Allegedly, the Kremlin is making 200 tanks available to the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic”. The T-90M is the most modern and dangerous tank on the battlefields of Ukraine.
The West hopes that Russia’s weak economy will not be able to make up for the losses in the Ukraine war. And that the fighting power of the invading army will collapse as soon as supplies stop arriving.
But now the Russian television channel NTV has released a video showing a delivery of new tanks to the armed forces of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic”. The region split from Ukraine in 2014 and pro-Russian separatists unilaterally declared it a republic. The separatists are to receive a delivery of 200 main battle tanks of the T-90M type. However, only part of it can be seen in the video. According to the broadcaster, the tanks come directly from the Uralvagonzavod factory in Nizhny Tagil.
At the beginning of the invasion, Russia mainly used the older T-72 models. But in recent weeks, the Kremlin has increasingly deployed T-90 tanks. The T-90 is the latest series to come out of the USSR. The revolutionary T-14 Armata has only been built in small numbers and is still not in regular service.
Most modern version of the T-90
As in the West, the old tanks from the Cold War are constantly being modernized in Russia. The T-90M is the latest generation of the T-90. It was presented for the first time in 2017. It is armed with a new 2A46M-4 gun. In addition to her armor-piercing ammunition, she can also launch an anti-tank guided missile. A missile that can be used not only against ground targets, but also against low-flying helicopters. They must also be able to fight larger combat drones. To do this, the tank is armed with a 7.62 mm light machine gun installed in parallel with the main gun. A heavy 12.7 mm machine gun is mounted on the turret.
The armor of the T-90 M is said to be able to withstand all modern anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs – Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) because they are equipped with the most modern generation of Russian reactive armor Relikt. The relic boxes are mounted over the actual armor and will explode if hit by a missile. Due to this deflection, the “cutting beam” of the ATGM cannot attach itself to the steel. So far, however, Russian reactive armor has proven to be inefficient. In addition, the T-90 protects itself with an active protection system (Afganit Active Protection System). Such an active system has sensors that detect an approaching missile, and an explosion is then triggered in its direction – like a large shotgun blast. So the rocket should be shot down immediately in front of the target. In addition, the T-90 M has an automatic target tracking and fire control system.
Whether the T-90 M is really as invulnerable as claimed remains to be seen. In any case, it is by far the most modern main battle tank on the battlefield. Kyiv has modernized T-64BM Bulat of its own production, if they survived the war, and T-72 tanks. Kyiv received several hundred specimens of this type from abroad, namely from Poland and Slovakia. These tanks formed the backbone of the units involved in the successful Kharkov and Kherson offensives.
Huge number if true
If the number from the video comes true, it would be very bad news for Kyiv. After all, it was said that Moscow could only reinforce one section of the front with at least 200 modern battle tanks. For classification: The Bundeswehr has almost 300 Leopard II tanks, but not all of them are brought up to date. A total of 17 are currently being equipped with an active protection system. With 200 T-90s, you could field four full tank brigades.
At the beginning of the war, Kyiv had about 850 T-64s in service, most of them may have been retired by now. These losses were offset by deliveries of Soviet tanks from the allies over the summer. Here, too, the successful offensives in autumn will have decimated the stocks. For Kyiv, the question of tanks arises again. Where do new battle tanks come from as the fighting progresses, if the tanks used are permanently worn out?