The Russian made T-90 is a derivative of the old T-72 tank design and made by Uralvagonzavod, a Russian company who are also rumoured to have been making theT-95. At current the Russian army as well as other countries who have ordered this tank utilize it in their forces. – The tank is the latest version in their arsenal and utlizes same gun/sights from the T-80U. (1G46) The tank has a crew capacity of three, being the commander, gunner and driver.
The tank is armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun which is capable of firing similar missiles to that of a TOW missile, the missile is called 9m119 Svir. (AT-11 Sniper – which has a range of 4000 – 6000 meters) Like most other tanks it is armed with a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun mounted and intergrated into the turret and also has a 50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun mounted ontop of the turret for anti-air defence. Like new most other modern tanks today, the gun (2A46M) features an auto-loader which gets rid of the need for a fourth crewman to reload the gun. Intern this makes loading the gun slower, as human loaders have been able to load the guns of tanks at 15 shells a minute while the autoloader takes 10-12 rounds per minute on average. However the autoloader may have an advantage when the tank transverses over rough terrain, where a human operator might be thrown off (In terms of speed) at which he can load the gun.
The exceptional thing about the T-series tanks is that they have very low hull profiles meaning they can position themselves in lower terrain where other armoured units cannot do this. Several upgrades which include armour, engine, thermal sights and protective measures are also in place on the T-90. The tank roughly weighs 46.5 tonnes and is 9.53 meters in length by 3.78 in width with a height of 2.22 meters.
Russia, in comparison to older versions of the T series have a small amount of T-90 tanks currently in service. In 2005, 91 T-90S tanks were ordered to be used in the Russian Army of which later the order was reduced to a smaller amount. 2007 records estimate that only 200 T-90 tanks exist in the Russian Army. The T-90 is also in use by the Indian army who have either ordered or recieved 486 of these tanks and have expressed that by 2020 they would like to increase this number to 1,000 tanks. The Saudia Arabia (Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz) also made deals with Russia for the purchase of military hardware including the T-90S (150 tanks) for a total cost of $3 billion. (USD) Algeria placed orders for the T-90S and have over 170 of these tanks currently in service with more to be delivered by 2011 to make the total 180 T-90S. Turkmenistan also have around 10 T-90S tanks at the cost of $30 million. (USD)
T-90S “Bhishma” – This variation of T-90 is a heavily modified version from the original Russian version of the T-90. This type of tank for the Indian Army was assembled in India and is generally considered a knocked down version from the original T-90. It is comparable to the T-72S since the tank has features and add-ons which mostly resemble what is on the T-72s. The Indian government had lots of concessions about ordering this tank since it was feared that the production of the indigenous Indian tank “Arjun” would face cut backs in view of money going into Russian equipment.
T90M – is another variation of the T-90 tank. This tank has a much more advanced type of ERA installed on the tank, which is called ‘Kaktus’ ERA, this is differentiated from the ‘Kontakt-5’ ERA which is installed on normal T-90S tanks on the front and top hull of the tank. As well as armour upgrades there is also a newer and much better environmental control system (ECS) installed in T-90M and also has a the ability to carry new generation thermal imagers due to the increase in internal volume. Which essentially means that the tank can have a lower heat profile as well as improved thermal imaging.