TechUkrainian forces neutralize Putin-praised T-90M tank in Donetsk

Ukrainian forces neutralize Putin-praised T‑90M tank in Donetsk

Moment of attack on the Russian tank T-90M
Moment of attack on the Russian tank T-90M
Images source: © X, @GloOouD
7:22 AM EST, March 2, 2024

The Ukrainians have successfully destroyed a T-90M, a highly regarded tank within the Russian arsenal, praised notably by Vladimir Putin. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has highlighted that, despite their advantages, these tanks have significant vulnerabilities. We delve into their specific characteristics.

On a recent visit to the Uralvagonzavod armament conglomerate, Vladimir Putin lauded the T-90 Breakthrough as "arguably the best tank in the world." He hinted at further developments and future variants. The latest model, the T-90M, has previously been targeted by the Ukrainians. This time, they employed a drone to drop explosive charges on it, a tactic frequently used in the conflict.

Ukrainians target the T-90M

A brief video on social media detailed the destruction of a T-90M by the 63rd Ukrainian Mechanized Brigade in the Donetsk region. The Russian tank was first immobilized before being completely destroyed overnight.

The T-90 series, Russia's modern main battle tanks, have been in production since the late 20th century. Among its variants, the basic T-90 is widespread, but the T-90M Breakthrough is deemed the most advanced.

In recent months, the Ukrainians have destroyed several of these machines. Assessments of the wreckage and captured tanks revealed that the T-90M Breakthrough falls short of expectations. Ukrainian reports criticized the tank for its underperforming engine, fragile microelectronics, and poor radio communication capabilities. It was also pointed out that some features remained unchanged from the older T-72 model, including the ammunition storage and loading system.

The esteemed Russian tank

Despite its flaws, the T-90M Breakthrough continues to be a formidable force in the Russian arsenal in Ukraine. It offers significant upgrades in durability over older Soviet models, which provided minimal protection to their crews. The T-90M Breakthrough is fortified with "Relikt" reactive armor, enhancing the protection of its turret and hull.

The tank's offensive power is noteworthy as well. It boasts a 125mm smoothbore 2A46M-5 gun, supplemented by an advanced Kalina fire control system, and is armed with 7.62mm and 12.7mm machine guns.

As reported by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in February, the war in Ukraine has led to the loss of over 3,000 Russian tanks since its outset. The cost of one T-90M is estimated at around $4.5 million.

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