Russia Has Upgraded Its T-90M Tanks – Could it Make a Difference in Ukraine? – A brand new batch of T-90M Proryv main battle tanks (MBTs) has just been delivered to the Russian military, Uralvagonzavod announced on Thursday. The tanks are reported to be equipped with a new turret, next-generation reactive armor, a new main gun, advanced communications, and a more powerful engine.
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“Uralvagonzavod (part of UVZ Group within the state corporation Rostec) has successfully fulfilled its next contract for the delivery of T-90M Proryv tanks. The armor batch has already been sent to the Defense Ministry of Russia,” the state-owned defense firm announced via a statement to Tass.
The assembly lines in Nizhny Tagil are “operating round the clock to roll out the tanks,” the statement added.
“They are outfitted with advanced equipment that helps the tank crew effectively strike targets. UVZ has fulfilled the defense procurement plan on time,” Deputy Prime Minister, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov was quoted as stating.
Military hardware watcher Vinod (@VinodDX9), noted some of the improvements on social media, writing, “Russia is continuously up-armouring T-90M, which is already the most armoured version of T-90 family. You can frequently spot something new added to the platform. India should roll out own moderanisation plan asap and that must include a redesigned turret with bustle auto-loader.”
Most Advanced T-90M Yet
Russia has touted the capabilities of the T-90M Proryv, claiming it is “the most advanced armored vehicle in the family of T-90 main battle tanks” while it has been described as “most of all fit for modern warfare” due to its all-round armor protection, top-notch all-weather highly automated fire control and enhanced survivability.
The T-90M’s armor now utilizes an anti-slip coating similar to that installed on the T-14 Armata.
The MBT’s new turret differs from the serial-produced combat module while the vehicle has been equipped with a more powerful 1,130 hp engine. The Proryv is also outfitted with a 125mm main gun that Russian sources claim can fire new powerful munitions and also missiles capable of wiping out enemy tanks from a range of 5 km (three miles).
A new multichannel sight could enable the tank to employ its armaments at any time of the day or night, while the crew is now reported to be able to exchange data with other combat vehicles in real-time.
Will It Head to Ukraine?
Last month, the international news outlet also posted photos of the assembly of the T-90M as well as the modernized T-72B3 at Uralvagonzavod. That likely could include this latest “batch” of tanks, but the exact number of tanks produced hasn’t been specified.
Should this new batch of T-90M Proryv actually head to Ukraine, the question is whether the Russian Army will employ them or if they could be operated by the Wagner Group. This mercenary force has been engaged in some of the heaviest fighting in Ukraine in recent weeks.
Last month, writing for Forbes.com, David Axe reported that the Wagner Group was already operating a number T-90Ms – and given how many Russian tanks have been simply abandoned to date, it is likely these could be supplied to those forces willing actually to try and put up a fight.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism.