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All You Need to Know About Russian T-90M Tank in Combat Operations Ukraine

Army Recognition's deep analysis of the Russian T-90M Proryv-3 reveals a sophisticated evolution in Russia's approach to armored warfare. This latest generation of the T-90 tank series, rooted in the legacy of the T-72, marks a significant leap forward from its predecessors. Developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the T-90 platform has been continuously upgraded, reflecting Russia's strategic emphasis on enhancing its armored capabilities.
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The T-90M is the most modern Russian Main Battle Tank deployed in Ukraine for combat operations. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The development of the T-90M began in the 2010s and officially entered service with the Russian armed forces around 2020. It is equipped with a formidable armament system, including an upgraded 125mm smoothbore gun and secondary machine guns. The T-90M's protection is enhanced by composite armor, reactive armor, and the Shtora-1 defensive aid suite. Operated by a crew of three, the tank features improved mobility due to a powerful engine and advanced suspension system. Onboard equipment includes advanced fire control systems, thermal imaging, and digital ballistic computers.

The T-90M Proryv-3 embodies a comprehensive upgrade over the original T-90 model. It boasts advanced technological enhancements, particularly in terms of firepower, mobility, and defensive systems. These improvements are not just incremental; they represent a strategic overhaul, aligning with the modern battlefield's demands and the evolving landscape of military technology.

The T-90M Proryv-3 is a culmination of Russia's extensive experience in tank design, combining lethal firepower, robust protection, and advanced technology. Its introduction into service and subsequent performance, particularly in the context of the war in Ukraine, underscores its role as a critical asset in Russia's military strategy.

In terms of firepower, the T-90M features a more sophisticated targeting and firing system, allowing for greater accuracy and lethality. The mobility enhancements ensure that the tank can maneuver more effectively in diverse terrains, a crucial factor in modern warfare. The defensive upgrades are particularly noteworthy, with the inclusion of state-of-the-art armor and active protection systems. These systems are designed to counter a wide range of threats, from anti-tank missiles to more unconventional challenges like drones.

The use of the T-90M in the war in Ukraine has provided a real-world testing ground for these upgrades. The tank's performance in this conflict has offered valuable insights into its capabilities and limitations, shaping further development and strategic deployment. Of particular interest is the incorporation of anti-drone armor and the "cope cage." These additions are a direct response to the evolving nature of threats on the modern battlefield, where asymmetric warfare and drone technology have become increasingly prominent.

All You Need to Know About Russian T 90M Tank in Combat Operations Ukraine 925 002
For the war in Ukraine, the T-90M is upgraded with a cope cage and additional armor to increase protection against loitering munition and FPV First Person View drone attacks. (Picture source Social Network)

The T-90M Proryv-3 is equipped with a formidable armament system. Its primary weapon is an upgraded 125mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing a range of ammunition types, including APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot), HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank), and HE-Frag (High-Explosive Fragmentation) rounds. This gun is also capable of launching guided missiles, an unusual feature for a tank. The secondary armament includes a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a remotely controlled 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun.

Protection is a key feature of the T-90M. It employs a combination of composite armor, reactive armor (ERA), and the latest generation of the Kontakt-5 ERA, which provides enhanced protection against tandem warheads and anti-tank guided missiles. Additionally, the T-90M is equipped with the Shtora-1 defensive aid suite, which can jam incoming missiles and laser-guided systems. The recent upgrades for drone defense and the addition of the "cope cage" further enhance its survivability against modern threats.

The T-90M is operated by a crew of three: the commander, gunner, and driver. This is consistent with most modern Russian tank designs, which favor automated systems to reduce crew size, thereby improving internal space and crew safety.

In terms of mobility, the T-90M is powered by a significantly upgraded engine, typically a 1,000-1,250 horsepower diesel engine, which provides high power-to-weight ratio and improved acceleration. The advanced suspension system and transmission also contribute to its agility, allowing the tank to maneuver effectively in diverse terrains, from urban environments to rugged landscapes.

The onboard equipment of the T-90M includes advanced fire control systems, thermal imaging, and digital ballistic computers, enhancing the tank's accuracy and target acquisition capabilities. It also features modern communication and navigation systems, ensuring seamless integration with other units on the battlefield.

The T-90M Proryv-3 stands as a testament to Russia's ongoing efforts to maintain a competitive edge in armored warfare. Its development, features, and deployment reflect a broader strategy of adapting to and anticipating the needs of modern combat, ensuring that Russian armored forces remain a formidable presence on the battlefield.

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