T-90 main battle tank

The T-90 is the latest development in the T-series of Russian tanks and represents an increase in firepower, mobility and protection. It is manufactured by Uralvagonzavod in Nizhnyi Tagil, Russia. The T-90 is currently the most modern tank in the Russian Ground Forces and Indian Army arsenal. The successor to T-72BM, the T-90 uses the gun and 1G46 gunner sights from T-80U, a new engine, and thermal sights. Protective measures include Kontakt-5 ERA, laser warning receivers, the EMT-7 electromagnetic pulse creator for the destruction of magnetic mines and the Shtora infrared ATGM jamming system.

Considered by many to be a brand new design, the T-90 represents an evolution of the T-72 main battle tank. The T-90 features a new generation of armor on its hull and turret and represents a major upgrade to every system found on the earlier T-72. The T-90 was developed using the T-72BM as a basis, itself a modified T-72B tank upgraded with a third generation add-on Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) called Kontakt-5, which was already in service on T-80U. These variant was built in hopes of export orders and was later fitted with the T-80’s fire control system. This variant was renamed T-72BU. After only a couple of years since Desert Storm, mass-media images of Iraqi T-72s burning on the side of the roads were still resonating in the memories of possible costumers and thus was decided to name the new main battle tank T-90.

The T-90 entered low-rate production alongside the T-80. In 1995 the Russian Defense Ministry decided to select a single model for the role of main battle tank. Although the T-80 was considered a superior machine, the recent conflict in Grozny and the loss of many T-80 tanks made a negative impression back in the motherland. Another important factor was the T-80’s GTD-1250 gas turbine engine lacked reliability and fuel efficiency. The T-90 was selected as the sole main battle tank for the Russian Armed Forces in 1996. Currently there are some 250 tanks in service with the Russian Army and 310 in service with the Indian Army.

The T-90’s main armament is the 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore gun, stabilised in two axes and fitted with a thermal sleeve.. This is a highly modified version of the Sprut anti-tank gun, and is the same gun used as the main armament on the T-80-series tanks. It can be replaced without dismantling the inner turret and is capable of firing armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot, high-explosive anti-tank, and high explosive fragmentation ammunition, as well as 9M119M Refleks anti-tank guided missiles. The Refleks missile has semi-automatic laser beam-riding guidance and a tandem hollow-charge HEAT warhead. It has an effective range of 100 m to 6 km, and takes 17.5 seconds to reach maximum range. Refleks can penetrate almost 950 mm of steel armour and can also engage low-flying air targets such as helicopters. The T-90 also carries a Kord 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun that can be operated by the commander from inside. There is also a PKT 7.62mm machine gun. A 5.45mm AKS-74 assault rifle is carried on a storage rack.

The T-90 is equipped with the PNK-4S/SR AGAT day and night sighting system while the T-90S is equipped with the more modern 1A4GT integrated fire control system which is automatic but with manual override for the commander. This integrated fire control system contains the 1A43 day fire control system and TO1-KO1 thermal imaging sight. The T-90’s gun, the 2A46M is fed by an automatic loader thus reducing the number of crewmen needed to operate the tank by eliminating the need for a manual loader. The autoloader can carry 22 ready to fire rounds in its carousel and can load a round in 4-5 seconds.

Self protection systems for the T-90 include conventional steel armour plating, composite armour and explosive reactive armor. Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor covers the glacis and the low profile turret giving its distinctive clam shell appearence of the turret. To lower the weight ceramics and plastics are also used. In addition to lowering the weight these materials provide better protection when compared to conventional steel plates. In addition, the T-90 is equipped with the Shtora-1 countermeasures. This system includes two infrared jammers on the front of the turret, four laser warning receivers, two 3D6 aerosol grenade discharging systems and a computerized control system. The T-90 is also fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical protection equipment.

There are currently 300 T-90, 246 T-90A and 300 T-72 modernized to T-90 standards in service with the Russian Army. India placed an order for 310 T-90S tanks, of which 124 were built in Russia and the rest were delivered for assembly. The Indian assembled tanks are named T-90S Bhishma. In November 2006 India ordered another 300 units. These T-90 tanks are to be licence built and deliveries are to start in 2008. Also, Algeria placed an order for 180 T-90S tanks and Saudi Arabia is negotiating a possible contract. Produced primarily mainly due to its lower cost, the T-90 it will probably remain in low-rate production to keep production lines open until newer designs become available.

T-90 main battle tank variants

T-90K – this version is the command version of the original T-90 model
T-90E – export version of the T-90
T-90A – upgraded version of the T-90 fitted with welded turret, V-92S2 engine and ESSA thermal viewer; this version is also named T-90 Vladimir in honor of T-90 Chief Designer Vladimir Potkin
T-90S – export version of the T-90A
T-90 Bhishma – Indian assembled T-90S
BREM-72 – armoured recovery vehicle
MTU-90 – bridge layer tank with MLC50 bridge
IMR-3 – combat engineer vehicle
BMR-3 – mine clearing vehicle

T-90 main battle tank specifications

Crew 3


Weight 46.5 tonnes
Length 9.53 m (31.27 ft)
Width 3.78 m (9.12 ft)
Height 2.22 m (7.28 ft)
Fuel tanks capacity 1,600 l


Main Gun 125mm 2A46m – smoothbore, 43 rounds including 22 on carousel
Coaxial Machine Gun 7.62mm PKT, 2,000 cartridges
Machine Gun 12.7mm NSVT-12.7 ADA, 300 cartridges
Assault Rifle 5.45mm AKS-74, 300 cartridges
3UBK14 Weapon System With 9M119 missile
3UBK20 Weapon System With 9M119m missile
Firing Range 100m to 5,000m
Armament Stabiliser 2E42-4
AD Machine Gun Sight PZU-7
AD Machine Gun Fire Control System 1ETS29 with vertical stabilisation


Model 84 V-84 12-cylinder diesel engine, 618kw (840hp)


Maximum speed 65km/h
Range 650km on paved road, 500km offroad

30 thoughts on “T-90 main battle tank”

  1. t90 its a beautiful tank i want to work on your factories f u c k u every body who made or will make a weapon ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh kiss omayatkoun im from al mougaheedeen with nasr alah

  2. I didn’t know guppies became such a hot commodity. This Tank is Apache food. “What do you call a Russian tank in the field? A sluggish target!” Hooah!!!

  3. dumb yanks, all ya need is a heat guided rocket/missle to hit an abrams coz of them daft turbine exhausts right up its ass

  4. turbo blows hot air. A drunk russian soldier needs to focus on his sights first, likely he will miss, & the Abrams protecting his rear, & flank will chew up the drunk w/.50 cal. Orah!!

  5. You guys forgot about 9M119M Refleks missiles capable of taking down Apaches. As for me – I’ll put my stocks on T-90.

  6. so what wtfo does the 9m119m have to do with the tank itself? Missile capabilities can be delivered from any tank. Go back to your ice cream bitch.

  7. yeah go ride your horse (t90, t100 or what ever) as it will be vaporized to a pink mist as you were in Afghanistan.

  8. T90S the variant of t90 i.e export variant is quite stable and modernise weapon considering the third generation warfare ,but it better to go for more composite oriented tank with is saving the fuel as well as improve strength to weight ratio .One thing i like that it is having automatic loading which india really needs ……tedious and good job

  9. i just wanna thank you for sharing your information and your site or blog this is simple but nice article I’ve ever seen i like it i learn something today… This brings us to another reason why abstinence from sex may be a smart move for you now.

  10. Misters, we will meet in a sight. I hope, it will be possible to check up your guesses, the Russian weapon will test Yankee armor. Believe, you know nothing about Russia and our weapon. You never underestimated us. Anybody in Russia doesn’t want to do tank blitzkrieg on the West, but, gentlemen, if you want war – I promise, it will be a war. In 1945 we have already reached Berlin. If it is necessary, we will repeat to Washington.

  11. Hears the lowdown. I love russian guns I have several AKs and I would not trade them for any thing american desined. T-90 versas an M1 mabe it would win mabe it would not I would rather not finde out. As for apachies they are cool but a russian Mi-24 is a more capable and reslyant helicopter I wish obama wold buy us some and a tone of AK-74s.

    Just the same let us as americans join with the russians and let us fight our common bad guys. Radical muslums.

  12. hertz (hurts) you would be best to challenge georgia or moldova or some other little defenseless country than try your luck with the US. you are way out of your league with that junkpile. everything you commies ever made was inferior to anything the US has. youve been tryin to build a carrier for decades and still havent figured out how to do it. 15 M1s killed 76 or your T72s and 84 IFVs in the deserts of iraq—with no losses. as far as reaching berlin in 1945. you had a little help gettin there commie. the germans were in site of moscow when help arrived to save your commie asses. and they had no help gettin there. so keep runnin ya mouth and youll be on the business end of an M1, if you want to come to washington with your T90—well scrap metal is selling at a damn good price rite now in the US.

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  14. I would like to correct the Indian figure as there are apart from 310 tanks in first deal a order of 1000 tanks made in russia and another 1000 licensed built in India.

    Also about 1000 T-72 operating in India are standardized to T-90 level.

    T-90 are magnificent Tanks But Now there is need to evolve and go for next gen tanks in battle field

  15. For any dick who roots on the t90…. during the 2008 Ossetia war, Georgian anti tank mounted SPIKE missiles lent on testing by Israel tore through the front reactive armor (yes the freaking most armored side of the tank!!!!), Russia lost 3 tanks to 1 Missile battery that was lent for testing by Israel….Suck it!!!! America F**K Yeah!!!!!

  16. The M 1 is the best tank inm the world, at this time ( I am American ) Russans are not to be pushed around look at WW2. the former USSR beat the Germans. The US and the UK helped, however the russans pounded the fowellers of Adolf. Do Not Mess With the Russans

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  18. I’ll take my m-60a1 and knock the schitt out that hunk a junk with a good crew. 3/35 armor iron solider.

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