And although the number of tanks of this type ordered by the Ministry of Defense is not specified, we can still say that this news belongs to the category of the very important and seemingly positive.
Although, let's face it, she also has a bit of bitterness. Most likely, the beginning of large purchases of the T-90M "Proryv" tank means that the prospects for another tank, the T-14 "Armata", which experts consider the best in the world in many respects, are not at all brilliant, and our Armed Forces will not see it in the foreseeable future. it in quantities exceeding a hundred or two pieces. But more on that later, but for now a little about what the new version of the not new T-90 tank is like.
The T-90M is the most advanced modification of the T-90 tank, developed back in 1992, to date. In turn, many experts believe that the T-90 tank is just a deep modernization of the T-72 tank, which appeared in our army back in 1973. And with all due respect to this well-deserved and very successful car, many experts believe that its modernization potential is already, to put it mildly, close to zero.
Nevertheless, if you take a closer look at the new product, the T-90M tank, you will notice that the base platform has undergone very large changes, and this is a really deep modernization, close in scale and complexity to the new vehicle.
First of all, the deeply modernized tower attracts attention. The developed aft niche of the new turret allows you to organize the stowage of ammunition in it. This arrangement helps to avoid the complete destruction of the tank when the ammunition is destroyed and the crew survives. There is also information that the new automatic loader is capable of working with high aspect ratio projectiles, which has a positive effect on the anti-tank capabilities of the T-90M tank. Another distinctive feature of the turret is the new multi-layer armor, which, together with dynamic protection, allows you to cope with almost any modern anti-tank ammunition flying into the frontal projection of the tank. And the hull armor in the front projection has been strengthened so much that its penetration has become almost impossible for the existing tank gun ammunition.
There is probably no particular need to say that this tank can be equipped with the most modern active and dynamic protection systems. Thus, the dynamic protection "Relikt", the installation of which is provided for by the project, in its characteristics is several times superior to the remote sensing device "Contact-5". It can also be equipped with the Arena-M active protection complex, which is capable of detecting enemy ammunition at a great distance, calculating their trajectory and destroying a special combat element with an oncoming shot.
However, it is probably not entirely correct to talk about new items in the tank "body kit", since they can be installed on almost any modern Russian tank. New systems of protection, observation, aiming, data exchange, camouflage - all this is good in itself, and the T-90M tank, of course, will only benefit if it is equipped with all these new products. The latter, however, no one guarantees - all these wonderful systems cost quite decent money, and such a "tuned" T-90M will cost a lot. And, as you know, we have no money...
What can rightfully be attributed to the qualitative progress of the tank itself is the V-92S2F tank diesel with a capacity of 1130 hp. This power plant allows it to reach speeds of up to 45 km / h on rough terrain, and up to 70 km / h on the highway. The specific power with a dead weight of 48 tons reaches 22.5 hp. per ton, which is very good. The power reserve, with external tanks, is a solid 550 kilometers.
The tank also received an auxiliary power unit, namely a diesel generator, which is necessary to generate electricity when the engine is off. And this is not a whim at all - the functioning of on-board systems, data exchange, communication, triggering of emergency systems, like KAZ, depends on whether there is electricity in the on-board network. A compact generator, which can be turned on in parking lots, is much more economical and, most importantly, less unmasking of a tank in the infrared range, and this is already critically important in our age of stealthy drones and long-range high-precision ammunition.
The main gun of the tank was the not very new 2A46M-4 cannon. Initially, it was assumed that the 2A82 cannon would be installed on the T-90M, but the military agreed (and someone says that they themselves insisted) to install a time-tested and reliable gun of the previous generation. Its combat characteristics are not much worse, so the choice in favor of reliability can be considered acceptable. Although it is quite possible that the main selection criterion is again the price - the military, taking into account all the budgetary difficulties, clearly do not want to "inflate" the price of the new model. Ultimately, this may simply make the entire project meaningless if it comes close to the price of the "Armata", which was already ready for mass production and surpassed all possible modifications of the T-90 even before their idea. One way or another, while we can consider the 2A46M-4 gun to be quite reasonable, and most importantly, a temporary compromise, thanks to which the tank can be brought to mass production with minimal costs. And the cannon can be replaced later, when (and if) the Ministry of Defense has more money...
It is also worth noting the possibility of embedding the T-90M into the network-centric combat control system ESU TZ (Unified tactical control system). In simple terms, the tank can be connected to the "military Internet", where it can automatically exchange information with other tanks, the headquarters of its unit, allied reconnaissance drones, and so on. This will not only increase the awareness of the crew about what is happening on the battlefield, but also sharply reduce the reaction time to threats that the crew does not notice yet, but which are already known to other allied "units". And this is nothing more than the survival of the tank and the crew.
Probably, there is no particular need to say that the T-90M tank is equipped with a dual-channel day / night gunner's sight, in this case the Sosna-U model. In addition, there is a panoramic sight of the commander of the PK PAN. All this is integrated into the Kalina fire control system, which has already been used on some modifications of the T-90 tank, in particular, on the T-90A tank. The tank has a two-plane gun stabilizer and a target tracking system, which significantly increases accuracy when firing from a standstill and on the move.
For the first time, this model was demonstrated back in 2017, and it was assumed that its serial production would begin in 2019-2020. But the inevitable refinements and organizational inconsistencies slightly shifted the dates for the start of mass production. However, there is no war now, and such a shift can probably be considered acceptable.
As you can see from the description, we really got a machine that is significantly different from previous models and, in terms of its combat capabilities, is probably one of the best to date. And this is, of course, good news...
On the other hand, it is already obvious that the launch of serial production of the T-90M at the facilities of Uralvagonzavod for an unknown period will postpone the serial production of the T-14 Armata, which many call the tank of tomorrow. Alas, with all the merits of the T-90M, it is inferior to the Armata in terms of security, dynamics, combat power, and a number of less significant, but still important parameters.
The recent declassification of "Armata" and the appearance of its layout at the IDEX-2021 international exhibition in the UAE added fuel to the fire. The tank, which was promised by oath not to be sold to anyone until the needs of the RF Armed Forces are satisfied, has now become a common export product. This means that the financial issue still prevailed, and the Russian Ministry of Defense decided to purchase, albeit quite good, but still less advanced tank T-90M.
Now there is already cautious talk about which of these tanks will be, in the end, the main one for the Russian ground forces. Experts, known for their "adherence to principles", agree that the main tank will be the one that "will buy more". Such a purely arithmetic approach also probably has a right to exist. And yet, let's be realistic - it hardly makes much sense to expand the line of MBTs even more, of which we already have three - T-72, T-80 and T-90. This means, most likely, we do not expect the appearance of "Armata" in our armed forces at all, if we bear in mind the quantities that will allow us not to consider them as experimental samples and statistical error.
But maybe this is not the main thing. We just have enough for parades, right? And for the parades we will put on "Armat", there is no doubt about it...