T-90S, speeding out.
The T-90 retains the low silhouette of the earlier Soviet tanks. The glacis is well sloped, and iscovered by second generation ERA bricks and a large transverse rib that extends horizontally across theglacis. The driver sits at the front of the hull and has a single piece hatch cover that opens to the right, infront of which is a single wide-angle observation periscope. Integrated fuel cells and stowage containersgive a streamlined appearance to the fenders. The tank has a toothed shovel/dozer blade on the front of the hull beneath the glacis. There are attachment points beneath the blade for the KMT-6 mine-clearingplow.The low, rounded turret is centered on the hull. The commander's cupola is on the right side of theturret; the gunner's hatch is on the left side. The 125-mm main gun has a four section removable thermalshield. It has two sections in front of, and two sections to the rear of the mid-tube bore evacuator. A 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun is mounted to the right of the mantlet. The T-90 mounts two infra-redsearchlights on either side of the main armament; these are part of the Shtora ATGM defense system. Theturret is covered with second generation reactive armor on the frontal arc.This ERA gives the turret an angled appearance, with the ERA bricks forming a "clam shell"appearance. There are ERA bricks on the turret roof to provide protection from top-attack weapons. Thereare banks of smoke mortars on either side of the turret. The second generation ERA package, combinedwith the advanced armor technology, makes the T-90 one of the best protected main battle tanks in theworld.
The year 1999 saw the appearance of a new model of T-90, featuring the fully welded turret of the
experimental MBT instead of the cast design of the original T-90. This new model is called"
" in honor of T-90 Chief Designer Vladimir Potkin, who died in 1999. It is unknown how thisdesign affects the protection and layout of the turret, and whether the frontal armor package was alsoextensively redesigned (Source:Vasily Fofanov's Modern Russian Armor Page).There are at least three different variants of the T-90. The Russians confirmed the existence of anexport variant in June 1996 with varying equipment and engine fits, and Russian promotional materialshave discussed both the T-90S (or "C" in the sometimes-used Cyrillic non-translation) and the T-90SKcommand variant. The T-90SK command variant differs in radio and navigation equipment and Ainetremote-detonation system for HEF rounds. The T-90 "
", with a welded turret, is also referred to asT-90M, but it is not an official designation. The official designation for those tanks were T-90A, or T-90SM.Actually, all production T-90s from 2001 onwards have welded turrets, so it only seems logical to assumethat the official designation now is T-90S (or "C") - what is confirmed by the fact that all T-90S MBTs soldto India have welded turrets. There are also occasional references to a T-90E, but these appear to beunsubstantiated.
T-90S MBT Characteristics
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