser rangefinders and some other upgrades.

            The best model they had was the T-72M1, which was very close to the T-72A and featured additional composite armor, improved fire control systems, etc.

            Information regarding the Iraqi built “Lion of Babylon” is rather conflicting. Seems it was generally comparable to the T-72M1, minus the laser rangefinder but with some sort of EO jammer and local modifications.

            Supposedly Iraq tried to buy some T-72S models (export T-72B), but I don’t know if they got these.

            They probably captured some M-84AB models from Kuwait too. I have no idea if they were used against the US or not.

          • PMI

            I know for a fact that they did. Most engagements were with 55s & 62s but they did meet T-72s when 5th Mech counterattacked on day two.

            I was with the 1st MarDiv forward element.

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            Doh! Hate when reality comes crashing down on emotional exuberance.

      • marrs101

        This is an american site. You can’t say things like that, even if it’s true.

        • PMI

          Not true, the russkie fanbois are given free reign…we just point and laugh at them.

        • http://major.rod major.rod

          Yes, Russia has a long history of a free press and being able to voice one’s opinion.

          Again, reality sucks if you’re a Russian tanker after WWII.

    • Dave

      Those M1’s burn just as bright after a chunk of c4 and copper. Not so high tech.

      • http://major.rod major.rod

        Really? Sources? How many tanks have been lost to EFP’s? Unless you have access to classified data you don’t know. Put enough 152mm shells under an M1 or hit it in a sweet spot with an RPG and an M1 will go down.

        BTW, is your middle name Achmed or Ivan?

        • Riceball

          I agree w/major.rod, the M1 is damn near invulnerable from the front, I remember reading a story from Desert Storm where an M1 got stuck so they tried to scuttle it by shooting at if with another M1 with no success. The first shot failed to penetrate, the next shot did and set off the ammo but did little to the inside because of blow away panels in the roof; in the end they managed to get a couple of recovery vehicles and towed it away. However, the M1 is just like every other tank in that its far softer in the back, top, and bottom and I seem to recall hearing about one M1 getting taken out by a anti-tank RPG to the side or back.

          • blight

            Isn’t that an OIF anecdote, and not a ODS one?

          • Patrick

            No, it’s ODS. It was in Tom Clancy’s “Armored Cav” (not a work of fiction) from 1994.

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            Similar incident cited I believe in “Thunder Run” by Zucchino. 3rd ID in Baghdad.

          • blight

            If I recall correctly, main gun and Hellfires were used against an immobilized M1 to keep it from falling into Iraqi hands for OIF.

            I’m still looking for alt sources for the ODS incident beyond Tom Clancy.GAO notes that two M1s were destroyed to prevent them from falling into enemy hands, but gives no details.

            Anyone with AKO access can check CALL. Post 9/11, that stuff is not accessible to civilians (unless they changed things since I last checked during Bush Jr)

    • Darrel Kemble

      Out friggen standing major.rod LMAO.

      • http://major.rod major.rod

        Thanks but I’m just relating the story. The kudos belong to that young sergeant.

  • So?

    But weren’t your M1s recently updated to HA standard, had TI sights, latest DU ammo, whereas the Iraqis had export -grade T-72Ms with thinner armor without composite inserts, old FCS, really crap ammo? They didn’t even bother to boresight their guns, AFAIK. The differences between the Iraqi T-72M (Babylon Lion or something like that) and the T-72B is bigger than the difference between the M1 and M1A1.

    You also had the benefit of not having been bombed for 6 weeks straight.

    • BlackHeart

      So? whats your point? the enemy paid with there lives for there lack of planning among other things.

      • itfunk

        The point is that even with all our wonderful equipment the Iranians still won the war.

        • William C.

          I guess I slept through that time when Iran invaded Iraq somewhere between 1991 and 2011.

          You honestly think we’d sit by if the Iranians tried to pour across the border of the new Iraq?

          • So?

            What border?

    • Buzz

      Most of what you say is true however the old T-72s had less than 1/2 the engagement range of an M-1A and their frontal armor was as good as the soviets ever made. The new T-72 still has only a max range of 3000 meters and thats with the tube launched missile. M-1’s are rated at 5000 meters. Russians also have a habit of taking good designs and building crap. Also something that is telling is why do they need protection from RPG’s? Tells me they have some serious weak /vunerable areas on the vehicles.

      Also the tank still is designed to use bunker oil for fuel so its going to smoke really badly in no time and is still probably a knock off of a 1930’s detroit desiel engine made with poor quality iron for a block.

  • http://major.rod major.rod

    Yes we did. Not what you intially stated. Maybe you should have started out with that?

    My unit 3-5 Cav was in solid contact for three days. We overran at least three defensive belts and fought elements from at least three different Iraqi divisions to include Republican Guard units. We easily destroyed three times our number and only one of our companies was a tank company. So much for… “Yeah I’m real surprised…” and I think TMB has already addressed the effectiveness of the bombing campaign on enemy armor.

    The M1 is a superior tank no doubt about it but the key difference was the training of the crews.

    What’s your point or do you just get a chubby trying to diminish the M1/Army’s performance?

    • So?

      My point is that after your infrastructure and logistics have been pulverized, what you have in the field is academic. It may not have been so obvious in 1991, but it certainly is now.

      • http://major.rod major.rod

        Easy to take that lesson from a book. Not so obvious when you are rolling through Iraqi defensive belts shooting up their tanks before they shoot ours (and they did try).

        Again historically we did a great job of destroying German infrastructure yet suffered tens of thousands of KIAs. Not so academic except to an academic.

        • Stratege

          “Easy to take that lesson from a book. Not so obvious when you are rolling through Iraqi defensive belts shooting up their tanks before they shoot ours”

          I believe that Iraqi tankers had literally zero chances to damage M1s with their training(!) and obsolete APDS (early 70s era).

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            Stratege – Zero chance? Training was a big part of that. Ammo? Uh, no. Maybe as much chance as a Sherman against a Tiger.

          • TMB

            Major Rod, correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Iraqis did manage to at least mobility kill a handful of Abrams and maybe a few Brads during ODS. Iraqi tankers’ chances weren’t zero, but they probably weren’t terrible high either.

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            No M1 mobility kills that I know of but they did take out several bradleys. I think 4-7 Cav lost a half dozen and I watched our sister BN lose one (4-32 AR).

          • PMI

            One Abrams from the 197th was listed as ‘crippled by enemy fire’ during the battle at Tallil but I don’t think it’s ever been conclusively stated what it was struck by.

  • Josh

    Hmm,still building off a chassis that is notoriously deadly to crews because of ammo storage and inherent design flaws? Hmmm,must be better than what the west has to offer…
    Reminds me of what the Germans said of our shermans. “lights first time,every time”

  • Stratege

    “A new version of the Kontakt-5 reactive armor that covers a greater portion of the tank.”

    AFAIK new T-90M got the new “RELIKT” reactive armor instead of the older Kontakt-5

  • Tony C

    Seems that the Russian’s still love the T-72 chassis, but it has proven no match for later model western designs. The T-72 was built is such vast numbers, the plan was to overwhelm the west with numbers. It worked for the Sherman tank in WWII.
    I doubt these tanks would survive in a shoot out with the M1 or Challenger?

    • Stratege

      “Seems that the Russian’s still love the T-72 chassis, but it has proven no match for later model western designs.”

      When and where?
      Note that Iraq and others third-rated armies never had properly equipped “top-notch” T-72s.

      “I doubt these tanks would survive in a shoot out with the M1 or Challenger?”

      Both M1 and Chally also has their own weak zones. Western tanks are not invulnerable to the Russia’s APFSDS and barrel-launched ATGM for 125mm gun.
      T-90M has very advanced FCS with the latest generation of thermal-imaging. Unlike the M1 and Challenger, new T-90 has automatically target tracking system (significant improvement for the anti-tank role).

      Also, T-90 is extremely well armored. The comparison of frontal vulnerable zones (from strategypage’s discussion board):

      (from left to the right: M1A2SEP / LEOPARD 2A7(A6?) / T-90S / T-90M )

      • http://major.rod major.rod


        Yes, let’s just assume all your tank T90 specs are accurate (BIG assumption). Russian tank crews are outclassed by US crews.

        After the wall came down Russian tank crews told us ONE tank per company fired live rounds each year. EACH of our crews fired 40 just for their INDIVIDUAL tank certification. I’m not even discussing platoon live fire tank ranges or platoon, company and battalion training that ocured throughout the year.

        The facts just keep getting in the way huh?

        • Stratege

          Russia is not living in 1990s anymore. Their troops are getting more and more training with a lot of live-firing exercises. Go to youtube for the proofs.

        • So?

          I believe this is an article about hardware (of a type which I personally think is no longer as important as it used to be, but that’s just my opinion). Why drag training into this discussion? When, say, cars get reviewed, “car A driven by Vettel is faster around the track than car B driven by your paralysed grandma” is somehow never mentioned. Vettel will win even riding a bicycle.
          FWIW, I think these tanks are largely equivalent. By that I mean “they are roughly in the same class”. i.e. it’s not King Tiger vs Sherman. The major difference being that the T-90 is less survivable when penetrated and is pretty much maxed out as a platform. While the M1 has a lot of growth left.

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            What? After getting whipped over your ridiculous position that tanks are obsolete now you don’t want to discuss training either?

            Well I guess when all you have is a white flag you wave what you got.

          • So?

            * Weapon type X was not obsolete in 1600, but it was on its way out. It appears that the modern weapon type Y appears to be in the same historical position, and limited resources should be invested in other areas.
            * If you insist on comparing different marks of weapon type Y, you have to compare them with all other things being equal. Otherwise you end up dragging more and more things into a discussion until you get to ICBMs.
            You: (I’m being presumptive here, so please don’t take offense):
            * American tanks are the best, no matter what.
            * American tankers are the best, no matter what.

            I think we are arguing about different things.

          • http://major.rod major.rod

            American tankers are pretty good. The best is debatable except in comparison to Russians. It just doesn’t compare as I’ve stated (40+ live rounds per tank for individual tank training).

            American tanks, generally sound but it would be silly to say they are always the best. Shermans were clearly outclassed by Panzer V’s and up along with the T34.

            The M1 is probably the best in the world right now but the Germans and Brits don’t make crap.

        • TMB

          Around the same time we also learned that they could only afford to keep about 10% of their tank force at what we would call 10/20 standards.

          • Stratege


          • TMB

            Tom Clancy’s Into the Storm which is mostly based on interviews with LTG Fred Franks. Also, a book of Cold War anecdotes called Dirty Little Secrets by James Dunnigan. The book also mentions that most of the Soviet tanks used for training were not “go to war” tanks but older models which were still counted in the Soviet totals. The good stuff stayed in warehouses. Soviet divisions also had a tiered system where Tier A units got the best gear and as you went down in rating your equipment, personnel and supplies were worse. Having four different models of tanks in a front line division also compounded maintenance problems. The front line T-72s and T-80s were in good shape (but not often used in training), and the T-55s, T-62s, T-64s were worn out, still on the MTOE, and still expected to take part in the war.

            I don’t have an online source to add to this but I’m still looking.

  • mat

    when comparing T72 so western MBT you have to bear in mind its basical madium battle tank at cca 45 tons and at the time of introduction it was advanced enough to compete against much heavier western designs.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      Compete? Loss rates against Israel and Desert Storm tell quite a different story.

  • Robert

    Appears to me that the tank was upgraded to contain and protect against domestic situations, rather than for application to new battlefields.

    • blight

      It’s a tank that is designed to do well against RPGs and ATGMs, to be more specific. Then again, when tanks start firing top-attack smart munitions out of their barrels, it’ll be down to the electronics more than the gun.

    • Stratege

      T-90M got the FCS of last generation, new tank gun and tactical battle management system. Those are clearly indications that it’s not just a anti-guerilla tank.

  • Infidel4LIFE

    Having a great tank is good. How much practice do they get? Qaulity of crew is big here.

  • Morty

    One Thing about the russians is they always make Quality, They probably finally got ride of the manual rotating Main gun

    • gunslinger6

      could you imagine being that poor bas**** trying to traverse the main gun by hand when an M1 rolled up on you. i am sure his last thought would be about what a piece of sh*t tank he had,

  • William C.

    Following the cancellation of the T-95, this seems like a sensible move if the Russians are going to stick with the T-90 series (itself a heavily upgraded T-72) for the immediate future.

    I just wish the Russians would actually show the world some photos of the T-95 prototypes, and not hidden under tarps either.

    • Stratege

      T-95 was sacrificed for “Armata” (their next gen heavy combat platform) which should be presented in 2015.

  • Trevor Thralls

    Starting at about the 1:02 mark, was that thing in a power slide? Or could that be considered drifting?

  • Stratege

    “So?” wrote:
    “A WWII 500 kg bomb fitted with a modern guidance kit doesn’t care if it’s a T-90M, an M1 or a King Tiger for that matter.”

    So what about mobile SAM vehicles?
    In accordance with Russian tank combat philosophy, tanks units should have their own air defense vehicles within their formations.
    Visual demonstration of this idea:

    There are not doubts that tanks should have “air defense umbrella” to not be victims of air threats!

    “Tank vs tank is history.”

    I can’t agree. Anti tank is still obvious role for any MBT.

    “When peers fight, whoever wins in the air, wins period. Modern tanks should be optimised for blocking, mopping up insurgents. i.e. HE capability, large ammo capacity, maximum protection against HEAT and mines. Mobile checkpoints. “Merkava is the probably the closest to the ideal.”

    Modern tanks should be multi-role combat machines,
    Merkava tank is rather peculiar “mobile pillbox” because it’s very specialized tank which is limited for its own seat of war.

  • Lance

    Not impressed the T-90 is just a regurgitated T-72 which was a dismal failure. The Ukrainian T-84 is far better than the T-90 series and Russia at the same time is updating T-72s and T-80s with new weapons and targeting systems. I doubt this new tank will see widespread service soon.

    • Stratege

      T-84 is nothing special, and of course it’s not better than recent T-90,
      It has truly obsolete electronics compared to the T-90M.
      T-84 has obsolete FCS of previous generation (without automatically target tracking system and late gen thermal-imaging)
      Ukrainian tank is not equipped with any kind of tactical battle management system.
      T-84 has not fully independent navigation system (T-90M has GLONASS+-GPS+-INERTIAL). Unlike the T-90M, it has out-of-dated communication system.
      There are a lot of questions about claimed capabilities of Ukrainian ERA. The Russian ERA developers have tonnes more experience with it.
      T-84 has obsolete tank gun, while T-90M got the most modern Russian 125mm tank gun.
      The production rate of Ukrainian tank is extremely low, unlike mass produced T-90.
      So. T-84 more likely would have a bunch of technological problems due its “one piece production”.

    • Stratege

      T-84: none of significant advantages
      T-90: significant advantages in terms of electronics and firepower

  • Babu

    I don’t know Boris, are you sure it has the “automatically target tracking system”? Haven’t been able to hit moose or squirrel.

  • Billy

    Who cares…. Russians won’t be able to buy it like how they only have a couple of Su-27 when they planned to purchase hundreds. America can barely afford JSF.

    • Stratege

      Soviet/Russian air force got nearly 400 of Su-27s since 1980s. Also they have ordered 50 of Su-35BM (please not thats only first order).

  • musclecar61

    It’s amazing how every time Russia introduces a new weapon system it’s a carbon copy of our weapon system, they save billions on R&D.

    • Chimp

      I thought that was the Chinese? Or am I getting mixed up here?

      BTW, how about that ZTZ99?

      • Stratege

        You mean Russians copied the Chinese tank? :P Thats’s ridiculous.
        Chinese tanks designers usually rely on old Soviet designs as the main basis for their tanks.
        ZTZ99 is hardly on par with T-90A and no match for the T-90S.

        • Chimp

          Heh… no, I was challenging the “copy” meme.

          I have *no* idea what a ZTZ99 is like. In terms of most military gear, I don’t think the gear itself is the main determinant. It’s the quality (training, morale, leadership and cultural underpinnings) of the people that use it, doctrine and planning that make the difference.

          Tom Kratman is great on this subject, if you’re a fan.

    • Stratege

      So the new T-90 is carbon copy of your weapon system?
      What are you smoking?

  • Stratege

    Lance wrote:
    “Sorry but Iraqi Republican Guards in 1990 has up to date”

    Iraqi Republican Guards “has up dated T-72s”… only for Iraqi standarts. Actually, their “most elite” 72s were on par
    with initial production T-72A from early/middle 1970’s. In terms of armor protection, Iraqi tanks were even worse due to their stripped-down export armor (compared to the early made Soviet model T-72/T-72A).
    But the most unlucky part of Saddam’s tank force fate was the fact that Iraqi Republican Guards didn’t get modern anti-tank shells, barrel-launched ATGMs. modern FCS, adequate optics with sufficient range and night capability. . All of these features were minimally requirement to fight against the most modern Western equipment such as M1. Iraqi T-72 tanks might have the same name as their Soviet relative(T-72), they migh have beautiful paint in cool looking desert colors… But their equipment had came from the 1970s era, their gear were simply intended to fight against tanks of the same era(70’s), not against late 80’s/early 90’s heavily armoured vehicles.
    So, those famoust “up-to-dated” Iraqi T-72s were noting more than “monkey model” tanks which were based on the tank of second generation (early T-72).
    While in that time, the Soviet Union had T-72B model (1985) – the machine updated to the third generation tank’s standarts with a full package of everything required to fight against the best NATO’s machines: it got strong composite armor, ERA, ATGMs, modern shells/FCS/optics…

    Lance wrote:
    ” T-72s and they failed so did Syrian tanks against Israeli M-60A1s south a Beirut in 82. The T-80 was Russia best tank the T-72 won because its cheap and easy to make alot of them. ”

    Ignoring the possibily of Israeli patriotic propaganda, if they had some success with their M-60s, it does not matter and can’t change the fact – M-60A1 is no match against Soviet T-72. Israel won in specified tactical situation.

    Lance wrote:
    “The T-80 was Russia best tank the T-72”

    T-80 has its pros and cons just like every design.

    Lance wrote:
    “won because its cheap and easy to make alot of them. ”

    That’s because T-72 was a truly succesfull design. Yes, it wasn’t perfect (just like ANY other tank) but certainly not failure. But all of those “Desert Strom based’ myths are ineradicable.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      The T72 has a dismal record against western armor.

      “Specific tactical situation”? You are whining now.

      • gungslinger6

        I dont think ivan here wil every get your point major.rod, in one ear and out the other.

        • http://major.rod major.rod

          That’s kind of like a sabot round through a T72?

          • gunslinger6

            LMAO! Exactly!

  • grilz142

    Remember guys, the U.S military was fighting against a third rate force that was using some of the oldest and worst equipment the Soviet Union had to offer. The t-72M a downgraded export version of the t-72 A, which had no composite armor and none of the latest night figting technology (such as thermal sights or flir), E.R.A or active protection systems such as the Shtora or Arena which the russians had on thier tanks before any one else. A third rate force equiped with garbage tanks, obsolete and out dated armor tactics (and tactics in general) and poor training is not going to stand a chance against the most powerful military in the world. If the Iraqis had been given the chance to rebuild thier military and upgrade thier equipment. The Iraqi military would have given a better account of itself than it did in the second gulf war. Imagine Iraqi amored units equiped with T-90 tanks and rebuilt and upgraded T-72 tanks with the latest russian passive and active protection systems,tubed launched long range anti-tank guided missiles and the latest composite armor combined with the latest tactical doctrine in manuver warfare. Thier armored units would have been a lot more difficult to beat. Thier defeat would still have been inevitable, but they would have killed a lot more american troops.

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      The Shtora and Arena are AT missile defensive systems. You do know the M1 doesn’t fire a missile? The Shtora system wasn’t even available until after Desert Storm and based on the results in chechnya, I’m not impressed.

      There’s been very little discussion of OIF and armor in that fight because there was hardly any left.

  • James67

    The modern Russian tank presents more of a threat to it’s own crew, rather than it’s opponents in battle.

  • http://major.rod major.rod

    Just remembered another anecdote about the T72. Invited to a national modeling exposition I was impressed by a model T72 that had recieved an award for its detail. It really was a thing of beauty.

    The builder was standing next to me and I said: “REALLY beautiful and well done model. You deserve the trophy but I just got back from Iraq and the tank isn’t accurate.”

    With great concern the builder asked, “What did I miss?”

    I said, “The turret is still attached.”

  • Stratege

    Buzz wrote:
    “Most of what you say is true however the old T-72s had less than 1/2 the engagement range of an M-1A”

    The old “exportskiy” T-72…
    1980’s T-72B got the “1K13-49” sight with a range about 5000 meters (day) / 800 meters (night, passive mode) / 1200 meters (night, active mode)

    Buzz wrote:
    “and their frontal armor was as good as the soviets ever made. ”

    It’s not nearly true.

    T-72M1’s (export tank) armor specs:
    Against HEAT rounds: 420-490 mm RHA(hull); 490-500 mm RHA(turret)
    Against KE rounds: 360-400 mm RHA(hull); 380-410 mm RHA(turret)

    Domestic T-72B’s armor specs(including the first generation ERA “Kontakt-1”):
    Against HEAT rounds: 480-900 mm RHA(hull); 500-950 mm RHA(turret)
    Against KE rounds: 470-550 mm RHA(hull); 400-550 mm RHA(turret)

    T-72B’s armor specs(including the “Kontankt-5” ERA):
    Against HEAT rounds: 790-1080 мм mm RHA(hull); 780-1090 mm RHA(turret)
    Against KE rounds: 670-720 мм mm RHA(hull); 620-900 mm RHA(turret)

    Those specs are from public sources.

    Buzz wrote:
    “The new T-72 still has only a max range of 3000 meters and thats with the tube launched missile.”

    Wrong. It has max range of 4000 meters (T-72B). 5000 meters for the T-72BM.

    Buzz wrote:
    “M-1’s are rated at 5000 meters.”

    What about KE sabot’s efficiency at maximum range??? It’s extremely low against heavy armor.

    Buzz wrote:
    “Also something that is telling is why do they need protection from RPG’s? Tells me they have some serious weak /vunerable areas on the vehicles. ”

    Any tank has its own weak/vulnerable zones. M1 Abrams has well-known weak zones on turret – side, rear and top armor. Even old RPG-7(with AT round more modern than PG-7VM) is considered as serious threat for the Abrams.

  • crackedlenses

    So Strat, according your account the Russian tanks have never actually been used in combat; all the ones we’ve seen were crappy export models manned by third-rate crews. If the Ruskies’ tanks never got used in action, then why are we so concerned? It’s unlikely they’re going to invade anyone anytime soon, and they never sell their good stuff to anyone anyway………

    • http://major.rod major.rod

      C – You nailed it!

    • Andy M

      Actually, they did see action, the Chechnyans saw a few.

      • PMI

        …and blew most of them to hell when they assaulted Grozny.

  • Rick

    A good tank is no substitute for bad foreign policy.