Main battle tank
T-90MS is a modernised version of the T-90 main battle tank (MBT) built by Uralvagonzavod. The modernised tank is being proposed for the Russian Army and potential export customers.
The tank was first demonstrated during the Russian Expo Arms in Nizhny Tagil in September 2011. The capabilities of the MBT were also exhibited at DEFEXPO 2012 in New Delhi, India, as well as IDEX 2013 in Abu-Dhabi, UAE.
India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract worth $2.8bn with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for the licence-production of 464 additional T-90MS MBTs domestically for the Indian army. The contract was awarded in November 2019 after the purchase was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in April that year.
Features of the T-90MS main battle tank
The extensively upgraded tank will deliver enhanced combat capabilities in present warfare scenarios. The tank offers superior firepower and protection than that of its predecessor.
It features improved automotive components, suspension, protection, firepower and mobility. It can accommodate three crew members, including a driver, commander and a gunner. The combat weight of the tank is 48,000kg.
The tank can incorporate an optional air-conditioner cooling unit and an auxiliary diesel generator producing a minimum electric power of 7kW. The specific power of the tank is 17.7kW/t.
Armament of the T-90MS MBT
The main armament of the tank is a 125mm 2A46M-5 high accuracy gun. The cannon can fire different types of ammunition. The tank has the capacity to carry up to 40 rounds of 125mm ammunition. The applicable shell types for the tank are BPS, OFS, BCS, and UR.
The MBT is also armed with a 7.62mm 6P7K anti-aircraft machine gun on a remotely controlled weapon station mounted on top of the turret to destroy stationary and moving targets. It can carry 2,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and 800 cartridges. Six smoke-grenade dischargers are also fitted on each side of the turret.
Modular explosive reactive armour (ERA) panels are installed on rear and side projections. The ERA panels protect the tank from small weapons and shell splinters. The forward hull and turret can be equipped with RELIKT ERA for protection against anti-tank missiles. The tank includes a collective PKUZ-1A NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection system, and is also fitted with opto-electronic screening system, electromagnetic protection system and quick-action fighting equipment.
The rear hull and turret are fitted with slat armour to protect the engine section and ammunition compartment from grenade and rocket attacks. The anti-fragmentation panels made of aramid fabric protect the crew from the secondary flux of tank fragments.
Observation and fire control of the Russian main battle tank
The combined panoramic commander’s sight is equipped with television and thermal channels and a laser range finder. The sighting channel can identify the target at a maximum range of 5,000m. The minimum range for target identification through the thermal channel is 3,500m. The laser range finder can identify the target at a maximum range of 7,500m.
The Kalina fire control system of the MBT incorporates the multichannel main gunner’s sight consisting of sighting and thermal channels, laser range finder and in-built laser control channel. The fire control system also incorporates parallel sight with dependent sighting channel. The tank can identify targets at a minimum range of 2,000m during day and 1,000m at dusk.
The T-90 tank variant also consists of a digital ballistic computer featuring weather and topographical transmitting units and a barrel straightness monitor. The automatic target tracking is autonomously secured from the gunner’s and commander’s stations by implementing gunner-hunter mode.
The tank also features an enhanced dual-axis weapon stabiliser with electro-mechanical power traverse and electro-hydraulic power elevation.
Engine and mobility of the modernised MBT
The tank is powered by a 12-cylinder V-92S2F diesel engine producing a maximum power output of 1,130hp. The engine is coupled to an automatic transmission with seven forward gears and one reverse gear.
The T-90MS main battle tank features torsion bar suspension integrating six hydraulic vane-type shock absorbers, as well as six road wheel and three track support rollers per side. It can accomplish a speed of 60km/h and a range of 550km. It can ford at a depth of 1.8m, while its maximum fording depth with USCE is 5m.