Land Platforms

Russian T-90M MBT expected to finish trials in 2019

01 March 2019

Russia’s new T-90M Proryv-3 (Breakthrough-3) main battle tank is due to complete state trials in 2019. Source: UVZ

Russia's new T-90M Proryv-3 (Breakthrough-3) main battle tank (MBT) may finish its state trials this year, Jane's has learned.

"Having confirmed the main specifications drafted in its technical terms of reference, the [T-90M] vehicle is now completing its state trials," a Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) source said on 24 February.

Additional information regarding the T-90M has been released by Russian local media, in particular on Telekanal Zvezda. The platform is provided with an entirely new turret, which has been fitted with a digital electronic architecture, allowing the integration of new mission systems, as well as a new digital fire-control system (FCS). This turret is mounted on a T-72 chassis, as with previous T-90 models. The T-90M retains the 2A46M-5 gun of the T-90 family, but this gun is now fitted with a muzzle reference system to allow the FCS to compensate for barrel deviations from the boresighted position after firing.

The MBT was expected to feature improvements to gun stabilisation, but it is unconfirmed if these have been implemented. The T-90M retains the coaxial PKT 7.62 mm machine gun as the gunner's secondary armament, as well as the capability to launch the 9M119M anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), which has a 5 km range and has a tandem high explosive anti-tank warhead. It is also capable of launching the 3VOF128 Tel'nik air-bursting projectile with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead.

The requirement for launching an air-bursting projectile was in response to Russian operational experience in Syria, and enables MBTs to defeat small dismounted weapon teams. The round is designed to explode in front of the target, unleashing shrapnel in a cone pattern forward of the projectile. This set-up is useful for defeating infantry in open ground or in enfilade, but is less effective for dealing with infantry in defilade than a round that explodes in all directions or in a ring-shaped pattern.

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