Thursday, September 1, 2011

New information & pics of modernized T-90

(pic from here
This is the export-oriented modernized T-90S on the pictures. New modernization of T-90 named T-90AM for domestic army is slightly different. It has new 2A82 125 mm MG (2A46M-5 for export version) with improved autoloader allowing long rods using, with 22 ready to use rounds (40 rounds all), 70% better barrel lifspan. -10 - 45 grad vertical and 316 grad horizontal angle

Turret FCS complex called 'Kalina' has panoramic commander view PK PAN with IR camera, and gunner view PNM Sosna-U. Remote controlled 7.62 turret UDP T05BV-1, GLONASS+inertial navigation, improved radio (two independent stations) and tactical awareness system.
V-93 1130 hp engine giving 23 hp\t (for 49 t tank), steering wheel & automatic gear, chassis sensory control system. 

The ERA is Relict for improved performance against tandem rounds, maximal distance of penetration for APFSDS rods М829А2 is - 1km, М829А3 –  1,2km (NII Stali). +Shtora-2 modernized soft kill APS for incoming ATGMs. The APU is alternatively of two types:  5 kWt DGU5-P27.5V-VM1, or 7 kWt DGU7-P27.5V-VM1. Track pressure - 0.98 kg/cm2. The tank was promised early to be shown in N-Tagil show in 8-12 Sep. 
Added latter: the specs of the combined gunner sight Sosna-U + the panoramic commander sight Falcon eye.
Optic (sosna-U) and TV (Falcon eye)  sight
tank type target - 5000 m
wide ungle - 12 grad 7.4 x 5.6 , opt zoom 4+
narrow angle - 4 grad, 2.5 x 1.9, opt zoom 12+, dig zoom   1.17  x 1.5

IR sight Catherine-FC or Catherine-XP, 8-12 micrometers
tank type target  - 3300 m
wide angle 9 x 6.75
narrow angle 3 x 2.25, with dig zoom 1.5 x 1.12

Working conditions:
Propagation coefficient for 8-14 micrometer > 0.8
Temperature Contrast > 1.5 K
Enviroment T - -40 - +55 C

Laser range finder
300 - 7500 m
min discrimination - 5 m
median  error (for tank on 5000 m) - 5m
wave lenth 1.06 - 1.57 micrometers
single impulse mode

Stabilisation system:
Independent in 2 axis
 Vertical - Sosna-U -10 - +20 grad , FalconEye - -15 - +45
 by mirror - 7.5 grad
by turret  - -360 - +360

Angle velocity (grad/sec)
min - 0.05
max for rounds - Sosna-U - 5-6, FalconEye - 3
max for barrel launch missiles - 2-3

Angle velocity for sight line (grad/sec)
vert axis > 10
horiz axis > 45

Stabilization error < 8 mrad/min
Stabilization error in moving (30 km/h off road) - < 0.1 mrad

Own aligning system - exists

Readiness for work - 7 min

Normative worktime - 6 h with 1 h pause
In extremal needs -  incessantly


  1. Nice.
    49T is still pretty light.
    Should make off road performance pretty good.

  2. How would the in turret ammunition protection be?Is there any additional safeguards from T-90s?One keeps on hearing the vulnerability of Russian Tank T series designs as especially vulnerable to in turret explosions of penetration.How far is this an accurate statement?

  3. Any tank with loose ammo inside the crew compartment is vulnerable to explosions if penetrated.
    This was made worse in the T-80/T-64 series tanks as the ammo stubs are stored vertically and are not separated from the crew comparment.
    The propellent stubs are made of cardboard and highly flammable as they are supposed to combust completely on firing. So with them sitting on the floor of the turret ring any penetration led to hot material landing on the propellent stubs and setting them all off.
    In the T-72/T-90 both the projectiles and the propellent stubs are laid out horizontal in the auto loaders with armour separating them from the crew compartment.
    Any loose rounds and propellent stubs were a problem however and only 22 rounds fit in the auto loader so another 18 or so were stored around the crew compartment.
    As a short term measure the T-90s used in Chechnia in the second conflict went into battle with only the 22 rounds in their automatic magazines so there were no instances of them losing their turrets.
    This modification adds ammo in a turret bustle that is separated from the crew compartment.
    Because the ammo doesn't need to fit within the turret ring in a circular autoloader which limits the length of the penetrator to half the diameter of the turret ring the penetrator can be as long as needed.
    Longer penetrators are more efficient because the longer it is the heavier it is and that extra weight is concentrated on a narrow point which makes it more efficient in both flight as as a penetrator.
    There is some speculation about whether there is an autoloader in the bustle or if the ammo is just stored there.
    I think considering the weight of the rounds and the difficulty of getting up from your seat and reaching back into the turret bustle for ammo that weighs quite a bit that a simple autoloader based on that proposed for the Black Eagle would be necessary.
    But the text above mentions 22 rounds in the autoloader which is how many rounds the under floor autoloader holds... so maybe I am wrong.

  4. to anon September 1, 2011 12:09 PM

    No tank in the world has all ammo isolated from the crew. For example Leo and Leclerk have as half of their ammo near the crewmen and about half - isolated. T-90AM has 22 round in improved, fragment-defended, suspended (isolated from the bottom) autoloader inside the hull. The remained 18 is isolated in the turret niche. Unlike 'Black Eagle' or 'Armata', the T-90AM has no autoloader in the bustle.

  5. Garry the T-90 has not see any action in Chechnya or Georgia perhaps you mean the T-72 or 72B.

    As far as loose ammo goes though they are inside the turret they are not loosely stored ,all additional ammo inside the turret are stored in ammo racks in hull and below turret race ring.

    Check the ammo layout

    And compare with Leopard 2 ammo rack inside turret

    You see after penetration the chances of spontaneous combustion is equally high because of the way they both store ammo.

  6. Igor , Can you post a better scan copy of the tabular column of the specs or better translate it in English for us ? Thanks

  7. Every main battle tank has ammo inside the turret. They have to, because otherwise they can't reload.

    The Leo2 has more than half of it's max ammo in the turret magazine. The rest is stored in ammo compartments all over the tank. Once the turret magazine is empty (or between fights) the tank falls back, turns the turret into reloading position and has the crew unmounted to refill the turret magazine.

    Also the turret magazine shouldn't explode by a "simple" turret penetration. Firstly that should be very difficult anyways. And secondly only kinetic projectiles could potentially do that. Those don't explode. Only a lucky, direct hit to the magazine could damage the ammo stored there so that it could ignite if it gets in contact with the melted steel of the armor penetration. This can happen to any main battle tank. Not a Russian specific problem. And as I said not very likely.

  8. yo GarryB how come you never came back to

  9. It would be nice to put Arena active defence system.Does anyone know what is the price of Arena?

  10. @Austin
    The T-90s were used in the so called invasion of Dagestan, or sometimes called second Chechen conflict. Look up the T-90 wiki page... it has some details there.

    It is disappointing that there is no mini autoloader in the new turret bustle.
    It wouldn't be that hard to design and fit a 4 layer automated ammo rack with projectiles and propellent stubs with a extendible feed tray directly from the bustle to the gun breech.
    In action the crew could slide open a small armoured door just wide enough for rounds and propellent stubs to slide through with a straight line auto rammer pushing the rounds from the turret ammo rack straight into the gun. In fact the projectile and propellent stub could be stored in line ready to go straight in in one push and when the auto rammer retracts it could close the armoured door so the crew are kept separated from the ammo.
    The ammo in the bustle could be all long rod penetrators so there would be no need for a sophisticated ammo rack to select different ammo types... it could just be a linkless ammo feed as the ammo is loaded and the auto rammer retracts the armoured cover could close and the mechanism could move one position to line up the next round ready for ramming... the sort of thing already used in vehicles like the 2S1.
    Would be much quicker and easier than have the gunner get out of his seat and reach back into the bustle to find rounds to pull them into the crew compartment and then manually load them either into the gun or the underfloor autoloader.

  11. @РастаБаста
    Tried to a while back, but I seem to be banned still. The fact that I was never told why I was banned makes me not really want to post there because I don't know what will get me banned again, so I just don't bother.
    I spend most of my time at http://russiadefence.englishboard(dot)net/
    Which is an English speaking forum mainly interested in Russian stuff so I am not a weirdo eccentric tolerated for my knowledge like on
    Note replace the (dot) with a . to make the link work... don't want to attract bots.

    Have heard that they have updated Shtora to Shtora 2 to deal with diving top attack weapons like Javelin and Spike... would expect ARENA 2 might be in the works too.
    Have read a comment from a Russian military official that basically said that when the upgrades are finalised that they will recieve all the extra little bits like ARENA and Shtora.

    Even if such systems are not perfect super systems that will stop everything it is worth buying them in large numbers to reduce costs and the money made by the makers will be invested in expanding their capabilities to be more useful in improved versions.

    For a good example look at Pantsir and Pantsir-S1. It has become a very formidable system from a cheap trailer based version of Tunguska for customers who didn't need a tracked chassis.

  12. GarryB,
    The rounds in the bustle is a point of vulnerability too, since the armor from the sides and back of turret is even less strong that of the hull. Also the most hits are going on the turret according to statistics. Then the best round position is in the isolated hull compartment like T-95 has. However T-95 was rejected because its 152 mm gun and too expensive 7-wheel chassis. T-99 Armata will have 125 mm gun , 6-wheel chassis but will keep the innovative T-95 round layout, planning for 2015-2016, sponsored by Army. T-90AM is offered as an intermediade solution by UVZ, till Armata coming. It isnt clear whether Army finally agree to T-90AM, or prefers to wait Armata, there are no any orders yet. Anyway there is little rational to put a tank with bustle autoload into production since the T-95-type layout is established for future platform.

  13. As long as the turret bustle is separated from the crew compartment there is no danger to having ammo stored there.
    With the T series tanks with underfloor autoloaders the turrets have two men, one either side of the gun, so adding a turret bustle autoloader that is separated from the crew compartment by a tiny sliding door should mean any rear turret penetration will at worse reduce the amount of available ammo by up to 18 rounds.
    The current small narrow bustle eliminates the risk of penetration of the bustle from the front.
    A simple system 9 shells wide the two rows high would hold the 18 rounds needed. An automated ammo rack that rotates and can move the shells around this rack (both projectile and propellent stub in line) and a fixed straight rammer in line with the gun breach is all that is needed.
    Not rocket science at all.
    If you make the top of the rear turret bustle a big armour two piece door... designed to blow up and off in case of an ammo detonation then it becomes very easy to load too.
    Very simply the operation would involve when the crew selects a long rod round a small hatch 30 cm square or smaller slides aside and a support tray extends from the back wall of the turret to the feed tray of the gun with the breech open ready to load. A straight rammer then forces the round in the ammo rack aligned with the gun straight into the gun in one movement... the feed tray has sides so that if the tank is travelling across country the projectile and propellent stub don't fall off into the crew compartment. Once in the gun breach the breach slides shut, the tray and rammer retract and the armoured door closes so there is only a very short period when the ammo is in the crew compartment and the turret bustle is open to the crew compartment.
    This risk is not different than with the Abrams when the loader has opened the armoured door to the ammo stored in the turret bustle and is minor.
    Once the autoloader is closed the ammo rack moves around one position to align the next round with the gun so after the round is fired if long rod penetrators are still selected the sequence will start again.

  14. Why am I going on about this?

    Because the T-90 doesn't have a loader standing behind the gun in the turret with the gunner and commander in front of him on each side of the gun.
    For manual loading in a T-90 it has to be either the gunner or the commander that gets up and turns around and reaches into the turret bustle for the two piece ammo... each part of which is at least 10kgs which they then have to haul into the crew compartment and push into the breach of the gun one at a time and then close the door separating the crew compartment from the loose ammo in the turret bustle and then sit down and do their job.
    That would be much slower and would be best done out of the line of fire, so more likely the tank will fire off its 22 rounds and then go somewhere quiet and presumably while the commander keeps watch with his 360 degree pano sight the gunner will get up and turn around and slide open the armoured door and be loading shells and propellent stubs down into the automatic loader under the floor.
    So any enemy who finds a T-90AM sitting behind cover doing not much knows a direct hit on the turret bustle might get him the commander and the gunner if they are quick enough.
    Another disadvantage is that the long rod penetrators will still need to fit in the under floor auto loader whereas rounds in the bustle could be much longer and therefore more effective. Long penetrators are heavier and therefore concentrate more energy in a smaller area.
    Advantages of a turret bustle autoloader is that all the rounds are ready to fire.
    Penetrators no longer have a maximum length within reason.
    Easier to reload.
    Inline with the gun so in theory should be much faster to load and less complicated.
    Shells are more vulnerable to enemy fire, but no risk to the crew even if they are hit.

    One thing I don't understand is that if the underfloor autoloader holds 22 rounds, why have 18 rounds in the turret bustle.. surely it makes more sense to have 22 rounds in the turret bustle for a full reload.

  15. The fundamental problem of course is the two piece ammo with its vulnerable propellent around the projectile and propellent stub that are made of cardboard impregnated with propellent to make them combustible.
    Loose propellent stubs sitting in the crew compartment are very vulnerable to hot fragments and burning embers from a hull or turret penetration.
    the underfloor armoured autoloader on the T-72/T-90 protects the ammo from such hot fragments, but there are all sorts of other solutions.
    A liquid propellent gun that carries two tanks of liquids designed so that on their own they are not dangerous or flammable, but together they are highly explosive. The two tanks are kept well apart and the chemicals only mix in the chamber behind a loaded projectile. Multiple tanks of the liquid could be distributed over the vehicle and the liquid could even be used as a fire retardant as long as it is only one component and not both mixed together.
    This would remove volatile propellent from the storage problems leaving only projectiles which can be made very insensitive to penetrations. If you set fire to a HE shell it will just burn till the fire gets to the detonator or fuse.
    A long rod penetrator would not be a problem at all unless it is made of DU.

  16. BTW the old plans were that the T-95 would be entering slow service because of the low priority for tanks and the T-90 would be the backbone of the Russian Army.
    Now that the T-95 is cancelled is there any assurance that Armata will be any cheaper than T-90AM?
    The T-90AM is a net centric tank with a battle managment system and modern communications systems.
    If they want to actually have a net centric environment with C4IR that is of any use they will need nodes in their network... Armata and T-90AM are nodes. Upgraded T-72s would not be so useful unless the upgrades include the expanded turrets and new equipment... which will drive up the cost to near T-90AM levels.

    At the end of the day even if Armata is perfect the Russian Army will not be an all Armata force by 2020 or 2025, and the question they need to ask themselves is do they want a T-90AM/Armata force, or a T-72/T-90A/a few T-90AM/Armata force.

    I think that in the new heavy brigade structure that they are going to need an enormous number of tank chassis to create the family brigade chassis.
    Going for T-90AM as the tanks and using the existing T-72s for their chassis as the remaining heavy brigade vehicles is probably the best solution as they will need lots and lots of tank chassis.

    Put it in perspective... I have counted about 13 vehicles for the Heavy Brigades that would use in the future Armata chassis.
    Armata is not going to be ready till 2015, so in the mean time it is T-72s upgraded and T-90s.
    To convert a T-72/T-90 tank brigade into an Armata or heavy tank brigade it is going to need: A tank, an artillery piece like MSTA (which reportedly are already on order), perhaps a rocket artillery equivelent like TOS but long range artillery like MSTA, TOS, BMPT fire support vehicle (they rejected the twin 30mm cannon armed version because it was less well armed than a BMP-3M but they didn't reject the idea), air defence vehicle (perhaps Pantsir-S1 on a T-72), BREM repair and recovery vehicle, Mine clearing vehicle, recon underwater vehicle, BMP/BTR troop transport, command and control vehicles, ambulance vehicles, even armoured transport for food fuel and water.
    I don't think they will have enough T-72s to upgrade to cover all those roles in a heavy T-72/90 brigade, so for example MSTA 152mm artillery vehicles could use T-72 tank chassis.
    The T-80s they could keep using till they wear out but the gas turbine powered models are expensive to run so it might just be better to strip them of secret and useful parts and sell what is left to the Ukraine or Cyprus or South Korea.

    BTW sorry for rambling Igor. :)

  17. GarryB on
    'any rear turret penetration will at worse reduce the amount of available ammo by up to 18 rounds.'

    - A rear turret penetration will at worse disable tank from ability to fire and move. However the crew survives. Dont underestimate the power of explosion in even isolated ammo compartment. You cannot defend the outer autoloader from 4 direction while the 1st priority is remained to defend the hull with crew from 4 direction. So, the bustle autoloader (as a solution for modernization) adds vulnerability for tank.

    I'm sure the T-95 layout is the best, worth to wait for it coming then put the money for purely intermediate solutions with expectable supply chain disaster. I suggest, they have made account and appreciated than cannot finance the early approved modernization of current tanks (T-80, T-72, T-90A) in masse up to proposed early T-90 Burlak with bustle autoloader. The main turn point here - the abandonment of Burlak in 2010, huh...

  18. to Austin:

    After additional check I must say the tabular columns have some unreliable figures. The most reliable figures about T-90AM sight I have added in the English text.

  19. The turret bustles main reason to exist is to carry ammo separate from the crew compartment.
    There is no black magic about explosives, it is relatively predictable, and the added bonus is that it allows long rod penetrators to be carried and used which is hard to over emphasise.

    The point is that the ammo will be in the bustle anyway... whether it is loose or it is in a mini auto loader, so it will be vulnerable, the question is whether it will be ready to use ammo, or whether it will be a 10-15 minute delay in some quiet spot while one crew man manhandles 18 rather heavy projectiles and propellent stubs into the below floor autoloader.

    The 31 round autoloader has already been developed for the Black Eagle... taking 10-15 rounds off the auto loader to make it narrow enough to fit in the smaller T-90AM bustle would not be that big a deal.

    The advantage of having 40 rounds ready to fire instead of having 22 ready to fire and another 18 about 10 minutes later is pretty clear to me.

    Regarding the explosion threat explosives always take the line of least resistance and if penetration and explosion happen while the armoured door to the crew compartment is closed the only explosion will be propellent around the long rod penetrators and the propellent stubs and roof mounted blow out doors will direct the blast up and away from the crew compartment.

    Electronics and other stuff in the turret bustle will be destroyed and 18 rounds at most will be lost, but the tank should remain fully functional... but the bustle explosion will happen in a penetration event whether the ammo is in an auto loader or if it is loose ammo just stored there.

    Adding the autoloader makes no difference to the vulnerability of the tank because the plan is to store ammo not in the underfloor autoloader there anyway. Storing ammo in the bustle adds vulnerability whether there is an autoloader there or not.
    The Autoloader just makes the tank able to carry very long penetrators that are too long to fit in the under floor autoloader.

    I think it is very short sighted.

    They want high tech, but they don't want expensive stuff.

    They need to step out of the office and look at the real world... net centric high tech forces will be expensive and if they wont spend money now... what happens when Armata is available in 2015 and it is $10 million per vehicle.
    4 million per T-90AM is going to look cheap then, but in 2015 it will probably be $6 million.

  20. Their plan with the T-95 was to produce about 1,000 of them and have the T-90 as the backbone numbers vehicle.
    Now they have backtracked on the T-95 and gone for Armata but also a heavy family of vehicles based on Armata.
    For every tank in a tank brigade there will be 10 or more other vehicles, and in the heavy brigade model those 10 other vehicles will be based on the same chassis as the tank that operates with the heavy Tank or indeed MotorRifle brigade... because both have tanks, and the heavy brigade is all tank level protection vehicles.
    I rather doubt they will have enough T-72s to form heavy tank and motorrifle brigades as assuming 2,000 in service tanks means 20,000 tank based other vehicles for a total of 22,000 tank chassis. Of course they have MSTAs already in service and they have ordered more, but I don't think they will have enough tank chassis to make all those vehicles... and that is not even thinking about the 5-6,000 tanks they want in reserve.

    Personally I think the best solution is to start upgrading the T-72s and put them in semi storage as the 5-6,000 reserve tanks, produce a total of about 2,000 T-90s including older models upgraded to AM standard.

    By 2015 stop upgrading the T-72s and produce Armatas into active service and shift the T-90s into reserve to replace the upgraded T-72s... upgraded T-72s can be sold or even donated to customers that operate T-72s in numbers with contracts to upgrade the rest of the customers fleet (you save money not scrapping good vehicles and make money upgrading the rest of the customers fleet... they get good tanks, the army doesn't need to store tanks it no longer needs and UVZ gets contracts to upgrade foreign customers tanks).
    Or the obsolete T-72s could be gifted to customers that make other purchases where they already have T-72s... it might create an upgrade contract after a few years of seeing what an upgraded T-72 can do.

  21. Sorry if I seem to have a bee in my bonnet about this, but some seem to think the problem is with UVZ just making stuff and expecting the government to take it at any price they name.
    If you look at their view, they have contracts they were given to make things like the T-95 and BMPT only to be told when they were pretty much ready that their plans have changed and these designs no longer fit their requirements.
    After 20 years of promises of orders, with the actual orders being 20-30 tanks per year or less on average, then to have government officials to publicly compare the T-90 to a T-34 and call Russian tanks rubbish... especially when used poorly in combat like driving straight into a city like it was a parade... so they listened to the complaints and addressed the issues raised... and now they don't want them because they are not cheap like the old simple T-34...

    It must be a hard pill to swallow for UVZ... their job seems to be to make products as good as anything in the west, but at a fraction of the cost. The thing is that when you get thermal imagers made in the west, they are going to cost Russia slightly more than they cost France (export vs domestic).
    Most of the reason the Su-30MKI costs so much more than the domestic equivalent is because of the very expensive French and other foreign gear in the Su-30MKI.
    You don't hear the Indians saying the Su-30MK was much cheaper... lets just get that instead and we can forget about why we asked for all those improvements...

    If you want high tech state of the art you have to pay for it... that is why they sometimes call the "leading edge" technology the "bleeding edge".

  22. HarryB,
    I dont deny shortsightedness of the Russian military bureaucracy, but it can be also rational to wait 2-3 years for Armata coming instead open a new line for intermediate production including T-90AM or any tank with bustle autoloader.

  23. So they are basically betting on the Armata to be cheaper than 4 million dollars a piece, and they are also betting that without production of tanks for the next 2-3 years that UVZ will be able to retain production capacity and skilled workers to build new tanks.

    I realise heavy armour is not a huge priority, but in this case I think money spent now on T-90AMs might reduce the cost of them dramatically, and with numbers produced they could have a reserve of vehicles... which they will certainly need when they start creating heavy brigades with all tank chassis for all nontank vehicles.
    I think the T-90AM would make the ideal partner tank to the Armata tank and that the best use for all those T-72s would be for a couple of thousand of the best condition vehicles to be converted to upgraded tanks which are used for training along with simulators and for the best tanks to be kept in reserve for war or parades, and the remaining T-72s to be turned into chassis bases for the other vehicles in the heavy brigades.
    I really don't think a bustle mounted autoloader is that difficult to create when the design has already been patented by designers who have been absorbed into UVZ already.
    They had a 31 round autoloader for the Black Eagle, so making an 18 round autoloader shouldn't be too hard.
    The length of the turret bustle seems to be sufficient to have the projectile and propellent stub together in line to be loaded in one ramming stroke and two horizontal rows of 9, or even three rows of 6 would allow all 18 rounds to be stored ready to use. The very small armoured hatch of maybe 130mm by 130mm could automatically open during the loading process which would make the separation of the ammo most likely to be hit by a vehicle penetration much better and more efficient.

    I am sure the gunners of the Russian Army would agree with me as the commanders all round vision probably means it will be the gunners job to transfer ammo from the bustle to the under floor loader.

  24. In your post:

    It mentioned a turret bustle autoloader in addition to the underfloor autoloader.
    Was that a mistake?
    A small redesign of the underfloor autoloader and a straight line rammer and an automated ammo rack in the turret bustle can't be that hard?

    Push a button for a long rod penetrator type of ammo and the autoloader raises up like it is bringing a projectile and propellent stub from under the floor and when it gets to the point where it aligns the the two ammo pieces to ram them into the breach a hatch to the turret bustle could open and a straight rammer could push the projectile and the stub case into the autoloaders arms which could then ram the two pieces into the breach... the bustle rammer then retracts and the rear bustle door shuts and the autoloader retracts and the round is ready to fire.

    The point is that the autoloader for the under floor ammo will be a large piece of metal between the gunner and the commander and the door into the turret bustle making a bit of a contradiction of Russian tank policy... recruiting short men to fit in small tanks... must have 3m reach and be able to lift heavy shells at extended distances in cramped awkward conditions.

  25. Hi Igor,

    Nice rendering of T-90S fro UVZ Enhlish site, but the turret looks like that of T-90AM or maybe just an illusion created due to the utility boxes in the side?

    Garry & Austin, good work guys. Have been reading your comments on russiadefence.

  26. to anon: no, it's not an illusion but intended T-90AM rendering according to the view.

  27. Hi Igor,

    Can you post some V-93 photos. And are you sure the new engine is with 1130hp only? Can it be a reporting mistake of an extra 103kW being erroneously converted or reported as 130hp making it a 1130hp engine?

    What happened with the 1250hp V96 engine? I was expecting it for the new T-90M/AM. Any more info on that engine?

    Also, why did they chose the new prospective engine 12N360 with an X-configuration? From the picture it looks like a 12-cylinder engine, but why such a configuration. Unlike the current V-engines on T-90, the new engine will have to be "unplugged" from the engine bay to - say, change the injectors (of the below cylinders) or clean it. Also, rather than being compact (compared to current engine), it looks the two turbochargers on either side will take more space than the current engine. The advantage of the Russian tank engines or the power-pack have always been that they are compact compared to their western counterparts. Comparing the whole powerpack of the T-90 to that of the Leclerc, Leopard etc will give us an idea of how compact the Russian units are. As I understand, the compact designs of the powerplants are what help the Russian tank designers to have a smaller foorprint for the tank hull - which is very much dependent on the size of the engine bay. Ok I'll post it in Prospective engine thread. Plz reply there.

    Thanks in Advance.

  28. GarryB, the previously reports about existence of bustle autoloader for T-90AM were mistake. In reality the autoloader was developed for Burlak modernization, which was confirmed early but then terminated.

    I agree with conclusion about low priority of tanks in Russia military plans. For comparison: two strike helicopters are produced despite some their systems are not mature enough, 3 long range AA systems are developed in parallel: S-500, S-400, S-300BMD etc.

  29. Igor,

    Please add this to your blog... the new KamAZ Typhoon armored truck.

    Great looks and purposeful design. The rear door is of double purpose - it got a single hatch opening to the side or the entire unit can be opened and used as a ramp for easy entry/loading or exit.

    Austin (& to Igor also),

    How many T-90 tanks are now in IA and how many have been delivered by Russia. If I remember correctly, the total number of T-90s in the Indian Army's inventory are to exceed 1500 in numbers.

    Whats your view on the next batch of T-90s that is to arrive from Russia as per the recent deal. Is it not possible that the T-90M/AM will be the next batch to arrive from Russia? And what chance do you think that we all can see the new T-90M/AM in the next Republic Day Parade on 26th January?

    Is there any chance that the new T-90M/AM was developed on Indian Army's demand/customization for an improved Bhishma MK2? Can the current T-90 be converted to have the new turret?

    Also, the new 7.62 UDP T05BV-1 coaxial gun on the T-90M/AM looks very un-Russian. Any more info on the gun?

    Thanks in Advance

  30. Thanks for the information and patience Igor.

    It seems they think it is too dangerous to store ammo in an autoloader in the turret bustle, yet not so dangerous that they cannot store loose ammo there that has to be manually loaded.

    I would think if that was the case a slight extension of the chassis to allow a small fully armoured ammo box to sit between the turret ring and the engine would allow ammo to be stored in a place unlikely to be hit in combat yet lower and closer to the underfloor autoloader which should make transferring the ammo quicker and easier.

    Extending the chassis would probably end up more expensive than a bustle autoloader.

    I don't have all the facts of course, but I think they are being short sighted... perhaps we can leave it at that. :)

    Sniper: If you look at the large magazine cover above for Arsenal dated 5(29).2011 with the tank on the front with the bright yellow camouflage paint... it says modernisation of the T-90S tank. The T-90S is the export model equivalent to the T-90A domestic model.

    Igor: Is it possible there are two new tanks they will be showing... a T-90SM for export which doesn't seem to have ERA boxes on its turret sides, and T-90AM for domestic use that does have ERA boxes on its sides and perhaps other differences?

    Have read that Putin is to be shown the T-95 and T-99, but I suspect T-99 is a prototype Armata and that these tanks will retain T-90 in their designation.

  31. Note above the T-90AM seems to have a slightly different arrangement on each side of its turret.

    Look at the 3rd photo from the top on this page and you can see ERA boxes on the side of the turret but also a large rectangular box.
    This large rectangle box is also on the next two photos down both shot from the same side, but in the 7th photo down taken from the other side of the turret it seems to have no large rectangle box and just has all ERA boxes providing uniform cover.

    In some other areas of military acquisition they have gone from little batch lots to much larger numbers of products. I guess in part it is because with the new stuff mass production took a while to prepare for, but the sooner they can make much larger orders the prices are much more likely to go down.
    Small orders of hand made stuff is expensive.

  32. AFAIK the upgrade also includes changes to the chassis as well... at the very least the cosmetic addition of new ERA, plus rail armour, and a new more powerful engine.

    The talk is of an automatic transmission and active suspension so there are a few changes there too.

    There is no question that the new vehicles retains the underfloor autoloader... ammo stored there has proven safe and protected in real combat. It is the loose ammo previously stored in the crew compartment that has been moved into the turret bustle to eliminate the fire risk if the crew compartment is penetrated.

    I would assume the SM would be export oriented so might include more foreign components than the AM which seems to be being pitched at the Russian Army.

  33. In answer to your question I would think that the T-90A and T-90S would be available for domestic and export sale, but that the T-90A would not have the electronics and new net centric equipment and would be unlikely to be much use.
    On the other hand export customers might want to continue with the relatively cheap T-90S purchases and get twice as many vehicles for the same price as the new upgraded T-90SM.

    I rather suspect part of both upgrades will be net centric management and communications equipment including datalinks and moving map navigation systems that a customer buying 20 might not think is worth the cost.
    If on the other hand like the Russian Army you are planning to introduce a nationwide net centric system then it makes little sense to buy T-90As that are not compatible.
    The Russian Army choice will be either the Expensive T-90AMs or in service T-72s upgraded with the similar electronics if not up to the same standard of performance in other areas.
    They will need to upgrade some T-72s anyway... the main question is buy lots of T-90AMs or wait for Armata before spending money.

  34. Does the new autoloader on the T-90 permit use of Western-style 'long' ammunition?

  35. The new autoloader allows new longer Russian rounds to be carried, so probably no.

    Russian rounds are two piece, a projectile wrapped in propellent and a propellent stub for the APFSDS round. For the HE rounds the projectile has no added propellent as the propellent stub is sufficient.
    The whole western round is one piece and probably longer than the Russian projectile alone, though probably not longer than the Russian projectile and propellent stub, but in the underfloor auto loader the two pieces are stored on top of each other lying down with their points towards the centre of the turret rather than end to end.

  36. Sniper , The deal was for 1650 T-90 Tanks , So far more than 600 has been delivered and the rest are to be lic produced at Avadi.

    It would be hard to speculate if T-90SM will make it to IA or make it soon , Today we may hear on that as they are officially unveiling the T-90M in public.

    I would think it will be some time before we would see the T-90AM in IA service , becuase its an expensive tank with BMS , Turret Modification ,new Guns , K-6 ERA etc etc and secondly the IA has not asked for any upgrade of T-90 , atleast no MOD reports states it has.

    So the current T-90Bishma is good enough for the task it is meant for but considering we are yet to manufacture around 1000 tanks the T-90AM will eventually see its service in IA sooner or later.

    Some small upgrade like addition of cooling/AC and APU is what will be proposed for existing Bishma.

    Right now the effort is to modernise the T-72 which is long awaited and work on Arjun Mk2

  37. Does the T-90SM have a new gun and autoloader or only the AM?

  38. The new gun of T-90MS/AS

    The same thing can be seen inside the tank when Putin got inside.

  39. Austin,

    Thanks for the info. So almost a 1000 units are still to be delivered to the IA. In that case it would perfectly make sense to shift to the T-90MS standard now and make the production run more cost effective when to compared to buying a smaller batch of T-90SM and then later-on upgrading over 1000 T-90s to the SM. Though I do think the current contract will have to be re-negotiated to make the license building of T-90SM variants. I feel the earlier production shifts to T-90MS, the better.

    Do you see any chance that the T-90SM being developed had Indian Army's "push" to make an upgraded variant? The current variant can in a sense be called the T-90 Bhishma MK2 considering the level of upgrade it have undergone compared to the T-90S.

    I think the a/c affair was a bad management by IA as the original T-90S that came to/offered to India was with A/C and ADS. But to keep the overall cost low, they omitted these units in the first place.

  40. to anon September 10, 2011 12:22 AM:

    The demonstrated T-90MS variant has the same MG, but improved, more defended autoloader. It has also anti-splits covering instead flammable anti-neutron one.

  41. So the main difference between the SM and AM variants right now is the gun? Do they have the same armor, engine and electronic systems?

  42. SM is for export and AM is domestic use.
    I would suspect that they have a few things that are different, and that the SM model will vary based on who the customer is and their relations with other countries.

    For instance I don't think Indonesia will want Israel components substituted for Russian parts they can't have... etc etc.

    India might actually prefer Israeli or western components.

  43. to Gautam:
    up to now there is no intention of the Army to pay for climate systems for tanks. It's not clear, whether T-90MA will be contracted at all. The future of the export variant is better IMHO. There is just no alternative for it for many Russia clients since Russia most probably will not export Armata many years after starting manufacturing it (planned for 2014).

  44. Sniper , I would agree with your logic that it is better to shift Avadi production line to a Mk2 variant or T-90MS variant considering Arjun too is moving to Mk2 production variant but alas MOD and Logic wont go together :)

    First reason would be need , Does the IA feel the need to upgrade or produce T-90MS because the current T-90 Bhishma is inadequate for some reason ?

    I have not heard IA complaining of any short coming on Bhishma except for the need to have an AC and APU.

    MOD is still struggling with T-72 upgrade so upgrading the T-90 does not seem to be an urgent need or a priority although at some point T-90 will be upgraded and at that point the MS variant will come in handy.

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  46. Armata: possible appearance of the promising Russian tank