‘Game-changing machine’: Russian military get first batch of modernized T-90M tanks (VIDEO)
13 Apr, 2020 16:57 / Updated 2 months ago
Russia's T-90M tanks. © Sputnik / Pavel Gerasimov
With a better protected turret, more powerful engine and a sighting system that guarantees high precision in the nighttime, the modernized T-90M tank has now made it into service with the Russian army.
The first batch of the new machines, called ‘Proryv’ (breakthrough) has been delivered to the elite Taman Armored Division near Moscow.
The arrival to their new base was filmed by the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda channel and features servicemen wearing protective masks - a sign of the times as Covid-19 spreads.
"Those are game changing machines," Sergey Kisel, commander of the 1st Tank Army of Russia's Western Military District said. He praised the hardware which passed trials in February.
The key difference from earlier models is the new design of the turret module with multi-layer armor and the placement of ammunition outside the fighting compartment. Also the new design boasts a 125 mm 2A82-1M cannon.
The T-90M has received “a more powerful engine and state-of-the-art multi-channel sighting, which allows for the use of weapons in both day and night time.” The crews of different tanks will also be able to communicate with each other in real time, thanks to an updated communications system, according to the military.
The new armor is equipped with the Kalina automated fire control system and a remotely-controlled 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun. As for protection from enemy fire, it’s provided by anti-cumulative screens and the Relikt dynamic defense system, the commander added.
The T-90M is an upgrade of the Russian T-90 main battle tank, which has been around since the early 1990s and exists in various forms. Due to its price-quality ratio, the armor has become one of the most commercially successful tanks in the world, with hundreds of units produced, and more than two thirds of them sold to foreign buyers.
The T-90M was expected to be shown off to the broader public during the Victory Day parade on May 9, but the fate of the big event on the Red Square is hanging in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials said it may well be moved to a later date.