Africa Aerospace & Defence 2016

Battle tank ready for production [AAD16D3]

16 September 2016

UralVagonZavod (Hangar 2, Stand CE26) has confirmed to the AAD Show Daily that development of its latest T-90MS main battle tank (MBT) is complete and production can commence as soon as orders are placed.

The T-90MS is a step change compared with the earlier T-90 MBT and has already been demonstrated in the Middle East, as well as being shown at the recent Army 2016 show in Moscow. Some of the elements of the T-90MS could be back-fitted to earlier T-90 series to enhance their capability, especially in the key areas of armour and firepower.

The commander and gunner have roof-mounted stabilised day/ thermal channels incorporating a laser rangefinder so that hunter killer target engagements can take place. These sights are coupled to a computerised fire control system that allows stationary and moving targets to be engaged with a high first round hit probability while the T-90MS is also moving. It is armed with the latest 125mm smoothbore gun, which is fitted with a thermal sleeve, fume extractor and muzzle reference system.

In addition to firing conventional natures of 125mm ammunition, it can fire a laser-guided projectile out to a range of 5,000m. The T-90MS is also armed with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7mm remote-controlled machine gun operated by the commander.

The original T-90 had an all-welded steel hull and cast turret, but the T-90MS has a welded steel hull and a welded turret, which incorporates an advanced armour package plus additional detachable explosive reaction armour (ERA) packages. While first-generation Russian ERA provided protection against high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) projectiles only, the latest-generation Russian ERA also provides protection against kinetic energy projectiles.

The highest level of protection of the T-90MS is over the frontal arc, with bar/slat armour being fitted to the rear of the hull and turret for added protection against rocket-propelled grenades.

The T-14 Armata (pictured left) is the latest Russian MBT and, following trials with prototype vehicles, a contract has been placed with UralVagonZavod covering the supply of an initial 100 vehicles.

(338 words)