The latest version of Russia’s T-90 tank is manufactured by Uralvagonzavod’s (UVZ’s). Developed by the company under the Proryv-3 programme, the T-90M will be the most advanced derivative of the T-90.

In September 2016, the head of the Main Automotive-Armoured Tank Directorate of the Russian MoD, Lt Gen Alexander Shevchenko, claimed that all T-90s in the Russian Land Forces inventory are slated for upgrade to the new Proryv-3 standard, but he refused to provide further information about the timeframe and if the budget will be sufficient for a wholesale re-fleeting.

The T-90M has an exterior similar to that of the T-90MS derivative offered for export. It is equipped with the new Relikt explosive-reactive armour (ERA) system, Kalina fire control system and a remote-controlled machine gun mount installed on the turret. The tank is also powered by a more capable V9S2F diesel engine rated at 1,130hp and has a number of further improvements, mainly in ergonomics.

The main exterior difference to all other T-90 versions is the installation of slat armour for better protection of the turret ring, while the tracks are the same as those used by the T-14 Armata. It is also expected that the Proryv-3, in its final form, will also include the integration of the 2A82-1M gun and some other systems already used on the T-14, in order to achieve a higher level of commonality between the two models for better logistics support.

The Russian Land Forces received between 120 and 160 T-90s in their basic version (Object 188) between 1992 and 1998, followed by about 360 of the improved T-90A (Object 188A1) between Advanced Russian tank variant revealed. It is more likely to be the MBT of the Russian Army than any “show-pony” at parades.

The protection suite provides CBRN protection, a climate control unit and periscopes. The modular and scalable digital architecture allows for current and future vetronics and C4I capabilities to be utilised on the vehicle. At 48tonne, the AFV is able to achieve speeds of up to 70km/h and has a range of 500km with a trench clearance of 2.1m.

With 30 to 60 units exported to Syria between late 2015 and early 2017. It is unlikely that original T-90 models will get the upgrade because an all-new turret would need to be fitted in place of the existing cast one. However, since the T-90A features a welded turret that is the same as the T-90M’s, albeit with different ERA, it is this variant that can be expected to go into an approved modification programme.