The Russian Defense Ministry has released a slick new 90-second ‘music video’ showing off the maneuver and fire capabilities of the T-90, the most advanced main battle tank in Russia’s arsenal.
The video was published in time for Tankers Day, the official holiday for the Russian army’s tank crews that’s being celebrated Sunday, and shows the T-90’s crew in action as they board the tank, engage in maneuvers, load ammunition and demonstrate the firepower of its main cannon at a firing range.
The T-90 is a third generation MBT which first entered into service with the Russian military in 1993. The tank owes its origins to a Soviet-era program aimed at creating a replacement for the T-64, T-72 and T-80 series of BMTs. The T-72 platform was selected for the new generation of tank due to its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and maneuvering capabilities.
Known for its firepower, the 46.5 ton tank features a 2A46M 125mm smoothbore gun, a 12.7 Kord heavy machine gun, and a 7.62mm general purpose machinegun. Its main gun can fire high-explosive anti-tank warheads distances up to 4 km, and fragmentation projectiles up to 9.6 km.
The T-90-A, an upgrade to the base model, has gone through a baptism by fire in Syria, joining Russian and Syrian forces to wreak havoc on jihadist militants beginning last year.
T-90As entered service with the Russian Armed Forces starting in 2004. The tanks feature a new engine and welded turret design, and are equipped with an ESSA thermal viewer. The tanks are also fitted with third-generation reactive armor, designed specifically to be able to withstand 120mm tank rounds used by the Abrams M1A1 and Leopard 2 MBTs.
The T-90A also features the Shtora (‘Curtain’) infrared anti-tank missile jamming system. Last year, video emerged of a T-90A in Syria surviving a direct hit by a US TOW-2A missile and emerging virtually unscathed.
The T-90M, a modernization of the T-90A, is in the pipeline, and is expected to fit the 400 T-90As in service with the Russian military out with a new main cannon, new fire control system, new active protection system and new reactive armor, among other upgrades.