T-90MS : Indian Upcoming Main Battle Tank

In April 18, 2019 India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had approved a $1.93 billion procurement of 464 Russian-made T-90MS main battle tanks (MBTs) for service in the Indian Army .

In Nov 12 , 2019  The Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has inked a $2.8 billion contract with the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to license-build 464 additional T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs) for service in the Indian Army. According to IHS Jane’s, the deal with OFB’s Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) was signed on November 6 and is part of a series of earlier contracts for the license-production of 1,000 T-90S MBTs.

Currently Indian army have 2078 T-90 M/S , 2410 T-72 Ajeya (improved version compare to others ) , 124 Arjun mk1 tank , 118 mk-1A arjun tank and 1000+ T-54/55 (upgraded in 2007 with latest equipment) .

Also there are unknown no of Arjun mk 2 MBT are in service with Indian army.

The T-90MS tank is designed for active offensive or defensive combat in the face of strong opposition from the enemy. His tasks include:

  1. Support for motorized rifle units , suppression and destruction of enemy firing points directly on the battlefield;
  2. Breakthrough of the enemy defense system, destruction of his artillery;
  3. Fight against tanks and other armored vehicles of the enemy;
  4. Deep raids with the destruction of transport convoys, ammunition depots and equipment in the enemy operational rear;
  5. Conducting intelligence.

Design features


The T-90MS is a classic-style tank with a front control compartment, in which there is a driver-mechanic, a middle fighting compartment, “crowned” by a tower where the commander and gunner are located, and a rear engine-transmission compartment. The machine is equipped with a combat information management system, part of which is the Kalina fire control system (LMS).

The structure of the LMS includes, in particular, the following elements:

  1. PC PAN “Hawkeye”. This panoramic sight, designed for the tank commander, was developed in Belarus. Install it not only on the T-90MS, but also on the T-72B1MS;
  2. PNM “Pine-U”. A sight intended for a gunner, it is possible to use a thermal imaging channel and a laser rangefinder;
  3. Device for automatic tracking;
  4. Stabilizer;
  5. The device for determining nationality.

As the “hunter” can act as the commander of a combat vehicle using a panoramic sight, and another tank. This ensures tactical interaction on the battlefield. The greatest efficiency can be achieved by T-90MS units receiving target designation from T-14 Armata .

In general, this approach coincides with the requirements of the concept of network-centric warfare, which implies constant interaction and complete coordination between all direct participants in the battle.

Powertrain, transmission and suspension

V-92S2F Diesel engine

As a power unit for the T-90MS tank, the V-92S2F multi-fuel diesel engine (original name – V-93) is used. The cycle of its tests was fully completed in 2017, however, it was installed on the T-90SM and T-90AM in 2011. The power of this motor is 1130 horsepower.

The new engine allowed to significantly increase the thrust-to-weight ratio and mobility of the T-90SM tank. In the future, it is planned to equip these machines with an even more powerful and modern B-99 motor.

In addition, an auxiliary diesel generator set is installed on the tank – it is located on the side fenders and is designed to supply electricity to the aircraft equipment when the main engine is off.

The transmission design is basically unchanged, the same seven forward and one reverse gears are preserved as in the original T-90A. There is a gear shift – mechanisms of this type on ordinary cars are usually called a “robot box”, they should not be confused with conventional hydromechanical automatic transmissions.

Suspension, judging by the photographs of the tank, is practically no different from the one on the T-90A – an individual torsion bar. The ride can be judged by the results of practical application. Management is carried out using the rotary helm.


The T-90SM has the latest version of the 2A6M 125mm smoothbore series, the 2A46M-5. The main gun enables the vehicle to fire 4 types of ammunition to engage targets at varying ranges.

1. HEF (High-Explosive Fragmentary) to a range of 12km
2. GM (Guided Missile) the Refleks anti-tank missile to a range of 5km
3. APDS (Armour-piercing discarding sabot) to a range of 3km
4. HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) to a range of 3km

Arnaments of T-90ms

The secondary armament is a Remote Weapon Station fitted with a 7.62mm Machine Gun. It is located on the Commander Independent Sight and Stabilised in both axis carrying 800 rounds. It has a full 360 degree traverse and 45 degree elevation for attacking low flying helicopters and is operated by the commander using his CIS. The vehicle also has a standard coaxial MG.

t-90ms remote controlled machine gun


2 times for CE (~800mm RHA at 0 per block)< K-5 offers 1.9~2 times for CE

1.5 times for KE (~350mm RHA at 0 per block)< K-5 offers 1.2 times for KE

-BTVT estimates T90A at 800-830 versus KE and 1150-1350 versus CE. with K-5 for thickest turret parts. Please note – btvt is likely to underestimate the T90A performance due to strong anti tagil bias

-With relikt, those numbers would be 1000-1038 KE and 1150-1350 for CE on the thickest part of the turret over what K-5 can offer.

-Relikt is Estimated to dissipate >0.6 (60%) of KE Rod energy

-RPG “nets” on engine and rear (turret and chassis) roof has a good slope, which increases both LOS thickness and ERA effectiveness.

-Relikt ERA on glacis, turret and sides.

T-90SM has internal thermal shields to reduce its thermal signature. Its modular armour includes ERA that  not only covers the frontal arc of the turret and hull, but extends along the sides of both sections of the tank as well as turret roof and cage armour is fitted to the rear of the hull protecting the engine compartment.

The countermeasure suite sensors detect if a laser range finder (used by tanks and anti-tank missiles launchers to aim at a tank) is pointing at the vehicle, it then alerts the crew and slays the turret round in the direct the laser is coming from.


The main parameters of the T-90MS tank

Gross tank weight 48 tons
Highway Speed 60 km / h
Fording Depth 1.8 m
The width of the water obstacle to be overcome on the bottom (with the equipment of the ATVT) Up to 1000 meters, depth up to 5 meters
Engine power 1130 horsepower.
Power reserve Up to 550 km
Target recognition range of type “tank” 5,000 m via the optical channel, 3,500 m through the thermal imaging channel
Turret turning speed At least 40 degrees per second
Crew 3 persons
Power density 24 h.p. per ton

The speed of movement along the country road and soil is not given in official sources. This characteristic is estimated at 35-40 km / h.

Advantages and disadvantages

The T-90MS tank meets all the basic requirements of modern combat, which is due to a number of its positive qualities:

  1. High level of security. According to this parameter, the new machine should get ahead of the T-90A, which has established itself well in Syria;
  2. Excellent fire control system features;
  3. Significantly increased the level of security for the crew. The carousel of the automatic loader received additional protection, the rest of the ammunition spaced;
  4. The tank has a high power-to-weight ratio, which makes it mobile and maneuverable.

It’s probably too early to talk about the shortcomings, but at least two minuses can be noted – not quite enough armor penetration of the main types of shells and the poor location of the diesel generator set, which is very vulnerable to fire from the enemy.

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