The T-90MS, an updated version of Russia’s T-90 main battle tank recently showed off its offensive and defensive capabilities at a Russian testing range.

Russia's T-90MS Shows Off Capabilities At Testing Range

Russia’s T-90MS was first revealed in 2011

It appears that the improved main battle tank for the Russian army is coming along after its unveiling in 2011. While it is to be utilized by the Russian Army, Russia is also in discussions with export customers like India. The Indians have already announced their plans to purchase 236 of the new and improved T-90.

Russia recently began testing the new battle tank in a variety of conditions and climates.

Improved defenses for the T-90MS

“Since man-portable anti-tank weapons have become the new trend nowadays, we decided to upgrade both the tank’s weaponry and defense systems. The tank can now hold its ground against a large number of enemy infantry armed with anti-tank weaponry,” the head of the design department of the Transmash design bureau recently told the Russian TV channel Zvezda according to the news agency Sputnik.

This improved survivability is based on a number of factors. First, the T-90MS added a turret bustle that keeps additional rounds outside of the crew area. In addition to new composite armor, the T-90MS has built-in Relikt explosive reactive armor rather than the Kontakt-5 armor used on older models. Reactive armor essentially explodes when an anti-tank weapon strikes the tank, blowing the round away from the tank or at least keeping it from penetrating the tank. It also provides additional protection against tandem warheads and reduces the penetration abilities of APFSDS rounds by over 50%.  Lastly, the battle tank is outfitted with the Shtora-1 countermeasures system which fools anti-tank weapons with semi-automatic guidance.

Improved offensive capabilities for the T-90MS

The primary gun has changed with a new 125-mm high-accuracy smoothbore gun that has an increased range over previous models of the T-90. It also has the ability to firre 9K119 Refleks anti-tannk missiles that can also be used against low-flying helicopters. Forty rounds are carried for the main gun with 22 of those held in an autoloader for quick use.

Further upgrades include a new fire control system with panoramic sights over multiple channels. These sights are equipped with a thermal vision system that allows the tank commander to understand the vehicles position on the battlefield during the day and the night along with a variety of weather conditions.

The T-90MS also has a new tracking system that features a “hunter-shooter” mode for use against multiple targets. The tank commander can mark a target and hand its destruction over to the gunner while he continues his/her search for additional targets without moving the gun designated to the first target.

The crew of three will also enjoy the addition of an automatic transmission, two new air condition units and a rear-view camera.

The T-90MS has more power and a few other additions

The newest version produces 1130 horsepower with its new V-92S2F turbocharged diesel engine. The aforementioned automatic transmission has seven forward and one reverse gear with both improved handling and a higher top-speed than its predecessors. An auxillary power unit can run all systems even when the engine is turned off. Crew members can also install a deep wading kit in about 20 minutes which allows the tank to ford water up to a depth of five meters.