Saturday, September 10, 2011

Т-90MS in move

Putin takes explanation of T-90MS specs. 550 mm against cumulative for hull and turret from the side.

Starting from 2:12 :

- He said 850 mm for APFSDS and 1200 mm for cumulative. 3 trillion rubles for mil-industrial complex development will be spent till 2020.

the weaken zones:

Comparing to Ukrainian Oplot-M the Russian tank has better 2-axis stabilized remote controlled machine-gun (Oplot-M has a vertical stabilized) with FCS compatible with any 3rd party weapon including grenade launcher, automatically target tracking (Oplot-M has no), 3-channel driver view with electronic imaging, 4 video cameras including rear view, place for 10 rounds in the bustle (Oplot-M has only 5). However, unlike Oplot-M, the lateral hull covering ERA lacks anti-tandem features.


  1. Igor,
    Thanks for the video, maybe you can also translate the report into English and post it?

    There is a comparison chart around 0:53sec showing 4 tanks. Two are T-90S & T-90MA where as one look like the Abram, the other I can't identify, maybe Challenger or Leapord or maybe even Leclerc?

    T-90MA comes in action around 2:13 trailing the BMPT in the firing range. And another shot of the T-90MA along with BMPT firing and employing decoys/blinds around 2.59 .... I'm guessing it to be T-90MA as the T-90MA was all along with its "drop-tanks".

    closing shots of the video being that of the T-90MA moving after the drill. Good video, but T-90MA footage was rationed :-(

    And Vladi as usual was SUPERB, "fathering" (as of now) probably 4 new babies - Borei, Yasen, PAK-FA & T-90MA!

  2. Igor,

    Thanks for the correction. So its the export version and that explains the foreigners given a "free leg" on the display tank.
    Do you have any picture of the spec sheet that was displayed alongside the T-90MS?

    Also, please post info on the 2S19M1 Msta-M that was displayed at the show. Its turret was covered and it makes me think the turret is probably a new one. Maybe even different to the turret of the 2S19M1-155 that was displayed few years back (2003?).

    The gun also looks different, mainly the barrel and the flash suppressor.
    I don't have info on the SPH, so just guessing it to be probably a Russian standard (52cal, 152mm) SPH, based on the export-wise unsuccessful 2S19M1-155 (52cal, 155mm).

    Any info the new Msta-M would be appreciated. TIA.

  3. Sniper,
    the covering of Msta was Nakidka anti radar/IR emission coat. The SPH itself is regular one.

  4. Igor what does this means

    "He said 850 mm for APFSDS and 1200 mm for cumulative"

    Is he talking about the MS gun penetration capability for APFSDS and HEAT round or its ability to withstand it ?

  5. Igor couple of questions

    1> Do you have a clear picture of comparison chart which was shown to Putin comparing Western Tank and T-90's ?

    2> What is the length of new APFSDS round for T-90MS ?

  6. Pardon me for asking so many questions, Igor, but this is a topic I have a lot of interest in, and so I have two more questions.
    -How is the proposed 'Armata' tank going to be different from the T-90SM/AM?
    -Is the 'Burlak' turrent with the internal cooling system you posted about before a part of any of these upgrades?

  7. Austin,
    1) The T-90MS seemingly uses rods of regular length. Otherwise it were published, there is no sense to cover up such feature on an export product.
    2) 850 and 1200 mm - it's about the frontal armor, was declared by T-90MS program chief in the video.

  8. Gautam,
    Armata will be based on simplifying T-95 platform (simplier 6 wheel chassis, 125 mm MG insread of 152 mm), so the difference is obvious
    The cooling system on export variant is dependent of the customer, both external and internal variants or third party systems are available.
    Burlak turret has big problems with integration on the standard T-90 \t-72 chassis because of its high weight, it was an additional argument for terminating the program. They didnt find solution how to defend the bustle autoloader without making the turret unstable.

  9. Igor they wont get such penetration figures if that is what you mean by using existing short sabot( 3BM-42M,BM-46) since they are rated at 650 mm , so i assume they will have long sabot.

    >>>>850 and 1200 mm - it's about the frontal armor, >>>>was declared by T-90MS program chief in the >>>>video.

    You mean armour penetration figures for APFSDS and HEAT round respectively of T-90MS ?

  10. ==You mean armour penetration figures for APFSDS and HEAT round respectively of T-90MS ?==

    - Yes, He for sure means it's against western sabots. How they calculated it - is a different question.

  11. Igor you are confusing me , those figures are penetration figures for APFSDS and HEAT round fired from T-90MS against western armour or more precisely RHA penetration figures.

  12. it is characteristics of T-90MS frontal armor.

  13. Igor,
    good to see that you added 3 more videos. The first video is really good, but since it is a capture from the TV the real sound feel is missing. Thanks for linking it up. great.

    The info on Msta-M is disappointing, if true. I'm surprised that they are more concerned about giving it lower ID treatment and not bothered about increasing its range to 40-60Km? I do agree the artillery have got heavier and longer units in its arsenal, but still...

    As for the T-90SM, i think it would be fair enough to sum-up the T-90SM as an upgrade that was focused primarily on improving these aspect to the next level (somewhat like Su-35 fitted with 5th Gen avionics scenario)-
    4)User friendly (or reducing work load of the crew).

    Increasing the APFSDS effectiveness with longer sabot was probably secondary as new and better missile might suffice for minor shortcomings(?)
    And as Garry said somewhere, systems that maybe going into the Armata is being first installed, tested and being perfected on the T-90Ms.

  14. Sniper,
    the obsession about longer, heavier sabot is American. By their M829E3 round they tried to develop more heavy low velocity sabot for not to ignite the Russian ERA, which mean their obsession is Russia&China-centric. When fighting against Western-type armor is the most important consideration, there is no much rational for longer sabot since it can be just quicker, thinner sabot with the same l\w ratio.

  15. Your APFSDS needs weight to be effective, and if you are limited in length then to increase weight you need to make it thicker.

    From an aerodynamic and penetration point of view longer and thinner offer lower drag and better concentration of energy.

    Of course thinner is also more fragile too.

    You also need to keep in mind that new ammo might not be for export and this is the export model.

    The performance and characteristics of the T-90AM will likely be different and not for public consumption.

    If it was revealed that the T-90AM has new penetrators and HEAT rounds with X performance then western tank makers will just aim for new improved armour to meet that new threat... even if the Russian Army decides to not buy any T-90AMs and just to wait for the Armata.

    Of course I hope that the T-90AM is produced and used as the Su-35 will be used with the PAKFA, but I suspect the cheaper upgraded T-72s might fill that role till they can manage an all Armata fleet.

  16. GArryB,
    Indeed the last information (11 Sept RIAN) confirms T-72 modernization till 2014, when the production of new tanks will be started.

  17. Which of course suggests a repeat of what happened before.
    The Army changed its plans and told no one till it very publicly rejected the T-95 design.
    Now they will moan and btch about small things till it is so close to Armata production they will say it is not worth wasting time on the T-90 and all focus will be on the new Armata that will be perfect in every way, and the cheap mass production upgraded T-72s... a role the T-72 has performed most of its in service life.
    It is funny that for a while the T-90 was not good enough and had to be replaced yet T-72s with a minor upgrade to give them a 50-60% performance of the T-90 will be bought.

    Clearly the solution for UVZ with the T-90 upgrade is to cheap it all up, and don't even consider what the Army criticises it for because that is a smokescreen. If it is as cheap as the T-72 upgrade then they will likely pick it as an upgrade... or UVZ will be making Leopards.... :)

    The irony is that when the Russian military was performing badly in Chechnia in the 1990s I don't remember the factory managers making comments about their military not being world class despite the economic neglect and enormous changes in the breakup of an armed force that spanned the whole soviet union.

    If the Russian military decides not to spend cash on a new upgrade of the T-90 to save money for buying Armata tanks then that is fine... UVZ can simply keep the T-90AM upgrade for T-72 overhauls in 10 years time when the technology is cheaper, and it can focus on international sales of T-90MS.
    The problem is that the Russian Army seems to see the need to stick the boot in to its own industry which ultimately hurts international sales... sales that subsidise the MIC to allow it to recover from the same lack of money and the same breakup of ties with former soviet republics and eastern europe that the armed forces went through.
    At the snap of the fingers however it seems the Russian MIC must be able to beat anything in the world or the money will be spent with a foreign competitor...

  18. To be honest I don't know why they (Russian MIC) bother.

    Clearly the solution is the American model.

    The Russian MIC should offer cushy high paying jobs with lots of travel and perks to ex armed forces personel that don't diss their products.

    Pretty soon Russian officers will learn not to be too harsh in public if they want a nice job to retire to.

    The problem of course is that the military will start getting rubbish like the US sometimes has to put up with when a person with connections gets a job in a company that makes crap.

  19. P.S : Not sure why my posts are disappearing

  20. Igor and GarryB,

    The US defense contractor Boeing is test firing a counter-electronics missile carrying a high power microwave (HPM) payload designed to zap enemy electronic system .

    Can Russia safeguard it's electronic assets against such missiles ?



  22. EMP weapons are not new.
    Electronic interference of enemy equipment is not new.
    Most military electronics are designed accordingly.
    BTW EMP effects are log based to distance, so to have a reasonable effect they need to get very close to the target they are trying to jam.
    In many ways it is an attempt to disable things without killing the operators or people around the target area... high explosive would bring similar results but with more damage and lethal effects.

  23. Igor,

    Should Russia join hands with either France or Germany to develop Unmanned aircrafts , given the fact that Russian manufacturers have made little headway and are increasingly being criticized in Russia for wasting billions of roubles and being un-accountable .


  24. As far as I could tell from the little I have heard from the latest exercises the UAVs are not the problem... the problem is they have a C4IR system, but not all the participants are properly connected to it yet.

    In other words they need to install the communications and equipment to link all the vehicles and units to the network before they need worry about platforms that can add information on enemy positions/force to the network database like a UAV would.

    The sky is not falling yet... an Russian companies are actually coming up with very capable systems... some of them are kept secret because they are operational systems.

    By all the reports I have read the Israeli UAVs that Russia bought have already been surpassed by domestic developers, which is no huge surprise because the Israeli UAVs were not the latest generation. Right now they are working away improving their products and increasing domestic content levels.

    I see no reason to panic, though if France or Germany want to cooperate on UAV designs it certainly wouldn't hurt either party.

  25. GarryB,

    May I suggest something in this regard .

    Russia has the necessary engineering expertise, particularly in aircraft construction and manufacturing, and it also has adequate financial resources.

    The leading drone developer is Vega that has swallowed $160 million without coming out with a successful product .

    Therefore , Russia should pay closer attention to other high-tech companies that have not been considered leading players in drone aircraft construction.Russia has a number of such companies.These companies are more mobile and flexible than Vega. Most important, they are not corrupted by multibillion-dollar government contracts and years of unaccountability, but are instead accustomed to risking their own money and relying on innovation.

    Let's not forget that General Atomics was an unknown company before it came up with the highly successful Predator drone.



  26. With respect... no.

    If the Russian government is spending multi millions of dollars on a company to develop drones for them they should rake that company with a fine tooth comb to make sure the money is being spent responsibly and none of it is wasted or diverted into pockets.

    People might talk about x hundred million wasted with nothing to show, but I rather suspect reality is somewhat different.

    As we have seen showing a prototype does not make a UAV. Once the prototype is ready you need to produce a batch of 20-30 and then start serious and rigorous testing that will include breaking quite a few... that takes time and money. Once you have the aircraft right you still need to perfect the control system which is probably the most important component because the people operating these aircraft will not be pilots... some will be conscripts so you need to make it fool proof... which is slow and expensive and a case of trying everything a fool could possibly do to make sure they can't do anything that will lead to problems.
    Then you need to set up production for several hundred of these systems including the UAV itself and the control system.

    The real problem is that the Russian military has not been very clear about exactly what it wants regarding specifications... they have little experience and really don't know what these things can or cannot do and so the UAV designers are trying to design something for someone that doesn't know what they want... talk about a designers nightmare!!!!

    The main problem is that you talk about UAVs like they only need one. The reality is they need dozens of different types from helicopter based ones that fit in the palm of your hand that can fly for an hour, through dozens of weight sizes and uses from Army, Navy, and Air Force, up to the really big high altitude long range long endurance or HALE UAVs that cost more than some small fighter aircraft.
    Most of the smaller things are OK, it is the bigger stuff that is taking longer... which is perfectly understandible I think... bigger ones are expensive and no one is going to risk big money on the hope that the Russian military might finally decide to get serious about UAVs.