Disassembling Russia's advanced T-90M 'Breakthrough' tank - a Soviet T-72B with a 1937 B-2 engine, old protection and consumer electronics

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 16.03.2023, 20:12
Disassembling Russia's advanced T-90M 'Breakthrough' tank - a Soviet T-72B with a 1937 B-2 engine, old protection and consumer electronics

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have been able to seize several T-90M Proryv tanks since 2022. Naturally, experts did not miss the opportunity to study the Russian army's most advanced tank.

Here's What We Know

The Trophy and Advanced Armament and Military Equipment Research Centre claims that the T-90M "Proryv", which was adopted for service in 2020, appeared to be identical to the Russian T-72B tank. It is equipped with the V-92C2F engine rated at 1,130 horsepower, which is an improved version of the B-2 power plant of the 1937 model of the Soviet T-34 tank of the time of the Second World War. At the same time, experts note that the engine's power output drops by almost a third in the Ukrainian steppes.

Analysis of the T-90M Proryv confirms that the ammunition is separate from the charging mechanism. This was done in order to protect the crew. However, Ukrainian researchers note that the mechanism itself has been taken over from the T-72 and has not been changed in any way. Moreover, in order to obtain ammunition, one would have to leave the tank.

The speaker of the Centre for Research of Trophy and Advanced Armament and Military Equipment said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to dispel the myth about the invincibility of the $5m T-90M "Proryv" with the help of Carl Gustav. It was the $20,000 Swedish grenade launcher that destroyed the first Russian advanced tank last spring. A total of at least 15 units were destroyed.

The T-90M, which came to the Ukrainian specialists, had no touted active protection. What this has to do with it is difficult to say. However, the dynamic protection Relikt is an analogue of the Soviet Kontakt system. A change compared to the T-72B was the appearance of additional armour. This increases protection, but is detrimental to the cross-country capability of the combat vehicle.

"Breakthrough" uses foreign electronics, but it is difficult to identify it accurately due to the lack of markings. In some cases, Russia is trying to pass off foreign components as its own development. For example, it turned out that the touted Kalina fire control system is only marked as Russian. It is, incidentally, used in the more modern Armata tank, which has not yet been accepted for service.

In addition, the Western sanctions that have been imposed on Russia have played their part. Because of the inability to replace imported components, the Russians had to equip the T-90M Breakthrough with consumer electronics and reduce production. The last batch, for example, amounted to only 10 tanks.

Source: Ukrainian Military TV Broadcasting