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modified: Nov 10, 2012
The T-90 is a Russian main battle tank derived from the Soviet T-72BM.

The T-90 was developed at the Kartsev/Venediktov Bureau, 'Vagonka' at Uralvagonzavod. It was given the development designation Obiekt 188. The chief designer was V. Potkin.

The first prototype was completed in 1988. Trials were conducted starting in January 1989. Additional prototypes were subsequently produced and underwent extensive trials.

The first production T-90s were completed in September 1992. It was accepted for service in October 1992. It was originally designated the T-72BU. The existence of the T-90 was first revealed in 1993. It entered low level production in 1994.

The T-90 incorporates some of the advanced features of the late production T-80. The hull front and front sides, as well as turret front and sides are fitted with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor. The T-90 incorporates the fire control system of the T-80. The T-90 has the TShU1-7 Shtora-1 active protection system.

In the T-90, the driver is at the front, the gunner and commander in the turret, and the engine compartment at the rear. The driver has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right. The driver's seat is attached to the roof for protection against anti-tank mines. The commander sits to the right in the turret and has a contra-rotating cupola. The gunner sits to the left and has a hatch that opens forward with a circular opening for mounting the snorkel. The exhaust outlet is on the left side of the hull toward the rear.

The T-90 is powered by the V-84MS V-12 diesel engine which has a pre-heater for use in cold weather. The multifuel engine is also able to run on gasoline and blended or unblended kerosene and benzine fuels.

Standard equipment includes NBC protection, fire detection and suppression system, nose-mounted dozer blade and a deep fording kit. Two external fuel drums can be carried under the hull rear for extended operational range. KMT-7, KMT-8, or KMT-6M2 mineclearing equipment can be mounted at the front of the hull.

Communication equipment includes an R-173 UHF radio and an R-173P radio. The R-174 intercom system is also installed.

Sights and fire-control system
The driver has a single TNPO-168 day periscope. It can be replaced with a TVN-5 night vision for driving at night.

The commander's cupola has a single-piece hatch cover that opens forwards with two rear-facing TNPA day vision blocks. The forward part of the cupola has the Agat-S stabilized TKN-4S day/image intensification sight with a TNP-160 day periscope on either side. The commander's sight is used to control fire from the main gun and the 12.7mm NSVT (or KORD) anti-aircraft machine gun. It is also used for battlefield surveillance and designating targets to the gunner.

The TNPA-65 day vision block is located in front of the gunner's hatch. The TNPA-65 day vision block is fitted in the hatch cover itself. The gunner has a day and thermal sighting system. The commander has a monitor to which the thermal view is forwarded.

The fire-control complex includes the IA42 automated fire-control system, TO1-KO-1 or TO1-PO2T (thermal) night sighting complex, commander's PNK-4S sighting observation device complex and a rear sector observation TV system.

The IA42 automated fire-control system includes the 2A43 information computing day stabilizer complex (IVDPK), 2Eh42-4 Zhasmin armament stabilizer and the PT-800 converter with the RChN 3/3 frequency and voltage regulator.

The T-90 has the 1A45T integrated computerized fire-control system which allows the commander and gunner to lay and fire the main gun while the vehicle is stationary or moving and under day and night conditions.

The gunner's sighting system includes the 1A43 day sight with two-plane stabilized field of view and laser rangefinder, IG46 day sight laser rangefinder with missile guidance channel, 1V528-1 digital ballistic computer, DVE-BS wind sensor, T01-K01 IR vision equipment, and TPN4-49-23 sight Buran-PA which can be substituted with the Agava-2 roof-mounted stabilized thermal sight.

The T-90 mounts a 125mm 2A46M4 (D-81TM) smoothbore gun in a turret that can traverse 360°. The gun is fitted with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve. It has an automatic loader and is stabilized in both planes by the 2E42-4 system.

The main gun fires separate loading type ammunition including high-explosive fragmentation projectiles that can be detonated over the target using the tank's fire-control system. It is also able to fire the 9M119 Refleks and 9M119M laser-guided missiles.

The 9S515 missile control system includes the gunner's sighting, aiming and rangefinder pack, information field generator, voltage charge and control unit. Only the gunner can launch the Refleks guided missile.

Secondary armament consists of a 7.62mm PKTM (or PKT) coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main gun and a 12.7mm NSVT (or KORD) anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola. The anti-aircraft machine gun can be aimed and fired under complete armor protection which was not the case on the T-72. The anti-aircraft machine gun has a PZU-7.216.644 optical sight and is fitted with a 1ETs29 vertical stabilization system.

Six electrically-operated smoke grenade launchers are mounted on either side of the turret. The aerosol screening system includes four laser radiation sensors (two coarse and two fine receiving heads), 902A Aerosol Forming Grenade Launch System, 81mm 3D17 aerosol grenades, and associated controls. The system operates by detecting laser illumination, determining its direction and type (rangefinder or designator), generating audio and visual signals, and laying quick forming aerosol screens in automatic or semi-automatic modes.

The T-90 can also generate a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust.

T-90S was developed by Uralvagonzavod to meet the operational requirements of countries in Asia.

The latest enhanced T-90S is powered by a 1,000hp V-92S2 V-12 diesel engine. This provides a top road speed of 65km/h. A turbo charged version with increased power is also available.

In addition to the 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, a 7.62mm 6P7K coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm 6P49 (Kord) anti-aircraft machine gun are included.

The T-90S has an air-conditioning system for operation in high temperatures. It is also fitted with the T01-P02 tank thermal sight complex Agava-2.

Command variants
T-90K and T-90SK are command variants of the T-90 and T-90S respectively. They are fitted with the TNA-4 navigation system, an additional R-163-50K radio generator model AB-1-P28, and a telescopic radio antenna for increased radio range.

Other variants
T-90M is a variant developed around 1999. It includes a new all-welded turret with flat side walls and the 1,000hp V-92S2 diesel engine.

IMR-2MA (also called IMR-3M) is an engineer tank variant of the T-90 that entered mass production in 1996. It is fitted with a multi-functional dozer blade and a mine clearer. A hydraulic crane is also fitted that can be provided with various attachments such as claw pincers.

MTU-90 is an AVLB based on a modified T-90 chassis. It is fitted with a three-part bridge that has a length of 25m and a 3.55m wide trackway.

BMR-3M is an armored demining vehicle based on a modified T-90 chassis. The turret is replaced by a fully enclosed and raised superstructure for the crew. ERA is fitted to the superstructure and the glacis plate. A KMT-7 mineclearing roller is fitted at the front with an electromagnetic device to activate anti-tank mines that have a magnetic fuze.

References: JAA5, JTCV
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