Plans for delivery of T-90M and T-14 tanks to the Russian armed forces

According to the Vedomosti newspaper, the Russian Defense Ministry has taken a decision regarding the tank troops development: by 2027, there will be about 900 really modern tanks. The Russian armed forces will start receiving T-90M tanks of both new production and mostly upgraded from the existing T-90A tanks in 2020. Alexander Potapov, General Director of the Uralvagonzavod concern, said on Thursday, February 13, 2020: "I think that we will see them [T-90M tanks] soon this year".

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T-90M MBT (Picture source: Army Recognition)

According to a source close to the Russian Ministry of Defense, in 2017-2019 the agency signed three contracts for T-90M tanks ("Breakthrough-3" development code) with a capacity of over 160 vehicles. The first two contracts implied the delivery of 60 vehicles in 2018-2019 (of which 10 were to be built anew and another 50 T-90 vehicles were to be upgraded to the T-90M level), the remaining - the largest - implied the execution of an order to upgrade the T-90A in service to the T-90M level.

The deadline has shifted for objective reasons, an industry official said. First of all, it was necessary to improve the fire control and target tracking system, as well as to test the turret module with a new dynamic protection, which is the main difference of the T-90M, significantly improving its safety. Now, the problems have been solved: the tank is considered to have received the green light for the serial production and, hence, is already in serial production, says the interlocutor of Vedomosti. In 2020, the army will be able to get at least 15 T-90Ms, he said.

According to a person close to the leadership of the Defense department, as a result of the meetings (including those of President Vladimir Putin), it was decided to carry out a mass renewal of the tank fleet of the Ground Forces in the next five years. Only 50% of modern armored vehicles in the Ground Forces are the oldest variants among all types currently deployed by the armed forces. The upgrade will be a "combined" one, says an interlocutor of Vedomosti: in parallel with the purchase of new tanks, contracts will be concluded for the modernization of the vehicles in service. This year, it is possible to sign a contract for the production and modernization of about 100+ T-90 tanks to the T-90M level. Deputy Defense Minister for Arms Alexei Krivoruchko wrote in an article for the first issue of 2020 of the corporate edition of the concern "Radio Electronic Technologies" that there are now about 400 T-90 tanks of early varient in the land forces that need to be upgraded.

In 2020, state trials of the T-14 battle tank created on the Armata platform will begin, says a man close to the military department: if they are completed successfully, in 2021 the Russian Armed Forces will receive a brand new war machine. The Vedomosti interlocutor estimates the volume of the potential contract for the period until 2027 at approximately 500 T-14 units. This figure corresponds to the financial capacity of the Defense Ministry and the state of the platform itself, says Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal Fatherland magazine. However, neither purchases of the T-14s, nor purchases of the T-90Ms will allow replacing the T-72B3s of various modifications already delivered in about 2,000 units as the basis of the tank fleet of the Russian armed forces, he believes. In total, by 2027, according to a source in the Defense industry, these plans will include about 900 truly modern T-14 and T-90M tanks. By this time, the T-72B3 will hardly be considered a modern tank without serious modernization, he is convinced.