In a previous post, about two months ago, we examined the Russian main battle tank deeply and why it is popular. We also showed how it works and what armor it has, but we also mentioned something important: It Sucks!
Even though, at that time, we didn’t have any proof of the T-90 being hit and destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we really knew that the T-90 was nothing but the old t72 tank. It is just a rebranding for the old tank to be able to sell more of it to the world.
On Wednesday, 4 May 2022, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, T-90 proved to be nothing better than the other Russian tanks. Even with its “developed” reactive armor, it was an easy target for the anti-tank missiles.
What happened exactly? How was the tank destroyed? And how does this affect the war situation?
The T-90M is Destroyed!
The T-90’s Legend Died in Ukraine – Russia’s T-90 Tank, One of Russia’s most modern tanks, was destroyed by Ukrainian forces using hit-and-run tactics, following its predecessors’ footsteps.
I mean, who could guess that the first Russian T-90M would be hunted down within days after their much-advertised deployment to Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast.— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) May 4, 2022
Say hi to our big friend Andriy Tsapliyenko. pic.twitter.com/1GaFuHcgR8
Photographed by defense reporter Illia Ponomarenko of The Kyiv Independent on 4 May and shared on Twitter, the image depicts what looks to be the remains of a T-90M tank that has been damaged by a direct strike somewhere in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast in Ukraine. In the foreground, Andriy Tsaplienko was also reporting.
This is the first confirmed T-90M tank loss for the Russian Army since the start of the war.
T-90M First Presence in Ukraine Invasion
Last month, Ukraine confirmed the appearance of the T-90M in eastern Ukraine, and Russia’s military is thought to have at least twenty of the updated MBTs in the area. The tank has been widely praised for being more effective in combat than its predecessor, the T-90.
The first appearance of a Russian T-90M tank in Ukraine. The video is from Rosgvardia showing a number of destroyed Ukrainian vehicles in Kharkhiv Oblast and Rosgvardia spetsnaz.https://t.co/uyInBJo5Ii pic.twitter.com/oZ73oqD1KE— Rob Lee (@RALee85) April 25, 2022
What Does this mean?
Russian tanks equipped with unique reactive armor are being destroyed now by Ukrainian soldiers. This is the first time it has happened! I mean, they had already destroyed many tanks before, but not as good as the T-90 tank!
The T-90M armor is built to burst, lowering the incoming missile’s penetrating force. Automated smoke grenades are also employed to defend the tank when it is painted by a laser beam from an approaching missile.
The Ukrainian military published drone footage of a Russian armored unit, which resulted in its destruction and the demolition of a thermobaric multiple rocket system.
Given its reputation as Russia’s most technologically sophisticated and powerful tank in its frontline military arsenal, news of what looks to be the first T-90M tank destroyed in Ukraine should boost Ukrainian soldiers’ spirits. Production of the T-90M tanks began in the spring of 2020, but only a few hundred of the tanks have been put into service so far, according to the latest numbers.
Why did the T-90M Fail the Test?
This is not a normal loss for the Russian Army; this is another level of defense for the Ukrainian Military Forces. Here we see a T-90 Proryv (Breakthrough), the most recent model of the T-90 MBT, which initially began service in 1992.
It was introduced into service in 2016 with an updated turret, a 1A45T fire-control system, an improved engine, and a thermal sight for the shooter. Steel and composite armor, smoke grenade dischargers, Kontakt-5 explosive-reactive armor, and the Shtora infrared ATGM jammer devices are among the standard protection measures.
And all of these were not enough to protect the famous, well-known Russian tank! Despite the T-90M’s explosive reactive armor, which was supposed to defend against shaped charges and decrease the impact of armor-piercing missiles, it seems as vulnerable as other Russian armor against anti-tank weaponry deployed by the Ukrainians.
It was most probably targeted by Javelin, one of the most popular anti-tank missiles used by Ukraine. Why I’m saying that Javelin is most probably used in this mission? Because Javelin has the ability to pass reactive armor layers easily and penetrate into the tank’s hull.
It is remarkable that the damaged T-90M seems to retain its turret intact, but previous T-72 and T-90 MBTs have been troubled by the so-called “jack in the box effect,” which has caused the turrets to be blasted off because of the ammunition being stored in the turrets. Although Western military personnel has been aware of this flaw for many years, it appears to have been ignored by the Russians.
Regardless of whether or not T-90M tanks were utilized in the battle until recently, photographs of Russia’s most powerful operational tank destroyed on Ukrainian land will not sit well with the Russian Army, whose reputation as a feared combat force has diminished so much over the previous two and a half months.
There are various countries in the world where the T-90 and its versions are now in use, including Algeria; India; Syria; Turkmenistan; and Turkmenistan. The question that comes to my mind now: will this incident impact the sale of the T-90 tanks?
When the first Russian T-90Ms arrived in Ukraine, no one could have predicted that the first one would be found destroyed within days.
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