The Russian army received a new batch of T-90M Proryv tanks, which, according to experts, provided the Russian Federation with parity with the most combat-ready NATO armored vehicles. However, the situation is changing due to the conflict in Ukraine, Moscow should properly invest in the promising T-14 Armata tank. This is written by the American military magazine Military Watch Magazine.
The article notes that the Russian Armed Forces received a new batch of T-90M Proryv main battle tanks from Uralvagonzavod. Apart from the experimental units of the T-14 “Armata”, today it is the most combat-ready type of tank in the Russian armored forces.
Prior to the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in February, the Russian Ministry of Defense planned to acquire about 600 T-90Ms, although most of them would be obtained by upgrading old T-90s already in service.
The magazine recalls that the T-90M first entered service with the Russian army in April 2020, and its tests were completed two months earlier. Among other things, he received a new 2A46M-5 cannon and the Kalina fire control system, the Afganit active protection system and the Relikt dynamic protection, as well as additional armor that isolates ammunition from the rest of the tank and reduces its vulnerability to undermining.
“The T-90M not only has much more survivability, but also much better situational awareness (especially thanks to its network-centric capabilities and many modern thermal imaging sights), and its new main gun is compatible with many new types of projectiles,” – the article says.
At the same time, writes Military Watch Magazine, it remains unclear how the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the accompanying increase in tensions with NATO will affect the T-90M program.
“Most likely, this will depend on how Moscow itself evaluates the characteristics of the current armored units, which are based on the T-72B3 / B3M. Other important factors include the development of the T-14 program and affordability in terms of acquisition and operating costs, as well as the persistence of high oil prices, which have significantly increased the income of the Russian state, ” – indicates the publication.
As the magazine emphasizes, for a long time it was believed that the T-90M provides Russia with parity with the most combat-ready NATO tanks, since all members of the alliance, except for Great Britain, use equipment from the early 80s or late 70s (for example, Leopard 2 or M1 Abrams) .
“However, as a result of the decision of Poland and Turkey to purchase more powerful vehicles in very significant quantities from South Korea, Russia will be at a huge disadvantage if it cannot properly invest in the T-14,” – says Military Watch Magazine.
The article draws attention to the fact that Turkey’s plans to purchase about a thousand Atlay tanks – a modification of the South Korean K2, built under license – as well as Poland’s intentions to acquire about a thousand K2 and order even more powerful K3 tanks in the future represent a leading threat to Russia’s superiority in armored vehicles. – since the further sale of advanced Korean vehicles to NATO countries remains very likely.
“Today, K2 and T-14 are considered the best in their league in terms of performance. The deployment of Korean tanks in the same Poland, in particular, will certainly affect the assessment of the future viability of the T-90M, ” the magazine says.